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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 1 Sep 2011
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Cape town - London vs London to Cape Town

hi,

just wondering what is the best time to drive cape town to london or london to cape town, we are flexible in which end we start at as we are shipping from Australia, for a approx 5 month trip which would be the best month weather wise to start at either end.

we hope to leave sometime between August and Nov 2012. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 1 Sep 2011
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Hope you get a better responce than I did ! 272 views and no one could be assed to reply !!!!
Good luck
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  #3  
Old 1 Sep 2011
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Well here is one response : I would start in Cape town, winter in Aug, so you are going to get some great Sunrises/Sunsets etc as there wet season is the same a ours. As you move up should be in Kenya by Oct. it is the wet season in Kenya, Uganda etc. but not to bad I was there around that time last year and thought it was good, as you move into Ethiopia the wet is over and should be great ! Sudan you will be there in Nov/Dec best time of the year because we came thru Sudan in Aug/Sep and it was Hot then Bloody Hot, so should be ideal as the same for Egypt ! Going the reverse is Ok we started end of Aug, but only got 1/2 way to Cape town after 4 mths. But if it suits you the weather isn't to bad, but if you have the choice definitely go Cape Town up.

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  #4  
Old 1 Sep 2011
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I travelled Cape Town to London taking five months starting August and getting home in time for Christmas. For me it was perfect timing with no rushing and no hanging around anywhere too long, if anything another month to visit Uganda and Rwanda would have been nice but I am not complaining. The weather was excellent, only about five days with any rain and never too hot, a bit cooler in the north and freezing in France.
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  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2011
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Thanks guys,

Well i'm in a bit of a predictement really,

basically my situation is like this

i live in australia (last 8 yrs or so) but am originally from ireland, my plan was to ship my 4wd from Australia to Cape and drive North to ireland. My 4wd is a 1988 Nissan Patrol TD42 engine which owes me and is worth about $9k here, the value of old 4wd's in Australia is ridiculous.

Anyway if i use that car i have spend $5k to ship to Cape town, and then need to ship back from ireland to australia if i am to recover any money on the 4wd otherwise its $9k gone down the drain. A 1988 4wd in Ireland is worthless, only worth money for scrap.

Alternatively i can buy a 4wd in ireland and given the current economic situation you can get unreal vaule for instance i could get a Landcruiser Colorado or 2003 Nissan Patrol for around E3500. ($5k AUD) leaving me E2500 or $3k AUD to spend on getting it ready. All these are available in commerical i.e van models which gives added security. At the end i belive it would cost about STG3k to ship back to UK/ireland about $k or so.

but then i have a 4wd to sell that i may be able to recover some costs on back in ireland i.e sell for say 1500-2500 euro with the patrol they only way to recover anything would be ship back to Oz.

The above figures steer me in the direction of buying a 4wd in Ireland and going from there. the only issue i have is the carnet, is it much easier to get in Australia than Ireland/UK and the crossing from Europe to israel. do the costs outweigh the benifits of the above??

I presume i can use my Australian passport to enter Israel and from this point onward Irish, no one will neve know i was in Israel i.e Sudan will this work?? or will egypt make me stick with the aus passport to enter as i left israel on it and be stuck with that??

Going north this isnt an issue as i'm entering Europe from Israel.

As for departure time i'm sorta but not limited to an august departure (possibly late as jan), really looking for warm weather all the way.

as for buying and prepping the 4wd my brother at home in Ireland will do all that for me he work in plant hire so knows 4wd inside and out so not being over there isnt an issue.


thanks for the replies and any further advice be greatly appreciated.
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  #6  
Old 2 Sep 2011
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Be careful juggling passports, visa offices look for a recognisable trail of where you have come from and without one might get suspicious.
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  #7  
Old 2 Sep 2011
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Some info for your trip

