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Travel Notes

Throughout our travels, we have found the most useful and helpful information has come from other overlanders blogs. We printed off a few key blogs before we left and having a notes section saved us from having to print off the whole blog! These  have proved to be invaluable as It’s hard to find good internet connections on the road and Rough Guides are often years out of date. So to continue the information contribution for other overlanders, below are the travel notes we’ve been compiling for each country. NB Costs are in AUD and fuel prices are for petrol

AUSTRALIA

Travelled 12,628KLMS

Litres per 100km: 14.05

Average fuel cost: $1.77/litre

Summary:

We loved our farewell tour of Oz, but wish it could have been longer!  We ended up covering a lot of KLMs in not much time and being on the move constantly was exhausting. Australia is beautiful, but BIG! We also completely blew our budget out, so we were keen to get moving!  However, it’s such an easy and safe place to travel round that everyone needs to do it at least once! … we will be back!

Some of our favourites:

Flinders ranges –beautiful walks and great camping at Wilpena Pound

Ayres Rock –completely underestimated how beautiful it would be

he Gibb River Road – a little too easy after so much hype, but beautiful driving and many great waterholes to swim at along the way.

Snorkelling at the Ningaloo reef – The Turquoise drift & Oyster stacks are must dos!

Coral bay Ecotours – diving with Whale Sharks (Much more chilled out than Exmouth)

Amazing Aussies we met along the way – particularly the guys who towed us 170km across the desert

Margaret River loop down to Albany – wine region meets the sea – just stunning!

And the not so great:

–          Pirates Backpackers in Fremantle  –it’s a hole!

–          Flies and mosquitoes – particularly bad in the centre

–          The price of everything! The last beer we bought in Fremantle was $10 a pint!!

–          The elusive free camping spots down the West Coast – we struggled to find any and those we did find were so packed it wasn’t pleasant

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SOUTH AFRICA

Travelled 4,628klms

Litres per 100km : 16.04 (!!!!) We think our average was pushed through the roof in Lesotho, previously  averaging at about 14ish in Aus.

Average fuel cost: R13.13 / $1.59

Visas – None – free entry up to 90days

We have absolutely loved South Africa – we could easily have stayed for months. The food, service and scenery has been more spectacular than we could have hoped for,  but it’s the people who have made our time here so special – we have been made so welcome.  It’s an easy place to travel, very geared towards camping so plenty of great sites with good clean facilities to choose from. Don’t let the bad press put you off!

Some of our favourites:

Gibela Backpackers (Durban, Morningside). The cleanest, smartest backpackers you’ll ever stay at! Great place to stay if you’re shipping your car into Durban. (R580/night for private double incl breakfast)

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park – we’d heard that accommodation was overpriced in the park, so we stayed outside the park at Isinkwe backpackers, Bushlands. S28 06.520 E32 17.070 (R850 for private en-suite, including dinner and breakfast)

Addo Elephant park. We found camping in the park was overpriced and crowded. We much preferred the Aardvark Guesthouse, S33 32.087 E25 41.811. Only 10KM from the gate which has great camping spots in the gardens and good facilities.

Garden Route – the whole stretch is stunning, with plenty of spots for camping. For us Storms River was the pick of the bunch (Parks camping roughly R185/night)

De-Hoop Nature Reserve – world heritage listed site, wildlife lovers paradise. Not to be missed! Camping by the Vlei, with good facilities (R295) S34 27.242 E20 23.976

Upington – Sakkie se Arkie Camping Terrain campsite – great spot on the banks of the River Orange. The owner Theo, used to run tours through Namibia, so has lots of great tips! S28 27.668 E21 14.736 (R160)

Kalahari – stayed at Twee Riverien, Nossob. (R160-185 per night). Book ahead for wilderness trails and camping in the more remote Botswana section.

