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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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  #1  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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Africa without a Carnet on a 2010 Tenere

Hi all!
We're currently in Nairobi, Kenya (Jungle Junction) and just completed one year of Africa. We started in Morocco arrived in Cape Town after 9 months and now we're on our way to Europe, Romania on East Coast. We crossed the following countries: Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Zambia (yes... we crossed from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi), Namibia, SAR (+ Lesotho), Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya without a carnet. Each country issued some sort of Temporary Import Permit so it's possible to do it with out it. In Mauritania and Tanzania the customs officer stamped also my passport. All the process was hassle free and pretty easy.
Morocco - Tanger Med - free, just registered at customs
Mauritania - 10E when entered and asked and payed 10E at exit but just because was the first weeks in Africa. In reality you don't need to pay twice
Mali - Gogui - 10000CFA Laissez Passer (normaly 5000CFA but we arrived on Sunday) + 5000CFA police registration of the LP
Burkina Faso - Koro - 5000CFA LP
Togo - Senkanse - 5000CFA LP
Benin - ?? Near Aneho - 5000CFA LP
Nigeria - Seme - 7000 Naira at Seme Border (1000 bribe to stamp passports, 4000 TIP, 2000 Bribes in order not to pay a bond); apparently at Nikki the TIP is free; payed 1000 Naira to extend the TIP for a second month at Mfum
Cameroon - Ekok - 7500CFA 15 days Laissez Passer (no one checked that it had long expired when we exited)
Gabon - Bitam - 10000CFA LP after hours fee (normally 5000CFA until 6 PM)
Congo - ?? Doussala - 10000CFA LP(asked 20000 but negotiated to 10000 - probably possible for 5000)
DR Congo - entered through a small border near Luozi and managed to pay nothing; exited through Kasumbalesa and managed not to go to Customs (very big border post); is not recommended to do so as you can have to haggle to exit (it happened to us in Benin)
Zambia - Kasumbalesa - TIP Free, Road Tax 50000 Kwacha (can avoid paying it)
Namibia - Katima Mullilo - No TIP, just road Tax 140 Nam$
SAR - Vioolsdrif - nothing just waived through
Lesotho - Sani Pass - There's 30 Rand bike tax but we've payed 100 Rand for visas, tax and everything
Bothswana - Grobler's Bridge - 240 Pula (Auch) Permit, Road Tax and Insurance (no papers just a receipt) other reports suggest that this practice is random
Zambia - Kazungula - TIP Free, Road Tax 50000 Kwacha (can avoid paying it, second time we didn't pay)
Mozambique - Cassacatiza - 27 Meticals TIP yeah that's almost 1US$
Tanzania - Unity Bridge - 25 USD TIP
Kenya - Taveta - 20 USD TIP

Also in Nairobi we've just applied successfully for the Ethiopian Visa (20 US$ pp) after asking the ambassador and kindly explaining our story.

Will report our experience with the following countries.

