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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 25 Oct 2010
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Ethiopia to Kenya, yes that old chestnut

Hello all,

At present we are in Uganda. Soon we will be heading to Kenya and then making our way north into Ethiopia. Now, I have heard all of the horror stories about this road and how it will break my bike. My questions are thus;

1) My wife and I are travelling two up on a new Yamaha Tenere, is the general consensus to not even try that road two up? We can use public transport if we need to for her and meet up at the border

2) We have also heard about the alternative route via Omerate. Has anyone done this per chance and if so what are the risks? I have heard it is pretty remote but do you think that it is possible with two of us alone or is that best done via a convoy?

All up, we need to send our passports overseas as they have stopped issuing visas which is a right pain but there are heaps of posts about it. I would be very grateful for any advice on this one.

Many thanks and best regards

Maestro
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  #2  
Old 26 Oct 2010
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We're at Jungle Junction at the moment and will be going up the Lake Turkana route in about two weeks time...

If that's too early for your plans, we can at least send you up to date info then.

www.pictureafrica.org has my email address.
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  #3  
Old 26 Oct 2010
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hi,

the road is pretty rough, for sure. I don't think there's a problem if you ride (2-up) with care on the worst bits. in my opinion there are worse routes in west africa, which people ride 2-up. It will be a long day though.

there was a hotel in Marsabit, almost the last building on the right as you head north, that various travel types stopped over in the night before.

cheers
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  #4  
Old 26 Oct 2010
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Marsabit to Moyale

Hi there,

We passed through this July.Yes the road is really rough and if you are overloaded and two up I think will be a challenge.The asphalt is finish about 90kms after Isiollo and up to Marsabit the road is absolutely doable for two up.The worst part of it, is between Marsabit and Torbe(small village) very rough 130 kms,you have to be really carefull for the sharp stones to avoid damages.After Torbe up to Moyale the road is OK,still rough,but less stones and much faster.So, we did it for 10 hours,just keep your suitable speed and everything will be in touch.
Hope that's help you!

Regards,

Simon
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  #5  
Old 26 Oct 2010
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I agree, the Marsabit to Torbe bit is an absolute arse. I was completely drained after it. The rocks are a nightmare, pranged the rims several times when I lost concentration. There normally seems to be one track better than the other where big trucks have worn them down, and it always seems to be the opposite side to the one you are in. Switching in between them gave me some bum clenching moments.

There are a few loose sandy bits, with fun in an out berms, which seem like absolute heaven after the clanging torture of the rocks.

I think we stayed at the hotel mentioned in Marsabit, lovely toilets if I remember rightly, only knee deep in excrement, and complimented by a lovely attendant who like to 'help' young ladies in their business!

It is entirely doable though. The corrugations get very painful after a couple of days on a smaller bike. I thought my wrists were going to snap towards the end of the second day, but your bike is a lot bigger, and has way better suspension, so you may be better off.

I lost a sump plug, the exhaust, the top box, the number plate, burst a fork seal, had my mirrors fall off, and the bars come loose. Maybe you will be luckier!

I wasn't fast enough to stay with a convoy (40mph top speed on asphalt, let alone off road) so ended up seperate. The locals and people we met on the road couldn't have been friendlier, despite the bad reputation in that area.

Go for it! You'll have fun.

Birdy
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  #6  
Old 29 Oct 2010
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Hey all, thanks for the replies. Freeflyd, too soone for me I am afraid, helping out here in Kampala at a hospital for a few weeks. Not a bad thing, just sent my passport back to Australia so that we can get our farging Ethiopian visas stamped in there!!! What a joke!! Anyway, I would be extremely grateful for any information that you can provide me with in regards to your journey through those parts. Look forward to hearing of your adventures.

Take care and all the best.

Thanks everyone else as well for your extremely helpful input, if Birdy doesn't sell it to me we will hit that Moyale beasty two up and see how we go. I just saw on another thread that a carnet is no longer sufficient at the border. That place is becoming a bit of a thorn in my side!!!
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  #7  
Old 29 Oct 2010
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Turkana route

Hi,

There several threads on the turkana route. Do a search.
I did it 4 years ago north bound by car. It is rough vulcanic terrain especially on the lake shores, rough stones, tennisball size and the unsupported distance (no fuel) may be to long for a solo bike. You could do it together with a car, if they carry fuel for you. It is very remote, desert area but stunning and an absolute highlight in our trip! From that point of view I would recommend it, it adds something to your trip rather than that it is a stretch you want to get past as quickly as possible (like the Moyale route)

Maralal will have fuel, South Horr probably not, Loyangalani probably not but could not say, Sibiloi is a park, no fuel, the next stop will be lleret on the border with Ethiopia. Better ask on the Hubb for recent info.

But again, its stunning!

Cheers,
Noel
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  #8  
Old 29 Oct 2010
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I would not do it 2up as we have just arrived at JJs I ripped off my bash plate as the ruttes are quite deep. But the major drama is the rain, Mayole to Marsibit we had heavy rain for the first 80km which of course is muddy conditions, then Marsibit was very wet as well so the last 30 km was slippery , but if you decide to do it best of luck but I think a truck would be a better idea.
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Last edited by PaulD; 30 Oct 2010 at 04:41.
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2010
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Hi guys - thanks for all the info...

My wife is heading up that way next week so what's the weather like in the Marsabit area?
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  #10  
Old 1 Nov 2010
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Just go for it..

This road has specifically been designed to be the worst 2 days riding of your trip, simple as that..

That said, approach it with a positive (and realistic) attitude and you'll find that you might even enjoy it..

I travelled this road last year (twice in the space of ten days..) 2 up with my girlfriend on a fully loaded DR650.

We knew it was going to be a shit road from all the reports from other travellers, we were also told there may be armed bandits and that we possible wouldn't even make it..

We did, no damaged to the bike and no falls.

Expect the worst, take your time (it took us 8hrs each day) and stick to your driving line/rut.
Also, stop loads, you're driving through one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Africa so why not enjoy yourself.
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  #11  
Old 2 Nov 2010
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Fantastic mate, thanks so much all for the input. We have decided that we are going to give it a bash. Still a few weeks away but I will be sharing my thoughts in a month or so as we too will be doing it twice. We might try Turkana up and Moyale back down but we will see how we go on that one.

Thanks all for the great advice.

Maestro
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  #12  
Old 3 Nov 2010
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Important new Ethiopia BOLLOCKS here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...t-enough-53466
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  #13  
Old 6 Nov 2010
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Crap Road

I bet you don't do it twice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers
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  #14  
Old 7 Nov 2010
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Paul D, I am not sure I havea choice. Unless of course we opt for the Turkana route on the way up and then the Moyale one on the way down. Will see what happens.

Maestro
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  #15  
Old 7 Nov 2010
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Well... Here's an idea....

You can go Turkana East up and Turkana west down... I don't know much about the western route, but Chris from JJ has done it half a dozen times and knows the ways.

BTW Maestro, looks more likely that our times will work out to travel up together.
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