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  #1  
Old 8 Aug 2020
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Cape Town to Switzerland in 2021

Hello together

I am a new member to the forum and planning the trip from Cape Town to Switzerland in late 2021 on a motorbike.

At the time of the trip, I will be 19 years old and with about a year of motorbike driving experience. It will be my first long-time trip.

I am planning 4-6 months for the trip.

This thread is focused on the Cape to Cairo Route. The European part of the route is neglected.

Planned (not fixed) route is:

SA- Botswana- Zambia- Tanzania- Rwana- Uganda- Kenya- Ethipoia- Sudan- Egypt-...Switzerland


As I am starting to plan for the trip, my questions/concerns are the following:

- I plan to buy a motorbike in Cape Town. How does it work with registration. Do I need a TRN to buy one? If yes, how do I acquire it (without residence address)?

- Is it possible to get a Carnet de passage and insurance for the bike in SA?

-Are there going to be problems with border crossing and importing the bike to Europe? What happens with the bike registration in SA?

- Which Visas are problematic? Visas in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan must be obtained in advance if I am correct. Are fixers needed on this trip?

-Can equipement be bought and the bike prepared and modified in CT? Are there good shops around for spare parts? I might need to spend some time anyway in CT to optain documents and complete the bike purchase.

I do not expect a complete answer for my many questions, rather I hope for helpful links, tips and insights. Especially given that the trip is still far away.

What else do I need to think of?


Thank you so much,

Joel
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  #2  
Old 9 Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young_Travellist_CH View Post
Hello together

I am a new member to the forum and planning the trip from Cape Town to Switzerland in late 2021 on a motorbike.

At the time of the trip, I will be 19 years old and with about a year of motorbike driving experience. It will be my first long-time trip.

I am planning 4-6 months for the trip.

This thread is focused on the Cape to Cairo Route. The European part of the route is neglected.

Planned (not fixed) route is:

SA- Botswana- Zambia- Tanzania- Rwana- Uganda- Kenya- Ethipoia- Sudan- Egypt-...Switzerland


As I am starting to plan for the trip, my questions/concerns are the following:

- I plan to buy a motorbike in Cape Town. How does it work with registration. Do I need a TRN to buy one? If yes, how do I acquire it (without residence address)?

- Is it possible to get a Carnet de passage and insurance for the bike in SA?

-Are there going to be problems with border crossing and importing the bike to Europe? What happens with the bike registration in SA?

- Which Visas are problematic? Visas in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan must be obtained in advance if I am correct. Are fixers needed on this trip?

-Can equipement be bought and the bike prepared and modified in CT? Are there good shops around for spare parts? I might need to spend some time anyway in CT to optain documents and complete the bike purchase.

I do not expect a complete answer for my many questions, rather I hope for helpful links, tips and insights. Especially given that the trip is still far away.

What else do I need to think of?


Thank you so much,

Joel
Although SA has become a bit of a mess, thanks to imbeciles in high positions, it is not exactly a backwater, especially Cape Town. There are plenty of bike shops which stock all you can dream of and more.

You will need a proof of address to buy anything that requires a contract, but maybe can register the bike in the name of a local and get permission to cross borders. With an SA registration you can travel freely through all Southern African countries up to Tanzania and don't require Carnet. You can get a Carnet at any local AA shop in Cape Town.
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  #3  
Old 9 Aug 2020
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I did this route over the passed year, except Egypt.

Visas for Sudan and Ethiopia can be applied for in local embassies whilst on the road. The iOverlander app has lots of information about embassy location, price, documents required, turnaround time etc. I don't know about Egypt, but I understand it's very difficult without a fixer (for me, fixers are unnecessary at other borders). Visas can be picked up en route for all other countries on this route. Take USD and passport photos for visas and other administration (e.g.,taxes) at the borders.

Carnet is not required for most countries. Sudan requires a carnet but this can be applied for in advance (doesn't seem to be an official option but it works), and collected and paid for at the border. I understand Egypt requires a carnet, which I don't think can be applied for in advance like Sudan; however, I haven't visited Egypt.