Molopo Kalahari Lodge – ‘posh camping’ in front of the lodge, with individual private shower and toilet. 50km from the Namibian border at Rietfontein. S26 55.886 E20 39.687 Pricey though, 300R

The not so great:

-Crime in the cities – sadly the crime in the cities is a problem. Just be vigilant and never leave anything out or unlocked – particularly in hotel rooms!!

-St Lucia wetlands –Bibs backpackers in town S28 22.768 E32 24.553 – it doesn’t look like the picture anymore! But very cheap!!

Tip:

If you’re planning on visiting a number of parks in South Africa, make sure you buy a Wild Card ($220AUD) works out much cheaper than the daily entrance fees

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LESOTHO:

Fuel and distance included in South Africa above.

We loved all of Lesotho – definitely worth a visit if you have a 4×4. Crossing the border really is like going back in time by 200years. There isn’t much to choose from in terms of accommodation, so here’s a list of where we stayed.

Sani Lodge Backpackers – good location to start the drive up to the Sani Pass. Basic camping in the grounds, but has toilets and hot showers(R165). S29 39.719 E29 27.373

Camping at St James Lodge – camping in the front of the lodge. Basic facilities, but no electricity so only warm showers if the donkeys on! (R140) S29 20.798 E29 01.195

Lipofung Cultural Centre – we were allowed to camp on a small patch of grass near the chalets – access to toilets/showers/kitchen.(R80) S28 45.272 E28 29.657

Tip:

Look out for the white flags of the villages selling local beer – try it!

The roads heading north of the Sani Pass are very slow going – it takes about 4-5hrs to get to the next town so allow plenty of time.

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NAMIBIA

Travelled: 3,861KLMS

Litres per 100km: 15.9

Average fuel cost: N$1.92 / $1.38AUD

Border used: Rietfontein

Visas – None. Free entry up to 90days

Road tax – N$220 (payable at Aroab, or the next town after the border

Again, another super easy, friendly and safe country to travel in with an abundance of great places to stay. Some areas are very remote though, so make sure you plan fuel stops properly as everywhere is much further than it looks!

Recommended places to stay:

Ai Ais hot springs camping – we were there in the low season so had the whole place to ourselves – will be busy during peak times. Beautiful location, hot spring fed pool and indoor Jacuzzi! Great place for some easy camping (N$250) S27 55.026 E17 29.399

Aus Camping. Very small camping area in the centre. Simple facilities but safe and clean. (N$150per night) S26 40.005 E16 15.627  (We tried to camp at Aus Klein Vista, but it was fully booked, but looked good! S26 39.309 E16 14.123

Luderitz, Shark Island camping. Usually notoriously windy, but we enjoyed calm nights here. Beautiful spot right by the ocean & clean ablutions with hot water (N$100pp) S26 38.091 E15 09.125

If you fancy a night in an igloo instead, contact Heiko & Diane on +264(0)63 202 173 (N$300per night)

Swakopmund – Alte Brucke – ‘luxury camping’ with en suite facilities, but very holiday resort S22 41.182 E14 31.517 (N$300). Try also Sophia Dale Base,(N$180) just outside of town, nice camping spots but limited hot water! S22 38.528 E14 38.197

Omaru –  River Guest House – beautifully manicured camping spots in secure location. Clean facilities, hot water, pool & bar! (N$90pp) S21 25.206 E15 57.573

Etosha  – park entry (N$80PP + N$10per car)

Book ahead for camping within the park at Okakuejo, Halali or Namutoni.  Expensive (N$400 a night, but worth it for the close up game viewing at the waterholes in the evenings and early morning.

Etosha Safari Lodge S19 24.346 E15 54.603 (N$150pp) 10km south of Anderson Gate – lovely camping area & facilities with access to free wifi, pool, bar and restaurant

Sachsenheim Guest Farm S18 44.853 E17 15.686 (N$110PP) 25km east of Namutoni – great spot close to the park with good facilities, pool, bar and restaurant.

