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Sahara Travel ForumTopics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Dear All, just about to start the bit from Egypt to Sudan and hoped a few questions could be answered.
Out of Wadi Halfi there are 2 roads, I am presuming most people go down the one by the Nile as it seems a little more populated.
If so is this road a track or is it loose sand just thinking about the tires I will need.
Finally does anybody know the process of booking the ferry, can I do it from Cairo and what do I need to do. If anybody has an idea about the prices as well for 1 person and 1 motorbike that would be great.
Wadi Halfa to Dongola (the Nile way) was nearly finished in 2008.....and Im now told its finished. So should be tar all the way. I have a friend who recently took the other way, and ended up driving on the rail tracks for quite a while due to the sand. I have only personally done the Nile road, and there is a quite a lot of villages and people about.
For the ferry, I always used Midhat to help (mixed opinions here on the Hubb about him, do a search and read the various posts). All I can say from a personal point of view is that for a reasonable fee he and his extended family will make your life a lot less stressful.
Hi Dave, Do I buy my ticket on arriving in Wadi Halfa or does that get done before. Expecting to arrive on the Saturday for the Monday sailing. Can you remember the prices of tickets and Midhat's fee. Thanks for the extra info.
Yes,we passed same route on June 15 on our way to Cape Town(currently Windhoek-Namibia).So,we payed 320 EGP per person 2nd class(deck) and 253 EGP per motorbike.Try to call Mr.Sallah-Nile River Transport Co. in advance to arrange 1st class cabin(if you want) his mobile-018 316926
For the road Wadi Halfa-Dongola don't worry fully tarred-brand new!,even Dongola-Karima tarred!
I know there are some older ones on here, but thought I would give a recent one.
Also, most people seem to pay a bit extra for the services of 'Mr Saleh,' on the Egypt side, and 'Magdi,' on the Sud side - which we didn't, so this is a DIY version. We crossed last week, and found it all a bit of a hassle, so thought I would post a walkthrough here, to help anyone following the same way who wants to do it themselves too.
1. Arrive in Aswan city and and find a hotel, the port is around 20k south, over the high dam, and the two old dams. The boat leaves on Monday, so getting in on a Sat or a Sun is a good idea, to give yourself plenty of time. Our boat officially left at 9 AM, but pulled out of the port at 7 PM. This is quite normal - you ask what time the ferry leaves, and most people laugh and tell you 'when it leaves.'
2. Go to 'traffic court.' (10 EP - 1GBP)
This is to attest that you haven't broken any rules, or had an accident. It sounds grand, but it is really just a broken down old building with no sign on, where you show your Egyptian Licence and V5, and sign a piece of paper, and they give you a receipt for the 'traffic police.' (Directions - coming from Aswan to the Dam, take the left before the blue petrol station (there's only the one) and follow the road down past the 'insurance hospital.' It is just behind the hospital. If in doubt, just keep asking for the 'mushtashfa ta'min (insurance hospital.))
3. Go to 'traffic police.' (0 EP - 0 GBP)
The traffic police is more dificult to find. Go back into Aswan City, and just keep asking for 'Shurta Muroor.' Everyone knows where it is. Take your plates off, and hand them, together with your Egyptian licence and the reciept from the 'traffic court,' to whatever police officer you can get the attention of through the scrum. He will give you the all important bit of paper you need to buy a ticket for the ferry.
4. Go to the port, buy ticket. (305 EP per person deck class - 30 GBP)
The ticket office is a little hole in a concrete pillbox 50 metres to the left of the port gates. There are two ticket salespeople, a very helpful man, who speaks beautiful Fusha, and great English, and a woman who is a complete cowbag and only grunts. The scrum to get to the window is typical Egypt, and resulted in 3 fist fights in the two hours I was waiting. If you fancy avoiding it, you can buy tickets from an office near the Tourist Information building in town. They are the same price, but they also sell cabin tickets there, for an extra 90 EP per person. The cabins are air conned, and comfortable, but you don't get the experience of sleeping with the best part of 500 Sudanese people on the deck. They are an awesome people, and well worth saving the money to sit up and chat and smoke with them.
4. Buy ticket for bike. (190 EP - 19 GBP)
Enter customs, go straight through and take the footgate on the right at the end. Go to the big building in front, and take the alley between that and the smaller building to its right, up the stairs and into the top office. You will probably get people telling you that you can't do this, but they won't stamp your carnet without having the ticket that you get here. Ignore them.
5. Sudan Customs. Carnet Stamp. (20 EP - 2 GBP)
We missed this and had to reenter illegally. It is in an unmarked door on your left past the stairs as you walk into the Customs building. There are some overlanders stickers on the door, but no sign saying what it is. When we arrived, the guy was sleeping, and took nearly two hours to find. Present the V5, passport, carnet and your newly acquired tickets, and there you go - Carnet stamp, done.
6. Exit Stamps. (25 piastres each person - 0.025 GBP)
Go out of the carnet room and go left into the exit stamp scum. Go first to the table on the left, to get a 'fiche,' or 'bitaaqa,' which is a card you write all your details on and get stamped at the window to the left of the table. The stamper will ask for bakshish, we gave 50 piastres and he seemed mollified. With this card and your passports, go to the busiest window, and get your exit stamp. Leave the hellhouse smiling like a madman and clutching your ticket to get out of Egypt!
7. Roll down towards the boat, and get 'registered.' (0 EP - 0 GBP)
On your left as you go through the first set of gates towards your waiting boat will be a line of people at a portacabin - they are waiting for 'tasjil,' or registration. Hand over all the bits of paper you have collected, and they will check all your tickets are in order, and, er..register you. They will ask for bakshish, but are easy to rebuff.
Well done. Roll down the slope, park your bike on the barge, and get on the ferry - find yourself a good place to sleep and guard it. Up against a bulkhead, right by the edge of the deck is best, as it means you don't get people stepping on you while you sleep. We did this, under the life rafts, which also gave us some sun shade.
Hope this helps, sorry about any typos, I'm tapping away on a proper lame keyboard, and can't be bothered to correct it!
Wow - super information thanks so much. This will hopefully save me a lot of stress!! I'm in Bulgaria at the moment, and will hopefully be making good use of this information mid October! Thanks again.
in case it helps anyone, we wondered about which route to take from Wadi Halfa south - we knew the nile road was tarred and had very conflicting reports about the road South East through the desert following the railway line.
curiosity got the better of me, and I can confirm it is all sand for a good 300KMs+ and quite slow going - nearly cooked our engine in the heat but the camping at night was spectacular. Some compacted piste sections but a lot of deep drifts and churned up soft stuff, and intermitent dry water channels that come sharp when you hit them at speed.
Unless you're a die hard desert lover prob best to avoid. very pretty though.
I just rode South from Khartoum to the Ugandan border (via Wau and Juba).
You need a permit in Khartoum, but otherwise no big hassles.
Except the road is quite poor.
Not paved and lots of potholes.
Very slippy when wet since clay.
Land mines on the sides at points.
Lots of military checkpoints: altho South of Wau they are very friendly.
Just before Wau they are quite aggressive.
Juba VERY expensive unless you find a free place to stay/support you.
One place just south of Rumbeck where the road is VERY bad for about 5km, but passable for 4x4 and motorbikes (trucks are stuck there for months in the rainy season).
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