Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 20 Aug 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 28
Crossing North Africa and down the Eastern route?

Sorry to start a new thread - could have joined a few others but thought might get more notice seperately and answer the questions that I need/may need answering. Apologies and thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

I am planning a trip down to South Africa by small motorcycle (Honda XR125L - bought today)- leaving a.s.a.p. - had to give up a cycle ride down, as my knee gave up 2000km into it. (Should mention that have been riding motorcycles for 32 years incuding a spell as a courier back in the early 80's when you could make money at it.)

Trying to plan a route through Africa. Ideally would like to travel across from Morocco to Eygpt then down the well worn Eastern route.

Anyone know about Algeria? - is it still possible to cross from Spain? and get a visa? to journey into Tunisia - this would involve some backtacking from Morroco - as I understand this was the only route in previously - still the case?
I also thought it was possible to get a 7 day 'transit' visa across Libya - is this still possible? especially from Tunisia?
Also heard that the Ethiopians are getting a bit stropy over issuing visa's in Cario - true or false?
Just saw a piece on BBC news about Somalia settling down - investors moving back in setting up tourist infrastructure- is this the case? Any possibility of travelling that way or still too risky?
Suppose I will need to contact the Embassies in London rather than getting visa's on the way - which means less flexibilty.
Do you think letters of support from the FAI - international airsports organisation- and UK airsports orginasiations which have the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as patrons will help or hinder in gaining visas/passage?

Thanks again for any help you can give.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 20 Aug 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Posts: 361
Hi,
You can forget Morocco to Egypt i'm afraid, apart from anything else the Morocco - Alg border has been closed for a very long time.
Even before the Sahara went properly tits up, it wounldn't have been possible, now......even less so.
Have a good read through posts in the Sahara section and check out Chris' site
Sahara Overland ~ Trans Sahara Routes

There's a good reason people try to arrive directly in Egypt to start the east route, although this hasn't got any easier lately, it's still the lesser of all evils.

Good luck with you planning/reading

Sam
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 20 Aug 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niva Say Never View Post
Hi,
You can forget Morocco to Egypt i'm afraid, apart from anything else the Morocco - Alg border has been closed for a very long time.
Even before the Sahara went properly tits up, it wounldn't have been possible, now......even less so.
Have a good read through posts in the Sahara section and check out Chris' site
Sahara Overland ~ Trans Sahara Routes

There's a good reason people try to arrive directly in Egypt to start the east route, although this hasn't got any easier lately, it's still the lesser of all evils.

Good luck with you planning/reading

Sam

Know all about Morocco/Algeria before- it is the same for a bloke riding a bicycle as well and I did do a bit of research before starting that trip -unfortunately my body wasn't as well informed! As stated above realise the algeria/morocco border has been closed - but it was possible to backtrack into spain and get ferry in to algeria - then I understood you could get through to Tunisa - maybe this is not possible now?
Heard that people where getting 7 day transit visa's across Libya - so yes it was possible to get across almost most of North Africa - didn't a french son and father do it in a citroen? (maybe I have missed the 'window'?) Egypt to Algeria then to spain and hey Morocco is easy.

I have been looking at the Sahara forum very closely but still have questions - things change so quickly. It seems getting straight to Egypt is not easy now as well - and to be honest don't really want to do it that way!

Only problem I have now is that it is a damn site more expensive to pack a motorbike on a plane if you have to bypass certain countries if it all goes tits up. Maybe should say F..k Africa and do South/North America instead - but want to give it a go first and not give up before I even get out of the door!

Last edited by paul1962; 20 Aug 2012 at 22:45.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: istanbul
Posts: 620
The only open road to enter Africa from North is ferry between Mersin(Turkey) and Port Sait (EG).

There is a current thread about this in forums.

Wish you all the best.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by istanbul bisiklet motosiklet View Post
The only open road to enter Africa from North is ferry between Mersin(Turkey) and Port Sait (EG).

There is a current thread about this in forums.

Wish you all the best.
Is this entirely corrrect? - I have read about people still getting through Libya and wasn't there another ferry from Israel I think I read about? (but I geuss having an Israeli stamp in your passport that early in a journey wouldn't help things later)and there is still the 'western' route?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: F
Posts: 622
Entering Israel borders means you cannot enter in Sudan there ....

RR.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,124
Before Mersin -> Egypt came on the scene (i've lost track with that one) I recall reading about Turkey -> North Cyprus then Cyprus (N or S?) -> Israel and from there overland -> Egypt and so on.

Reading your OP I would drop Morocco and Algeria - great in their own right but not worth the expense/bother just to tick off all the North Af coast. Instead ferry Genoa-Tunis (Tunisia is no prob), do the Libyan border near Nalut, organising a helper there at least, if not an escort right across.

As Cam J says elsewhere:
Quote:
The biggest threat facing visitors to Libya is the driving habits of the locals
so your 80s despatching skills may come in useful + of course keep your wits about you in general.

Egypt crossing had streamlined a bit I was told. Need to return number plate or get something cancelled in last Libyan town back from the border. From Egypt proceed as normal.

