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
  #46  
Old 22 Dec 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 73
Experiences in CAR

RORO,
The Chad-CAR border was very slow, about 6 hours. This was mainly as they didn't have a clue what they were supposed to do (CAR side) and had to contact someone else in another town. Other than the delays, it was ok.

The CAR-Sudan border was also very slow, it took us about 4 hours one day, then they dissapeared and then it took a further 4 or so hours the next morning. The CAR side was awful, we were threatened with guns on 2 occasions and were extorted left right and centre. You are made to feel as though there is little choice but to pay up. The Sudan side was much nicer, we were offered tea and happily pointed in the right direction. Forget about Carnets in CAR, they barely knew what to do with a passport, let alone anything more than that. Sudan knew what they were doing, albeit they were slow.

The Sudan-Uganda border was much quicker than the rest at 2 hours, and most of that was chatting to the guards. Carnet was stamped into Uganda, no problems.

We would not attempt this route again, and be under no illusion, it was not exactly pleasant. In Chad we only really experienced small scale corruption amongst officials. In CAR though, we were ripped off by everyone we came across, except for a few Missionaries. We were constantly cautious about who we approached etc. We were followed by bandits for (what seemed like) a good while, about 50km out of Bangui. They were shouting at us in an aggressive manner and one of them fired shots into the air. We have no idea why they decided to turn around, as they could have quite easilly overtaken our large vehicle in their pickup, despite the rutted road, although we are just thankful they went away.

There are quite alot of checkpoints along the route, and we got ripped off at all of them. The presence of guns if quite intimidating at times, especially when they get a bit agressive. Neither of us have any notable command of the French language, and in hindsight, this was very fourtunate, as on many occasions we were able to leave a situation because we didn't have a clue what was being said etc. At the border with Sudan, we refused to pay a demand for US$1000 and were threatened with guns (counting to 3 in an ultimatum style to get us to pay), this happened twice. In the end we paid $100 and they were satisfied. We have heard stories similar to this from other travellers in the region, and have now witnessed first hand how hostile it is in this area. In Sudan we were not hasseled like we were in CAR, there were no requests for bribes, and the gaurds were friendly so we offered them to take lunch with us, and we had a good time. The locals in the southern region were not too friendly, and my wife had a fistful of pebbles thrown at her by a small child, whilst it's mother looked on in approval (luckilly the child was not too forceful). Other than that, there were no major problems for us.

I would certainly not reccomend this route unless you are prepared to put up and deal with all of what I have described above. All in all, I think we were ripped off by about $1500-2000 from leaving Chad to arriving in Uganda. I will write this up into a report with pictures over Christmas and post it up somewhere, and include more detail on a day-to-day basis.

--------------------------------
Trans African
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 28 Dec 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: F
Posts: 620
Thanks Trans-african for your report.
I won't try CAR with these conditions.
Why have you choose CAR and not directly across Tchad to go to Soudan?
(may be it's worse or forbidden due to Darfour problems).
RR.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 1 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 222
Border between Chad and Darfur seems to be open for tourists again. Just read a report of some Germans that drove Abeche-Nyala-Obeid last month. Do not have details (yet).
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 3 Jan 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20
Ouch!

Sounds positively charming as I sit here and contemplate my route plan across Central Africa on a bicycle. I shall be pedalling to Yaounde in the coming week to apply for a visa for CAR and DRC, the idea being to cross from Bangui into DRC and head east towards Kisangani. My thread here http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...l-me-its-54509 doesn't get any rosy replies, although no-one here has actually travelled in this region. Your crossing through CAR sounds a bit stressful and gives the impression that one doesn't get the sympathy vote when showing up on a bicycle.
__________________
thebigafricacycle.com
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 3 Jan 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 60
Thanks for sharing your experience. Certainly not many people have done that route in the last 20 years. Look forward to reading about it in more detail. Are you keeping a website?
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 16 Jan 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: London
Posts: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
3 days ???? wtf ??

Took us 4 hours which I thought was crazy !!
I have just crossed from Venice to Alexandria on Visemar Line, brand new ship, very smooth, quiet, comfortable, almost empty (only five other vehicles on the car deck, mostly overlanders), if you like pasta the food is ok. A good comfortable service. As all the trucks in the hold were going to Egypt, the captain avoided the leg to Syria, and we got to Egypt a day earlier, although the last day was slow as the port was not ready and told the captain to slow down, so we got in at 5.0pm on the Saturday when mid-day was original expectations.

