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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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  #1  
Old 28 Mar 2013
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Question Lebanon car / bike ferry from Turkey (then into Egypt) - Advice please

Hi, I've just used Aegean Travel (based in Bodrum) to travel from Italy, to Greece, then Turkey.
They are advertising a new car ferry service from Turkey to Lebanon.
I'm considering this as a way of avoiding the ferry from Turkey to Port Said etc.
Does anyone have any experience of this and / or have any thoughts about the practicalities of travelling from Lebanon round to Eastern Egypt as a point of entry to Africa?
Thanks
Scott
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Old 28 Mar 2013
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Hi Scott,
we are also searching for a way to get to Egypt with our bikes.

To travel to Libanon is no good idea:
You have to pass through Syria and this is no option at the moment.
Or you must pass through Israel. With the stamp of Israel in your passport you might not get into the Sudan. The option with a second passport is not working, because the boarder gards will be able to see the boarder where you entered Syria or Egypt and won't let you in too.

We have already worked out 3 options for our trip from Cairo to Capetown beginning 12/2013:

1. Shipping the bikes to Alexandria and we will take a flight.

2. Ferry from Iskenderun to Egypt.

3. Ferry to Tunis and driving through Libya

Best regards
Stefan


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Old 2 Apr 2013
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Dear Scott,

There is no way to get from Lebanon anywhere! The border with Israel has been closed since 1947 (it is not even called a border officially but a "blue line" or armistice line), since the two countries are technically and officially still at war!

Syria is off limits for the time being. Even if this poor country will see peace in the coming months this will by no means mean that you will be able to travel there again (see Libya!). And if Syria would be possible why ship to Lebanon in the first place?

So, unfortunately, taking the ferry from Turkey to Egypt or the overland route through Libya are the two options. This even more because it has become next to impossible to get a Saudi transit visa in Abu Dhabi. So, while the overland trip from Cairo to Capetown is easier than ever, getting to Cairo is more and more difficult.

Greetings,
Achim
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Old 28 Apr 2013
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Thanks guys,
That's as I excpeted really.
Such a shame as it would have been great to get into Jordan and be able to tour there - and I believe there is possibly a ferry from Aqaba into Egypt.
Regards
Scott
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Old 28 Apr 2013
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Hi Scott,

Enjoying your blog - keep it up. Your experiences getting to Cyprus will no doubt stand you in good stead further down the line.

Just bear in mind that if you find 30 days in Egypt isn't enough (and we did) then hopping over to Aqaba and back is actually a darn sight easier than renewing your car docs .... and Jordan is well worth a month of anyone's time. You would have to stump up for the Nuweiba/Aqaba ferry in two directions but think how much you'll be saving on diesel spending all that time in Egypt!

Also you could consider shipping to Israel instead. I know there is the Sudan issue but I noticed some overlanders seemed to have managed to get Sudan visas having come through Israel en route. They didn't seem to have clocked it as a potential problem. Maybe contact them for more info?

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Enjoy Cyprus.
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Old 3 May 2013
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Thanks J&L, I've had a brief look at their website and it looks like they may have made it work. Will look in more detail.
Also looks like their boat took them from Turkey to Port Said, then on to Israel so may be that we'll just go in the conventional route and cross at Aqaba to Jordan if we get the chance - I'd certainly like to see it.
Will be interesting to see what happens with all that cheap diesel in Egypt when the rationing starts! Not a happy prospect in a thirsty LR with many miles to cover.
Scott
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Old 3 May 2013
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It sounds as if you are dealing with the same issues that we were last year.

We ended up taking a ferry to Tunisia and then driving across Libya and into Egypt. Having met people that did the ferry from Turkey into Egypt, we realized it was much cheaper to do the Tunisia-Libya-Egypt route.

However, there were some ferries running to Haifa, Israel...and we thought about going there and then crossing into Jordan, taking the Aqaba-Neuweiba ferry into Egypt and then continuing down to Sudan. This would require two passports though and our plan for passport stamps would be as follows :
Passport A : stamped out of Europe
Passport B : stamped into Israel, stamped out of Israel, stamped into Jordan, stamped out of Jordan
Passport A : stamped into Egypt

We are Americans and would then have gone to our embassy...or DHL or something and sent our passports with Israeli stamps home. If questioned, we would just say that we took a ferry from Europe through the Suez canal and then got off at Neuweiba.

In the end, we wanted to go to Libya and that option opened up for us and we did it.

I put the passport stamping info in there as that is a way to be able to avoid detection AND have a sensible (albeit unlikely) story of how you got from Europe to Egypt.

When getting our passports stamped, no one even looked at anything but the Sudanese visas...and when getting the Sudanese visas, they didn't even look at our other visas or anything, they were just stuck on the fact that we were Americans and once approved, finally slapped that thing in there.

There are several ways to do it and from what I can see, many of the folks on this forum are extremely resourceful and creative....so I have no doubt that you'll figure out something that works!
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