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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 21 May 2012
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Truck + motorbike 'attached' - need advice

Hi there

I'm in the planning stages of building a 4x4 truck, probably on a Merc 1017 chassis or similar, to drive from Dubai to S.A. then back up the W. coast of Africa, hopefully to do the full circuit of Africa - we'll see.

I can see the benefit of carrying a small motorcycle with me for short trips into nearby towns etc and as a back up vehicle in an emergency, but would be interested to hear from anyone who has done this, what difficulties they faced in terms of carnets / border crossing / other documentation / security issues etc.

I'll be traveling on my own in all probability so can't pull the "well the truck's mine and the bike's hers" routine so it means crossing each border with two vehicles in my name.

I know others have done it so it must be possible, but want to go in with my eyes open if I'm to travel this way.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 23 May 2012
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I would imagine:

- you will get some border officials, rightly or wrongly, who claim you can only have one vehicle, probably based on most other tourists only having one vehicle and problems need to be solved by paying them money. i.e.: they will make an issue out of it even if none exists.

- Some countries may well have a rule about binging in more than one vehicle.

- You will have to pay for 2 carnets, 2 carnet deposits etc etc

- Road tax and insurance will also add up - a truck is bloody expensive anyway for ferries, road tolls, road tax etc

Unless your extremely wealthy I would take a mountain bike instead and save all the extra hassle and money for enjoying the trip. The perceived benefits are small imho and the costs add up....
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Old 24 May 2012
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Cheers R.Y.

The truck may be home for quite a while and the intention is to sell a business just before I leave so that should take care of the bills I've mulled over taking a smaller vehicle and understand the benefits but want to carry a lot of photo and video gear so for better or worse it will almost certainly be a truck.

The bike makes it a lot easier to park up the truck but still have quick mobility. And you're right, it'll make me a target for border 'fees' I know.

Happy to hear from anyone who's done it though - pros and cons? "Never again"? Let me know.....
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Old 24 May 2012
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It might seem like sacrilage amongst petrolheads but maybe one of those pushbikes with the small electric motors. Most of them look like they just have a bigger hub or saddlebag?
I've no direct experience of them but I doubt they'd attract much attention at all on borders.
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