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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 30 Dec 2006
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Crossing Ethiopia and Sudan

HI Folks

I will be travelling from Cape town to Cairo to Tel Aviv in July. We hope to do it in 35 days
I am a little concerned about travelling through Ethiopia and Sudan because of the conflicts around their borders.
It would be great to hear from anyone who has travelled there recently to hear was is the story on the ground
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  #2  
Old 8 Jan 2007
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Well I can't give you any information about crossing borders, but I just returned from Ethiopia last week and I didn't see much (if any) evidence of the conflict with Somalia there. There was a fair amount of tourists and no-one seemed to be concerned with the conflict. I would not worry too much about going through Ethiopia, but off course follow the situation as things can change.
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Old 8 Jan 2007
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I'll be trying to ride from Nairobi to Egypt in the middle of february and am more concerned about the paperwork to be honest. I have an HU contact in Khartoum who tells me the road from Ethiopia to Khartoum is no problem. From Khartoum I'm considering taking the train to Wadi Halfa. I'll try and let you know how things are looking as I push further north of Nairobi. Email me if you'd like and I'll add you to my contact list and keep you updated as I head north (of course I'll post any important news on HU as well!). Sounds like you'll be moving fast; the way I travel we'll probably meet in Egypt! Safe journey, Dave.
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Last edited by hook; 9 Jan 2007 at 03:00.
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Old 8 Jan 2007
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Dave,

Unless things have changed recently, you will have a tough time getting a visa for Sudan with a U.S. passport. If you get it though, you can ride all the way to Wadi Halfa. There are some sand sections but I did it on a heavier bike than yours. Looking at a map, it looks tempting to take the road that follows the train tracks, but I have heard it's a very tough route. The nile route is the way to go.
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Old 9 Jan 2007
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hey Pete

I think things have changed recently- I expect it will be MORE difficult for me to get a Sudanese visa. Thanks to a little HU inside assistance, this might not be so difficult- I hope. Thanks for the info, I'm checking out the maps and pondering my route. As far as your bike being heavier than mine- I doubt it. My bike currently weighs more than 3,000 kilos with all the mods (this includes a climate-controlled-stainless-steel WC installed at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires). See you out there, H.
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Old 10 Jan 2007
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Recent Update

Hi Guys,

We recently travelled this route during Novenber and December.

In terms of saftey I was never bothered by anyone and never thought the situation was dangerous. People are interested in what you are doing, and tend to mob you a bit in Ethiopia, but there was nothing malicious. Like Dave mentionedm spend your time worrying about the paperwork.

Ethiopian Visa is no problem, but I believe it needs to be obtained in advance as we did in Kampala (issued on the spot).

Sudanese Visas we got in Dar es Salaam after a three day wait. That was with a New Zealand passport and we needed a letter fron the Brittish high commission vouching for us. The letter cost about 50 US, Visa another 50 US, and then when you finally get to Sudan you must register as an Alien which stings you another 50 US. Once the Visa was issued we had a month to activate it, they were not flexible on this point.

When we passed through Addis there were a number of foreigners who had been waiting a while for Sudanese Visas so I would not recommend applying there.

In terms of a route fron Khartoum to Wadi Halfa, we took the railway lines and it was superb! Driving on the open desert was much easier going than on a rough road, as I hear is the case along the Nile. It was one of the most memeorable portions of the whole trip cruising through the Nubian desert, with a vast sand sea all to yourself. There is one section of soft sand around station 5-3 but if you follow the tyre tracks away from the railway for about 10 km you can easily go around it (the tracks are very easy to follow). We did not get stuck once on this ride.

The rest of the roads are pretty good, except of course the Moyale-Isiolo road to Ethiopia.

www.africanodyssey.co.nz

Cheers, I hope this helps.

Phill
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Old 12 Jan 2007
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Thanks a lot for the advice guys.
I've just come back from a week on the Cape Verde Island of Sal doing a bit of training on a bike as I'm not " bike fit"

Any one doing the route through ethiopia/Sudan/Egypt please keep in touch as we will be against the clock and any tips to save time will be great

cheers

Gary
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