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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 20 May 2013
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Shipping 4x4 to Tanzania

Hi. This must be a fairly common situation, but I haven't been able to find an answer on the Hubb. I need to ship my 4x4 to Tanzania in August to begin a 5 month tour of southern africa (I'll be shipping back from SA). I have sorted out the shipping and carnet side of things from the UK, but just received this email from a Tanzanian shipping agent about clearing it in Tanzania: "Dear John, All vehicles imported to be used here for sometimes must be registered. We can not register the car/vehicle without import duties. Thus duties and taxes applies in the same case . Please be advised ASAP. With Best Regards!"

If this is the case, what is the carnet for?! Surely this can't be right? The car is a 1990 landcruiser. It will only be in Tanzania for about a month before driving on to Uganda...

Thanks in advance, John
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  #2  
Old 20 May 2013
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We shipped our car from Ghana to SA (registered in Greece) and we paid a shit a lot of money for anything you can imagine (port services, taxes, duties etc etc etc). Total, 10000 ZAR!

I will try to find the invoice to check thoroughly all the categories! But off course we did not change the registration. Thus, the Carnet is not valid!!

Off course we have the Carnet!!!

I think that there is a misunderstanding or they are trying -as always- to make money!! But it does not make any sense to register the car for a short period.
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  #3  
Old 20 May 2013
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Thanks Thepinproject. Exactly - it was never my intention to register it Tanzania for a month, so I don't know why they are talking about that (unless, of course, it is to make more money!) Any further info about your charges would be appreciated.

And if anyone else has any Tanzania specific information, that would be great.

Surely it shouldn't be that hard??!
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  #4  
Old 20 May 2013
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Hi John,

You should expect to pay port fees and various taxes and these can certainly mount up but no you would not be logically paying import duties and registering a vehicle unless you were importing it permanently. It may be a misunderstanding about the fact you're only temporarily importing or it may be a confusion about terminology or even just a straightforward attempt to get you to pay more.

I'm afraid shipping into Dar has not got a good reputation. Our agents in the UK said they had had so many issues (theft, corruption and so on) they just wouldn't ship vehicles there anymore. If this aspect is still under consideration then consider Walvis Bay - very efficient with no hint of corruption. Of course you'd have to travel in a loop but that's no real hardship in that area of the world.

If Dar is set in stone I suggest you contact these guys - they have shipped into Dar.

Home - Drive UK (Tetbury) to SA (Port Elizabeth)
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  #5  
Old 20 May 2013
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I'd 2nd Walvis Bay - a much less stressful start to your trip shipping in there and recovering from the flight etc etc.

I spent 3 months in Dar and about 4-5 people shipped in and out, usual hassle and rubbish. Tanzania is a very corrupt country.

Just say to the agent they have misunderstood, you are a tourist, the vehicle will be on a Carnet (though you don't need one in Tanzania), and will be removed after x number of weeks from Tanzania. If they don't understand that, or they don't want to, then find another agent as they won't be any good for you or your wallet in the port getting your vehicle out!

You will need to pay road tax of about $20 per month when there.

And remember the pirates used to roam the seas to steal from innocents who sailed by, now they just sit behind desks in ports. I would imagine it will cost at least $500++ to get your car out of Dar port unless you have paid all costs beforehand with your agent, though don't be surprised if 'all costs' has some more to come ;-p

Others survived doing it, don't be rushed, stand your ground, call their bluff and don't pay when you feel under pressure to do so.

"Surely it shouldn't be that hard??!"

Not if you just pay everything that is asked ;-p

If in doubt go and find the head honcho and often they will help a tourist etc
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  #6  
Old 21 May 2013
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I would certainly ship into Walvis Bay. Contact me if you want any help there.
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  #7  
Old 21 May 2013
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Hi. Thanks to you all for your replies. I'm keen to ship to the East coast as I'm a) planning a separate trip to Ethiopia before meeting the car in Tanzania, and b) worried about the weather in Tanzania/Kenya/Malawi not being good by the time I arrive there (November?) if I set off from Walvis Bay in late August.

Would it be any better (than Dar) to ship to Mombassa?

If I did decide to ship to Namibia, do you know what is the position with regard to re-entry into countries? I was thinking one possibility would just be to drive as quickly as possible from Walvis Bay to Tanzania so as to start in Tanzania around my target date, but then that would mean re-entering at least Zambia and Namibia on the return journey (I will be shipping home from Namibia or SA). Is re-entry a problem vis a vis the carnet or visa? Can a new visa just be bought each time, or is it more difficult if you are returning for a second time? And would the carnet just get another page stamped?

Finally, do you think it would be cheaper to clear customs in Walvis Bay than Dar? It sounds like there should at least be fewer bribes to pay... I'm not sure how the actual shipping costs compare as between Dar (I've been quoted about £1400 for a container) and Walvis Bay, but I'll check.

Thanks again, John
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  #8  
Old 21 May 2013
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Hello John,

i dont think there is any problem to re-entry.In Walivs Bay you dont pay bribes.Go to TransWorldCargo.I was very happy with them.

Regards

Mike
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  #9  
Old 21 May 2013
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You can come and go as you like, no worries, did some countries 3 times etc. If they ask, just say you loved it so much and the people were so friendly, your favourite country etc. No problem at all.

Dar - very humid and hot, dangerous (muggings etc), corrupt and unorganised - no huge worries, but a confusing place to get off a plane and try and get a vehicle out of a port thats all.

