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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 2 Feb 2009
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An American in Sudan early 2009 - paperwork experience

I entered Sudan from the southeast (Ethiopia) on January 30, 2009. Here's my experience obtaining paperwork for Sudan. I am riding from south to north, dealing with visas as I go. Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt were the first countries I've encountered where I couldn't get a visa at the border, so going to embassies a country in advance is new for me.

In Nairobi, I was advised at Jungle Junction to go to Addis Abebe and apply for a 14-day Transit Visa, rather than try to obtain a "tourist visa". I decided to go that route, although a Colombian motorcyclist dealt with both his Ethiopia and Sudan visas in Nairobi, so its not an impossible route. And Nairobi (Jungle Junction) isn't a bad place to hang out while dealing with these issues.

You must get your Ethiopian visa in Nairobi - you can't get it at the border - and you don't want to ever do the Moyale to Isiolo road again! Same if you do the Lake Turkana route (get visa to Ethiopia in Nairobi). You also get a customs paper for the bike in Moyale you turn over when you exit Ethiopia - in addition to your Carnet stamps.

So in Addis, I first went to the Egyptian embassy - required for Sudan to issue the transit visa. The Egyptian Consulate has a sign says "apply morning one day (9 to noon), pick up passport next day from 2 - 4 (or 6) p.m. It took me 7 days (what with a weekend and holiday in there) and cost 135 Shillings - $13.00. I don't know if was because I'm on a US passport - turnabout for the way the US issues visas to Egyptians or what - but most people got them per the sign.

At the Sudan embassy next morning - dropped it off, was told to return in the afternoon and pay $200 USD (or get a polite refusal, I wasn't sure), $150 was for the visa, $50 for the visa registration (application). Next afternoon I had my 14-day transit visa. The visa was good for up to 30 days to leave Ethiopia/enter Sudan, 14 more days to exit at Wadi Halfa.

Crossing the border, I had 3 days to get to Khartoum and register at the "alien registration office" (a state police thing). The office has moved from what my Lonely Planet and Tracks4Africa GPS POI are showing - new coordinates
N 15 35.989'
E 032 31.080'

This is right around the corner from the U.S. Embassy.

You need:
1 passport photo
1 copy Sudan visa page
1 copy your passport photo page
5 Sudan Pounds ($2.50) for stamp #1 (your application stamp)
74 Sudan Pounds ($35.00) for stamp #2 (your passport stamp)
Letter of Sponsorship

As to the "letter of sponsorship" (also called a few other things, i.e. letter of guarantee, letter of endorsement) - this is issued by the place you are staying in Khartoum, which likely has a form letter they can provide with relevant details filled in (I got one from the manager of the Blue Nile Sailing Club where I was camping).

Once completed, you have another stamp in your passport - I assume they check this when you exit - and maybe on the road north of here. There are lots of checkpoints in Sudan - and I had to do two other "registrations" at police points along the way (had to supply my own photos for those as well, so carry several up from Nairobi or down from Cairo).

That's my experience. Your nationality may have different results.

Maybe I'll update with my Wadi Halfa to Asswan experience.
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Last edited by quastdog; 4 Feb 2009 at 09:01. Reason: added info on sponsorship letter
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Old 2 Feb 2009
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Very useful information - thanks for the post.

David
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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Dongola Update

Traveling north from Khartoum to Dongola:

To stay at one of the hotels in Dongola, and/or to cross the river on the ferry, you have to "register" at the police station in town:
N 19 10.219'
E030 27.982'

You'll get a "permission form" for the hotel owner (I stayed in 2 different dumps, both places insisted I immediately obtain this permit upon checking in), and another paper for the ferry crossing.

Ferry ticket office is a light blue "shack" at the top of the landing. I assume it says "ticket office" somewhere, but I can't read arabic. It costs 1 Sudan Pound (50 cents US) for the ferry - along with the note from the police.
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Last edited by quastdog; 10 Feb 2009 at 07:19. Reason: add GPS coords
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Old 10 Feb 2009
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Wadi Halfa to Aswan costs

When arriving in Wadi Halfa from the south, follow the paved highway to where it ends in town. You'll be in the "heart of the commercial district". At the very end of the pavement, you'll be sitting in front of one of the 3 hotels I found - the other 2 are just to the left (south) of the Wadi Halfa hotel (in the next "Sudanese strip mall"). Next to the Wadi Halfa hotel is a "Nubatia for Ferry Boat Service" (a fixer who will do your paperwork for a fee).

Fees are (in USD)
Ferry Ticket - $70.00 (1st class) or $47 (2nd class)
Port Tax - $10.00
Customs - $8
Immigration - $8

bike transport - 2 options:
1) on the car barge - $66
2) on the ferry (if there is room) - $132

It doesn't make sense to take it on the ferry, since it doesn't arrive in Aswan until late Thursday p.m., and with Customs being closed Friday (Holy Day) and Saturday, its Sunday at the earliest before you can get the bike cleared. So save the money and let it arrive later. Going south, the ferry is usually full, so this is likely not an option.
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Old 10 Feb 2009
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Thanks for the informative post....

Next bit of handy, up to date info would be if you planned to cross Libya...
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Old 11 Feb 2009
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You won't hear about Libya from me - not even going to waste a minute trying to get a visa. better things to do, other places to see than trying to get into a country that isn't all that friendly to tourists. besides, group travel (convoy) isn't my thing.
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Old 11 Feb 2009
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Good to hear the Holy grail of visas has become slightly easier to obtain!

Interesting that you didnt need a letter of recommendation to obtain the transit visa, but did need to register. Previously (in my experience 2005) it was necessary to get a letter of recommendation before getting the usual 30 day visa, wait six weeks while the embassy ignored you, but once you got the visa and entered, you were deemed to register at the border and hence didn't need to go through all the hassle of registration upon arrival in Khartoum.

Either way, this is an encouraging development for one of the most interesting countries on the continent!

cheers
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