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  #46  
Old 4 Oct 2011
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Oh, what fun and games...

So whats the news at the moment? I'm planning on the Syria route (for lack for a better alternative) around mid November (leaving 6 weeks to get to Kenya...oh dear). Is anybody planning on doing it at a similar time? It seems those trying at the moment are having mixed luck...
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  #47  
Old 4 Oct 2011
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We were planning late november but have postponed till december to team up with 3 other vehicles running on a later schedule.

Ferry is still off. You need to take the risk or buddy up. More the better in my opinion. We are also hearing that Laptops, GPS and Sat Phones are being turned away. We are checking on this. I would advise you wait till we have official response. I have today written to the Syrian Embassy UK and will have an answer to the "equipment issue" soon. I will post here with the official response.

pm if you need more info but we need all to agree to more in the convoy.
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  #48  
Old 9 Oct 2011
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Take care

Syria , it is quite possible there is a war very soon there , in this case this war will include Israel , Turkey , NATO , USA backed up with oil money against Syria , Iran , part of Lebanon ,
If this bloody scenario develops into reality I would suggest planning an alternative route .
The Middle East is changing and maybe im wrong but thought to give a news feedback from native point of view
Mahmoud Mohareb
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  #49  
Old 11 Oct 2011
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I hope 3M's views don't materialise - but I can understand why you see things this way.

Due to the Syria situation we are looking at shipping to South Africa and doing the trip in reverse - this way if in 18 months everything has settled down we will visit Syria, if not we can exit via Haifa - or if everything has gone to pot as predicted by 3M then we can do a loop back South again!

Ian
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  #50  
Old 11 Oct 2011
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sorry to see thats what you are doing Ian. We might now have another UK tag along in a Merc 814. Going to talk about this later in the week when i go to see them. Sure you can't be persuaded.......?
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  #51  
Old 27 Nov 2011
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaLF View Post
Hi all,

Sorry for the radio silence on this. We finally got our car in Alexandria, and then had to race down to Aswan to make our ferry to Sudan. In the end, the car came in fine - not a scratch - but we did have a couple of things stolen from the cabin (our fault for not being able to fit everything in the back to lock it up) and it did take a lot of time and money to get the car through customs.

Here's the lowdown:

Total delay (accounting for reloading from the original Grimaldi ship, whose stop at Alex was cancelled, plus delay of the replacement ship) = 6 days.

Total time and cost taken to get through customs, etc = 4 days, around 500 euros:
Day 1: delivery order (E£467) and letter from the Egyptian Automobile club E£300
Day 2: access passes for the port (free)
Day 3: ship arrives and unloads, wait and do nothing
Day 4: customs and traffic police. All in all took 5 hours, which apparently is "quick" (some other overlander friends of ours took the whole day). We paid (all E£): 535 for the carnet stamp/customs, 160 for mandatory insurance, 240 for storage of the car (in our case only a day so this quickly adds up), 100 for Egyptian license plates. We paid our fixer EUR 300 for his services. If you are unlucky you have to buy a fire extinguisher too (even if you already carry several...).

Every step is accompanied by lots and lots of waiting, handshaking, handing out tips, endless inspections of the car and its contents... and an incredible amount of photo copies of passports, carnets, etc.

All in all, we are now just relieved to have the car in one piece. It took a while to get there but the process is not that complicated if you are patient, are willing to pay and can lock away all that is in the car. If you're on a tight budget and tight for time, this may not be the best option for you.

Hope this helps!

Good luck, and let me know if you need more specific info.

Emma
Haven't heard of the need of a letter from the Egyptian Automobile club before, how do I get this the easiest way?
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  #52  
Old 28 Nov 2011
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Um, don't ship is the short answer...

I've had a similar experience to Emma's ... We were meant to be going with Neill through Syria and don't we wish we did, but retrospect is a fine thing. At the time it wasn't going to take a long time to do the shipping and we couldn't affor being turned away at the Syrian border...

We also went with Grimaldi Lines, through a handler in Athens. If i'd know this I'd not have taken this route, they didn't tell me it was Grimaldi. Anyway, we've now been in Egypt for 2 weeks. We've missed one Aswan ferry and it looks as though we're going to miss the next and therefore miss christmas with family and friends in Nairobi.

All I can say is, if possible, DO NOT SHIP, unless you have a crazy amount of time on your hands.

