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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
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  #1  
Old 10 Mar 2012
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Post Kenya to South Africa: teaming up with another rider to get around import issues.

Hi All,

I'm a Canadian currently living in Senegal. This June-August, I'm looking to fly to East Africa (probably Kenya) and ride a motorcycle to South Africa.

Originally my idea was to buy a bike in Kenya, and sell it in South Africa. I'm starting to realize though, that this is a pretty complicated (potentially impossible) proposition. As I understand it, these are the roadblocks:

1. In order to travel through some of the countries I'd like to visit along the way (Rwanda, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe) and in order to get into South Africa, I'll need a carnet. I can get a carnet in Kenya from their AA, but it will involve, putting down a deposit equal to the value of the bike in Kenya.

2. Selling the bike in South Africa may be impossible since I'm not a South African resident (I'm seeing inconsistant information here -- does anyone have the definitive word?). Even if I do manage to sell the bike (potentially with the help of friends in South Africa that ARE residents), I'd sacrifice the deposit I put down in Kenya. So ultimately, if I buy a $2,000 bike, that's $2,000 I'll never get back).

Is that pretty much right?

It sounds though, like the best way to get around these problems, would be to team up with someone who wants to do the reverse trip (South Africa to Kenya) either before or after me. One of us would buy the bike on one side of the trip and obtain a carnet. The other would ride the bike back, and sell it in it's country of origin, avoiding any import fees.

Is this possible? Has anyone actually done it successfully?

* Does it matter which direction we'd do this in (buy and sell in Kenya vs. buy and sell in South Africa?)

* How does the paperwork work around the handoff? Does the person who bought the bike own it until final sale in the country of origin (and is it problematic that in this case, the bike wouldn't be owned by the person doing the return trip?), or does the person who bought it actually sell the bike to the person who does the return trip (in this case, is it possible to transfer the carnet and registration, etc. to a new name?

* How would one go about finding someone to pair up with for a project like this?

Finally, a few broader questions:

* I've travelled quite a bit in Africa, and feel I'm as well-equipped as anyone to deal with border crossings, personal-safety issues, etc. But i've never actually ridden a motorcycle before, am I crazy to try this?

* I have a Canadian driver's license, but it doesn't have a motorcycle endorsement. I don't have a international driver's license. Will either of these issues cause a problem?

Thanks in advance for your advise!!

-- David
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  #2  
Old 10 Mar 2012
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Hi,

First of all the trip from Kenya via Malawi to Southafrica is the easyest and therefore best part for someone who has never ridden a motorbike before. The Road is all good the Boarders are easy and the landscape will be beautifull:

Transafrika - Motorbike Experdition to southafrica part 2

The best way would be to find someone trustworthy to ride the bike back with your power of othority or to do a round trip from southafrica via botswana, sambia, malawi, tansania, kenia and back via mozambik to southafrica or so.

Have fun, Tobi

Last edited by ta-rider; 13 Mar 2012 at 17:22.
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  #3  
Old 17 Apr 2012
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hello mate..

How are you getting along with this plan?

I could be interested in this. At the moment the carnet and return shipping issues are putting a full trip to Cape town out of my cost range.

Im in London and would like to ride Africa, but don't really fancy any of the ride between here and Ethiopia. After a mission across africa i certainly won't want to turn around and ride all the way back to London. So we maybe we could help each other out??

Have you got an idea of what bike you want to get and where from? or are you thinking of taking what you can get? Have you heard of any dealers they may agree to buy back?

Cheers..
Loader

btw -- regarding yr lack of experience: the first time i ever rode a bike, i hired it in Phnom Phen in Cambodia, a mega hectic mass of people on bikes. i walked the streets looking for someone who could tell me 'what the pedals and handles on a bike do?' so that i could appear like i knew what i was doing to the guy renting the bike to me. No problems!! and i went straight off through Asian rush hour and onwards onto the wet jungle trails.. Anyone who can drive a car and ride a bicycle can operate a motorbike.. the skills you'll need to ride off road? well half the fun is learning that as you go along!!
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  #4  
Old 18 Apr 2012
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I bought two bikes in South Africa for my son and I to ride up to Kenya.

I had a South African mate buy them - the carnet is considerably cheaper for a South African than a non resident -and he gave me a letter of authority to ride the bikes up to Kenya. I paid the deposit on the bikes to the AA.

The carnet was stamped all the way up with no issues at any time from any border officials.

Once here I rode the bikes around for a few months on the carnet and SA plates and then "bought" them from my SA mate and officially imported them to Kenya, paying duty etc. I returned the carnet to the AA in Pretoria and got back the deposit

Another mate brought an SA reg bike from Cape Town to here then could not face the ride back so sold it to me here. I paid the duty then returned the carnet to the seller who recovered his deposit from the AA.

Not quite the way you plan it, but the system works, probably better from SA than from here.

You will not lose the deposit you put down in kenya if you do it that way because the carnet is returned with a Customs stamp (duty paid etc) from SA and the Kenyan AA will refund your deposit once they have proof it has been legally disposed of.

Decent bikes are hard to find in Kenya and the price you pay for one will almost certainly not be reflected in a resale in SA.

I suggest you consider a reroute from SA up to here and follow the way i did it.

Sean
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  #5  
Old 19 Apr 2012
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bmw in sa

I have a 2009 bmwf800 gs in cape town. Its on a carnet that expires june 12 if not renewed. Its an american registered bike. A great bike for africa!
Will sell antonltd@comcast.net
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  #6  
Old 8 Jun 2012
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Hello again.

I've got myself a 2001 BMW f650 gs dakar now, leaving Cape town end of june. I could be interested in selling it on in Kenya or Ethiopia to someone that wants to head south as i've done North Africa/Europe before.

Its registered in UK, would need a Carnet (although its very affordable if you take Egypt out of the equation).. I would/could include the full kit with it too: Tent, airmatt, hammock, tools, panniers, cooking kit, gps, etc.. and i'd have just done the trip north so could give you 'the knowledge' ...

drop me a line if you're interested..

Cheers
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  #7  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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No carnet required!

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 had some sort of Temporary Import Permit (cost between 1 USD - Mozambique and 25 USD - Tanzania) 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.
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  #8  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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will you pass through Egypt ?
cheers
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  #9  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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will you pass through Egypt ?
cheers
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  #10  
Old 12 Jun 2012
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The plan is to pass through Egypt but not 100% sure. will report at the end and also I created a new thread in Paperworks with more details of the countries crossed so far.

Cheers,
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  #11  
Old 3 Aug 2012
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Hi David,

I just arrived in Kenya to live here for a couple of years. If you are still keen to buy a bike in Kenya and ride it to SA I could potentially ride it back and help you resell it. Bikes aren't cheap here but I understand that they hold their value pretty well - so as long as it doesn't get trashed it should be easy to sell on.

I just bought a small cheap bike (a Chinese 175cc) for nipping around Nairobi/ beating the traffic - but I love the idea of taking a longer trip as well, so let me know. I could also help you out with finding a bike in Nairobi as I did a fair bit of research when looking for my ride here and I have couple of useful contacts. Just let me know.

Cheers,

Ken
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  #12  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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Thanks for all of the replies!

Thank you for the advice, everyone! We've made a go of the trip, and so far, it has worked out well. All the best to you all.
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