Cheers,

Ionut
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  #2  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwhite View Post
Hi all!
We're currently in Nairobi, Kenya (Jungle Junction) and just completed one year of Africa. We started in Morocco arrived in Cape Town after 9 months and now we're on our way to Europe, Romania on East Coast. We crossed the following countries: Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Zambia (yes... we crossed from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi), Namibia, SAR (+ Lesotho), Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya without a carnet. Each country issued some sort of Temporary Import Permit so it's possible to do it with out it. In Mauritania and Tanzania the customs officer stamped also my passport. All the process was hassle free and pretty easy.
Morocco - free, just registered at customs
Mauritania - 10E when entered and asked and payed 10E at exit but just because was the first weeks in Africa. In reality you don't need to pay twice
Mali - 10000CFA Laissez Passer (normaly 5000CFA but we arrived on Sunday) + 5000CFA police registration of the LP
Burkina Faso - 5000CFA LP
Togo - 5000CFA LP
Benin - 5000CFA LP
Nigeria - 7000 Naira at Seme Border (1000 bribe to stamp passports, 4000 TIP, 2000 Bribes in order not to pay a bond); apparently at Nikki the TIP is free; payed 1000 Naira to extend the TIP for a second month at Mfum
Cameroon - 7500CFA 15 days Laissez Passer (no one checked that it had long expired when we exited)
Gabon - 10000CFA LP after hours fee (normally 5000CFA until 6 PM)
Congo - 10000CFA LP(asked 20000 but negotiated to 10000 - probably possible for 5000)
DR Congo - entered through a small border near Luozi and managed to pay nothing; exited through Kasumbalesa and managed not to go to Customs (very big border post); is not recommended to do so as you can have to haggle to exit (it happened to us in Benin)
Zambia - TIP Free, Road Tax 50000 Kwacha (can avoid paying it)
Namibia - No TIP, just road Tax 140 Nam$
SAR - nothing just waived through
Lesotho - There's 30 Rand bike tax but we've payed 100 Rand for visas, tax and everything
Bothswana - 240 Pula (Auch) Permit, Road Tax and Insurance (no papers just a receipt) other reports suggest that this practice is random
Zambia - TIP Free, Road Tax 50000 Kwacha (can avoid paying it, second time we didn't pay)
Mozambique - 27 Meticals TIP yeah that's almost 1US$
Tanzania - 25 USD TIP
Kenya - 20 USD TIP

Also in Nairobi we've just applied successfully for the Ethiopian Visa (20 US$ pp) after asking the ambassador and kindly explaining our story.

Will report our experience with the following countries.

Cheers,

Ionut
Thank you .. nice report (and helpful to many ... interesting to see how you progress further northwest
Anyway, always welcome ... N 24º12.943 E 035º25.503
(the only XT660Z 2009, fully imported to egypt
cheers
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  #3  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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Totally helpful - thanks for posting.

Have been following your ride - very, very cool.

Be safe & Ride on.

Sean
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  #4  
Old 13 Oct 2012
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Safe back to Europe - Africa without Carnet de Passage

Ok so we made it without a CpD!

Ethiopia - Moyale - Free (just completed a form (TIP) and asked for a copy of the registration paper)
Sudan - Metema - 15 Sudanese Pounds for TIP (~3USD).
Egypt - Aswan - Now the funny part: 2500EgP (410USD) for a CpD from the Auto Club of Emirates with 2 pages. Egypt is insanely expensive if you travel with your vehicle; besides Cpd we've payed some extra 700Egp (115USD) to enter from Sudan (Custom clearance, plates, licence, fixer commission) and 2150EgP(350USD) to exit towards Turkey (1250 Custom Clearance, 750 Shipping Agent Commission, 150 Storage in Port Said)

So after 420 days in Africa we've payed 625USD in order to cross without Carnet de Passage. Way cheaper than the 500Euro/year +10000Euro deposit asked by the ACR thieves in Romania. Even if you make a carnet with ADAC (the cheapest option in EU) you still pay ~200E/Year + 3000E deposit (that's ~150E interest if you keep the deposit in your account). Not to mention that with a Cpd you'll be asked for money at a lot of borders in order to stamp it.

Without this useless piece of paper you're stress free if you want to travel around Africa and you don't have a strict schedule (more than one year). Except for Egypt all borders are "hassle" free if you use your common sense and you engage in conversation with the customs people. If you use fixers than you'll be ripped off by everybody and you'll be treated like a walking wallet.
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  #5  
Old 13 Oct 2012
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Thumbs up Thank you very much !!

Thank you Mr. White,

I have followed parts of you trip here on the HUBB, you are a very good photographer and your reports are very good to read. Thank you for sharing it.

In 2004/2005 I traveled a similar route to yours thru Africa on an XT600Tenere using a CDP for some of the borders. But I promised myself the next time I go to Africa I wont have a CDP (because I just hate the ADAC, which is a long story itself).

Thank you for showing everybody here on the HUBB that it is possible (except for Egypt).

Here is your quote in red, because I think it is important for some travellers to read.

