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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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Old 8 May 2016
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Question Travelling without a carnet from Tanzania to South Africa. Selling bike in Cape Town

Hi all, I'm planning a trip from Morogoro in Tanzania south west through Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and ending in Cape Town or Durban on a Honda 250XL. With the idea of selling the bike in South Africa before flying to Europe. And was recommended I ask for information about the trip here.

My question is: will east and southern African countries have a problem with me bringing a Tanzanian bike into the country? I've taken it to Kenya with no issues but countries vary.

I know that most overlanders carry a carnet, which I don’t have. So I'm guessing they will probably require some type of temporary import bond.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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Old 8 May 2016
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Hi goldchainzz and welcome,
When I travelled that part of Africa in 2007 I met a couple of people who had visited most of those countries on African registered bikes and no carnet, I don't think you will have a problem or have to leave a deposit.
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Old 9 May 2016
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Thanks for the info. So you think just toes crossed and hope for the best? From my experience a few notes slipped in a pocket seems to help lubricate transitions through a border, so I'm inclined to say F it and see what happens.
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Old 10 May 2016
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I don't think anyone paid a penny, just be polite, calm and wait for customs to decide to let you in, you might have to pay some tax in SA if you plan to sell it there.
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Old 10 May 2016
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Thumbs up

Thanks Mark. Whatever I end up doing I'll endeavour to report back here.
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Old 5 Jun 2016
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Hi there Goldchainzz,

I have lived in Tanzania for 25 years and traveled to many southern African countries with a Tanzanian registered vehicle. As all of the southern African countries belong to the SADC (Southern African Development Community) group of countries, including Tanzania, there are agreements in place that allow easy travel of SADC country vehicles between each other.

As you leave Tanzania, you will obtain a travel document from customs on the Tanzanian border. They are meant to hold your bike log book until you return, in which case you would not be able to sell your bike in South Africa or any of the other countries. You can get around this by saying you want to keep your log book as you 'will return to Tanzania through another border post.'


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Old 10 Aug 2016
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Similar plan Thai Bike


I'm looking at a similar plan, but bringing my Thai-registered CB500X. Should I anticipate any issues. Already found a shipping company able to get the bike to Tanzania.

However, worried about spare parts and mechanical issues. Outside of extra cables, spark plugs and filter. What parts do people suggest I bring.

Any advice on how to swing this leg of the trip would be much appreciated.

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Old 17 Aug 2016
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Same Plan

Hey all, new here, but am planning to do a similar trip crossing Tanzania - Malawi border and on to Mozambique -> south Africa
I am of Dutch Nationality
@Goldchainzz, did you already go?
Any one else has any recent experience with crossing these borders with a Tanzania registered bike in relation to
Immigration Visa (able to buy those at the border?)
Insurance (since it seems my TZ insurance is not covering Malawi and Mozambique)
and to be sure: my registration card will suffice as a logbook or is there other paperwork I need to bring.
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Old 27 Aug 2016
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As mentioned in earlier post, leaving Tz with Tz registered vehicle is easy but without the original vehicle registration card, this is normally retained by Tz customs and a temporary export permit issued. Exporting the vehicle is a different matter... Therefore selling outside of Tz can probably be difficult.
Spares specific can be a problem in Tz but amazing how local fundi can keep a bike going by 'making a plan'. There are many motorcycles in Tz but 90% Chinese.
Insurance, easily get a COMESA insurance which covers most central and souther African counties and if not, 3rd party insurance available at all but the most remote border posts.
No carnet necessary.
Hope this helps and enjoy the rides!
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advice needed, carnet, import permit, southern africa

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