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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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Question Tanzania around Lake Victoria North to Cairo

Maybe this message belongs in the Africa Forum... but anyway:
Sitting in Dar Es Salaam trying to let the scene to chill in Kenya so here's my plan
Dar -> Mombasa -> Arusha (through Moshi) -> Mwanza -> Kigali -> Kamala -> Kisumu -> Nakuru -> Nairobi -> Moyale (Ethiopia/Kenya Border) -> Addis Abeba -> Karthoum -> Cairo or...?

Questions:

1) South route under Lake Victoria to Kigali
I hear this is where Congo refugee camps are and some question as to safety? Also, I know I can't go through Serengeti so I'll find a truck to carry bike through the parks

2) Road north of Nairobi to Ethiopia Border.
Who's done this recently (ie last 6 months?) what is the road condition like and are convoys/escorts still necessary?

3) Road north of Addis Abeba.
How's the road north and what's the best route to Khartoum? Should I put the bike on a boat to south of Cairo? Or should I blow off Egypt and find a boat in Port Sudan? I want to go to Israel and Jordan.

4) Sand bothers me
I know it's a reality out there north of Addis, but where is the sand and what am I going to have to deal with?

5) Egypt Vehicle Permits
I've heard quite a bit about this. When I arranged my Carnet I was planning on going up the West Coast of Africa so Egypt wasn't a country listed. Not that I suspect anyone will even check as the last 5 countries I've used the carnet no one bothered to look at which countries were listed on the back. Also, do I need the Egypt Visa prior to arriving at the border on the river?

I'll post more detailed questions regarding barge/ferry and route in Sudan/Egypt on Africa forum:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...199#post175061

thanks
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Last edited by WorldRider; 17 Feb 2008 at 15:48.
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  #2  
Old 18 Feb 2008
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I did the route you describe around 9 months ago. The road north of Nairobi is fine until Isiolo, then graded dirt until Marsabit. Things were rough after Marsabit, deep ruts in gravel. I had to go with an army convoy from Sololo to Moyale due to some folks being robbed by heavily armed bandits (shifta) the week prior to my ride there. There are some rough roads in the Tanzania section, though I encountered no sand. Road conditions change very quickly as graders and bulldozers are often at work smoothing things out- or sometimes making things worse in my mind! There are a number of refugee camps in Rwanda along the Tanzanian border. As I neared the border region I purchased fuel. A friendly man asked if I was going to Rwanda. When I said I was he told me "no matter what you see, no matter what anyone says or does, do not stop." He told me he would never stop along this stretch. There are armed bandits displaced from conflict along the border area, it gets worse the farther south you go. When I was there the UN only went south in convoys. Northern Uganda has some similar security issues. The roads in Ethiopia are in good shape overall. Between Gonder and the Sudanese border, there is a gravel stretch. I found it to be fine, but a German fellow I met in Khartoum took a fall there and broke his collar bone, this ended his trip. The road from the border through Wad Medani to Khartoum is paved and in good condition. From Khartoum I would suggest following the Nile river to Wadi Haifa. You will have to deal with some sand whether you follow this route or take the eastern route near the railway. You may, from time to time, encounter deep, rutted and sloppy sand/dust. These stretches were short in duration. This ride is beautiful, following the green palms lining the Nile. Every now and then I stripped off my gear and took a swim. If you do so, get out of the water within 10 minutes or you might inherit liver flukes. If you click on the Egypt tab on my website you'll learn about getting your paperwork to enter Egypt- I hope you get in in a more graceful fashion! The ride from Khartoum to Wadi Haifa along the Nile was one of my favorites of the trip, fantastic people there. As for the Egyptian visa, I had to have one to get my Sudanese transit visa. This is obtainable overnight in Addis. Good roads bro!
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Last edited by hook; 22 Feb 2008 at 10:47.
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  #3  
Old 21 Feb 2008
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Allan, one more thing: I crossed from Rwanda into Uganda near Parc de Volcans after visiting the mountain gorillas. The road on the Uganda side was a mess (mud) due to heavy rains. There was another bad stretch in Kenya on the rode from Eldoret to Nairobi, it was being paved then, hopefully it's done by now. Love your site! Hook.
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  #4  
Old 22 Feb 2008
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Hook - Great info! Thanks! I'll check out your egyptian section. Sounds like I need to go to Wadi, huh? I just don't want to wait five days sorting out bureaucratic minutiae in Egypt. Rather be riding or touring things...

Need to pull out my maps and check it out. So that route under the lake Victoria, I'm told there are gold mines there and likely the roads are decent and policed. How did you go from Dar or Arusha to get to Mwansa?
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  #5  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hook View Post
The ride from Khartoum to Wadi Haifa along the Nile was one of my favorites of the trip, fantastic people there. As for the Egyptian visa, I had to have one to get my Sudanese transit visa. This is obtainable overnight in Addis. Good roads bro!
Hook what route did you take from Khartoum to say the northern Nile stretch? Did you go to Abu Hamed? or Atbara? Or did you go from Omdurman north to Abu Dorn then follow the Nile there?

thanks!
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  #6  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Mwanza

Hi, I have my bike in Arusha now and just rode from the Mara Region, Tarime. to Mwanza, Singida, and up to Arusha 2 weeks ago. The road from Arusha down to Singida is ok there is about 240 km of gravel. Well it should be now, it was mud when I come through but still passable. then the rest is blacktop all the way to Mwanza. I work on one of the mines near the Kenyan border and rode down through Kenya via Masabit, Isiolo etc in Nov 07. I believe that you can still go up through there as well have trucks coming from Mobasa all the time.

