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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 4 Dec 2009
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Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia-Kenya

Dear Travellers,

we are planning a trip early next year to cross Africa via the Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia-Kenya route coming from the North.

Is there anyone who has travelled this part recently and can tell (or link us to someone who has experience) about the road and security conditions especially concerning the stretch via Gedaref (Sudan/Ethiopia) and the stretch Moyale-Marsabit-Isiolo (Ethiopia into Kenya)

Thanks a lot
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Old 5 Dec 2009
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Moyale/Marsabit/Isiolo

Everyone you'll talk to will tell you this is 500km of nightmare road. It's true, deep ruts, corrugations, sand and stones all the way.

That said, I drove it (twice in the space of 10 days) 2 up on a motorbike with my girlfriend. No problems, I actually enjoyed it because I had prepared myself for the fact that the road was never going to get better at any point..
We took it easy, had lots of stops and chatted to the locals.
The drive took us 2 days and there were no security issues. You'll also find a reasonable amount of traffic on the road so if you break down you won't get stranded.

Approach it the right way and you'll be fine..
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  #3  
Old 5 Dec 2009
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Moyale/Marsabit/Isiolo

Dear Mangochi Taxi,

Thanks for your reply. Very helpful. My wife who has less driving experience was happy to read your reply. You are quite right in saying that the way you approach things makes a big difference. When did you do the trip?

Kindly
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  #4  
Old 5 Dec 2009
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Dreaming of Tar...

Hi there,

We started our trip in Feb 09 and then spent the next 7 months driving around Africa.
The Isiolo/Moyale stretch we drove in August so I imagine there will be some road improvements since then.
Coming from the North you'll hit about 40kms of tar to take you into Isiolo.
They were working on the road when we were there so you may have even more of the smooth stuff..
Feel free to get off your bike and kiss the tar when you reach it, I did..

Alasdair.
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  #5  
Old 9 Dec 2009
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Quote: ''stretch via Gedaref (Sudan/Ethiopia) and the stretch Moyale-Marsabit-Isiolo (Ethiopia into Kenya)''

The stretch from Gedaref is fine. When we were there 18 months ago it was being tarred so it will get even easier. That said, take your time! This part of Ethiopia is beautiful. We camped in a farmers field over night.

The Moyale road is hell but you've got to do it! You'll never be so happy to see tar as at Isiolo. But it is the one part of your trip you'll talk about most often too so it is a real memory maker. On this road take it easy. You really only have one or two bad stretches of road (nothern Sudan) and this one so take them slow and you'll save your veicle and your money.

All the best and enjoy the planning it is almost as much fun as the trip!!

Bruce
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  #6  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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Hello,

we're travelling on the same route, we left Italy last february and did the first part to Ethiopia (Addis), through Tunisia, Libia, Egypt, Sudan, it was a very good trip, especially we liked Nubia in Sudan, we drove outside the main route wich actually I think is all tarmac. So we had the possibility to cross interesting villages and meet very friendly people.
Second part was a long trip in Ethiopia to visit this fabolous county.
Now I'm back from third step, we moved our Toy from Addis to Nairobi, along Lake Turkana route, this I suggest you only if you're not travelling alone and have petrol for at least 1000 km.
Unfortunately we found a rain period and the Ethiopia-Kenya crossing was not easy due to heavy rain, mud and high water river to cross, but I think this could be fine in dry season, apart the rocks in Loyangalani area.
You can camp almost anywhere, but I heard of some problems between Maralal and Wamba.
Ciao Luciano
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  #7  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Hi
Last Nov it was tar all the way from Wadi Halfa to the Ethiopia/Kenya boarder then the 400kms to Archers Post is not the best but what i had heard i had a nice suprise just take at steady over 2 days and you will be fine.Have a great trip John Cox.
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Old 11 Feb 2010
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Re Moyale - Marsabit: It is essential to check the latest re security as there are sporadic bursts of shifta (bandit) activity on this route. The military/police convoys get upgraded when this happens, and it is essential to travel in convoy then. Slow and dusty.

Be aware that there are sections of cotton soil on the route so avoid during the rainy season, as trucks sometimes bog down for days on end.

Tony
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Old 20 Apr 2010
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We just went through and were told bandit activity was not bad. The convoy still goes at around 9 - 10 in the morning, but isn't compulsory. It only goes for 60km anyway, as that is where the bandits are apparently. After that it's meant to be safer.
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  #10  
Old 3 May 2010
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Hi

I traveled south to north along the east side. Finished in jan this year. I had no problems at all with security. I travled alone from Gondor in ethiopia to Austria. I sleped in the desert in sudan and had no problems apart from a hihena outside my tent, I scared it of with a lighter and a tin of flyspray. then legged it. I free camped as much as possible in gordan and siria etc.. and had no problems.
Traveled from Nairobi to ethiopia along the east side of lake turinika route we had 2 bikes and 2 4x4. the road was not flash and i blew my rear shock out twice, (i had the parts to fix it) we brought fuel at lake turinika and the transmission oil for the rear shock.
If you go this route i recomend at least 2 bikes and heaps of water as i drank 7 litres in one day if you ride through Sibiloi national park the road has bad sections for a bike, the 4x4, had no problems though. Also if you go through this route you must have a valid visa and get your passport and carnet stamped in Nairobi. we had to get stamped out of kenya in nairobi. and stamped into ethiopia in Omorate as the border to ethiopia only has a dood sleeping in a tin shed with a AK.

Enjoy your trip.
I had a laugh a minute and enjoyed it all.

Cheers Miles
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  #11  
Old 4 May 2010
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We drove from moyale to isiolo last week, no problems, made it in 2 days. The corrugations are horrendous; on the marsabit-moyale stretch try to take any sand tracks you see at the side of the road- even if they look like they veer off route they always lead you back to the main track and are a welcome relief to the hellish corrugation.
Some friends went Turkana route that sounds long and slow but scenic and without the corrugation, would definately opt for this if we were doing it again.
Good luck,

Jemma
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