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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Old 16 Jan 2002
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Ferry - Red Sea

Currently in Addis and wanting to get my Landie to Jordan. Anyone done it recently and has some gen. Is Djobuti better for shipping or is Eritrea. If Eritrea what is security like in E Sudan (to get there) as the Ethiopia border is closed. Is it possible to get from Djobuti to Eritrea. I heard not.

Also how heavy are the import problems of vehicle into Syria. My Carnety is not valid there. Is it possible to get Syrian visa outside your counrty eg. Jordan

Thanks for any info at all.

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Old 17 Jan 2002
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The only info I have is sketchy, to say the least, and you shouldn't rely on it too heavily. However, as no-one else has picked up this thread I'll add what I can.

There are no ferries to Jordan except the one from Nuweiba, Egypt. I'm not sure about ferries to Israel but I very much doubt it - and anyway you won't get through Syria if you've got an Israeli stamp. So your realistic options are container or some sort of locally-sorted out dhow.

I would think that Djibouti is better for containers but I haven't been to either so don't take my word. One other option once you're going down the container route is to look into shipping to Egypt. Again I don't knwo much about it.

Re: Syria, I think that you can take a car in without a carnet, and I think that some nationalities can get visas on the border. However we had visas and a carnet when we went through so I can't say first hand. The requirements change quickly, and we went through a year and a half ago. We did meet some French people who had got through without carnet. You will have to pay $100/week Diesel Tax for Syria, which is an arse.

May be worth trying to contact some of the overland trucks, either in Addis or via their websites to see which way they go, as I know a lot of them have to go by ship down the Red Sea. Don't know if they use different vehicles at each end or what, but they should be able to give better advice than me.

Sorry it's all so sketchy!

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Old 18 Jan 2002
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One year ago we made a 5 months trip from Libya via Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti to Yemen, Oman, UAE SA, Jordan, Syria, etc. Some of the visa needed we had to collect on our way.From Djibouti we took a local Dhau going to Mokkah (Yemen) as there was no RoRo traffic from there to Jordan, Saudi or Yemen. Price was 500 USD for the Captain and some more 500 USD for all kinds of additional costs. After some waiting it might be possible to find a container vessel heading to Europe. To my best knowledge, there are Dhaus going from Asab (Eritrea) to Mokkah or Hodeida, but certainly no ferry or container ship. There is, however, an official regular ferry from Port Sudan to Djeddah. You may get the Saudi visa in Khartoum after some waiting, provided you have the Jordan visa in your passport and a letter of recommendation issued by your embassy there. In Addis you may get the Djibouti visa within 24 hours and most likely the Yemen visa, too. In Sanaa you can get the Saudi transit visa (with recommendation letter) and the Oman visa.

As for the Syrian visa, I want to point out that it is nearly impossible to get it in Amman, Jordan. They issue it to residents only! You have to ask your embassy to intervene at the Syrian embassy. We did it and we got a 2 days transit visa finally! In order to enter Syria, a carnet is required and you have to pay 100 USD diesel tax a week if you happen to drive a diesel powered car.

More info you will find on my website which is still under construction (http://www.members.aon.at/sahara)

Wish you good luck, Reinhart
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Old 22 Jan 2002
GWJ GWJ is offline
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The Syrian Embassy at Amman will normally only issue visas to residents. 3 month tourist visas are issued at the border to those who are resident in countries where there is no Syrian Embassy e.g. Australia. Everyone else has to purchase their visa in advance at the Syrian Embassy in the country in which they are resident. A carnet is required unless the vehicle is registered in a neighbouring Arab country e.g. Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq etc. Good luck.
Alex Wasse
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