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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 30 Jan 2011
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Exclamation Urgent Egyt alternatives NOW!!!!!!

Dear travelers,

our friends
Carsten + Tina
wuestenkuh
are at the moment in Sudan and need YOUR help.
They wanted to travel north to Egypt and take a ferry from Alexandria to Venice.
Now they are not sure to travel to Egypt.

Information from the ferry agency:
In this very moment, the ferry is waiting in Syria that situation improve.
Actually is not possible to enter Alexandria port, but it is our intention to run the service continiously. As soon as situation will be quite"

Is it difficult to get a Visa for Saudi Arabia???
They think about taking a ferry from Port Sudan to Jeddah in Saudi Arabai, or even Aqaba in Jordan.

Here are 2 alternative routes.
Do you have any futher informaion?
Or more alternative ways?

1. Ferry Port Sudan to Aqaba in Jordan? Then to Syria and catch the ferry to Venice.
2. Ferry Port Sudan to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia? Then to Syria and catch the ferry to Venice.

best wishes Ralf
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  #2  
Old 30 Jan 2011
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ferry from Port Sudan to Jeddah saudi arabia?

some visa info:

Embassies and Consulates of Saudi Arabia in The World. - Offshorewave.com

Visa Requirements


in worst case scenario just back up you route and wait, gues what the overland travel is all about?...or go into egypt and wait and see...according the news 30/1/2011 the police is holding back and military has not been taking any actions, than celbrating with protestors, so it might be safe???? from the news, the tourist areas have been completely quiet and safe...so it can just an another
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  #3  
Old 30 Jan 2011
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Have posted your request and a link to this thread on the ADVrider Africa & mid-East regional forum.

Best of luck,
Mike
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  #4  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Hey Ralf,

I would suggest to wait it out until things become more certain. Firming up a backup plan is also a good idea, the Aqaba ferry to Jordan is straightforward and then the ride around Syria to Turkey is usually straighforward. From Turkey there are ferries over to Italy, although this may be more common in the summer. If not, they can just ride east. Cold but doable.

In regards to documentation, they already have their carnet since they are going to Egypt so the next item is visas. In normal times, you can get the Jordan visa at the border, the Syrian visa at the border (at least when coming from the north, someone here can comment whether you get it at the border when coming from the south to whether you have to pick it up in Amman).

Keep in mind though that I have seen on the news that there are protests in other countries such as Jordan and there is some fear that the protests may spread the same way they spread from Tunisia to Egypt. So there is some risk the normal visa/border process may be somewhat interupted.

The situation reminds me of the troubles in Kenya about 3 years back. There was a bunch of overlanders piled up in Ethiopia trying to figure out if it was safe to travel by watching the news and watching for any traffic to come through. Some organized people looking into the possibility of flying over the country, and some just sat around drinking coffee and waiting. In the end, the protests quieted down somewhat, some traffic started to trickle through and with first hand news then we felt the safety conditions were adequate to continue. It was a bit interesting in spots, but by far and away the most relevant infomation was from locals directly on the ground. We took a couple of detours, avoided the worst trouble areas and it all worked out. Best wishes that the situation clarifies itself shortly for all involved.

In regards to specific experience, a friend of mine is coming back from Cairo in the next few days. (Ironically she spent the first part of January in Sudan but left for Egypt to be safe and avoid any potential unrest resulting from the referendum in Sudan.) Once I hear any updates, I'll post. Cheers.
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  #5  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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I dont think you can get in and out of Port Sudan !!! So they say on the grapevine !
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  #6  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Hi all,

We are a bit worried about the Egypt situation too, as we are leaving for our overland trip in a few weeks (from London to Cape Town).

I've put a post in the regional forum as well.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...troubled-55228

Any info from the ground, any alternative routes, tips on whether to get visas in advance etc would be greatly appreciated!!

Ted, that is concerning about Port Sudan, is that because of the referendum?

Cheers
ness
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  #7  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Lay low, avoid the big cities

Syria might be next according to news reports so maybe sit tight and lay low until the worst of it is over. Then you could travel on smaller routes and avoid big cities where the major congregation of people takes place.

We were in Iran during the 2009 riots and protests and had no trouble even though they went on for 2 weeks, the whole time we were in Iran. We managed to avoid all the conflict by staying away from big cities and taking smaller country roads.

What is reported is often very different to what is happening on the ground so take the media reports with a grain of salt and use your senses.

Failing that Ethiopia is a wonderful country to visit...
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  #8  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Hi

There is no simple way around Egypt. We were two motorcycles trying to get around Egypt in November 2010 (Northbound) because we didn't have carnets.

We thought we could go from Sudan to Saudi but found that visas would not be issued if you were travelling by motorcycle. If you're in a 4x4 then you can get a 3 day transit visa.

There is no ferry from Aquaba to Port Sudan or the other way round. We ended up shipping our bikes from Port Sudan to Aquaba in a container..... it was a nightmare and very expensive. We flew Sudan Airlines from Port Sudan to Khartoum to Cairo (flight was delayed by a day and a half) because we wanted to tour Egypt. You can fly from Sudan to Jordan.