Quote:
Without this useless piece of paper you're stress free if you want to travel around Africa and you don't have a strict schedule (more than one year). Except for Egypt all borders are "hassle" free if you use your common sense and you engage in conversation with the customs people. If you use fixers than you'll be ripped off by everybody and you'll be treated like a walking wallet.[/SIZE]
Saludos and all the best

Mika from Salta Argentina
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  #6  
Old 13 Oct 2012
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Thanks for posting this thread.

A real eye-opener, after my own London - Cairo - Cape Town ride in 2010 - very much with CdP.

I came to like Africa very much on my journey and it's nice to read positive reports about the continent, rather than negative ones that don't seem to tie in with my experiences.

It's often occurred to me - how did this whole CdP system come about and what purpose does it really serve? Specially if the most protective country (Egypt) doesn't insist on it?
I've never researched this, but I wonder, is it just a means for the FIA to make money out of providing an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy in league with those countries that were persuaded by the FIA to do so?

Haven't seen your blog yet but will do so soon following the recommendations posted here.
Cheers
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  #7  
Old 10 Nov 2012
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Hey Guys
Great post and very helpful for the research I'm doing into a trip to Africa. A Carnet does seem to have its pros and cons! Out of interest, if you do use a CPD but dont declare that you are going to Egypt (deposit of 600% of the value of the bike- wtf!), will the Egyptian border officials issue you out with a CPD just for Egypt when you eventually get there??

All this carnet stuff is hard work- there appears to be quite a bit of contradictory advice, with some people saying dont bother with one, and others saying you pretty much definitely require one!! I'm lost!!
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  #8  
Old 17 Nov 2012
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Africa with no CDP

Great article and thanks for posting!

We did West Coast Africa with CDP & Land Rover and found it OK but more expensive than your costs so its great that you have documented this and process you went through.

We did meet a few people in 4x4s traveling without CDP in Africa. Would love to hear / read similar experiences as detailed as this for a 4x4 doing Africa without a CDP.

Thanks for sharing

Nick
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  #9  
Old 27 Dec 2012
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As above, be great to hear experiences by 4x4's without CdP. Is this mainly customs processing motorcycles through without or will 4x4's be treated the same with minimal hassle?

Richard.
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  #10  
Old 7 Jan 2013
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Africa without a Carnet

Please forgive my ignorance but what does "CFA" in the Africa without a Carnet post refer to.
Thanks, Beth
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  #11  
Old 7 Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by bethfrizzell View Post
Please forgive my ignorance but what does "CFA" in the Africa without a Carnet post refer to.
Thanks, Beth
CFA franc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  #12  
Old 8 Jan 2013
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"Not to mention that with a Cpd you'll be asked for money at a lot of borders in order to stamp it."

NOT TRUE AT ALL.

I was never asked for any stamping fee for my Carnet in my 3 year African trip. There was sometimes a road tax or something that you paid regardless (Tanzania/Kenya), but never anything for entering with the carnet. I did the same countries as you plus quite a few more.

In a few cases there were audible sighs of disappointment when I produced it, as it mean't no opportunity for them to pocket a few dollars.

It made borders much easier I found - no need to talk to anybody, just get a stamp in and out (if they could be bothered doing it!).

Overall I think having a internationally recognised document is a great way of approaching things - I had 3 altogether, new ones sent out when the old one was going to expire, I'm not sure why you mention a one year limit?

However, I agree that the way the carnet system is handled for travellers is stupidly expensive and restrictive. Why is it valid for 12 months - why not 24 or 17 or 29 months? That alone cost me an extra £1,000 in having to have two new carnets couriered to me. F'ing stupid numbers on a piece of paper that caused me endless stress and money.

You have a bike though???

It seems easier with a bike - having a 4x4 like me I was clearly told that Kenya wouldn't allow you in without a carnet? Angola wouldn't give me a visa because my carnet would expire when I was going to be in the country (i.e.: I needed one to apply). Saudi would only give me a visa with the carnet etc.

My overall opinion was that it was much easier to have a carnet, but if I did the trip again I wouldn't use one due to the high costs and hassles when it expires.

If a carnet was £50 and valid for 5 years it would be a no brainer.
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  #13  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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No carnet in Africa! It work for me!