As far as paperwork goes (so far) we've had similar experiences. So far we've had to pay $300 and we haven't even entered the port! We've also had to arrange a special permit for me, as the registered keeper, but foreigner to enter the port - yet more dosh and time.

We didn't get a letter, but it seems that our handlers here in egypt took it upon themselves to send the carnet to the Automobile club in Cairo the day before a public holiday and two days before the two day long elections. In all this is an extremely bad time to be dealing with port customs and formalities, workers in the port and the shippers are stopping at 3pm due to the protests, many don't come in for work and the elections are taking up valuable days.

If we do end up getting out car by Wednesday (In shallah, but this is not the first time I have said that! - Last week!), can any body recommend the quickest way to Aswan? I was going to go the Nile route, but I have been suggested going down the red sea on a quicker road and cutting in to Luxor.

Thanks, Ed

Neill, how are you getting along? I trust you've had much more luck than we have?
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  #53  
Old 28 Nov 2011
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That doesn't sound good at all!

But if we get refused at the Syrian border we will have no other option.
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  #54  
Old 28 Nov 2011
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Well,
After my last time shipping into Alex, hopefully I wont be doing it again this time, I say hopefully as I am researching the driving options to cross Libya in Jan / feb
From experience, even with the Sollum border 'dance', taken into account, its much, much easier than containering into Alex

So far the Libyan embassy in London has been giving me positive feedback!
Lets hope it continues as I know from my Libyan contacts there are still pockets of trouble there

Andy
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  #55  
Old 29 Nov 2011
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That is a real headache, as a major tour of Africa can get screwed up before it even began.

I would think Libya, if you can get the visas, is the best bet, as their civil war is mostly over, whereas in Syria it it slowly getting worser.
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  #56  
Old 29 Nov 2011
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Why not start in South Africa and head north as far as you can.

Maybe buy bikes in South Africa to save on shipping and just leave, sell or even store them in the North until things settle down.

Starting in South Africa is a nice introduction to a fabulous continent where arriving in Egypt is usually a head ache which gets many off on the wrong foot.
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  #57  
Old 29 Nov 2011
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Yes, it's a big headache only two days before departure.

We've tried to get Libyan visas without any luck. Was told they don't issue tourist visas right now and a business visa was not possible for a group(?).
But it's a good idea to contact them again and see if anything changed in the last weeks.

To start from South Africa is sadly not an option because I'm organizing this to a group and each one will participate on different parts of the trip. Not possible to reverse it. But if it were only me it would have been a great idea. Or I would circled Africa anticlockwise instead.
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  #58  
Old 29 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie79 View Post
Yes, it's a big headache only two days before departure.

We've tried to get Libyan visas without any luck. Was told they don't issue tourist visas right now and a business visa was not possible for a group(?).
But it's a good idea to contact them again and see if anything changed in the last weeks.

To start from South Africa is sadly not an option because I'm organizing this to a group and each one will participate on different parts of the trip. Not possible to reverse it. But if it were only me it would have been a great idea. Or I would circled Africa anticlockwise instead.
Fly into Khartoum perhaps ??

It certainly isn't easy to get into Africa at the moment. It's crazy how fast things changed. Only a year ago it was all very easy and Africa was calm.
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  #59  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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It's almost beyond belief that there was only one car ferry from Europe and Turkey to Egypt.

I'll be heading north by car from South Africa in a few weeks...hope things improve in Syria or that restart the ferry to/from Egypt.

Anyone looked at going by ferry from Israel to Cyprus then to Greece?
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  #60  
Old 5 Dec 2011
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M2M - We arrived in Salerno this morning having taken the Grimaldi freighter from Israel. It was fine. 365 euro each for us, 385 euro for the car. The crossing took 5 days. Ensuite double cabins, ridiculous amounts of free food (3 courses for both lunch and dinner) even free wine (!). Car was fully accessible at all times, crew very pleasant though kept to themselves.

We were on the the Euro Med line, which stops at Turkey, Cyprus and Greece on the way to Israel, not from - the only stop after Israel was Alex but we weren't allowed off.

Having had to renew our car papers at Alex port back in September I wouldn't recommend anyone importing a car there if there is any alternative. Compared to Aswan and Nuweiba (which are the only other borders of Egypt I've crossed in a car) it was horrendous from a corruption point of view.

NB Getting into Israel in a car wasn't much fun - you have to take out everything in the car and have it individually scanned ... took 8 hours.
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