Mwanza's a good place to stop for a while for a look don't go swimming though. Too many parasites in the water and crocs.

If you want to know more I will PM my number to you.

Cheers
Ivan
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  #7  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Tanzania

Hi Allan,

There are five riders here in Arusha (Feb 24) and headed to Dar and then Zanazibar. If you are in Dar or on your way here, drop me an e-mail and we can hook up for a . There is another three riders currently on the Tanzanian coast and the whole group of us came down from Egypt roughly at the same time (within the last couple of months). Anyone one of us would be happy to swap lies and exagerations in person. I've sent you a pm as well, hopefully we can connect at a pub somewhere in between

Cheers.
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  #8  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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In Arusha?

Hey mate,

maybe I can meet you for the ride south, or a few s anyway.....haha. I have sent you a PM.

Cheers
Ivan
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  #9  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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Arusha

Hi Ivan,

Great to hear from you. How funny is that, all these bikes in/around Arusha at the same time.

Just sat down at the internet place near the clock tower and one of the guys with us, a Turkish guy on a KTM, told me that world rider walked in a few minutes ago after seeing his bike outside. We are meeting up tonight at the Masai Camp to chat. I don't think that he has read his messages from yesterday yet.

In regards to heading down, we should definitely chat. Like I mentioned, there are a whole group of guys heading south at different speeds so if it should be pretty easy to hook up with one or others for different parts. The only requirement to gain access to this exclusive club is the love of motorcycles and/or . It'd be great if you can join us.

Hi Allan, we will see you tonight at the camp.
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  #10  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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Hi Allan, I only have my half-assed Garmin world map with me right now. Basically I followed the Nile from Khartoum all the way to Lake Nasser. On the northern route I passed through the town of Dongola. Wish I had a real map. If you stay in Dongola you must register with the police and bring a piece of paper to check in. The cop station is unmarked! Also, if you decide to cross to the east bank of the Nile in Dongola, you must also have a permission paper from the same police station before you board the ferry. See you later, H.
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  #11  
Old 26 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
Hey mate,

maybe I can meet you for the ride south, or a few s anyway.....haha. I have sent you a PM.

Cheers
Ivan
Ivan - had s last night with Matt, Tom and Vase and breakfast today with Tom. I think they've headed toward Dar. I'm fixing to get a ride through the Serengeti with my bike and unloading it somewhere near Bumda. Then to Mwansa.

I understand you work in the mining industry here in Tanz. Any thoughts or experience with the road to Rwanda going through Busisi -> Sengerema -> Geita -> Siharamulo?

I'm told there are Congo refugee camps along this route and could be touchy? I've meet nor talked to anyone who has any data on this 200 mile stretch of nothingness at the bottom of Lake Victoria?

Love to ride but looks like I'll have to go through a couple parks, pay huge fees and otherwise make my way to Rwanda and Uganda around the lake??

Let me know.

allan
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  #12  
Old 26 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hook View Post
Hi Allan, I only have my half-assed Garmin world map with me right now. Basically I followed the Nile from Khartoum all the way to Lake Nasser. On the northern route I passed through the town of Dongola. Wish I had a real map. If you stay in Dongola you must register with the police and bring a piece of paper to check in. The cop station is unmarked! Also, if you decide to cross to the east bank of the Nile in Dongola, you must also have a permission paper from the same police station before you board the ferry. See you later, H.
Cool.. I just met Tom, Matt and Vase who just came down that route. So got good info and will post my experience on my blog as I make it.

I talked to a guy who might have met, talked or read your posts somewhere who said that it took you two days from Isolo to Ethiopia going through Marsbit. He said that after the first day to Marsbit you found a truck and put your bike on it to the Ethiopia border. True? I know Glenn blew his shock on this road and others too. So I'm wondering how slow it's going to be.

A couple on two 650's apparantly took 4 days to ride the 310 miles. I frankly don't have that kind of time nor interested in spending that much time in THAT desert... thoughts? Anyone?
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Old 27 Feb 2008
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Hi Allan,

Richard here on this thread now.

I wouldn't stress about the Marsabit road. Lots of people got us a bit wary of it but in the end did it in two not too long days two up on the Bullet. Be more wary if it is raining though as the section closer to Ethiopia has the potential to get nasty. It's certainly quite a crunchy road so the chances of blowing a shock are there but the scenery is nice and Marsabit is pleasant enough. Then again you've got a good chance of damaging the bike as it shakes around the back of a truck. If you stay in Marsabit a good tip is to find Swiss Henry. He's a really nice guy and will let you camp at his place or I think he has one decent hut there too. Just ask for his son at the Shell station and he will give you directions. The region is pretty interesting because it's Samburu territory and very traditional.

Don't know what it is with all these BMWs and their shock popping antics....

Cheers

Richard
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  #14  
Old 27 Feb 2008
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Hi Worldrider

I entered Egypt from Jordan, and I know that several officials checked that my Carnet included Egypt. Not sure if it will be the same at Aswan??

Enjoy
Graham
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  #15  
Old 10 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Smith View Post
Hi Worldrider

I entered Egypt from Jordan, and I know that several officials checked that my Carnet included Egypt. Not sure if it will be the same at Aswan??

Enjoy
Graham
thanks graham... I think I'm going to do something to obscure that back page with some decals and the like and see if i can't manage that! very interesting!
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