Im in Israel now,I cross 22countrys from Maroco - Cape town-Cario riding Us register bike.
with out Carnet,I took advise from Mrwhite,When, you coming to Egypt from Sudan ask for TIP and pay $800 Refundable-Deposit which I got back to the penny when I left Egypt to Israel,lost $70 when I exchange from Egypt money to Us$,make sure you exchange on Egypt side NOT Israel.
its a lot better than Canada carnet that cost $750 non refundable
+ other horseshit. and Kenya border,easy dont stop at customs and just ride using the other gate like 25,000 miles with Luke and Nick Did.

Thank you Mrwhite,Luke and Nick.
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  #14  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingyak.org View Post
"Not to mention that with a Cpd you'll be asked for money at a lot of borders in order to stamp it."

NOT TRUE AT ALL.

I was never asked for any stamping fee for my Carnet in my 3 year African trip. There was sometimes a road tax or something that you paid regardless (Tanzania/Kenya), but never anything for entering with the carnet. I did the same countries as you plus quite a few more.

In a few cases there were audible sighs of disappointment when I produced it, as it mean't no opportunity for them to pocket a few dollars.

It made borders much easier I found - no need to talk to anybody, just get a stamp in and out (if they could be bothered doing it!).

Overall I think having a internationally recognised document is a great way of approaching things - I had 3 altogether, new ones sent out when the old one was going to expire, I'm not sure why you mention a one year limit?

However, I agree that the way the carnet system is handled for travellers is stupidly expensive and restrictive. Why is it valid for 12 months - why not 24 or 17 or 29 months? That alone cost me an extra £1,000 in having to have two new carnets couriered to me. F'ing stupid numbers on a piece of paper that caused me endless stress and money.

You have a bike though???

It seems easier with a bike - having a 4x4 like me I was clearly told that Kenya wouldn't allow you in without a carnet? Angola wouldn't give me a visa because my carnet would expire when I was going to be in the country (i.e.: I needed one to apply). Saudi would only give me a visa with the carnet etc.

My overall opinion was that it was much easier to have a carnet, but if I did the trip again I wouldn't use one due to the high costs and hassles when it expires.

If a carnet was £50 and valid for 5 years it would be a no brainer.
I know of people asked for money for stamping the Cpd and we personally got asked for stamping our passport (exit stamp) so it is definitely possible. The fact you never got asked for money I guess is your personal luck. Anyway I know after you spend probably more than 1500£ on a Cpd it's hard to acknowledge that in the end is easier without this useless paper. At least for Africa and other parts of the world. I recon in the future the rest of the countries that still obsessed with this Cpd (Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Australia) and the others that are closed for bikers (China, Burma, Vietnam) will change their politics. Time will tell.
I started this topic with costs in mind, here in Romania a Cpd is 500E. So I discovered that actually is cheaper for me with a TIP (probably like for most of the people)
I'm sure a lot of people don't start to explore Africa because of the costs and risks involved in a Cpd but hopefully not anymore.

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwhite View Post
I know of people asked for money for stamping the Cpd and we personally got asked for stamping our passport (exit stamp) so it is definitely possible. The fact you never got asked for money I guess is your personal luck. Anyway I know after you spend probably more than 1500£ on a Cpd it's hard to acknowledge that in the end is easier without this useless paper.
Definitely possible, but I was replying to the part where it said "asked for money at a lot of borders" which strongly implies that it would be a constant problem which it isn't. (Quite a change of tune by the way).

Us overlanders in Africa will always be asked for money in different ways as different officials fish, I was asked for money for a tv license in Nigeria for example, but with stamping carnets it seems well understood its for free - though some borders barely knew what to do with it coming down the west coast and sometimes people confuse an official charge as being for the carnet.

Some of how you get treated is also due to how you present yourself and your body language, along with who you are dealing with.

"Anyway I know after you spend probably more than 1500£ on a Cpd it's hard to acknowledge that in the end is easier without this useless paper."

I guess you mean that to be insulting as thats how it reads? A really lazy and untrue statement considering I laid out pluses and negatives above. You seem determined to be 'right' and better than others on this when its grey rather than black and white. And different with a 4x4 rather than a bike.
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