Ngepi Camp near Divindu

Our favourite camp of the whole trip so far! Such a fun place to stay, with the crazy toilets, croc cage for swimming and great bar, restaurant & river trips including fishing. Book ahead for riverside spots (N$95pp). S18 07.012 E21 40.216

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BOTSWANA

Travelled: 1,129KLMS

Litres per 100km: 20.5! (Lots of off-road and deep sand)

Average fuel cost: N$1.92 / $1.38AUD

Border used: Mohembo –

Visas – None. Free entry up to 90days

Road tax & Insurance – 250BWP purchased at the border

We kept mainly to the northern part of Botswana, focusing our time in the parks, so we only stayed in a handful of places. The country is stunning, the off-roading is tough, but the locals are the friendliest we’ve met so far. However, it’s very geared towards the fly-in/fly out tourists so be prepared to pay extortionate fees!

Tsodilo Hills – a beautiful place to visit, but you can no longer camp at the centre – despite the good facilities. Currently the community camp by the entrance gate is the only option, but despite being new, the poor facilities and 260BWP charge per night, try and find somewhere else!

Entrance fee – 50BWP/person

Guide – 2hr walk – 120BWP

Maun – Sedia Riverside Hotel. This lovely yellow hotel has great camping facilities in the grounds and you’re also able to use the hotel bar & pool. Only 50BWP per night. S19 57.133 E23 28.650

Moremi, Savuti  & Chobe Parks

These parks are what make Botswana so special, but be prepared for a lot of running around in Maun if you haven’t booked ahead. The parks office will only issue permits, once the campsites have been booked and each campsite has it’s own office! All of the parks camping have ablutions, water and fire pits . Park entry is 290BWP a day (40USDapprox) plus camping, around 500BWP per night, Savuti is 100USD a night!

Kasane – Chobe Safari Lodge. An amazing lodge, with a beautiful pool deck overlooking the Chobe River. Camping facilities are just next door, but you’re able to make full use of lodge facilities. Perfect way to relax and recover after ‘being bush’ for a week! (170BWP/night) S17 48.350 E25 08.806

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ZIMBABWE

Travelled: 508

Average fuel cost: $1.51

Border used: Vic Falls (fine). Kariba (quiet, but lots of questions from bored officials)

Visas – Double entry valid for 6 months $70USD each.

Road tax & Insurance – $70 USD

We would loved to have explored further, but the couple of places we did visit, we loved. The locals are so friendly and relaxed and very happy to see tourists. However, since the USD introduced, very expensive.

Vic Falls Rest camp – safe and secure. Has seen better days, but has good ablutions, pool, bar. ($32 per night) S17 55.553 E25 50.333

Kariba Kushinga Lodge – lonely, run down lodge but lovely views across the lake.  ($10 per night) S16 32.203 E28 45.832

Mana Pools – crappy 80km drive into the park on very corrugated roads – but well worth it when you get there!

Park fees -$40 per day + $15 per car for whole visit

Camping – $40 per day. Simple camping at Nyamepi , but has water, donkey showers and flush toilets.  S15 43.170 E29 22.025

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ZAMBIA

Travelled: 1502KM

Average fuel cost: $1.88!!

Border used:  Livingstone (easy,but takes time organising money exchange, insurance etc)  & Chirundu (crazy!!!Drive past all the lorries to the front)

Visas – Double entry valid for 90 days $80 USD each

Road tax – 20USD

Carbon tax – 150ZKW

Local council tax! – 30ZKW

Insurance – 3rd party bought at the border post for 268ZMK (note the currency has been re-indexed since Jan 2013)

Yellow Card Comesa insurance 240ZMK (45USD) valid for 6months . We brought ours in Livingstone from Diamond Insurance. Note, your Zambian insurance has to be valid for the same length of time as your Comesa, so we had to buy 6months of each!