Hey,

We have just done the trip from London to Cape Town, March to August this year. The timing meant that we missed most rainy seasons (only around 5 day where it rained at all on the entire trip) but we did arrive in South Africa in winter where the weather is unpredictable: some days are 30degC others are 15degC and rainy.
Routing: depends on whether you def want to go thru Isreal or not as we avoided it by travelling Syria and Jordan and getting a ferry the short distance across the red sea to Egypt. This option obviously depends on the political situation in Syria at the time of your travels.
Changing nationalities at borders: I did this a couple of times in Africa although into Egypt was not one of them. Kenya and Zambia are fine with it, Botswana does not allow it at all. You could call the Egyptian embassy and enquire as to whether it would be permitted.
Shipping costs from SA to England: we paid around £3000 per vehicle (2 in a 40ft container) from Cape Town. If you do north to south then check the prices for shipping from Walvis Bay in Namibia: I think TransWorld Shipping does this route.
Driving north to south through the Africa countries we found that border crossings and life in general became much easier as we went: therefore depends on whether you want an easier life at the start or the end of your trip.
If I were to do it again, I would take longer than 5 months to be honest and go for at least 7 or 9.
Something to consider which depends on your mechanical ability: you can get a cheaper vehicle in Ireland/UK and then scrap it in South Africa. We did this with one of our vehicles as the chassis was wrecked by the time we arrived: this saves on shipping costs completely. The purchase price for this vehicle was £900, then we had to fit it out with roof rack, tent, boarding out inside etc and fitting drawers which added to the cost but not to the tune of £3000 shipping equivalent.
We got the carnets fine through the RAC. Something else to note is that if you have a charity connection to your trip then you get a reduction in the carnet costs. Also, the carnet costs are related to the value of the vehicle so the cheaper it is the lower they are.
Whilst I think of it, some border crossings include vehicle taxes which are related to the engine size too: I think Zambia is one of these.
Whichever route you decide, you will have a fab time!
Good luck
Rachel
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  #8  
Old 2 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indianarach View Post
Hey,

We have just done the trip from London to Cape Town, March to August this year. The timing meant that we missed most rainy seasons (only around 5 day where it rained at all on the entire trip) but we did arrive in South Africa in winter where the weather is unpredictable: some days are 30degC others are 15degC and rainy.
Routing: depends on whether you def want to go thru Isreal or not as we avoided it by travelling Syria and Jordan and getting a ferry the short distance across the red sea to Egypt. This option obviously depends on the political situation in Syria at the time of your travels.
Changing nationalities at borders: I did this a couple of times in Africa although into Egypt was not one of them. Kenya and Zambia are fine with it, Botswana does not allow it at all. You could call the Egyptian embassy and enquire as to whether it would be permitted.
Shipping costs from SA to England: we paid around £3000 per vehicle (2 in a 40ft container) from Cape Town. If you do north to south then check the prices for shipping from Walvis Bay in Namibia: I think TransWorld Shipping does this route.
Driving north to south through the Africa countries we found that border crossings and life in general became much easier as we went: therefore depends on whether you want an easier life at the start or the end of your trip.
If I were to do it again, I would take longer than 5 months to be honest and go for at least 7 or 9.
Something to consider which depends on your mechanical ability: you can get a cheaper vehicle in Ireland/UK and then scrap it in South Africa. We did this with one of our vehicles as the chassis was wrecked by the time we arrived: this saves on shipping costs completely. The purchase price for this vehicle was £900, then we had to fit it out with roof rack, tent, boarding out inside etc and fitting drawers which added to the cost but not to the tune of £3000 shipping equivalent.
We got the carnets fine through the RAC. Something else to note is that if you have a charity connection to your trip then you get a reduction in the carnet costs. Also, the carnet costs are related to the value of the vehicle so the cheaper it is the lower they are.
Whilst I think of it, some border crossings include vehicle taxes which are related to the engine size too: I think Zambia is one of these.
Whichever route you decide, you will have a fab time!
Good luck
Rachel

Rachel,

Thank you for your fantastic info, the reasing fo going thru israel is we have found a way of shipping from israel to Italy, means we can avoid syria, obviously if things improve in Syria we can use that option.

So i can scapr the vehicle in south africa and get some paperwork to get carnet money back? thanks for the info on the swapping nationalities but it seems i can enter israel and ask them not to stamp the passport only a slip of paper.

Basically we are left with working out the costs and which one is cheaper, my preference is now for going north to south as we can get a newish vehicle so cheap in Ireland at the moment. My 1988 patrol i know inside and out and they are very simple and relaible many in oz reckon they are better than landcruisers, but a newish vehicle should have even less trouble.

we are looking at around 6 months for the trip main thing is now to work out the best time to depart south and north, and work out the most cost effective way.

Going north to south with a IRL/UK vehicle means avoid expensive insurance for an Oz registered vehicle as well, it does mean i suppose that the most difficult border crossing are at the start. This might scare the girlfriend off it as she is very nervous about going i was hoping to "ease" her into life on the road in Africa by going south to north.

Thanks again for your advice i really appreciate it.

