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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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  #1  
Old 25 Sep 2013
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Buying a car in Kenya to drive to Namibia

On our way from Switzerland to Namibia, we were arrested at the Libyan-Egyptian border for having illegal equipment in the car and then deported. I'm trying to find a way to transport the car out of Egypt, but it might not be possible/economical.

So another option I'm looking at is flying to Kenya, buying a car there and driving it to Namibia. Some questions about this that I hope someone can answer:

- How easy is it for a foreigner to buy/register a car in Kenya? Alternatively, would someone living there be willing to buy it for me and write a permit for me to drive it?
- How easy/fast is it to get a carnet in Kenya?

I am aware that the carnet requires a deposit, but I'm planning to buy a pretty cheap car. The plan would be to drive the car to Namibia or SA and import it or have it destroyed under customs supervision in order to get the deposit back.

Thanks in advance for any info!
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2013
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No info on buying a car in Kenya but I am interested in what sort of items got you in trouble in Libya/Egypt when crossing.
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  #3  
Old 26 Sep 2013
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Cruiser guy, we had a DIJ Phantom quadcopter/drone with attached GoPro, plus two Motorola TLKR handheld radios. Both of which are apparently illegal in Egypt (although no-one was ever able to tell us exactly why the drone is illegal).

However, they are simply super-paranoid at the moment especially at the Libyan border. They were also very suspicious of our GoPros (because they are "so tiny") plus of the fact that we had five cameras between the two of us.

There's some more info on our Facebook page once I get around to write it up
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  #4  
Old 26 Sep 2013
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4x4 café Africa,
good luck
kp
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  #5  
Old 27 Sep 2013
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Arrested & deported for possessing a toy, holy moly. :
Isn't there an embassy in Kairo to help you?
Did you see other travellers/tourists crossing Libya?

I hope you get your car back; should be possible with the right connections.
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  #6  
Old 28 Sep 2013
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Contact Karen Camp.They have about 10 4x4's for sale there. +254 0208833475
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  #7  
Old 28 Sep 2013
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Priffe: We were quite surprised to see a bus full of German (and maybe other) tourists the night we were in Tripoli. No other sightings, though, and the caretaker at Leptis Magna told me they hadn't seen any tourists in months. There were about a dozen signatures in the visitor's book at Knightsbridge cemetery near Tobruk that dated from this year.
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  #8  
Old 28 Sep 2013
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Atlas and kpredator, thanks! Hopefully I'll get my own car back though
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  #9  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Hi Alps2Africa,
Try your best to get your car from Egypt as cars in Kenya are not cheap. Almost all are bought from the UK and sold on for a profit. Have a look at

Cars Kenya

That should give you an idea. Not knowing your budget, but buying a 4x4 for possible destruction would be a very costly undertaking.

Don't forget cars are RHD. I have not done it myself but there are plenty of foreigners driving their own vehicles here in Nairobi so that shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Then, after purchase you need to insure and possibly carnet the vehicle. Although you might not need a carnet on a east African registered vehicle, maybe.

Flights, purchase price, insurance and kitting out would make that an expensive ride. Have you tried begging the Egyptians?

CJ.
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  #10  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alps2Africa View Post
Cruiser guy, we had a DIJ Phantom quadcopter/drone with attached GoPro, plus two Motorola TLKR handheld radios. Both of which are apparently illegal in Egypt (although no-one was ever able to tell us exactly why the drone is illegal).

However, they are simply super-paranoid at the moment especially at the Libyan border. They were also very suspicious of our GoPros (because they are "so tiny") plus of the fact that we had five cameras between the two of us.

There's some more info on our Facebook page once I get around to write it up
The hand held radios are illegal?!?! We use radios in the city so we can find each other if we get separated (that's easy to do in crowded areas).

I wonder what the deal would be with a dash cam? We just got one because when you're a foreigner and you have a vehicle accident you're automatically at fault (we all know the locals are stellar drivers ). I figure the dash cam will give me some video evidence if necessary.

I can see they might have an issue with a camera equipped "drone" with all the crap going on there though I understand also the reason you might want to take it.

I hope you get the vehicle back.
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  #11  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Johnson View Post
Hi Alps2Africa,
Try your best to get your car from Egypt as cars in Kenya are not cheap. Almost all are bought from the UK and sold on for a profit. Have a look at

Cars Kenya

That should give you an idea. Not knowing your budget, but buying a 4x4 for possible destruction would be a very costly undertaking.

Don't forget cars are RHD. I have not done it myself but there are plenty of foreigners driving their own vehicles here in Nairobi so that shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Then, after purchase you need to insure and possibly carnet the vehicle. Although you might not need a carnet on a east African registered vehicle, maybe.

Flights, purchase price, insurance and kitting out would make that an expensive ride. Have you tried begging the Egyptians?

CJ.
If I have to buy another car, it won't be a 4x4. There's a 1968 beetle listed for only 145,000 KES, for example. Something like that.

Thanks for the heads-up on RHB, though - that'll certainly add to the excitement.

As for the current situation, I have contacts in Egypt which will try and get the car this week and drive it to the ferry to Sudan. If that fails, I'm on a plane to Nairobi this weekend...
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  #12  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by cruiser guy View Post
The hand held radios are illegal?!?! We use radios in the city so we can find each other if we get separated (that's easy to do in crowded areas).

I wonder what the deal would be with a dash cam? We just got one because when you're a foreigner and you have a vehicle accident you're automatically at fault (we all know the locals are stellar drivers ). I figure the dash cam will give me some video evidence if necessary.

I can see they might have an issue with a camera equipped "drone" with all the crap going on there though I understand also the reason you might want to take it.

I hope you get the vehicle back.
Yes, the radios are very illegal. If you go through Egypt I highly advise you to forward them by mail to Sudan or something - as we've seen. the Egyptians are quite trigger-happy at the moment.

If you decide to take a dashboard cam, I'd suggest you take it off and store it in the glove box or something while going through customs. Even if they are not illegal, border police in any country can get very cross if they think you are filming them (and who's to tell if the camera is on or not). Same thing goes for GoPro helmet cams on motorbikes.
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  #13  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by cruiser guy View Post
though I understand also the reason you might want to take it.
Well I can't see any good reason for possession of such technology fitted with a camera.
Drones of this nature are a major (political) concern in places such as the United States - for invasion of privacy reasons alone - so why shouldn't they be so in countries such as Egypt?
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  #14  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Well I can't see any good reason for possession of such technology fitted with a camera.
Uhm, for taking pictures?

Like this, for example: A quadcopter's view of Niagara Falls | Crave - CNET (filmed in the USA, natch).

Expounding on the difference between "a major concern ... for invasion of privacy reasons" and "arrested and thrown in jail for five days" is left as an exercise for the reader, because I can't be bothered.
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  #15  
Old 30 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by Alps2Africa View Post
Uhm, for taking pictures?
Which reminds me of Google street view and the associated, westernised thinking/concept that taking pictures of anything and everybody without prior permission is acceptable.
I'm not surprised that extending the google-street-view-thinking to aerial photography, particularly outside of the populations of the de-sensitised western nations, is not helpful to easy travel.

Maybe it would have helped if the car/personnel had been allowed to proceed after confiscation of the illegal items? (but you write as if this was never an option).
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