Monze – The Moorings campsite (70ZKW per night)

Lovely locally run campsite between Livingstone and Lusaka. Big grassy areas to camp on, clean ablutions with hot water. (S16 11.624 E27 32.600)

Lusaka

Eureka Camp – 10kms south of Lusaka. Popular overlanders camp – pool, bar, good ablutions. 80ZKW. S15 30.207 E28 15.867

Pioneer camp – 20kms north east of Lusaka. Lovely campsites, bar, pool, new ablutions being built 70KZW. S15 23.766 E28 27.038

Chipata

Mama Rulas –70 ZMK Great camp just outside Chipata, perfect stop before heading to South Luangwa. Pool,bar, restaurant.Individual toilets and showers (not always hot) S13 34 56.4 E32 36 35.4

South Luangwa

Most people tend to camp just outside the park as it’s much cheaper. There’s lots of different lodges to choose from, but we stayed in Croc Valley Camp. (66ZMK per person, per night) – watch out for the cranky elephants here. They have attacked cars, so make sure you lock all your food away in the camp kitchen. DO NOT LEAVE IN YOUR CAR!

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MALAWI

Travelled:  1,462

Average fuel cost: $2.19!!!

Border used:  Chipata & Songwe – both straightforward and relatively quick

Visas – None. Free 30 day entry permit

Road tax/Council Tax – None!

Insurance : Yellow Card Comesa accepted

Cape MaClear – Fat Monkeys,

A great spot right on the lake shore, but can get busy on weekends or if an overlander truck arrives. Good vibe, but quite noisy as the surrounding village is busy. But great facilities and fantastic trips to the islands for snorkelling. 4,000MK a night. S14 01 27.0 E34 50 28.7

Liwonde National Park – entry $25USD for 2 people and car

A small, but beautiful park filled with elephants, antelopes and a sneaky rhino who escaped from the rhino sanctuary. Don’t stay at the Mvuu lodge as it’s expensive, plenty of options just outside.

We stayed at Bushman Baobab, (5,400MK night) still working progress, but has good facilities and a high viewing deck for sundowners! About 5kms south of the main park gate, follow signs from the road for about 3kms to the camp.

Nkohtakota – Fish Eagle Bay Lodge

15km south of the town, this amazing little lodge with pristine white chalets and camping area can be found on the lake sound. Take the small dirt track for about 3kms and you’ll find a little paradise. Basic ablutions, but great camping spots and restaurant and bar. 3,000MK a night. S13 02.341 E34 19.582

Mukuzi Beach Lodge *OUR FAVOURITE*

A small secluded beach lodge with chalets and camping area – absolute paradise! Great setting, restaurant and facilities. Could easily have stayed for weeks! ($10 night) S11 55 08.0 E34 10 40.4

Livingstonia – Lukwe farm (4,000MK night)

An organic farm, with fantastic views across the lake. All very eco friendly. S10 35 08.0 E34 07 40.1

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TANZANIA

Travelled:  2,986km

Average fuel cost: $1.56/litre

Border used:  Songwe  and Resumo – both straightforward and relatively quick

Visas – $50 each for 3months entry

Road tax/Council Tax – $25

Mbeya – Utengule Coffee lodge

One of the only places to stop in this area. Although in a beautiful setting, it is expensive and  not geared up for campers and we found ourselves being hidden away from lodge guests. Staff were rude! $20 a night. S8 53 07.3 E33 19 12.3

Iringa – Kisolanza Farm

Fantastic place to stay inbetween Mbeya and Dar. Good camping facilities, but make sure you go for dinner at the restaurant – amazing home grown food!  Farm produce including fantastic beef available to buy. $12 a night. S8 08 43.8 E35 24 45.2

Morogoro – Kola Hill Hotel & Camping

If you need another place to stop on the way to Dar, this place is fine for one night. A fairly run down hotel, but with big grassy area for camping and access to a room for toilet/shower. $10 per night. S6 48 59.7 E37 42 00.3

Tanga – Peponi Beach resort

Half way between Pangani and Tanga, this place is a must if you want to chill out by the beach for a few days. Amazing restaurant, pool and ablutions and a sea that is as warm as a bath – don’t miss it! $15 night(ish) S5 17 13.8 E39 03 56.2

