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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Posts: 9
Africa to UK two up

Hello everyone

I am planning to have an adventure I intend to ride from South Africa to UK two up on a R1200GS

I have never done this type of trip before and would like to attempt it before I get too old

I have a few ideas but no real information and I wondered if rather than invent the wheel I could ask you all

First I thought I need a safe route for two middle aged travellers to follow preferably a route that has plenty of fellow travellers on it

Border crossings, I am aware that bribes seem to operate but is there a way of safely getting through the crossings, what papers are needed to get by?

Insurance for bike and passangers?

GPS I have a tom tom rider would this work?

Places to sleep, is it safe to camp if so where, is there a list of rooms or hotels people have used

Money, what is the best way of accessing it and what is best to carry

Spares for bike?

Budget for trip, I am on a pension so this is important

I know this is a long list however I have to start somewhere
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Location: Slovenia
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Hi, since you are on pension I believe you have time to read and search The Africa Overland Network The Africa Overland Network this is a good place to start.
Have never done the trip, but on this page you can find tons of informations about people who did it.

with kindest regards,
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  #3  
Old 20 Aug 2012
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 398
Hi,
You don't say whether it's east or west side of Africa you're aiming at.
The link at the bottom is for a pensioner on a little 250 (with daughter and son-in-law) going down the east side.

Just to comment a little on some of your list, all applicable to the east side:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phoenix View Post
First I thought I need a safe route for two middle aged travellers to follow preferably a route that has plenty of fellow travellers on it
Down the east side it's all pretty safe (very safe in my opinion).
Anywhere that's dangerous, or needs special permission, there'll be police checks to keep you away from those places.
Generally you'll meet a traveller or two almost every day or at least a few times per week. You'll meet lots in the main stopping places in the capital cities.

Universally, the police you meet will be charged with keeping tourists safe. (In my experience).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phoenix View Post

Border crossings, I am aware that bribes seem to operate but is there a way of safely getting through the crossings, what papers are needed to get by?

There's no danger at border crossings and hardly any corruption. 'Extra payments' will be needed for Egypt, entry and exit. Use a known fixer. Elsewhere, steer clear of people 'offering to help/guide' and you'll find all you need, which is 'Immigration' and 'Customs' - that's all. (Except see below)
Take care changing money if not using the 'bank' (usually in a little caravan).
Most importantly - for everyone you meet at borders, and police checks, petrol stations and hotels, and on the road (specially children in Ethiopia) - get your right glove off as quickly as you can and stick your hand right out for a handshake! (And "How are you?") That seals the bond and you'll be looked after. In some places, (Ethiopia again) you may have as many as 30 hands to shake!

The entry to Egypt is generally the most notorious border on this route. Unfairly I think. It's entertaining and takes a long time. And you need to pay for things. But nothing to be wary of.
The best account I've read of it is here:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-14#post371949

".....worth paying an entrance fee to see this spectacle."
Biking Marco is younger than us pensioners but his Ride Tale from Africa is well worth reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phoenix View Post

Insurance for bike and passangers?

I assume you mean 3rd party traffic insurance. Anything more (health etc) you need to arrange before starting.
There are 3 possibilities:
1. You'll be required to buy it at immigration or customs. Or,
2. If not, ask. There may be a little hut or window where you can buy it. Or,
3. It may be unavailable, in which case ask at the next big town. It may not be required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phoenix View Post

Places to sleep, is it safe to camp if so where, is there a list of rooms or hotels people have used

You'll find all this by browsing these forums. We wild camped in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.
There are lots of campsites. In our experience it's hard to find anywhere dangerous to stay, except occasionally in the cities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phoenix View Post

Money, what is the best way of accessing it and what is best to carry

ATMs are pretty well everywhere, except Sudan, and Rwanda if you're going there. (All this is 2 years ago).
Take $US cash for countries without ATMs and for when they don't work.

Africa is a cash country, everyone carries it for whatever they need to buy. You'll see people exchanging it for goods in the streets all the time. Such a society couldn't function if there's constant danger of being robbed. So just take sensible care. In towns and cities, keep away from quiet dark alleys, keep to the places where everybody else is.