Cape Town is a good place to prep a bike. I traveled the West coast and repaired and service my bike in Cape Town before riding the East coast. I shared an airbnb with two other bikers that I had met in Gabon -- awesome fun! Woodstock Moto Co is a must! They're a community garage with a cafe where I met lots of people who offered local knowledge on routes, exchanged stories etc. it's possible to work on your bike there. There's lots of bike and parts stores across Cape Town, some of which specialise in ADV. There's a second hand parts stores on the first floor of Woodstock Moto. There's a shop inside Woodstock Moto called Overland Motorrad run by Henk and David. I'm not 100% certain but I think David knows about non-residents buying SA bikes.

Top tip: Check the posts in iOverlander for each border you intend to cross. You'll see lots of comments on experiences and updates for each border.
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  #4  
Old 10 Aug 2020
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re Is it possible to get a Carnet de passage and insurance for the bike in SA?

carnet yes - and I suggest that it's a good idea, although for Egypt it may be better to get one locally through an agent (arrange before arriving). FOr insurance most people buy the legal miunimum on arrival and this is easy (although a bit of a puzzle in Kazungula - see below).

re Are there going to be problems with border crossing

No - the Kazungula border is a bit chaotic, and in our experience the only one where it's worth enlisting help - simply to know where to go for the various steps in the process. The rest are straightforward (we have crossed all that you plan except Kenya/Ethiopia and further north.

...and importing the bike to Europe? What happens with the bike registration in SA?

To import the bike into Europe will depend on the local import rules for the country where you hope to import. Check with the local AA at both ends.

- Which Visas are problematic? Visas in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan must be obtained in advance if I am correct. Are fixers needed on this trip?

Depends on your passport. Our experience has been:

RSA - we needed visas ahead of time and were allowed to get them only in Caracas.

Botswana - we needed visas ahead of time and were allowed to get them only in Washington, USA.

Zambia - VOA no problem

Tanzania - VOA no problem

Rwanda - EATV online no problem

Uganda - EATV online no problem

Kenya - EATV online no problem

Egypt - VOA no problem, however we haven't entered Egypt from Sudan.

re What else do I need to think of?

Figure out what you want in terms of capturing your experience: for photos, anything from an iPhone to a DSLR with a couple of lenses. The key is how much weight/size you want to haul around. Sort out how to back up your photos (we upload to cloud storage as frequently as possible). A GoPro is a good option.

How to manage communication: smartphone with (relatively expensive) roaming capability or local SIMs (which you can but at borders), internet cafés.

Whether to take a laptop? Maybe - more space, weight, and worry (security), but a lot more capability in terms of photo storage, connecting for online bookings, permits, etc.).

How to manage money: combination of cash (USD are most useful) ATM cards, wire transfers (Western Union, whatever). We typically carry "emergency cash" and get money primarily from ATMs.

How to manage medical concerns: immunisations, emergency treatment, medications, etc. There is a heap of threads on various fora about malaria, yellow fever, dengue, etc., so read them and make up your own mind. First aid kit - you need one designed specifically for your needs - Is your blood type unusual?

Personal Travel Insurance: not only medical but also for activities which may not be covered by many policies.

Make up “In case of Emergency” cards with contact numbers, blood group etc.

Hope this helps.

PS: it'll be closer to 6 months than 4.
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  #5  
Old 17 Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonker View Post
Although SA has become a bit of a mess, thanks to imbeciles in high positions, it is not exactly a backwater, especially Cape Town. There are plenty of bike shops which stock all you can dream of and more.

You will need a proof of address to buy anything that requires a contract, but maybe can register the bike in the name of a local and get permission to cross borders. With an SA registration you can travel freely through all Southern African countries up to Tanzania and don't require Carnet. You can get a Carnet at any local AA shop in Cape Town.
Thank you! I guess I will check on the proof of residency with dealers in CT and ask them. Might then need to find a local who is willing to help out.
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  #6  
Old 17 Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Matthews View Post
I did this route over the passed year, except Egypt.

