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-   -   Egyptian Carnet alternative? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/sub-saharan-africa/egyptian-carnet-alternative-11307)

jim 14 Jul 2004 20:04

Egyptian Carnet alternative?
Yes, i know one should plan better before rushing into such things, but retrospect is of no use to me now...

Im in Ethiopia heading to Egypt via Sudan, problem is that my South African issued Carnet is not valid for Egypt. My Cape to Cairo experience will just not be the same without the Cairo part and getting stuck between borders unable to go back into Sudan with a single entry visa is unappealing.

Ive heard talk of people (like Roman the Russia, whom i cant get hold of...) who have managed to get in with alternative documentation.?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

Matt Roach 18 Oct 2004 09:18


I assume you ended up solving your problem of crossing into Egypt. Can you let me know how you did it, and what is the problem with trying to enter on a South African carnet? I am about to arrive in SA next week to buy a bike, and was going to try to arrange my carnet in SA.


RichLees 18 Oct 2004 11:32

to save you planning on false assumptions and optimistic outcomes with Egyptian customs, check elsewhere on HUBB and you'll find Jim couldn't solve it, but had to go south again.

jim 18 Oct 2004 13:07

Rich, Im afraid is right. I tried in vain for a few weeks to get the bike into Egypt but ended up turning back to Sudan. It seems that no amount of money or persuation will convince the AA of South Africa to endorse a carnet for Egypt.
Egyptian troubles aside the SA issued carnets are easy and cheap to obtain and are valid everywhere else in Africa and Europe.

Matt Roach 30 Oct 2004 02:00

Hmm.......that is a real bugger. Are there any other alternatives to getting a carnet in South Africa that will be valid for Egypt, as that is where I intend to end my trip.

Jim, I notice that you are from Cape Town. Can you recommend any good bike dealers in CT to buy a used Honda XR 650L or KTM 640, who also have a good workshop to undertake modifications.


jim 30 Oct 2004 16:20

From what i have been told there is no way to legally get through Egypt with an SA Carnet. If for some strange reason you were to trust the Egyptian Customs People you could leave a large cash deposit with them at the border which they claim will be refunded.... around $5000.00, Ye right!

As for dealers in CT, there are good KTM and Honda dealers here for new bikes. Second hand is usually a bit of a gamble unless you know your stuff. A new KTM 640 costs around 11000 euro. If you have time you can find a much cheaper older bike being sold privately. I did my trip on a bike i bought for $2300 - 1985 Tenere, beautiful and reliable.

Matt Roach 2 Nov 2004 19:23


Thanks for the tip on the CT bike dealers. I have been harassing them all for the past couple of days trying to find a suitable bike.

I have also just spoken to the AA of South Africa and they said they will endorse a carnet for Egpyt, provided I give them a bank guarantee for 200% of the bikes value. Slightly steep, I know, but it seems to be the only way to do it. Was this not the case for you, or am I missing something?

Grant Johnson 3 Nov 2004 03:34

Matt, that's the way a carnet works - you have to provide a bond for the value of the countries duty charged when importing a bike.

Go ahead and do it if you want to go to Egypt.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

jc 3 Nov 2004 14:39

What other alternatives are there to bypass Egypt? We are also heading that way without a Carnet for Egypt. South African bike. How about a ferry from Port Sudan to Jordan or from Djibouti? Is it worth going all the way to the Egyptian border to try to get in or not? If you get refused, it is a lot of money wasted. How else do you get to Europe without flying the bike over? We are now in Dar Es Salaam.
Johan & Charmaine

Matt Roach 3 Nov 2004 21:10

Ahh....having just reread Jim's initial post, I think I can answer my own question. I thought you had a SA issued carnet that was endorsed for Egypt and for some reason you were denied entry, despite having the carnet endorsed.

Reading it again, I now interpret it that you had a SA carnet, but it hadn't been endorsed for Egypt because of the extra cost involved, and hence the problems getting across the border.

It is much clearer now!


jim 3 Nov 2004 23:48

Be careful with that 200% deal! When i was in Egypt and desperately trying to my Carnet validated by the AA in SA I offered to give them a 400% deposit and they refused saying that under no circumstances will they endorse it. I pleaded desperation and everything else i could think of too Speak to Abigale at the AA Carnet dep, she seems to know whats up there. This was 3 monmths ago so it could have changed, just make 100% sure.

jim 3 Nov 2004 23:51

Oh yes, try this guy for a bike, his name is Kim and he sometimes sells very good bikes. If he doesnt have one he may be able to point youi in the right direction. Tell him james (thats me) refered you.

0027 (0)826859288 Mobile
0027 (0)21 7822393 Home

jim 3 Nov 2004 23:57


I thought i would just try Egypt without the right carnet... Its not worth it, they know the system well now and you wont slip past. It costs 130$ for one person and bike from Sudan to Aswan which you have to pay twice as youll get sent back, add to this a new Sudan visa (100$) and storage and "security" fees from customs. Its a very expensive and frustrating experience, I would not recommend it.
If you do go give Mr Hamman (head customs official) a boot in the bottom from me, hes a real sod and absolutely untrustworthy.
Call me in Cape Town for more info:

jc 5 Nov 2004 14:36


What other options are there? We went to the Egyptian Embassy in Dar and they say US$20 for the bike and a stamp in your passport with the bikes engine no. and no problem - yeah right!! Can we get a transit visa for Saudi Arabia or should we go through west africa. We will try and find out more info in Dar about Saudi.

We will a

jim 8 Nov 2004 14:50


I dont know what to say really, its possible that things have changed in the last 4 months, but i dont think so..
Ive spent a lot of time considering alternatives for this route, From what i hear West Africa is a whole different trip that requires more money and planning than i could come up with at the time. Ask around, but i dont think its really realistic... this said by someone without any experience of that side of the world so ask around.
I think you can ship from Asmara (Eritrea) to Mid East or Europe. Cant help with costs though, try emailing Safmarine, i found them helpful and knowledgable. Another option is thisP: ride to Sudan or whereever you really want to see and then come back to Kenya from where you can fly the bike to SA or Europe really cheap with "Flower Wings" a company that flies Kenyas flower crops all over the world... A lot of riding, but couild be worth trying. Searck web for contact details.

Hope thats helping you mate!

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