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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 3 Jun 2005
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Carnet really necessary for car in Senegal and Gambia?

Some people say the rules in Senegal have just changed: we want to take a car older than 5 year through Senegal to Gambia to sell it there. Can we do it without a carnet? How about Gambia?
Please send recent information, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 5 Jun 2005
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Hi,

Rules have just changed in last couple of years but to be honest the information is difficult as it seems to depend on the official on the day whether or not you will get into Senegal.

Some facts you will not be able to sell your car in Senegal - forget that. Gambia will also be difficult and you will need to make sure you get it registered properly.

A Carnet should help in getting into Senegal .

I will be doing this route in six months time but not selling my car.
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  #3  
Old 6 Jun 2005
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Hi,

just back from the Gambia. You do not need a carnet for the Gambia. You can get a temporary permit (most of the time a 7 day valid document which can easily be extended for 1 month in Banjul).
Senegal is much easier with a carnet. Without carnet you either get a customs guy with you for 200 euro till you get out of the country (and have to pay for his expenditure on the way as well) or if they are in a good mood it seems sometimes they give a 2 or 3 day temporally permit. This is the latest news. I have not spoke to people who really got the 2-3 day temp. permit!!
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  #4  
Old 7 Jun 2005
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Yep .. Its possible to enter Senegal Without a carnet.

Last April05 I was driving a 30 year old Landrover .. and -at the border- they toldme that I had to pay around 225 Euros for a customs' escort ,e tc..etc..etc.

at the end and with around 1 hour discussing the price , I got a 5-days transit permit (without the escort!) for 75 Euros handled directly to the customs' officer.

Most people at Zebrabar 'had a similar story with prices ranging from 50 to 150 Euros. But IT is definitely possible to get Senegal without the carnet or the Convoy .

Have fun.
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  #5  
Old 8 Jun 2005
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Hi all,

Just had my Carnet Papers from the RAC and in it is an official letter from the Senegalese embassy saying from the 1st of June no vehicle will be allowed into Senegal without a Carnet that is over five years old.

So I will get one in October.

Andrew
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  #6  
Old 9 Jun 2005
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Hi
The Senegalese Embassies are talking shit about this issue.Dont trust them , cos They don't got a clue (really the embassy don't know what's going on ) on these remote borders. Depending on the country (France , Spain , UK or Germany ) the Senegalese embassies tells a different Story.

Same as Mauritanian embassy in Spain which tells people that carnet is compulsory and that visas are NOT issued at the border (both facts are wrong)


That 5-year old law hast been around for 2.5 years and its EASENING a bit now .. 1 year ago there were reports of people stranded in no-mans land , and the like.

Indeed ITs only a north border (Diamma % rosso) thing ... and the law itself is unheard of in other borders.

But I insist that the trend is pay some ammount -for sure less than the cost of your carnet 75-150 Euros - to the customs' officer and they'll let you in with a smile and give you all the needed paperwork (ITs called "passavant'"

My experience (and all the people I talk to in Africa , as that's a common conversation topic) is that the situation is getting better and now is grossly obvious that -with some ammount of bribbery- you get in without a carnet.

Indeed , you can cross Africa without a carnet ... regardless what embassies say. 100 Euros is 3-5 months salary for these fellas , so they can't avoid letting you in for these ammount. They got the passavant' book (as they need to for local taxies , trucks , etc.. ) so Its their golden chance to earn 3 months pay in one day. Just insist .. and you will get in.

-a personal trick - for crossing borders without carnet / insurance/ papers , you name it :


while bribing try not to insist too much and stick to a quantity (say 50-80 euros) .. and when the officer refuses ... then pretend not to be in a hurry and tell him that OK .,you wait for the next turn's officer.
Then .. they visualize that Its their colleage and not him the one which is gonna take all that Cash !!! and suddenly accept any offer you do.

Use it wisely .
Javier


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  #7  
Old 3 Apr 2006
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Hi, we'll be attempting to get to Gambia and leave a vehicle there for around six months before coming back for it to continue our trip.

Are we going to manage it without a carnet?

Any more thoughts? or recent experiences entering Senegal?
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  #8  
Old 4 Apr 2006
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This carnet-business is confusing. I'll be driving under Ghanaian license plate. The Ghanaian Licensing Authority issues an "International Certificate for Motor Vehicles GHANA", which, they state, is linked to some International Convention of April 24, 1926. And it is with this document that I've traveled from Ghana to Togo, Burkina, Mali.
Is this another version of the notorious carnet (that could also take me into Senegal)?
And if not: do I need to get one somewhere in Ghana or elsewhere?
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  #9  
Old 5 Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mana:
This carnet-business is confusing. I'll be driving under Ghanaian license plate. The Ghanaian Licensing Authority issues an "International Certificate for Motor Vehicles GHANA", which, they state, is linked to some International Convention of April 24, 1926. And it is with this document that I've traveled from Ghana to Togo, Burkina, Mali.
Is this another version of the notorious carnet (that could also take me into Senegal)?
And if not: do I need to get one somewhere in Ghana or elsewhere?
No . That's not a carnet ,but either way, you dont' need a Carnet if your vehicle is registered in Most African countries.

Javier
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  #10  
Old 5 Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard K:
Hi, we'll be attempting to get to Gambia and leave a vehicle there for around six months before coming back for it to continue our trip.

