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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 26 Oct 2009
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Advice on Egypt to Ethiopia route

Hi Everyone,

So after a long while paying off my last trip, I am once again getting itchy feet for another one, however this time I am toying with the idea of doing it on a bicycle. (I got fat sitting on a motorbike for all that time)

Anyway, the plan, in its early stages are to cycle to Ethiopia from the UK, the route is all fine upto Egypt, where Im unsure about the road condition and more importantly security for a lone taveller who cant accelerate away from trouble quite as fast on a bicycle as on my KLR650 (although granted it was quite slow!)

The rough route I was planing from WadiHalfa to Addis-Abeba was the main road to Khartoum and from there to take the route to Al Qadarif, Doka (highway 21) then cross the border to Ethiopa on that route taking the road to Gondar and on to Addis-Abeba. I suppose my main question is about the condition on the section of road, and the security situation in the area. It may be fine and a well travelled route, or totally the opposite, but i couldnt find any posts on it.

Hope someone can offer some advise. Many thanks

Simon

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Old 26 Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Mendus View Post

Anyway, the plan, in its early stages are to cycle to Ethiopia from the UK, the route is all fine upto Egypt, where Im unsure about the road condition and more importantly security for a lone taveller who cant accelerate away from trouble quite as fast on a bicycle as on my KLR650 (although granted it was quite slow!)

The rough route I was planing from WadiHalfa to Addis-Abeba was the main road to Khartoum and from there to take the route to Al Qadarif, Doka (highway 21) then cross the border to Ethiopa on that route taking the road to Gondar and on to Addis-Abeba. I suppose my main question is about the condition on the section of road, and the security situation in the area. It may be fine and a well travelled route, or totally the opposite, but i couldnt find any posts on it.
Global Enduro
Hey Simon,

It's pretty much paved for all the route that your describe. The worst road from your perspective is between Wadi Halfa and Dongola, still unpaved but they have been working on it so the quality improves every year.

It's about 400 km, sandy in spots so likely some pushing required. We met a South Afican couple in the middle of the route pushing their bikes during a small sandstorm so it certainly has been done a few times.

The northern part of this route has sporadic villages so you want to be self sufficient for water but it mostly follows the Nile so water is not too far away for many parts. The southern part has more frequent villages.

One small route finding decision you'll have to make is that about halfway down you can hightail it across the desert as the Nile jogs east or you can follow the Nile. We followed the Nile which we thought was more scenic and probably a bit better for you to be closer to the sources of water.

It's paved from Dongola all the way to Khartoum and onto the border with Ethiopia.

Past the border, it was gravel, but they were working on the road so pretty decent condition. Once you get to the main road between Gondor and Addis, it's all paved.

The main danger with Ethiopia is the chronic rock throwing by kids at pedal bikes and motorbikes, worst in the world, no exageration. Motorbikes can try to get away, you'll be at their mercy. Take along a big stick and big dose of patience, not much you can do about it.

In general safety though is not a problem in any of those countries.

All the best, enjoy the pedal.
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Old 26 Oct 2009
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HI Simon

I did this route going north a couple of years ago. the two tough spots are Wadi to Dongola and the if you are going south the top of Kenya from Moyale to Isiolo is tough.

There is a guy in Khartoum i met called Midhat Mahir, he is a well known " fixer " in Sudan and as far as I know he cycled from Wadi Halfa to Addis in 31 days. is is a tough dude , and makes his living from " FIxing " things for travellers, but he is a nice guy and genuine and worth checking out .
havent seen many posts about him lately , but I'm sure if you search his name you will figure out if he is still operating or not.

Hope you have a good bike and even better legs

best of luck
gary
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Old 27 Oct 2009
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Great advise, thanks very much indeed. Im am still trying do decide if Im just too lazy to use a bicycle, and may take the old KLR out of retirement. We shall see. Many thanks again for your help guys

Simon
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