Sorry one other question for ya Rachel, would you be able to tell me what it cost ye roughly per day?? also as a lady ttravelling did you feel safe my girlfriend is worried i'm hoping to more 1st hand advice i get the more comfortable she will be. Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 24 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indianarach View Post
Hey,

We have just done the trip from London to Cape Town, March to August this year. The timing meant that we missed most rainy seasons (only around 5 day where it rained at all on the entire trip) but we did arrive in South Africa in winter where the weather is unpredictable: some days are 30degC others are 15degC and rainy.
Routing: depends on whether you def want to go thru Isreal or not as we avoided it by travelling Syria and Jordan and getting a ferry the short distance across the red sea to Egypt. This option obviously depends on the political situation in Syria at the time of your travels.
Changing nationalities at borders: I did this a couple of times in Africa although into Egypt was not one of them. Kenya and Zambia are fine with it, Botswana does not allow it at all. You could call the Egyptian embassy and enquire as to whether it would be permitted.
Shipping costs from SA to England: we paid around £3000 per vehicle (2 in a 40ft container) from Cape Town. If you do north to south then check the prices for shipping from Walvis Bay in Namibia: I think TransWorld Shipping does this route.
Driving north to south through the Africa countries we found that border crossings and life in general became much easier as we went: therefore depends on whether you want an easier life at the start or the end of your trip.
If I were to do it again, I would take longer than 5 months to be honest and go for at least 7 or 9.
Something to consider which depends on your mechanical ability: you can get a cheaper vehicle in Ireland/UK and then scrap it in South Africa. We did this with one of our vehicles as the chassis was wrecked by the time we arrived: this saves on shipping costs completely. The purchase price for this vehicle was £900, then we had to fit it out with roof rack, tent, boarding out inside etc and fitting drawers which added to the cost but not to the tune of £3000 shipping equivalent.
We got the carnets fine through the RAC. Something else to note is that if you have a charity connection to your trip then you get a reduction in the carnet costs. Also, the carnet costs are related to the value of the vehicle so the cheaper it is the lower they are.
Whilst I think of it, some border crossings include vehicle taxes which are related to the engine size too: I think Zambia is one of these.
Whichever route you decide, you will have a fab time!
Good luck
Rachel
Hi Rachel, I'm planning a drive from London to SA in the next year or so, i was hoping maybe you can shed some more light on the Carnet, I'm planning on getting a Defender with a value of about 18k pounds, I've read the documentation but found it confusing when calculating the cost per country. or maybe i am doing it wrong.

I would love to go through israel but i have a saudi arabia visa stamp on my passoport, i heard they dont allow people through with that.

Thanks,
Balzano
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  #10  
Old 23 Oct 2011
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Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Posts: 25
Plan according to weather

I used the Michelin 74x series Africa maps that show both the rainfall and temperature patterns for cities on the continent and mapped the relevant details on a calender in the order that I was likely to go.
It was the possible to get a good idea of both the wet and dry spells and plann according to that.

Remember the Sahara gets exceedingly hot in the Northern Hemisphere's summer. I had temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius in Sudan and drank up to 12 liters of water per day when I went through Sudan and Egypt in June 2008.

Have fun planning and doing.
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  #11  
Old 21 Dec 2011
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Our recent trip - London to Cape Town

Hi K974

We just completed London to Cape Town West Coast Route - you can read about it at Latest news / About us - Langebaan Sunset - Stonehenge UK to Cape Town SA - 2010/11

We posted a lot of info on costs, routes and gps tracks and waypoints etc...happy to take more questions

Couple of suggestions:

5 months would suggest you do the East Coast route - The West Coast (which we did) is twice the distance if you go approx around the coast but it would be a shame to be hammering it and simply riding everyday.

The Rand / $ £ rates are good for buying things in Cape Town / JHB right now and having work done on bikes / 4x4s is cheaper here (we are based in cape Town) this is something to consider. Electronic stuff is expensive in SA.

If you go South to North you can take in a lot of SA, Namibia, Bots, Zim and Moz before you start heading up the East coast proper - this could easily take up a minimum of 3 months as there is so much to see and will depend on your budget and what you want to see. Zimbabwe is amazing with empty game parks and friendly people - a real highlight.

Best time is to start is a tricky one - Summer time is hot and you get rain in Nambia etc.... there are a few season planners that are worth looking at - just search for them and then plan your times accordingly

Southern Africa is not cheap - so watch your spending - game parks etc....are expensive. You can wild camp in Botswana and get close to wildlife for free - maybe too close!!! So think about what you want to take in. We found Zim and Moz cheaper.

There is a lot of more commercial overland traffic on the East Coast route - you wont be short of company at the main campsites - we sometimes found this to be a real pain as they tend to make lots of noise and party.... try the routes less traveled and wild camp where poss.

Hope that helps - contact us if you want more info

Cheers

Nick
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