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Old 17 Oct 2008
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Question Better to ship from Senegal to UK, or Gambia to UK? Who to use?

Hi all

I've seen a few threads with similar questions, but most are about a year or so old, and I'm hoping for more recent information.

Is it easier/better to ship a bike from Senegal or Gambia back to the UK?

Can anyone recommend a company?
How long does it take?
What are the costs?
Can you go along with the bike, or must it be separate?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

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Old 18 Oct 2008
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Steve I've sent you an e-mail about this.

Have a good trip

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Old 19 Oct 2008
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I'm very keen to know more - I want to do a trip from the UK to the Senegal area and would prefer to make it a one-way trip.


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Old 19 Oct 2008
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In Dec 06 I used Gambia Shipping Agencies to ship two bikes back to the UK.

We opted for a shared container that was around £150 per bike. We did have to wait until the container filled up, which took about 5 months. Loading was straightforward - we dropped the bikes at the wharf in Banjul without keys and they were subsequently wheeled onto the container. No pallets / packing required.

If you want the bike back quicker, the cost for the whole container was £900 - they estimated about 3 weeks back to the UK for the whole container.

Redcoat no longer have dangerous goods clearance, so you cannot fly the bike back with them. I did ask around and apparently one of the Belgian airlines will fly them back to Brussels (I forget which airline it was) but the cost was around £700-£800 per bike.

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Old 19 Oct 2008
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In April 2006 I've shiped my bike from Dakar, Senegal, to Hamburg in Germany with Grimaldi lines. The bike was driven into the Ro Ro ship, and so was I. It took us 6 days, and cost around $1000. Very nice adventure, and recomended if you have the time. At the time, Grimaldy used to call in Dakar twice a month if i'm not mistaken.

Hope this helps,
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Old 4 Nov 2008
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Been in contact with Grimaldi Line in the UK. They suggested that they would not take a bike from Dakar on a RO-RO basis, which kind of goes against what I have heard from other sources.

However, they will take a 5 cubic meter wooden crate for £500 or they would do a 20ft container for £900. So some interesting figures to consider right now. (Anyone fancy sharing in early February?)

My previous surface shipping experience has involved RO-RO vessels where you just park at the port, leave the keys and pay the man. Then it's pretty simple to pick up the bike at the far end. I don't recall that there were significant charges to pay on collection (in Los Angeles) and nothing in the UK (Southampton).

I am limited as far as time is concerned this time so don't want to be spending too long in Dakar. Anyone know how long it should take to organise a bike shipment there? I won't be riding the ship on the way back.

The next problem is how to get the bike back when it arrives in the UK. If it arrives in a wooden crate that sounds easier to deal with than a shipping container. Can you just ride out at the port?

Hope to get some good ideas.


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Old 14 Nov 2008
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Not looking the most popular thread on the HUBB this one for some reason.....

I would imagine that a one-month or so trip to West Africa is quite feasible and that plenty of folks would have done/would like to do a one-way ride and ship home. The price of shipping looks reasonable too - a set of tyres could be more.....

Must be someone who has some information.


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Old 6 Feb 2009
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Just wanted to finish this thread now that I have returned from Dakar.

Grimaldi do not accept motorcycles now on the Dakar route. The UK office suggested that they would if the bike was put in a wooden box. In Dakar, the local reps said NO WAY but were very helpful otherwise..... If you had enough bikes to send then 1200 euros would get you a 20' container sent to Tilbury or Le Havre plus whatever the fees are in the UK.

The alternative is to hand the bike over to a freight forwarder who is sending a container on the Grimaldi boat. The price for a bike is €375 and you just park it up at the warehouse. I spotted another bike that had been left by another British rider and this had been waiting for a little longer than first anticipated. This might be a good option BUT very few goods are shipped to the UK and so Le Havre is the only regular destination for these containers. Given the expense to get to Le Havre and teh need to get the bikes back asap we ruled this option out.

In the end we used Lufthansa to send the bikes to Heathrow for approximately €2.50 per kilo. This cost me €600 in Dakar and further handling charges and customs clearance at Heathrow. It turns out that you cannot clear UK customs without the use of an agent at the airport anymore. |If you don't want to pay up there is a long winded procedure that involves sending various documents to UK Customs in Manchester. Other than the expense this option worked pretty well - bikes received two days after departure and in the condition they were handed over. The bikes were strapped to airline pallets.

Hope this helps someone.
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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I'm heading down to Senegal in weeks and have decided to look at shipping the bike back.

Did you use and agent in Dakar to get the bike onto the Lufthansa flight and did you have to pack the bikes? If so - can I ask where you got the materials?

Many Thanks

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Old 3 Nov 2009
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Last edited by mafra; 10 Mar 2010 at 18:35. Reason: .
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