The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Trip PaperworkCovers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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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.
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.
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'
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.
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.
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.
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!
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