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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 27 Mar 2002
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK.
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Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan & Bin Laden

We're currently in Nairobi, contemplating our next move having ridden up from Cape Town. We had planned to continue North but are concerned about the political and military situations developing.

It is common knowledge from the media that Bin Laden MAY be in Somalia. However, we have a friend in the military, stationed in N.E. Africa. Aware of our planned route, and concerned for our safety, he has advised us that the US are as close to certain as they need to be, that Bin Laden IS in Somalia.

Having 'not finished the job' in Desert Storm, which arguably lead to Sadam Hussein having a role in the Twin Towers attack, I don't feel it's unreasonable to suggest that the Americans are unlikely to rest until Osama Bin Laden has been suitably 'dealt with'.

With their previous 'excursion' into Somalia ending in military embarrasment is it likely that a sledgehammer will be used to crack this nut? And if so will Sudan, known to dislike the Americans intensely, sit back idly while their Somalian brothers feel the full force of 'the worlds most awesome military machine? And what of Ethiopia, wedged between the two of them? Then of course there's the Egyptian radicals who, although silenced over the last few years, will undoubtedly be itching to dust off the AK47's and have a pop at anyone resembling a Westerner.

Obviously there is always the possibility that the military intelligence I've been privy too is wrong, but what are the chances?

I'm not trying to start a political debate here, I'm genuinely collating as much info as possible before I decide whether or not to take my partner and our bright red GS (doesn't stick out much)into a potential warzone.

Goose
www.gooseontheloose.com
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Old 17 Apr 2002
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Winchester, Hampshire
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If I were you I'd worry more about the state of the roads and not what your mate told you.
I went from Isiolo to Moyale a couple of years back, in the dry season it's not too bad though on a GS1150 two up it could be a bit of hard work, there are fears in the area about Somali Bandits operating in Northern Kenya and as a result the vehicles usually but not always go in convoy. If your that worried then wait for other vehicles.
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Old 11 May 2002
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Wakefield, QC, Canada
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I did the same trip in March, 2001 with a BMW F650. Got Egyptian and Ethiopian visas in Nairobi, and Sudan visa in Addis Ababa. Ride north not too bad. Stretch between Isiolo and Moyale bad gravel, but doable. I rode in convoy with a 4x4 which had an armed guard. Road between end of pavement in Ethiopia (Weldya), and Gedaref rough, but doable. Ride through Sudan no problem. If you don't like sand, you can put bike and yourself on once weekly train from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa, and cross Lake Nasser by connecting ferry to Asswan. Train leaves every Monday. You can use ferry from Port Sudan to Jeddah and ride north in Saudi Arabia (get visa in Khartoum).In Egypt you must ride in military convoy. They don't want to lose the goose that lays the golden egg (any tourist).
High adventure. Go for it! (Benka, a Slovenian woman riding an F650 has just done it, April, 2002; she took the ferry to Saudi Arabia; go figure! So you guys can do it too!)
Good luck!
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