Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > sub-Saharan Africa

sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 25 May 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 17
South Africa to Ethiopia - Questions about everything

Greetings all,

I am a newbie to this site, firstly thanks to all who donate their time to share with everyone, really amazing. So, the wife and I are planning on doing a ride from South Africa to Ethiopia over about 4 months. I have a million questions but I will focus on two if i may;

First, I originally planned on purchasing a new bike in SA and then riding that all the way up and then shipping it back to SA or perhaps even to Australia where I am currently living. Then I thought about carnet's and perhaps it would be better to buy here in OZ and then ship it over so that at least I would have the carnet's all sorted out etc. Now I am enquiring about pricing to ship so perhaps that might be the decider. Does anyone have advise on that one at all?

Secondly, if I did buy in SA would it then be difficult and time consuming to get a carnet arranged from there given that I would be applying for it in Europe? Can I sell it in ethiopia or do I need to get it shipped back to SA where I purchased it from/

Thanks for any and all help on this one

Best regards

Reply With Quote
Old 26 May 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 19
Looking for same info

Hello Maestro,

I'm sorry to have no answers for you ; I am merely replying to let you know that I am interested in exactly the same questions. I'll try and remember to update this thread with any info I obtain on the topic.

Surely you know about Rene Cormier's world tour? In case not, here's a nice HUBB post of his regarding carnet info for South/East African countries :

FYI: Visa and border info for Canadians. South Africa to East Africa route - The HUBB

Good luck,
Jean-Philippe Valois
Montreal, Canada
Reply With Quote
Old 27 May 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 162
I don't think I can help your decision, but I can offer a little information:

You will be able to buy a Bike in South Africa, but re-sale value will not be a lot. You will also be able to get a carnet from the South African AA. (Google them for contact details) which you can organise from Australia or Europe. It takes about 2 weeks. So you can also ship your bike to Africa on that Carnet.

If you sell it in Ethiopia, you'll have to pay the import duty into the country. If you ship an SA bike to Australia, you'll have to pay import duty there.

As a rule, anything that is imported into South Africa is more expensive here than anywhere else in the world, so I think you may find that buying a bike in South Africa would be more expensive than buying one in Australia. You can have a look at Auto Trader SA - New Cars, Used Cars for sale online, Car Finance, Car Insurance & Car Prices for prices of used bikes.

Personally I think you'd be better off shipping your trusty and tested bike over, doing your trip and shipping it back. This way you can have it kitted out, do some test trips for a weekend or two and have confidence in your machine, your gear and your ability before setting off on the big trip. You'll probably find that your shipping cost will be very very little in proportion to the cost of the rest of the trip.
Dawie du Plessis
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Aug 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11
I'm in Addis now - arrived today four months after leaving Cape Town. To buy the bike in CT you need to go to the city government building in the heerengracht and get an overseas permit - takes an hour or so. No one will sell you a vehicle without it. Buy your bike(s) and you go to the AA office on dirty Strand Street away to get your carnet.

They're idiots so contact head office in Jo'berg if they give you problems over your tourist visa and the carnet. (They're still not very enlightened as the RAC will give a carnet to a S.A. registered vehicle believe it or not)

You pay a R500 deposit and R1800 for a 12 page carnet which will be in Cape Town within 2 days for collection. 12 pages is more than enough.

On S.A. plates everywhere a carnet is not required until Malawi Nam/Zam/Bot/Zim (but not free - search a thread I contributed to in Trip planning paperwork)

Then malawi - tanzania - rwanda - uganda - kenya - ethiopia accept carnets.

However, people we met on the road on S.A. plates don;t have one and are currently in Tanzania without problems.

It's worth getting a police clearance form for the vehicle before you leave S.A. readily available from any police station - it avoids a dodgy cop leaving zim touching you for a bribe.

Why not arrange a deal to ship the bikes back to S.A. and sell 'em there? There are guaranteed buy back sales firm for cars - don't know about bikes.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 Aug 2009
JHMM's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cape Town - South Africa
Posts: 110
Buying a bike in ZA

You can easily buy a secondhand bike in South Africa without the relevant papers. You will just need to put it on your name/register within a few weeks grace period.
Another good website to check is Classifieds – Gumtree Cape Town Free Classified Ads – Gumtree Cape Town Online Community they have a load of bikes of all sorts at decent prices.

Good luck and enjoy!
To those who say it can't be done - stand aside for those who are already doing it.
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Aug 2009
Moderated Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Umtentweni, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
Posts: 193
A friend of mine was just up in Tanzania with SA plates no problem at all.

Adventure bikes you also find on www.600.xt.ms - WEB.DE MyPage

To register a bike is easy in RSA you just need your foreign passport and an address in RSA and go to the licence office.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
trouble in south ethiopia (moyale)? desertquad sub-Saharan Africa 0 27 Feb 2009 09:35
Ferries questions: Europe to Africa, Africa to Africa etc.. wanderind Sahara Travel Forum 1 4 Sep 2008 00:12
A few questions about Mexico and South msg996 Central America and Mexico 7 28 Oct 2005 22:35
Ethiopia or Kenya to South Africa, CHEAP jim Trip Transport 1 24 Aug 2004 18:49
Trip to South Africa? questions bmwjack Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 0 26 Oct 2003 17:13


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 21:00.