Visas for Sudan and Ethiopia can be applied for in local embassies whilst on the road. The iOverlander app has lots of information about embassy location, price, documents required, turnaround time etc. I don't know about Egypt, but I understand it's very difficult without a fixer (for me, fixers are unnecessary at other borders). Visas can be picked up en route for all other countries on this route. Take USD and passport photos for visas and other administration (e.g.,taxes) at the borders.

Carnet is not required for most countries. Sudan requires a carnet but this can be applied for in advance (doesn't seem to be an official option but it works), and collected and paid for at the border. I understand Egypt requires a carnet, which I don't think can be applied for in advance like Sudan; however, I haven't visited Egypt.

Cape Town is a good place to prep a bike. I traveled the West coast and repaired and service my bike in Cape Town before riding the East coast. I shared an airbnb with two other bikers that I had met in Gabon -- awesome fun! Woodstock Moto Co is a must! They're a community garage with a cafe where I met lots of people who offered local knowledge on routes, exchanged stories etc. it's possible to work on your bike there. There's lots of bike and parts stores across Cape Town, some of which specialise in ADV. There's a second hand parts stores on the first floor of Woodstock Moto. There's a shop inside Woodstock Moto called Overland Motorrad run by Henk and David. I'm not 100% certain but I think David knows about non-residents buying SA bikes.

Top tip: Check the posts in iOverlander for each border you intend to cross. You'll see lots of comments on experiences and updates for each border.
I will definitely try to get in touch with David. Thank you for your information. I wish you all the best when you can get on the bike again and continue your journey!
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  #7  
Old 17 Aug 2020
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Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanymarce View Post
re Is it possible to get a Carnet de passage and insurance for the bike in SA?

carnet yes - and I suggest that it's a good idea, although for Egypt it may be better to get one locally through an agent (arrange before arriving). FOr insurance most people buy the legal miunimum on arrival and this is easy (although a bit of a puzzle in Kazungula - see below).

re Are there going to be problems with border crossing

No - the Kazungula border is a bit chaotic, and in our experience the only one where it's worth enlisting help - simply to know where to go for the various steps in the process. The rest are straightforward (we have crossed all that you plan except Kenya/Ethiopia and further north.

...and importing the bike to Europe? What happens with the bike registration in SA?

To import the bike into Europe will depend on the local import rules for the country where you hope to import. Check with the local AA at both ends.

- Which Visas are problematic? Visas in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan must be obtained in advance if I am correct. Are fixers needed on this trip?

Depends on your passport. Our experience has been:

RSA - we needed visas ahead of time and were allowed to get them only in Caracas.

Botswana - we needed visas ahead of time and were allowed to get them only in Washington, USA.

Zambia - VOA no problem

Tanzania - VOA no problem

Rwanda - EATV online no problem

Uganda - EATV online no problem

Kenya - EATV online no problem

Egypt - VOA no problem, however we haven't entered Egypt from Sudan.

re What else do I need to think of?

Figure out what you want in terms of capturing your experience: for photos, anything from an iPhone to a DSLR with a couple of lenses. The key is how much weight/size you want to haul around. Sort out how to back up your photos (we upload to cloud storage as frequently as possible). A GoPro is a good option.

How to manage communication: smartphone with (relatively expensive) roaming capability or local SIMs (which you can but at borders), internet cafés.

Whether to take a laptop? Maybe - more space, weight, and worry (security), but a lot more capability in terms of photo storage, connecting for online bookings, permits, etc.).

How to manage money: combination of cash (USD are most useful) ATM cards, wire transfers (Western Union, whatever). We typically carry "emergency cash" and get money primarily from ATMs.

How to manage medical concerns: immunisations, emergency treatment, medications, etc. There is a heap of threads on various fora about malaria, yellow fever, dengue, etc., so read them and make up your own mind. First aid kit - you need one designed specifically for your needs - Is your blood type unusual?