Walvis Bay - thought I was back in NZ, very 'civilised', high quality accommodation and food (or cheap camping), nice climate in August in all of Namibia, dry season perfect for game parks in Namibia, Botswana and they are 20% of the price of those in Tanzania (north) and Kenya and much nicer experience. Professional port, will also be expensive (all ports are) but no back handers needed in the chain of payments (probably). Crime is very bad in Windhoek, and you need to be careful on the coast here as well.

Best time of the year to be in Namibia, Botswana and SA for animals is July to October as it gets really dry and you see hundreds of animals around the desert water holes etc. Personally I'm not fussed if I ever go back to Tanzania or Kenya, but definitely plan to spend more months in Namibia and Botswana.

Anyway, either option will work, probably, we are just sharing our experiences and trying to give you a better, or cheaper or more enjoyable option. I'd ship to Walvis or Cape Town as its an easy and fun start to any trip.

From Walvis to Dar would be 6-9 days of driving at 8 hours a day, all on sealed roads, but with radar gun police, potholes, trucks, animals and a few borders etc.
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  #10  
Old 22 May 2013
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I don't know anyone who's shipped to Mombasa. However, I suspect it won't be any better than Dar. By no means impossible to navigate but essentially more of a third world experience.

As Roaming Yak says no problems re-entering countries multiple times. You won't need a visa for SA/Nam/Bots (or Malawi) anyway and as it is a single customs union you only need get the carnet stamped when you enter the union and when you leave it. You are allowed up to 90 days in each of SA, Nam and Bots in any one year. If you were to stay in SA for, say, 30 days and then returned they may only give you a visa for 60 (rather than 90 again) but more often than not they don't really care. I have friends who have stayed out there for years.

It is peak time for the parks in the area which is good but does mean they'll be busy so if you do decide to do it this way round look into that asap. I'd contact this lady

tara@ngami. net

She runs a travel company (Botswana Footprints) but for the moment will arrange bookings for campsites in Bots for free which could save you a LOT of of time and trouble (dealing with the multiple operators and DNPW is a real pain).

As regards the weather further north you can pretty much bet on the rains arriving in Malawi (and Zambia) in mid November. Once you get into east Africa it is a different weather system. Strictly speaking the short rains are due in November/December but they may well come to nothing or very little.

Actually like RY I preferred the game viewing in southern Africa. The camping experience is much nicer (ie you can camp in the bush rather than in a campsite full of rowdy tourists) and you can afford to stay a little longer which in my view makes all the difference as you get the lie of the land and your sightings improve immeasurably.
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  #11  
Old 22 May 2013
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Mombasa is Kenya, so you need a Carnet. If you had one, I'd chose Kenya over Tanzania regarding a port: better English, more 'educated' people, probably more organised and professional - but also more sophisticated corruption if any ;-)

This is based on my time in the countries, talking to people who live and work there and from my time in hospitals in both Dar and Nairobi.

Somebody I know is shipping to Mombasa in 6 weeks time - people do it and its fine ;-) I spent 3 months in Dar and people managed in and out with vehicles usually taking about 3-5 days.

I wouldn't book anything in any of the parks, adds too much stress. Turn up when your ready. Plenty of good camping right outside the parks for a much cheaper price (campsites in Nam/Bots have all be privatised, expect to pay 40 euros per night for 2 people - 10 outside the Park). If you want some 'camping with the animals action' camp to the west of Etosha (Lions around my landy every night) and in any of the 'cut lines' in Botswana. Though have a plan to be able to piss in a bottle if your surrounded by elephants or buffalo in the morning!

I spent 6 months in Nam/Bots/Kruger over the apparent peak period, and during the soccer world cup in South Africa and didn't notice any problems at all apart from Southern Kruger where campsites were sometimes 'full' but space was always found when I explained I was from NZ on a long trip etc

Namibia is also very beautiful - I found Tanzania and Kenya to be fairly ordinary scenery wise and the national parks a huge rip off except southern Tanzania where there are very few tourists compared to the rugby scum up north.

Last edited by roamingyak.org; 23 May 2013 at 22:33.
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  #12  
Old 25 May 2013
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Thanks everyone. It sounds like there's a good case for shipping to Namibia!

The UK shipping agent I've been talking to is First Base Freight. Does anyone have any experience of them?

Mike, I will get in touch with Trans World Cargo in Namibia too.

I haven't totally ruled out Dar, but Namibia is sounding like the smarter choice. The fewer headaches at the start the better!

John
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Old 25 May 2013
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We use John Good Shipping as agents and MACS as carrier. Used them for all 4 return journeys and can't fault either.

Margaret
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  #14  
Old 26 May 2013
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I had a similar experience in 2009 when I enquired about the possibility to send my Landy to Dar: the clearing agent requested US$700++ just for the customs clearance and US$2500 for duty, they had no idea about the CdP... The whole thing convinced me to pass...
I do not have experience on Mombasa but I suppose it may be better, hard to find a place worse than TZ...
Cheers
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  #15  
Old 30 May 2013
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Thanks. Yes, I've decided to stay away from Dar, particularly as the only agent there who got back to me has now sent me a second email saying that I need to pay 100% of the vehicle value in import duty!!

I do have a query regarding the Carnet though - I'm confused about which countries need it and which don't. The HU info (Carnet de Passages en Douanes - List of countries where it is Required | Horizons Unlimited) says that it's basically needed for all of southern Africa (TZ, Namibia etc etc), but is this info out of date?? I'd be prepared not to enter Kenya if that meant I could do away with the Carnet...

John
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