Moshi – Honey Badger

We actually treated ourselves to a room, but they do have a good camping area. Great community establishment with pool,bar, restaurant etc. S3 21 02.9 E37 23 01.8

Mto Wa Mbu – Camping Sunbright

Now under new management and a number of new chalets being built and swimming pool. Still working progress when we were there, but it is a great spot to stay before heading into the Serengeti. ($20 night) S3 22 18.9 E35 52 13.1

Ngorongoro Crater

Make up your own mind on this one. $140 to transit and see not a lot, or a further $200 to go down into the crater. They only accept CASH on the gate.

Serengeti

Very expensive, terrible facilities, badly corrugated roads – but WOW! Spectacular scenery and more wildlife than you could imagine. Consider leaving your car outside and taking a tour in for a more relaxing experience!

$60 each per day + $40 per day for car + $30 each camping = OUCH! They do accept Visa

Mwanza – Tunza Lodge

Amazing place to recuperate after the Serengeti – beach camping right on Victoria Lake. The owner Jan, looked after us very well and arranged for a mechanic to visit us and repair our radiator! You’ll be in safe hands with a full security team of Maasai! $15 per night. S2 27 01.4 E32 54 08.8

Car Ferry across Lake Victoria

Head to Busisi to catch the ferry the short hop over the water. There is one every 30minutes. For a car and 2 people it cost                 TZS6,500

Geita – Kilimanjaro Hotel

There aren’t many places to stop on the way up to the Rwanda (Resumo) border, so we camped in the carpark of this hotel . It’s still being developed, so was a building site when we stayed, but looks promising. There is 24hr security and access to a room for toilet/shower, but beware they love to watch shit Nigerian films on full blast! Bit steep at $20 night!  S2 52 59.5 E32 12 51.7

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Rwanda

Travelled:  380km

Average fuel cost: $1.67

Border used:  Resumo (entry) Cyuve (Exit) both very straightforward and relaxed

Visas – None required.

Kigali – Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel

Great urban camping spot right in the middle of town. Price includes a small breakfast but best of all is its super quick and FREE internet! S1 57 02.3 E30 05 36.9

We only stayed for a few days, but Kigali is a fantastic city. The genocide museum and nearby church memorials are a must, although be prepared to feel fairly heartbroken afterwards!

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Uganda

Travelled:  788KLMS

Average fuel cost: $1.56

Border used:  Cyuve (money changers on the border are actually reasonable. Police keep an eye on them to ensure they’re not ripping off tourists. If they are caught they are put into prison!)

Visas – $50 each for 30days

Road Tax – 52,000 Shillings

Kisoro – Virunga Camp

Adequate for a night – grassy area for camping and access to basic toilet/shower facilities.  Security around all night. $10 per night. S1 16 56.0 E29 41 23.2

Gorilla Trekking

We turned up and booked directly at the UWA office (Ugandan Wildlife Authority) and were able to go trekking in the Mgahinga Nationa Park the next day! Their office is on the main street in Kisoro.

Mgahinga NP is the smallest park in Uganda but spectacular, the three volcanic peaks are at the end of the Volcans NP in Rwanda. There is one family that are habituated here with 11 members , but as it isn’t as well known as it’s neighbours, it means you will likely be given a private tour! $500 each.

Bunyonyi Lake – Kalebask camping

Stunning, stunning,stunning! A beautiful lakeside campsite set in manicured gardens, great restaurant, bar. You can hire the canoes, go swimming in the lake. $10 per night S1 16 05.2 E29 56 17.6

Masaka – Backpackers/Camping

Simple backpackers out of town, which also offers camping. Basic facilities, but very friendly. (20,000 Ugandan shillings per night) S0 21.808 E31 42.890

Jinja – Nile Rest camp

Possibly the best view of the nile! Beautiful spot, with great food, bar, swimming pool and you can get Rolex delivered!! If you’re camping with your car, ask the manager for the back route into the camp. Follow signs for Black Lantern/Nile Porch and the camp is just next door in the same compound. (30,000 shllings per night). N0 27.508 E33 10.699

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Kenya

Travelled:  1620

Average fuel cost:  $1.57

Borders used:  Malaba (busy, but straightforward) and Moyale (very easy, quiet)

Visas – $50 each for 3 months

Road Tax – We stayed less than 2 weeks so paid nothing!

