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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 29 Aug 2008
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Security for the Solo Biker in Africa

Hi all,

I'm planning on travelling through Africa, down the East Coast. Can't wait, but I've got a nagging worry about bike security. I guess I'm worried that the one thing (short of serious harm to myself) that could bring the trip to a crashing halt would be the bike being stolen. Also, it won't be as easy without someone to keep an eye on the bike (at borders etc) when paperwork etc is being sorted out. I've read the books, but I'd welcome any ideas or experiences anyone has.

I know bike crime is a big problem here (my Transalp was finally nicked in Aberdeen recently after repeated attempts), and the things you do here to stop theft probably apply equally out there.

That said, I'd like to open the floor to any and all suggestions, tips and ideas on how to avoid bike theft when solo touring. No suggestion too simple or obvious! Let the HUBB speak.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 29 Aug 2008
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My wife and I are also planning a trip. I have travelled down the East Coast in a jeep a few years ago and now want to do it on a bike.
The info that I have come across mentions that you have more chance of your bike being stolen at home than you are in a remote place in Africa. Reasoning being, that your bike if stolen is going to stand out and no local is going to get away with having a bike kitted out for world travel; hence less likely to be stolen. At borders though, there is a chance that items may be taken off your bike vs. the bike being stolen. Just keep things locked or pac-safe them. Again, I am sure other riders with more experience can give you their experiences.
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  #3  
Old 30 Aug 2008
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Don’t worry!! Most people don’t know how to drive (except in South Africa) so they are more interested in cars.
After more then 60kkm in 22 African countries I have never had an issue, 50kkm I drove with unlocked panniers.

When you come to a city/village stop for something cold to drink, chat with the owner and ask him to take care of the bike when you stroll around

Have a nice trip!
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  #4  
Old 30 Aug 2008
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thanks for those, guys.
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  #5  
Old 30 Aug 2008
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In january/february this year I did 15,000kms down to Timbuktu with a pacsafe tank and tail bag and unlockable soft panniers.Nothing went missing.You will leave any serious danger of bike theft in Europe. Have fun. John.
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  #6  
Old 31 Aug 2008
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The bike itself is much more likely to be stolen in any European country than in any place in Africa I can think of. As someone pointed out, the local thief in Africa has likely no idea what so ever how to go about stealing a bike like that.

You luggage is more likely to be picked at. But at bordercrossings there are generaly so many people about, that the tempted thief will not risk anything because of too many witnesses. If you park your bike out of public view behind a house or something like that, you'll give the thief peace and quiet to do his work.

Parking at hotels/auberges/campsites is generaly safe. But ask the owner where you bike would be the safest. But don't tempt weak souls by leaving your luggage on it. Take everything into your room.

In my experience, you are much more likely to be stolen from by people in uniform by means of "gifts",bribes and fees. I did the western route and the only thing I lost on the trip was my selfinflating sleeping mat, somewhere in Nigeria. But this was due to my own stupidity of not tying it down properly. Not theft.

So to the Nigerian guy/gal who propably found it somewhere by the roadside, I say: Enjoy!
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  #7  
Old 31 Aug 2008
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Hey McThor

Hey I saw you on that muddy gabon?Congo road. You also lost your temper!
And thanks to Jason/Karen your innocence!
O
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  #8  
Old 1 Sep 2008
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Hey now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by orrin View Post
Hey I saw you on that muddy gabon?Congo road. You also lost your temper!
And thanks to Jason/Karen your innocence!
O
Yelling mother*****, piece of *****, son of a ***** at the top of you lungs while kicking your bike and arms flailing wildly around you, is not losing ones temper. It's expressing your feelings in an adult and healthy manner.

I see Iceland didn't kill you. Welcome back . Drop me a mail some time how it went.

Torsten
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  #9  
Old 1 Sep 2008
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Complacent

We got complacent at the Gabon/ Congo border, it was a quiet post and we went in to the customs office for a chat with the guy. Unfortunately his nephew helped himself to Dan's head torch and disc lock and a couple of other bits, he left Dans digital SLR camera though. They were in his tank bag, we always used to take the tank bags off if we went out of sight of the bikes, never had any problems anywhere else, we had soft panniers but I had a lockable metal top box to keep the documents in, not really sure if it was necessary but made us feel a bit safer. Good luck with your trip, it's probably been said but most people really are genuine and honest on the road.

Oh and we took pac safes with us and only ever used them in Europe, we never felt the need in Africa and they are pretty heavy too, so we probably wouldn't take them again.


Hi to Orrin and Torsten thanks again for Xmas.
Linz
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  #10  
Old 1 Sep 2008
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Dan & Linz

Location : Luanda???
Enjoying the mozzies??
Trip started again?
orrin
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  #11  
Old 1 Sep 2008
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Luanda

No, we went home then Dan got a job out here, mozzies aren't too bad at the moment but they still eat me alive given the chance!.
Dan's got plans to take me away across Russia next, we just need to get some cash together first
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