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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 10 Mar 2011
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Sudan - Etiopia

Dear friends,
I originally posted this message in "route planning" but nobody answered, maybe this section is more popular, so I hope you will give me some suggestions about this trip:

I am planning a new ride starting from Addis Abeba through Sudan and Egypt, we will ship the bikes by plane to AA and come back from Alexandria with the ferry to Venice (hoping that the situation in that area will be fine by december 2011 ...)
Our main concern is time: we have 3-4 weeks max, do you think we can do it? consider that almost 1 week goes with shipping bikes (2-3 days) and ferry to Venice (3 days)
Than, I have many other questions ... :
- road conditions and roads suggested
- ferry boat from Wadi Halfa to Aswan, any updated info about schedule time (it is still once a week on wed.?), carry the bikes, tickets and so on
- travel permit in Sudan, still necessary?
- finding petrol
- lodging, better to have a tent (i.e. Sudan)?
I know, lots of questions, but easy for who has been there recently ...
Thanks a lot for any help
Honey Rider
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Old 10 Mar 2011
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This journey should be perfectly possible in this time but it requires the right timing with the ferry and you could have a problem if the barge timing is not right, You go on the ferry, the bikes go on the barge.
Petrol should not be a problem as long as you have a range of 400km and a tent would be a good idea, camping in the desert is fantastic in both Sudan and Egypt.
I have never heard of a travel permit for Sudan, I never had one and as far as I am aware the road from Dongola to Wadi Halfa is all tarmac now so that is all of Sudan but there was some gravel in Northern Ethiopia when I was there three years ago.
I presume you will have visas, carnet and all other paperwork sorted out before you get there.
The road up the Nile is the most direct but you might get struck with convoys, I am not sure what the situation is now with that.
Have a good trip.
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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Riding

I rode the reverse of this a couple of Months ago. In Addis, I would stay at Wims Place as you get to meet the other overlanders. Head North to Gondar, this is one of the most scenic rides in Africa, road condition is excellent thanks to the Chinese. Gondar has lots of good places to stay. If you go onto Debark the road is good gravel (about 120km approx 3Hrs) Debark north roads are shit house if you have any dogey fillings keep mouth shut then you won't loose them. If you head to Metemba border of Sudan road is very good and very beautiful ride, border is great experience a piece of rope. From there roads are perfect all the way to Khartoum. Blue Nile Sailing Club is crap 'DO NOT STAY THERE' to Dongola good roads and heaps of desert to lay your swag out. Dongola on to Wadi Halfa visit the villages on the Nile and ask chief if you can camp they are such lovely people and you will have an unforgettable experience. Wadi Halfa stay at Kilopetra. Ferry to Egypt should leave on Wednesday. Aswan stay at Kelanny Hotel now the rode along the nile to Cairo is very busy but good tar. Cairo Dahab is where we stay and love it there. You need a visa for Sudan $100us I have never heard of a travel permit, they usually want a Photo permit just buy the one tho as they tell you its only valid in certain areas. Do not take photos of bridges or Govn't buildings, Police, Army etc. I was nearly arrested in Wadi Halfa for this and they do not have a sense of humour.
But you will have a fantastic time and fuel will not be a problem at all.

Cheers and Happy Exploring
Paul
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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Also, take US dollars to pay for the ferry, the exchange rate for euros was appalling.
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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Thanks for these useful information, that's what I was looking for

Do you know if it's better to book ahead the ferry boat from Wadi Halfa to Assuan, or it's easy to take it the same day directly at the port? Do the bikes go with the same ferry, or it's another one at the same or different time ?

Thanks a lot

H.R.
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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We arrived in Wadi Halfa four days before the ferry without a reservation and got on, I have no idea what happens if you arrive at the last minute or if it is possible to make a reservation.
My bike, a BMW boxer, had to go on the barge which arrived in Aswan six days later, I don't think the barge operates to a schedule like the ferry only leaving when it is full. I think it is possible to take smaller, that is narrower bikes that will fit on board, on the ferry but am not sure about this.
Another tip is sleep on deck not in a cabin or in the lounge, take a warm sleeping bag and mat, it is cleanest and quietest place on the boat, the sunrise over lake Nasser is also pretty special.
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Old 11 Mar 2011
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I have just looked at your profile, I also have an '83 G/S and that was what I was riding on this trip and still use everyday, fantastic bike.
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Old 13 Mar 2011
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Ferry

I saw some Sth. Americans (Chileans I Think) in Wadi Halfa heading to Aswan and they were able to put there bikes on the Ferry but as a rule I think it is a no go.
Cheers
Paul
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