Eldoret –Naiberi Camp

Fabulous hidden oasis –popular with overland trucks. Big pool,bar, restaurant area. ($15 per night) N0 26.869 E35 25.342

Nairobi – Wildbeest Eco Camp

The best place to camp in Nairobi by far! Great safe location, fantastic facilities with friendly Aussie owners Lynita & Alan.  New pool being installed soon. (1,000 shillings p/p)

151 Mokoyeti Road West, Langata

Visas for Ethiopia & Sudan

If you’re travelling North, you can get your Ethiopian and Sudanese visas in Nairobi. It takes a few days and a lot of patience, but it’s all fairly straightforward if you’re organised!

Sudan:

Applications must be made in the morning at the Sudanese Embassy between 8-12pm, for collection the following day. You’ll need

–          -A letter of introduction from your own embassy – The British embassy charged us 6,300KES for this, but if you are married you can go on the same letter

–          -A4 Copies of Carnet and passports

–          -Passport photo

–          -Photocopy of a credit card

–          -5,000KES each

Ethiopia:

Applications must also be made in the morning – if you’re lucky you can collect them in the afternoon! And yes, it’s true. The Ethiopian lady doesn’t like men, so you’ll fair much better sending ladies alone!

–          A4 copies of carnet – including the stubs from previous countries. She will tell you which ones she wants copied. They have a photocopier in the embassy.

–          A4 copies of passport and proof that you have been travelling to long to have applied in your home country

–          Passport photo

–          Once initial application approved. You will need to make a payment of $20 each at the CBA bank round the corner. Once you return with the receipt, the visa will be issued.

Nyeri – Sandai Farm ( In tracks under African Footprints)

A wonderful farm to relax in by Mount Kenya  before/after moyale/turkana! Petra is a fantastic host and can organise pretty much any activity you want to do!(1,000shillings per night) S0 17.721 E36 57.080

Marsabit – Henrys Rest camp

Your only option in this area! They have cheap beer and hot showers! (600 shlllings per night) N2 20.739 E37 57.941

Turbi – Women’s Lodge

If you need to stop along the Marsabit-Moyale road, this is a safe place. There are simple rooms or you can camp in the courtyard. The women will even prepare hot water for you to wash in! (500 shillings. Just after you enter the village from the South it’s down a small track on the RHS – ask any local to show you exactly where it is.(GPS TBC)

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Ethiopia

Travelled:  2,088

Average fuel cost: $1.23

Border used:  Moyale and Gallabat – both borders are easy but when leaving Ethiopia the customs guys will be keen to check your vehicle for any items bought in Ethiopia so they can charge you tax.

Visas – see Kenya details above.

Road Tax/Insurance –covered by Yellow Card insurance

Money – the first country to have very few ATMs. Make sure you have plenty of cash before crossing the border at Moyale. There is a cash point on the Kenyan side if you need extra money to exchange. US dollars can easily be exchanged at most hotels.