Personal Travel Insurance: not only medical but also for activities which may not be covered by many policies.

Make up “In case of Emergency” cards with contact numbers, blood group etc.

Hope this helps.

PS: it'll be closer to 6 months than 4.
Thank you for your extensive answer. Your tips and advice really help me a lot!

One thing I hope you can give me advice on is for the EATV or all Visas you need to apply for in advance and that are not VOA. How important is the date of entry and date of exit, as these are not yet known when applying for the Visa in advance and when travelling on a motorbike? Will there be problems when they are wrong? I haven't found an answer to this in other threads...
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  #8  
Old 18 Aug 2020
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Hello

On my trip around the World and other longer trips I did, as soon as I had to deal with visas, it was easiest to write up a rough itinerary. This I mostly included in the visa application, so they could see that i’m on a big trip. Always included a rough overlap of about 5 days on each country.
If you stick to these days or not doesn’t matter but of course you have to check what kind of visa they give and what are the entry requirements.
Sometimes a visa will give you quite a short period of time to enter but most visa you have 1 or 3 months time to enter from the date of issue.

Hope that helps

Greets from Switzerland

Claudio


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  #9  
Old 18 Aug 2020
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Guess the (C)orona Issue dont will leave so fast.

I alway`s try to collect "blogging" travellers on east/west route.

Maybe you want to read some recent experiences on the east route: https://www.4x4tripping.com/2020/03/...-ostroute.html

Surfy
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  #10  
Old 18 Aug 2020
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Location: Colombia,(when not travelling)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young_Travellist_CH View Post
Thank you for your extensive answer. Your tips and advice really help me a lot!

One thing I hope you can give me advice on is for the EATV or all Visas you need to apply for in advance and that are not VOA. How important is the date of entry and date of exit, as these are not yet known when applying for the Visa in advance and when travelling on a motorbike? Will there be problems when they are wrong? I haven't found an answer to this in other threads...
Depends on the country. RSA gave us a 90 day visa, which runs from the moment it's issued. If you fail to get there within this period, you need to apply for another visa (which in our case would have meant flying to Venezuela). This was the only one in our last Africa trip which limited our travel dates. Namibia and Botswana had validity periods for how long we could stay in the country (90 days and 30 days) but the visas were valid for a year and the 90 and 30 days ran from date of entry, not date of issue. The rest including EATV were obtained online or VOA so no problems with expiry, except of course for the need to leave the country involved within the visa limit. You apply shortly before arrival (which means finding an internet café or some other means of applying).
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  #11  
Old 18 Aug 2020
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I think he is A Swiss National, so no visa issue with SA/Nam and Botswana. These countries just do a stamp in your passport and you have to tell them how long you intend to stay.
After that it’s Zambia, Visa on arrival. 50$
Malawi is a bit more tricky, Visa is issued at the Malawian Embassy in Lusaka (Swiss need Visa, UK is for free).
Tanzania Visa on arrival; 50$.
Kenya Visa on arrival; 50$.
Ethiopia Visa has to be organised ahead.

Greets

Claudio


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  #12  
Old 18 Aug 2020
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Originally Posted by Globetrotter View Post
I think he is A Swiss National, so no visa issue with SA/Nam and Botswana. These countries just do a stamp in your passport and you have to tell them how long you intend to stay.
After that it’s Zambia, Visa on arrival. 50$
Malawi is a bit more tricky, Visa is issued at the Malawian Embassy in Lusaka (Swiss need Visa, UK is for free).
Tanzania Visa on arrival; 50$.
Kenya Visa on arrival; 50$.
Ethiopia Visa has to be organised ahead.

Greets
Claudio
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I didn't see any information on OP's passport (yes I saw the residence, but it doesn't imply the same passport). You're right though, that if OP has a Swiss passport some visas will be less problematic. Need to check (the best site for this is IATA). Our Malawi visa was handled by email and it worked fine. The advantage of the EATV is that it covers Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya, and is an e-visa.
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