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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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Old 14 Jul 2003
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: san francisco
Posts: 155
Shipping from Ndjamena, Chad to Khartoum, Sudan or Addis Aba

This information could be useful to people like us who are crossing Africa overland and get stuck in Ndjamena because the border with Sudan is closed.

There are two airline companies that can get you out of Ndjamena.
- Sudan Airlines with 1 or 2 weekly flights to Khartoum (Saturday for sure + maybe Wednesday). These flights are using an Airbus 340 which is large enough to load your bike(s) as cargo.
- Ethiopian Airlines with 2 weekly flights to Addis Ababa, on Tuesday and Friday. The problem is that they have a plane big enough to load a bike only twice a month in average and always on a Tuesday. Besides, they never can tell for sure if they'll have a big plane the next Tuesday. You might have better luck trying to ship from Douala, Cameroon to Addis (one big plane a week on Monday).

Whatever solution you choose, the price and formalities will be approximately the same:
- Go to Air Afrique Cargo at the airport to weigh the bike and order a crate. They'll charge you around $100 for a crate and $100 for the paperwork.
- Go to the airline, get your tickets (around $530 each) and negociate a price for your bike (we got it at $2.50/kilo).
- The day before you flight, go back to Air Afrique Cargo to charge your bike in the crate. While they work on it, go with a guide to fill out the paperwork (it will cost you an extra $30 in gifts). When all is done, pay Air Afrique for the shipping.

Everything must be paid cash in CFA, Euro or US$, although Ethiopian Airlines should accept Visa payment for the passenger tickets.

We don't know about landing in Addis Ababa but the word was that it should be straightforward (it certainly was for entering by land).

We experienced however the custom clearance process in Khartoum, Sudan. It was the first time apparently they had seen a couple of bikes arriving by air so...
- The customs treated us as if we wanted to actually import the bikes in Sudan and sell them there (regardless of our Carnets de Passage).
- The customs clearance agent did everything to squeeze as much money out of us, by keeping the paperwork in ransom and asking us always higher amounts of money.

We ended up getting our bikes and paperwork thanks to a second customs clearance agent.

If you land in Khartoum, avoid absolutely Cannata International Company. Watch out because they have many recuiters at the airport. If you want to read more about our problems, go to http://www.photobiker.com/people/cannata.html

Instead, we recommend you to deal with the following company. They said it should have cost us $250 maximum to get the bikes back. Maybe you can work it out at $200. Their contact information is:
Company: MTS
Manager: Mortada M. Idris
Email: mmidris123@hotmail.com
Phone: +249-11-568929 (or 568929 when in Khartoum)
Cell: 012354276

Total to fly to Sudan (it should be about the same for Ethiopia, minus customs clearance):
200 Air Afrique
530 Sudan Airlines passenger ticket
750 Sudan Airlines cargo fare (for a 300kg bike)
250 MTS Customs Clearance in Khartoum

Oh, and don't worry if after boarding the plane from Ndjamena to Khartoum, you first land in Niamey...

Merritt & Pierre

Pierre Saslawsky
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Old 15 Jul 2003
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,295
just wanted to say that in late 1999 i flew my bike from cairo to addis ababa.

addis customs were absolutely correct, very little stress and i only paid 1 usd because the bike was in their warehouse for 3 nights. my agent (a friendly fellow recommended by the lufthansa man) only cost me 40usd (20 agreed price in advance, and 20 tip for being so helpful, friendly and efficient). the proceedure did take a day and a half, but it could have been worse. cairo took 5 days of bullshit and 230 in fees/bachshesh to escape from (plus the freight).

as far as aircraft that fit bikes upright on a pallet goes, (i believe) the following have a cargo door big enough: a300 and a340 airbus and b747.

on people carrying boeing 737,757,767 and airbus 319/a320 the cargo door is too small!!! i would imagine that dedicated freight planes would have an extra large cargo door...

it is possible to lay the bike flat on its side and strap it down. do you want to do that? will the airline let you?

good luck,

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