Have a good trip - enjoy the help and hospitality you'll receive.

Plan on being delayed frequently through often being invited for tea/lunch/breakfast etc etc.
__________________
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
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  #4  
Old 21 Aug 2012
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africa up

hello
tracks4africa download or card for your gps.check out 4x4 community sa.
south african 4x4 overland site alot of good info there.
good luck
kevin
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  #5  
Old 23 Aug 2012
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Posts: 9
Africa Overland

Quote:
Originally Posted by p4jk View Post
Hi, since you are on pension I believe you have time to read and search The Africa Overland Network The Africa Overland Network this is a good place to start.
Have never done the trip, but on this page you can find tons of informations about people who did it.

with kindest regards,
Thank you for the link, I have briefly looked at it and I am sure it will help in the planning process,

Kind Regards
Peter
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  #6  
Old 23 Aug 2012
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrankpin View Post
Hi,
You don't say whether it's east or west side of Africa you're aiming at.
The link at the bottom is for a pensioner on a little 250 (with daughter and son-in-law) going down the east side.

Just to comment a little on some of your list, all applicable to the east side:



Down the east side it's all pretty safe (very safe in my opinion).
Anywhere that's dangerous, or needs special permission, there'll be police checks to keep you away from those places.
Generally you'll meet a traveller or two almost every day or at least a few times per week. You'll meet lots in the main stopping places in the capital cities.

Universally, the police you meet will be charged with keeping tourists safe. (In my experience).




There's no danger at border crossings and hardly any corruption. 'Extra payments' will be needed for Egypt, entry and exit. Use a known fixer. Elsewhere, steer clear of people 'offering to help/guide' and you'll find all you need, which is 'Immigration' and 'Customs' - that's all. (Except see below)
Take care changing money if not using the 'bank' (usually in a little caravan).
Most importantly - for everyone you meet at borders, and police checks, petrol stations and hotels, and on the road (specially children in Ethiopia) - get your right glove off as quickly as you can and stick your hand right out for a handshake! (And "How are you?") That seals the bond and you'll be looked after. In some places, (Ethiopia again) you may have as many as 30 hands to shake!

The entry to Egypt is generally the most notorious border on this route. Unfairly I think. It's entertaining and takes a long time. And you need to pay for things. But nothing to be wary of.
The best account I've read of it is here:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-14#post371949

".....worth paying an entrance fee to see this spectacle."
Biking Marco is younger than us pensioners but his Ride Tale from Africa is well worth reading.




I assume you mean 3rd party traffic insurance. Anything more (health etc) you need to arrange before starting.
There are 3 possibilities:
1. You'll be required to buy it at immigration or customs. Or,
2. If not, ask. There may be a little hut or window where you can buy it. Or,
3. It may be unavailable, in which case ask at the next big town. It may not be required.




You'll find all this by browsing these forums. We wild camped in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.
There are lots of campsites. In our experience it's hard to find anywhere dangerous to stay, except occasionally in the cities.





ATMs are pretty well everywhere, except Sudan, and Rwanda if you're going there. (All this is 2 years ago).
Take $US cash for countries without ATMs and for when they don't work.

Africa is a cash country, everyone carries it for whatever they need to buy. You'll see people exchanging it for goods in the streets all the time. Such a society couldn't function if there's constant danger of being robbed. So just take sensible care. In towns and cities, keep away from quiet dark alleys, keep to the places where everybody else is.

Have a good trip - enjoy the help and hospitality you'll receive.

Plan on being delayed frequently through often being invited for tea/lunch/breakfast etc etc.
Thank you so much for this information, I intend to go up the east side, first going to the Cape then up through Namibia and Botswana there is so much to think about it seems so overwelming at the moment but as many people have done this before I am sure I can do too.

If you think of anything else I would be grateful

Kind Regards
Peter
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  #7  
Old 23 Aug 2012
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpredator View Post
hello
tracks4africa download or card for your gps.check out 4x4 community sa.
south african 4x4 overland site alot of good info there.
good luck
kevin
Hello Kevin

I will look at this site and community, if you think of anything can you drop me a line?

Kind Regards
Peter
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