Moyale – Koket Borena hotel

Simple,  but clean hotel that seems to be used by most NGOs. Has a restaurant and bar. There’s little choice here, so if this doesn’t take your fancy you can always camp in the customs compound. (400 BIRR/Room) N 3° 32.678′, E39° 2.888′

Awassa – Camping Old Zewed hotel

Large grassy camping area, right by the lake. We were given access to shower/toilet in a nearby room – but not very nice! Food ok here, but there is a posh hotel next door which is much better, or a fantastic Italian just round the corner. (300 BIRR for 2 people) N7 02.957 E38 27.610

Addis Ababa – Baro Pension

Carpark camping at this small hotel. The owner is very welcoming, but the facilities are quite rundown and we found the area to be very noisy at night. Definitely a better option than Wim’s Holland House though! (150Birr a night) N9 01.844 E38 45.197

Debre Markos – International FM Hotel

Located in the centre of town, fairly new and still in good condition – we were allowed to park the car within the small gated area at the front. (230 Birr/Room)

Gondar – Fasil Lodge

Great hotel, in a great location just by the castle. The owner is incredibly welcoming and will organise anything you need. Great food too! Slightly pricey at 40USD per night. GPS N*12*36″567′ E37*28″278

Lake Tana – Tim&Kims

Beautiful spot, perfect for relaxing and Kim serves up some good food. Although the roads in and out are in poor condition with lots of sharp stones – run your tyres slightly lower!  (300 Birr a night/camping) N12. 13.777 E37 17.912

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Sudan

Travelled:  1905

Average fuel cost:  $0.96

Borders used:  Gallabat – very slow due to the amount of paperwork to be completed.  Wadi Halfa (see additional notes below)

Visas – obtained in Nairobi, see notes on Kenya. Passport registration (which needs to be done within 3days of entering the country) can be completed at the border, 214SDG per person

Road Tax – 14SDG

Photography permit: Although i was never asked to produce this, it’s wise to have one just in case! They’re free and very easy to get from the Tourism office near the airport: N15 34.815 E32 33.997

Bushcamps:

We bushcamped where possible, with few people around,  there are plenty of places to pull off the road and park up amongst trees, hills or dunes. Just keep away from settlements.

Khartoum – YHA

We camped in the secure grounds of the  YHA – clean facilities and close to a number of nice restaurants.(70 SDG) N15 35.497 E32 32.390

Meroe Pyramids –  a highlight of our trip to Sudan, there is a great spot to bushcamp here GPS N16*55”917’ E 33* 45”081’

Dongola

The Nubian Guesthouse had closed down when we there – sold to new owners. There is no where we’d recommend staying here, so your best option is to head out and bushcamp in the desert!

Wadi Halfa Ferry

The ferry from Wadi Halfa now leaves on Tuesdays and takes about 18hours  – the car barge has no set departure date.

The road border is also being used more frequently, so if you have an oversized vehicle, travelling in a big group or just prefer to drive, contact Mazar at least 1month in advance to arrange.

Contact the fixer as soon as you know your approximate date so he can schedule you on. We found Mazar to be very helpful and trustworthy as well as a great host.  We stayed with him and his wife the night before our ferry left. If you need quick responses phone him, he’s pretty slow on email and not au fait with SMS!

Mazar Mahir – mazarhalfa@gmail.com  +249 122380740

Ferry fee/Customs/tax etc : $394USD – 2 passengers and 1 car

Mazar fee: $30 fee + we paid an additional $20 for his help with our car (we needed some welding doing, allowing us to stay with him and feeding us!)

Ferry: 50SDG will secure you a spot up by the captain. They tried to make us pay this per person, but we were insistent that this was Mazar’s quoted price for BOTH of us.

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Egypt

Travelled:  1,595

Average fuel cost: $0.31!

Border used:  Aswan – a long wait at the port, it’s a huge bottleneck for people bringing goods in from Sudan, so find a seat in the shade and let everyone else go through in the rush! A fixer is a good idea to help you through. We used Kamal, which Mazar arranged for us and he came to meet us off the boat. It took 5days for our car to arrive. Taba – surprisingly easy to hand back plates etc but expect your car to be searched – keep about 50EGP for final payments and there is now a money exchange in the main immigration building if you have any cash left over to change into Israeli Shekels.

Entry Fees: (Obviously ensuring that your Carnet is already valid for Egypt)

Visas – $15 each. You can buy these on the boat, but make sure you have the exact money. We didn’t, so waited until we got to port and our fixer Kamal sorted them for us.