Ethiopia visa: if it doesnt work in Cairo get it in Khartoum. Ethiopia might get shaky with the recent death of the hardline PM, but you cross that bridge when you come to it.
Back home it's easy to contemplate add-ons like Somalia, but unless you are a very worldly traveller I suspect by the time you get to Ethiopia you may well have a plateful just keeping up. Peace may have broken out in Mogadishu and good luck to them, but that's one shot-up capital in a big country. What does anyone know about overland tourism there - no one's done it for 30+ years.

Suppose I will need to contact the Embassies in London rather than getting visas on the way - which means less flexibilty.

Not really:
Tuni - Not needed
Libya - Organise in UK, see other posts
Egypt - Needed now, right? Get in UK
Sudan - Get in Cairo
Eth - Cairo or Khartoum
And from Kenya south they're all border jobbies apart from Burundi and Moz, afaik.

Ch

PS: I see you just ordered the book. You will actually find it useful for trans-Af routes + by the time you get it will be a better departure time anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: F
Posts: 622
Hi Chris,

Road trough Lybia is a good option (I'm considering it for March 2013), but now the main problem is to obtain the Lybian visa (I know it's now possible to get an expensive business visa) and another one is to not have the border posts with Tunisia not closed for westerner tourists.
Have you accurate infos about these points?
RR.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,124
To get in overland I understand you must bite the bullet and buy the expensive business invite visa.

Last info I had is secondhand from May, but in the other direction:

Yes we had a fantastic trip trough Libya -
The visa agency Temehu picked us up at the Egypt / Libya border and took us trough immigration and customs in less than a minute and not paying any road or fuel taxand not even using our Carnet.
We crossed Libya in 6 days - experiencing great Libyan welcome - several times people payed for our food or fuel.


IMO the key is to use an agency helper - they can talk the border guys around as I suspect there are no fixed rules at the moment for overlanders. Or if there are then they are locally imposed, otherwise officials can overlook them in a way they'd not dare in the old days.

I think the occasional bombings and so on will stay for a while. It's no worse than Pakistan and people cross there regularly (admittedly with a police escort between Iran and India).

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 28
Thanks for your considered input Chris - the route you suggest is the one I had thought maybe most likely to work. Due to my ride linking in with airsports (gliding) - I really should go to Morocco - however backtracking to Italy is not really what I wanted to do - backtracking to Valencia and taking the ferry to Algeria and riding along the north to Tunisia was an option I hoped maybe feasible/possible? As you say I may need to forget this.
I am hoping my links with airsports and having backing from organisations like the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, Royal Aero Club of Great Britain, may help with contacts (I have a contact in Libyia) and in obtaining visa's - but maybe it won't -an unknown I suppose.
Can you get an Egyptian visa in Tunis - or just simply easier/less hassle to get in UK?
Once again thanks for your input.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 21 Aug 2012
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 168
paul 1962 - thanks for asking the question because I'm planning a similar trip in late 2013.

Chris, thanks for you responses. I know most of the info is elsewhere on the forum, but its great to have an up to date consolidated view of things. (PS - Also recently bought your book and finding it very entertaining as well as extremely useful - thanks)
__________________
Martin

back on the road again


http://awayonmybike.blogspot.co.uk/
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 22 Aug 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,124
Hi Paul,

Quote:
backtracking to Valencia and taking the ferry to Algeria
Actually, no need to go that far, there are ferries from Almeria to Oran.
Trans Sahara Routes Map for crossing the Sahara
But the hassle is the visa invite and possible escort required; it gets costly + the north of Algeria is rather ordinary compared to the fabulous south.

Forgot to mention, local contacts and any fancy headed letter of introduction - faked or otherwise - promoting the 'brotherhood of nations by forging close links through [insert activity/organisation]' can be useful, especially if you have copies and versions in Arabic (for the north).

I read here that last September they stopped doing Egypt visas on arrival (apart from a fortnight in a few fly-in Red Sea resorts). Seemed like a backward step but according to this (FCO), for a month or less you can get them on arrival at airports or borders. Someone may like to confirm this.
Anyway, I'm sure they're comparatively easily acquired in the UK.

I think the Israel thing with Sudan (and also former Libya and other Arab countries) is only ever invoked if they want to get difficult with you - I've not heard of that happening recently. Israel entry stamp/visa can be/is on a loose bit of paper, but even then at Wadi Halfa a close inspection of entry stamp dates for Egypt and wherever you were before Israel can expose an Israel visit, especially now that Jordan is much less accessible. I believe few Sudanese border officials at Wadi Halfa are that diligent.

NA; if you mean OLH then the Africa Route Outline is already out of date in parts following the Arab Spring, but the forthcoming AMH has the latest - while it lasts. See my sig for book links.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 23 Aug 2012
Tenere99's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 140
Sudan visa

If you need a Sudanese visa get it in Aswan not Cairo. I got one yesterday for $50 as against $100 in Cairo and no LOI or onward visa required. Took half an hour. ( u.k passport ). You'll need to get to Aswan anyway to get the ferry to Wadi Halfa ( LE 232 2nd class ) plus bike.

I got an Egyptian visa on arrival 2 weeks ago at Cairo airport for $15.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:30.