If you dan't mind going through Israel, you can get ship your bike from Haifa to Lavrio in Greece and fly from Tel Aviv to Athens (which I did!). Shipping from Israel to Greece is easy and relatively cheap. From Greece you can get a ferry to Italy. Hope this helps in your decission making

Good Luck
Neville
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  #9  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Couple of other things to note about Saudi - if they are not married, they cannot travel together, and they only allow left hand drive cars into the country.
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  #10  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaalseun View Post

We thought we could go from Sudan to Saudi but found that visas would not be issued if you were travelling by motorcycle. If you're in a 4x4 then you can get a 3 day transit visa.
Do you know, if that is their official policy - or it might depend on the consulate, who you ask, the weather, and so on? I remember reading here, that some may have actually ridden through Saudi on a bike, but visas were very hard to get (and was probably some time ago, too).
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  #11  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman...

Just in case you didn't get my train of thought with Ethiopia then here it is spelt out.

So from Sudan, you could go to Ethiopia then ship to Yemen and ride to Oman and visit UAE then ship again to Iran... it's another adventure but hey if you've got the time and money

Like these guys, Margus and Kariina from Estonia (jump to page 70 something
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  #12  
Old 31 Jan 2011
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Just spoke to a friend in Cairo. As you can imagine, pretty chaotic and disorganized.

People are trying to avoid the downtown core for obvious reasons.

Many tourists have congregated on the airport in the hopes of getting out. Many have been stuck there for a couple of days, sleeping on the floor, almost no food or water available.

Most regular airlines aren't running so some countries have organized evacuation flights to Europe (i.e. Canada had one earlier today) but you have to be lucky enough to find out when that is and what terminal it would depart from. Not the easiest thing when the internet ISPs have been down for the last 5 days. Some hard core travellers have ventured downtown into the protest zone to get to their embassy to try to find out any details. As you can imagine, information is scarce and fairly unreliable and you're pretty much on your own.


Anyways, if I was stuck coming from the south and had to get back on a tight timeline my first option would be to ship the bike to Europe from Addis or Khartoum. Not sure how easy or cost effective it would be from Khartoum but a couple of friends have shipped their bikes back from Addis a couple of years back and it was pretty straightforward.

If I had time to wait, I would kick around Ethiopia and/or Sudan and wait. Hopefully enough time will pass and things will get back to somewhat normal.

At some point the first overlanders from the north will show up at the Blue Nile Sailing Club in Khartoum which will mean that the ferry from Wadi Halfa is up and running and people are travelling again. If you are heading north, once in Aswan, the coastal route keeps you away from Cairo and at Suez you can head down to Sharm el Sheik or across to Aqaba. Sharm was still fine a couple of days ago. Egypt had implemented the police escort policy when travelling in the south for quite a few years as they view the tourist industry as important so if they let you in the country, then you will likely get a lot of slow moving escorts which for the first time in a long time, we won't complain too much about.

In any event, a lot can change in a short period of time so here's hoping that everything gets resolved in short order.
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  #13  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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Hello from Dahab, Egypt. Dahab is a small diving/loafing resort village on the eastern coast of the Sinai. The internet came back on at noon today, local time. I have been here for 9 days, since arriving on the ferry from Aqaba. I'm traveling solo on a motorcycle.

First hand news/personal experience:
It is quiet here, but ATMs work sporadically and when they do there is a max withdraw limit of 500 or 600 Egyptian pounds. Cell service works, and water & electricity have not been interrupted at all. Restaurants and grocery stores running normally. The number of tourists has been dwindling by the day. Merchants and locals seem to me to be a little tense (understandably!) but I have had zero negative experiences, and at this moment I feel safe.

I spoke to the Sudanese embassy in Aswan earlier this morning via cell phone, and they confirmed that the Aswan/Wadi Halfa ferry is running every Tuesday.

News from locals and recently-arrived backpackers: Cairo, Suez and Alex seem to be the flashpoints for violence, the touristy areas seem to be calm. Petrol shortages are rumored.

My plan is to get to Sudan as soon as safely possible. I also have to accumulate enough cash before entering Sudan, since my ATM and other plastic will be come useless once I'm there. I intend to get to Aswan via the ferry from Sharm to Hurghada, then to Luxor, then convoy to Aswan. Still need to find out if the ferry from Sharm to Hurghada is running. If not, only option is to ride through Suez, which I want to avoid unless/until it is confirmed safe. Also need to confirm state of safety in Aswan.

For those coming north, the Aswan/Hurghada/Sharm/Nuweiba route gets you to Jordan or Israel while avoiding the big cities where the major unrest seems to be occurring.

I'll post up more when I get more concrete info. Good luck.

Sean
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  #14  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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Hi Sean,

Thanks so much for this useful information. We really appreciate it!! It is nerveracking times! I've been keeping tabs on a couple of blogs of people who must be in Egypt right now but not much is coming out, probably because the internet has been down!!

We've got some big decisions to make - whether to head round the mediterranean and middle east and hope all is clear by the time we get there in April, or decide to abort plans and ship our vehicle to South Africa and drive back... So any info from Egypt is really useful!!

Let us know how you get on getting to Aswan. We are getting our Ethiopian Visas here in London now, and are going to try and get the letter of introduction for the Sudanese visa in advance as well so we don't have to go to Cairo and can just get it in Aswan.....

Safe travels and thanks again,
Ness
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  #15  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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Hi,

Just to keep the travelers informed:

check www.w├╝stenschiff.de for more details at the border from Nuweiba to Aqaba .... some 40 truckers had real trouble with bandits crossing to... Sinai.


Another friend (Mathias Schmid) is stuck in Alexandria at the moment :-(
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Good luck to all of you down there
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