Customs – 575EGP

Plates/Licence/Insurance (yellow card not accepted) – 300EGP

Baksheesh – 70EGP (because this is the Egyptian way if you want anything to get done!)

Kamal fee – $50USD (although he organised everything for us, this felt like a lot of money for the amount of work he did!!!)

We only spent a few days in Egypt, so as we were transitting we stayed in hotels the whole time. Ensure you have all your paperwork to hand, as the police check points get a bit relentless!

However, the best place to stay while waiting for your car to arrive is Eka Dolli Nubian Guesthouse – it’s slightly out of Aswan on the west bank, but it’s super clean,friendly and cheap. You can get all your meals there, although its a limited menu but they do have booze! GPS N24 03.372 E32 51.632

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Israel

Travelled:  464klm

Average fuel cost: We didn’t buy any

Border used: Taba – the longest border crossing you’ll experience. Although all the staff were very pleasant, the entire car had to be stripped of everything and all items placed through a scanner. We had a Sudanese visa in our passports – so they interviewed Richard about our time there. The whole crossing took 7hours!

Visas – None needed

Insurance – Greencard insurance is valid for Israel, so organise before you enter. We ended up having to take out insurance just for Israel which was about $80 and can be organised at the border

Shipping from Israel to Italy

Grimaldi Lines Freighter: Ashdod to Salerno/Savona Italy. – contact Fay at http://www.cruisecyprus.com,  info@cruisecyprus.com.

Costs €395 p/person plus €625 for the car. (This is cheaper if the total vehicle is under 2.10m) The cost is all inclusive of food and booze with meals – the Italian chef will keep you well fed! The trip should have taken 5days, but we got caught in bad weather so it was 9 in total.

Additional costs in Israel that you cant avoid are $25 p/person plus $50 p/vehicle for the Grimaldi Port agent fees (Allalouf); $230 for the port customs agent fees (Interdel); variable export duty to be paid in NIS – ours was 50NIS.  So total cost was €1700.

Make sure you email Fay at least a week in advance to confirm the shipping dates as they can change due to the weather. Fay will also confirm your shipping agent in Ashdod who you will also need to contact the week before sailing. They will then arrange your paperwork and escort you round the port to immigration and customs before being taken to the ship.

EilatFree camp

Just after the border crossing you can park up just off the road, but the beach. There are no facilities but it’s free and lots of other people were camping along the road.

Dead Sea –Ein Gedi

A large car park by the edge of the ‘Sea’ with access to toilets and showers. It’s actually quite picturesque and others camp there too. If you have a hiking tent you can camp amongst the trees. Only 20NIS p/night, GPS N31 27.511 E35 23.852

Ashdod

The only camping were knew of was 15km south, in Banana Beach, Nitzanem. We drove to the end of the sand carpark area and hid behind a dune for free – i think in summer you have to pay. The facilities weren’t open when we were there, but it’s pretty run down and dirty.  GPS N31 44.777 E34 36.110

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Europe:

Travelled:2,478

Average fuel cost: $2.33 

Visas & Carnet – none required

Tolls – great roads come at a price! To travel from the bottom of Italy to Northern France, you’ll need about 200Euros / $31oAUD

Insurance – we organised Green Card Insurance through M.M. Alessie (alessie@alessie.com) It’s quite expensive though

Premium 1 month Euro 259
Premium 2 months Euro 364

Premium 3 months Euro 469

Camping – after Africa, it’s a breeze finding plenty of lovely campsites with great facilities! Costs are around 20Euros a night.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great track up the mountain to Livingstonia and Lukwe Farm isn’t it? We remember the lovely views – and the Belgian guy who owns Lukwe. Nice spot.
    Tip: When you get to Tanzania on the road to Dar Es Salaam, make sure you stay at Kisolanza – The Old Farmhouse. Its great!

    10/13/2013
    • Yes, the farmhouse was amazing. The Livingstonia track was ok but very slow going in the rain.

      10/13/2013

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