Are we going to manage it without a carnet?

Any more thoughts? or recent experiences entering Senegal?

Hi . The only tricky country is Senegal , which won't accept cars older than 5 years old without a Carnet IN THEIR NORTHERN BORDER ONLY . Therefore you can get into Senegal via Mali (as most people do nowdays) hassle-free .

alternatively you can bribe your way in , and cross via DIAMA (around 100 Km west of Rosso) , for a undetermined bribe amount . This *often* ranges from 70 to 150 Euros per car , and much less for motorbikes. This is much less than the cost of the carnet itself , let alone the security . Not to speak the hassle !.

This money entitles you to a PAssavant , which is a permit to drive your car for around 10 days in Senegal.

Id definitely go to Diama .. and wouldnt worry at all about the Carnet. Everyday dozens of cars cross to Senegal by paying the unnoficial bribe in Diama.

Cheers.
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  #11  
Old 5 Apr 2006
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Cheers Javier, that's helpful.

Do you know what the situation is for leaving a car in Gambia or Senegal for a long period of time (say 6-12 months) without a carnet?

Is it possible or are the passavants arranged on a monthly basis only?
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  #12  
Old 6 Apr 2006
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Quote from javier: "No . That's not a carnet ,but either way, you dont' need a Carnet if your vehicle is registered in Most African countries."

Thank you Javier, that's great! It surely makes life a lot easier.

If somebody could tell me what "most African Countries" means, though, or where I can find such information, then I'd be all the way off the hook. Ghana is often the exception to the rule, among its French speaking neighbours.
Otherwise I guess I'd just give it a try. Thanks.

Mana
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  #13  
Old 21 Apr 2006
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HI ..

well , I can only speak about my experience .. I drove a Spanish reg bike from Madrid to Gambia ... and well , It wasnst easy but definitely doable without a Carnet.

however ... most and most people are opting now for registering the motorcycle in any African country . I did that with my bike in The Gambia . Since then , I roam freely into any countries (Gambia , Senegal , GuineaBis , GuineaCon , SierraLeona ) without any hassle at all . It actually seem to be a different law for African registered bikes. They start asking for money , passavant , etc.. etc.. and as soon as they discover the African plate .. they don't bother you at all any more .

Indeed , in GuineaBissau , Conakri and Mali .. I am not carrying any Passavant at all . I mean At all. Just crossing the border as If I would be riding a bicicle. When I ask for a Laiize passe , they tell me that west african vehicles don't need passavants , and so far .. I have been no asked for it . However , I still pay insurance .

I really think that -other than Morrocco / Egypt- one can cross the whole of the continent with little or no papers at all *as someone said here , with little more than a number plate stencil on a cardboard* . They don't care , they don't mind , iTs not their business . and Its getting even better (for us) .
Last time in BAmako , half of the people (with EU cars) didnt have both the papers , or even worse any PAssavant *at all* . Of course no one had insurance , and policement just don't care. Its not like here *at home* that driving a unregistered , uninsured car would mean probbably prison .

Over there , they simply don't care , and =at worst= you will allways be able to fix your situation with a few Euros.

On the other hand , being caught with a counterfeit Carnet is much more serious offense , which lands some tourists into Ghannan prisons every year.
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  #14  
Old 21 Apr 2006
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Carnet really necessary for car in Senegal and Gambia?

Javier this is useful info, however can you, or anyone else come to that, tell me how you go about registering a vehicle in Gambia or more usefully to avoid Senegal hassles in ,say RIM? Do they actually need to see the vehicle because if not surely there is no reason why you couldn't get a mate locally to do the paperwork, send you some license plates and, lo, all carnet hassles gone!

Does this just apply to bikes or can you do it with any vehicle? I have a good mate in Mali and a big Merc truck hence my interest.

How do you get around local customs duties? Do you keep the bike on local plates when you return home or just put the old plates back on etc etc?

All info gratefully received........

best wishes

Q
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  #15  
Old 22 Apr 2006
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HI !!

I can tell you only for the Gambia .. which is the only place I got experience in registering a vehicle . For a motorbike .. It was around 30-40 Euros .. including duty. On top of that , you need the plates.. (at that time the ONLY plate-printing machine in Gambia was broken ) so I had to pay someone to draw the numbers by hand .

I *may* remember that registering a car in Mauritania was around 200-250 Euros *all dutys included* . In Gambia probbably less .

Definitely don't worry about Senegal . AS long as you enter via Mali .. they don't mind at all about not having a carnet. If you enter via north (*St Luis /Rosso/Diama ) then you'll have to pay a fee , but still on the region of 100 Euros. ITs only once .. and Its only there . I think on it as a toll or as a ferry . ITs not fair... but heck ! Is not tha much money . Apparently the whole village of diama makes their living from the money extorted to tourists so .. after all .. its not that bad.


What I definitely don't know is if it is possible to register a car "remotely" .. but sounds really interesting .. Good Idea. . I am fliying there this wednesday , and have a look around .. 'cos that could be the solution fo a lot of people's troubles !!!

Having said that ... as soon as most and most poeple do the African number plates thing .... I am sure that the authorities will start complaining about another thing .. or probbably a new law about ("Tourists driving African-reg cars") . Sooner or later..

JAvier
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