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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 18 Dec 2007
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Nile route sudan?

Hi going to be chatching the ferry next week from Egypt to Sudan, Im planning on the Nile route, currently riding solo hopefuly meet other travelers on the boat. if not how hard is it to get lost/find your way. Im assuming people have ridden it solo before, has anyone had any problems?
p.s. have GPS but only large scale michelin map from Nairobi to Tel Aviv so not really any use.
Thanks George
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  #2  
Old 19 Dec 2007
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With a GPS, you won't get lost. I lost the track once and ended up in real soft sand, but you can always either see the Nile or at least see it on your GPS. After you leave the river and head toward Khartoum, the dirt road is good and obvious.
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Old 20 Dec 2007
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The road is really difficult to lose! I also had only the Michelin Map and no GPS and no trouble. There are places where you can leave the river and cut across open sand, this can be tricky but well wortht he experience, with GPS no problems. The first 200km or so from Wadi Halfa are extremely corrugated, but it gets better.

In Wadi Halfa a local man called Mr .... ( cant remember, but you will know who Im talking about when you meet him..) will find you and help you through customs if you let him. He does not do this for free, but his help is invaluable as the setup there is really mad.

Sudan is really cool, one of my best travel experiences. Enjoy!
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Old 20 Dec 2007
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The road is really difficult to lose! I also had only the Michelin Map and no GPS and no trouble. There are places where you can leave the river and cut across open sand, this can be tricky but well wortht he experience, with GPS no problems. The first 200km or so from Wadi Halfa are extremely corrugated, but it gets better.

In Wadi Halfa a local man called Mr .... ( cant remember, but you will know who Im talking about when you meet him..) will find you and help you through customs if you let him. He does not do this for free, but his help is invaluable as the setup there is really mad.

Sudan is really cool, one of my best travel experiences. Enjoy!
I can't remember his name either, but I know exactly who you are talking about. I didn't find customs to be a problem at all. It was a bit time consuming, but I had unwisely put some luggage in a jeep that went on a seperate barge which didn't clear customs till the next day, so I had plenty of time.

I'm with you on Sudan being one of the best travel experiences anywhere. Just wonderful.
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  #5  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Thanks guys that was very reasuring, I have heared word of there being other overlanders here I have't met any myself througth. Im really looking forward to Sudan!
Cheers again George
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  #6  
Old 23 Dec 2007
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Sudan is a fantistic place. People are very friendly and helpful. There are thousands of UN vehilces with single occupants buzzing all over the place doing very little.

We did the Wadi-Dongola road 4 weeks ago: Lots of varying sand but easy to follow the track just with common sense and a basic map. Not very bad corrigations anymore as you now follow the detour construction roads through the rocky bit in the north. Don't forget to ask hlepful locals. The only stretch were you have to pick and choose amongst the maze of tracks is the 50-70km north of Kerma from where the river swings back westward. But they all end up in the same place. Hang around for a truck heading south and follow it's tracks aftrer it has blasted off over the horizon...worked for us. We stuck to the east bank and crossed at Dongola. Just take it nice and slow and enjoy the scenery as chances are you wont be back again. Enjoy the hospitality of the Nubian people.

The Wadi Halfa Road to Dongola will be tarred in 2-3 years time...no seriously, the government must have recieved some fresh funding because the "Man for roads and bridges Co" is building parts of the roads all along the length of the route. Once this road is built that will link it with the existing road to Aswan (currently used daily by cement trucks) and that will be the end for the Ferry adventure. Egypt and Suidan are already in productive discussions on this issue.

The Road from Dongola east to Meroe and on to Atbara now tarred except for 40km.
The Road from Abu Dom - Khartoum south across the desert is now tarred.
The road from Geradef to Gallabat is now tarred
The road from Metema to Gondor will be tarred by the Japanese in the next 3 years
The Blue Nile gorge will be tarred by the middle of next year.
The route following the railway track from Wadi is still a sand trap.

If you arrive in Wadi and a old guy in a turbin meets you on board the ferry called mister Haida then tell him to P$%^ off. He is the most useless individual on the planet. Get off the boat and find Mr Mazar or his "Uncle" Magdi. Both very helpfulk guys who will get you through customs and immigration.
Mr Sallah, Nile Nav office in Aswan, is a good guy. The 4x4 people tend to dislike him as they get charged for a whole barge, which he has to hire in, divided by the number of other cars that can be fitted on board whereas bikes are a fixed rate...(Buy a bike!!!)
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Old 23 Dec 2007
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Im sure all these new road will do some good for the people of these areas, but it will be a great loss to bikers. The Khartoum to Wadi Halfa route was always a challenge and I am very sad to hear I wont be able to do it again...
Damn progress!
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Old 23 Dec 2007
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the lad to help you in Wadi Halfa if you need anything is called Magdi and his number is 0121730885. he is an uncle of the famous Midhat in Khartoum. very helpful.

and Jim , happy christmas mate
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Old 24 Dec 2007
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Im sure all these new road will do some good for the people of these areas, but it will be a great loss to bikers. The Khartoum to Wadi Halfa route was always a challenge and I am very sad to hear I wont be able to do it again...
Damn progress!
Yeah, in my twenty years of travelling around the world, I have seen this happen over and over. I am still jealous of the backpackers of the '60s who got to "discover" Nepal, Afganistan, Bali ect. I feel fortunate to have experienced this part of Sudan and so many other places before they became easily accesible. As you say, it's probably best for the local people in the long run, but I'm with you.........damn progress!
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Old 24 Dec 2007
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George,

Well, as it is Monday the 24th you are on the ferry already so any additional advice won't be much good

In case you missed the ferry due to the inherent unreliability of your TT or your alarm clock , as mentioned above, the road is pretty easy to find your way down and the conditions are ok - for a desert road - so having expectations of it being much worse is not a bad thing. If you break down between Wadi and Abri it could be a day or two before someone comes along. After that, the traffic picks up.

There is a Greek guy in a bus swapping his motor about 40 km outside of Wadi and he has been there for about a month or so getting parts and shurttling back and forth.

Having said that, if your bike acts up in any way during the ride, you are in isolated and pretty barren country. The concern on people's faces when their bike unexpectantly cuts out in the high temps is very evident, and rightfuly so.

For anyone riding it in the future, stick to the Nile the whole way. There is a straight route on the GPS that heads straight to Kerma through the desert on the last section. We rode along the Nile as per the Michellin maps and it was some of the most scenic of the trip. There are some amazing camp spots about 10km before Kerma. Stay there and then ride down to catch the ferry in the morning. Once you get near Kerma and onto Dongola, there is a lot more civilization and camping takes a lot more looking around for the great spots.

The paved roads are coming indeed. The northern villagers were wonderfully genuine and sincere in their kindness and hospitality, I hope that this remains unchanged by the "progress" which will no doubt make it's way there with the introduction of the super highway and more visitors.

Cheers.
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Old 24 Dec 2007
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Which route did LWD take?
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Old 27 Dec 2007
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Which route did LWD take?
They took the easiest possible route, diverting at times to areas of thick sand (for photo opportunities only). I believe their doctor, advisor and manicurist insisted on this course of action so we cant really blame the boys...
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Last edited by jim; 29 Dec 2007 at 14:49. Reason: typo
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Old 27 Dec 2007
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IS that correct? or are you taking the michael?
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  #14  
Old 29 Dec 2007
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Just a cheap shot Joe..
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