Formalities getting off were three hours. Only a cursory check of the luggage but all vehicles and bikes get a whole-vehicle X-ray done by a passing truck which x-rays the contents looking for guns etc. Dogs sniff around, thats it. Onto the next check. You have a scrum for rusty number plates. Best to get a fixer to sort the licence etc, and this took three hours from docking to driving out the main gate number 4, and onto the Cornich for the very good road to Cairo. Got into Cairo hotel at midnight after a meal half way.

So far so good. Went to get Sudanese visa, which is best done in Cairo as apart from Addis this is the only consulate that can issue visas without reference to Khartoum, and we were told to come back following day to collect - so, a 24 hour service. Consulate is a poky office takes some finding, at the back of the Embassy, which is next door to the British Embassy. There is a stationary shop in the same street which does photo copies. You need: Passport, application form, two photos, copy of application form (done at stationary shop, where you fill it in), plus letter of invitation(British Embassy, or in our case, Lord Steel on House of Lords notepaper saying we were good blokes). Visemar Line do a good job, well worth checking out (google).

It could be a helluva lot worse. Reading the stuff on the barge Wadi Halfra, the worse is to come. - Jim Allen
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 16 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 941
Am I right in thiniing you need a carnet with a hefty multiplier for egypt? (and syria)
given the ridiculous costs and restrictions of travelling to and around egypt (as detailed elsewhere) I can't see them making a go of this.

In true African style the short term profits of the few filling their own pockets threaten the long term benefit of tourism to the country for the majority
__________________
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s

Last edited by moggy 1968; 17 Jan 2011 at 00:21.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 17 Jan 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Didcot
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post
Am I right in thiniing you need a carnet with a hefty multiplier for egypt? (and syria)
given the ridiculous costs and restrictions of travelling to and around egypt (as detailed elsewhere) I can't see them making a go of this.

In true African style the short term profits of the few filling their own pockets threaten the long term benefit of tourism to the country for the majority

Well, we met an American travelling on French papers and in aFrench car who reckoned Egypt is the same as everywhere,a mark up of 2.5 times the value of the car (scrap value), we argued its eight times in the UK, also got a very low estimate of the value of the car agreed by the RAC Travel Dept.
There were five overlanders on the ferry, thats all, so how much longer it goes on for goodness knows, the freight truckers in the hold may well be why this ferry exists, but, its a link with the Eastern Africa route and good that it exists. Saves massive time and costs of going through Greece, Turkey,Syria and Jordan, Venice to Alex in three days is brill, dont knock it. Boat being new is spotlessly clean and comfortable, very quiet and smooth, one of the best ferries you could wish for.Visemar are trying...
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 17 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sydney, Aus.
Posts: 208
It's only the RAC that hit you with 800% for Egypt.

Australia - 200%

South Africa - 200%

Other European countries I'm aware of - all 250%

I think it's reasonable to adjust Moggy 1968's statement to:

In true rip off Britain style the short term profits of the few filling their own pockets threaten the long term benefit of tourism to the country for the majority.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 17 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 941
misterpaul
you might just be right there ;o)
it is great they are tyring but I can't see it succeeding unless these countries become more amenable to travellers
__________________
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 17 Jan 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: F
Posts: 620
I don't understand very well if the the CPD is mandatory or notif you travel with Visemar.
Can you be very clear about that point?
BTW only 3 hours for formalities to hit the road to Cairo seems to me very intersting (with or without CPD)!
Is it due to Visemar services (like Adriatica in the long past times) ?

RR.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 7 Sep 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Swansea
Posts: 18
Hi to All do anyone know if this service is still working cheers Dai
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 7 Sep 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Peterhead, Scotland
Posts: 70
Hi, If you check this thread, you'll find the bad news..

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ancelled-57423
__________________
Fraser
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 7 Sep 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 80
Here people reported in june, that their trip was cancelled and that the service might be resumed in october 2011.

Regards
__________________
Cycling in Asia: Thailand to Turkey, Siberia and Central Asia
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 1 Oct 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 23
At the end of the past August I received the news from Visemar Line that this ferry will not operate during this year.

Today I'll send them an email again asking for it.
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FERRY FROM EGYPT TO ITALY TONY HAYDEN Route Planning 6 5 Jan 2011 13:34
Travelling from Italy Venice to France eurotunnel mlock Europe 7 12 Dec 2009 16:03
Camping Place near Venice ozhanu Bike Friendly, Europe 5 29 Mar 2009 21:42
Egypt/Sudan ferry for 4wd Roel van Ulft Sahara Travel Forum 0 13 Nov 2007 10:31
is ferry from egypt to greece! gregor Trip Transport 6 4 Dec 2006 02:22

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

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


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 08:29.