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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 11 Jan 2003
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Urgent delivery EC2 to Zimbabwe

I'm planning a charity run to Zimbabwe on a Africa Twin / Transalp hybrid in late summer this year. The plan is to raise money for an AIDS orphanage in the North by doing the trip as a sponsored courier delivery. (Well as an ex despatcher it seems like a good angle.)
The downside is I'll be wanting to get there as quickly as possible (I'll see the sights on the return), so want to pick the brains on any who might know preferred routes to keep a good few hundred miles a day on the clock.

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Old 13 Jan 2003
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Assuming you are leaving from the UK, the fastest way down is to head out through eastern Europe, down through Syria, Jordan, 3 day transit visa through Saudi (roads are reportedly excellent), Ferry from Jeddah to Suakin in Sudan - Ethiopia - Kenya - Tanzania - Malawi - Mozambique on the Tete corridor - Zim - or alternatively Tanzania - Zambia - Zim. Only two real slow parts would be crossing from Sudan into Ethiopia - Leaving Khartoum the road is tarmac, then goes back to dirt, winding up to Gondor in Ethiopia is dirt but nice drive, from Addis Ababa there is an good tarmac road down the border at Moyale. The road from Moyale to Isolo is really bad and quite dangerous on a motorbike due to large corregations, rocks, etc. Can be ridden but allow enough time - probably two days - Moyale to Masabit. Masabit to Isolo. The its fairly fast right the way down to Zim - few dirt sections but could all be done very quickly if paper work was already sorted. Obviously slower if you have to wait in different cities along the route for visas.
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Old 24 Jan 2003
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Thanks for the reply mate, what with the various political situations around the place it's looking like I'll have to keep plans flexible.
From the sounds that could be a (hard) three weeks, if all but a couple of hundred miles of dirt. Then of course organising the border crossings and ferry crossings with a watchmaker's precision.
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Old 24 Jan 2003
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Yeh could be excellent - probably two main stumbling blocks are having all the paper work in advance all one can spend weeks in cities getting this bits. The saving grace is normally they can't be lined up to far in advance so the average traveller can only get the first few, the later ones would expire by the time they get there. But if you are going to go down quickly then could get them all in advance. Secondly would be the bike coping with the conditions - obviously poor quality fuel, dust, offroad conditions, constant long distance riding takes a toll which would need to be addressed. Once you have to stop in places doing maintenance then that would be a significant delay. Bikers that we met in Africa had more problems due to life time of some parts such as tyres seems to be much less than on a 4x4 and they were hard to get hold of. Some bikers were paying large amounts of money to get TNT or others to ship in parts but then have to pratt around clearing customs, collecting, etc before getting on with fitting. Would all delay and may require detours to the route. Three weeks would be very agressive, no element to cover the need to detour / delay in the event of problems. Whilst its probably possible, I read somewhere the record for driving from UK - Nepal is only a few days, one would probably need significant logistical arrangements, it would be very tiring and whats the point of rushing through. Note what you say about moving down fast and sightseeing on the way back but that would be very fast. Good luck what every you do.
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