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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 15 Jul 2009
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Is a carnet neccesary to travel western route though Africa

Is it possible to travel the length of Africa without a carnet as mine is running out and im sick of paying out for bits of paper.

Thanks for the help
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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it is necessary to have the carnet with you in Africa. It is required by certain countries, where you will find specific information on their websites.

I myself am preapring a Transafrika Trip on the eatern route and it is not possible without the Carnet.

Good trip for you.


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Old 16 Jul 2009
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It looks like a no, it's not possible without, i'm afraid


Safe travels

Last edited by Niva Say Never; 16 Jul 2009 at 21:56.
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Old 20 Jul 2009
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West Africa

Only speaking for West Africa, Mauritania down till Nigeria. You need one for Nigeria and Ghana, the others till u reach Nigeria are poss without.
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Old 10 Aug 2009
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AGAIN ???? I am starting to suspect that HUBB has some interest on the carnet'- thing


and here again , people should differenciate "Countries in which a Carnet is accepted" (i.e. Burkina -as they accept , will use and validate the Carnet ) and "Countries that REQUIRE a carnet to get in ). In Africa there is ONLY one country and this country is EGYPT.

Every now and then someone claims "you need a carnet to enter X". Bullshit . They should say "We had a Carnet , and we enter X" . As of today I confirm that the western route is totally carnet-free. I have done it twice (bike , car) and thinking doing it again in a 4x4 truck and NEVER HAD A CARNET .

so pls. Stop misleading people , 'cos this bullshit about all those countries requiring carnet is putting lots of people off about planning their trip . Who / WHO ? is affirming that you need a carnet in Burkina ! Who ** f**CK says you need one in NIGER ? or in CHAD ? -Names ? Experience? or "they have heard from someone/read it somewhere?" -seriously , I can't figure out why people mislead travellers so much -or why-(unless they are on the business of selling carnets)/

i am assuming that those people can differenciate "Can use a carnet in Niger" from "Should produce a Carnet to get in Niger"
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Old 10 Aug 2009
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I have to agree with Javier, to many people giving advice on things they know nothing about!!!
I have crossed Africa twice, once with a Carnet (because I did not know better) and second time without.
I have been to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Algeria, DRC Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, CAR, Nigeria, Niger, Algeria all without one.
Sometimes the border guards will ask for one as it makes there job a little easier but with a little patience you will get through. As you cross Africa you will learn crossing the borders is the hardest part of the whole experience.
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Old 10 Aug 2009
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This is some very refreshing info, as i've been researching and preping for my up-coming ATW and this carnet bulls**t is getting rediculous! 500% for India?? when you can travell all of the Americas without one, even though the international website states that you need one It would be a great service to everybody who is planning to get some real up to date information by people who have entered countries which suposedly need a carnet without one, maybe start a new thread? Javier and Quads, i thank you both in advance
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Old 10 Aug 2009
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Take the example of Nigeria: The Nigerian Customs Service website
Nigerian Customs Administration has this to say about temporary import of vehicles

"(b) Motor Vehicles:
As temporary visitors you may bring your own private motor vehicle into Nigeria for a period not exceeding six months from the date of importation, provided that it is covered by a valid carnet or triptyque: an international touring document, you will be required to provide financial cover for the Custom duty involved. Such cover will be a bond (the surety to which should be a Bank or an Insurance Company established in Nigeria) or a Cash Deposit equal to the duty involved. The Bond will be invalidated or the deposit refunded immediately the car is re-exported".

It would appear that, based on the experience of some here, that they are not following their own regulations.
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Old 11 Aug 2009
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Rules are rarely followed in Afrcia, especially by the police and border guards. I have been to Nigeria twice, neither time was a Carnet required.
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Old 12 Aug 2009
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Hi there,

I'd be interested to know the costs of entering countries without a carnet. I'm in the process of getting one anyway as I'll need it for Egypt, but it would be good to have a comparison.

For a 25 page trans Africa carnet issued by the NRMA in NSW, Aus I'm paying just short of AU$1000. AU$250 of that is a refundable deposit, so long term cost will be AU$750, which I think is pretty reasonable for potentially 25 countries. I'm sure there are going to be additional costs along the way, but I'd like to know how people who've travelled without a carnet have got on.
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Old 12 Aug 2009
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Interesting reading, not sure what justifies all the swearing. People are sharing their knowledge and advice, sometimes what they interpret from their experience is right, sometimes not. When we went trans africa, we did have a carnet but didn't always need to use it. We met several other travellers who seemed to be getting through without but there are some risks.

1) Some countries that we passed through wanted to enter the vehicle details in my passport. This happened in Mauritania for example. In theory this would of made it difficult to leave the country without the vehicle, if for example I needed to fly back home for an emergency. I didn't test this, maybe they wouldn't have been that organised and it wouldn't have been a problem but its certainly a risk. Obviously if you stay with your vehicle and exit then not a problem.

2) Getting through depends who you meet on respective borders. Obviously people are managing to get through without it but not always the case. We met three travellers in Nairobi who were travelling north in two vehicles. They had been made to leave their vehicles on the Tanzanian / Kenyan border, take public transport to Nairobi to sort out a carnet before going back to retrieve their car. Raises lots of may bes - may be they weren't good at talking their way through, may be they just got unlucky with the particular customs border agent, may be its worth running the risk and dealing with that if you have to as they did.

Depends on cost versus hassle / risk. We took out a double indemnity insurance policy against ours so we didn't deposit the money. Cost a bit but not that much and removed that level of risk.
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Old 13 Aug 2009
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A few points from my end:

- $750 Aussie dollars is a complete rip off for a piece of paper (as is the hundreds of pounds I have just paid). The carnet system is slow, expensive and annoying, however it does shield you from potential abuse at borders by corrupt or otherwise guards.

- I think Morocco has a good system - the vehicle is in the immigration database against your name, so you can't leave the country without it or customs clearance. For countries with no computer systems, a stamp next to your entry stamp is fine.

- Having no Carnet with a motorbike and having no Carnet with a car/4x4 probably evokes different responses at some borders. So please state which your experience was with.

- I have traveled without a Carnet and found it a hassle, but doable. I've just started another long trip and have gotten a Carnet for a few reasons, one of which is to make border crossings easier, or at least more predictable.

- For those new to all of this overland travel stuff, perhaps bare in mind that some of these people are 'hardened' African travelers who are able to sort things out even if it takes some stress and hassle where others may be put off.

- It depends where you are in Africa - West African borders are very loose for example - you could drive from Mauritania to Burkina across Mali without doing any immigration or customs and probably not have any problems with this.

- Good to know from those others who have not used one - constructive accounts of countries/borders/paperwork/procedures always welcomed (else it came come across as macho posturing as a heroic traveller ;-).
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Old 14 Aug 2009
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Christ! "AU$750" for an Egyotian Carnet! Ithought they had to be for 800% of the vehicles value in egypt? South of Egypt you can get away with 150%.
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Old 14 Aug 2009
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I cant comment on West Africa or Central Africa - I am sure it is much more difficult there - however i find it really speeds things up in EA and Southern Africa and this big orange document,with lots of stamps in it, is quite an impressive thing to slapdown on the table especially when these little kings in the bush get bolshi.

You also don't have to use it all the time - tosave pages sometimes we used a TIP.

With the carnet you're more in control -you dictate the procedure - not the man with with bad breath and a chip on his shoulder - saying that I've only had one or two difficult experiences and I've been driving in East and Southern africa since '91.
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Old 14 Aug 2009
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You know what? Sorry didn't check if you were on a bike or in a 4x4 - they seem to be treated completely differently.
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