Jep, its a lot to do. At least for people like us who never did a trip like this before.
This here will just be a brief summary of what we did to prepare. If you want detailed information just drop us a mail.
Vaccination/Medical issues When traveling the tropics a proper vaccination state is obligatory including the necessary yellow fewer shot, which is for some countries necessary to enter the country.
Unfortunately, not all diseases can be avoided by vaccination. Malaria is here the biggest issue, especially in Africa. Therefore we take prophylactics (Malarone). As always, the best way to stay healthy is to avoid exposure the infectious agent. Hence, mosquito nets and insect repellents to avoid bug bites and taking care of clean drinking water and of course for food “cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it”.
Additionally to this we carry a small set of drugs with us like pain killers, antibiotics, diaria medication, etc.
Visas/Paperwork Additionally to having a passport valid for more than 6 months some more paperwork and bureaucracy is needed (no one really needs bureaucracy).
The route we decided taking makes it relatively easy when it comes to visas. All of them can be collected on the way or at borders. To avoid long waiting we are trying to get the Sudanese and Ethiopian visa in Germany. For visa application in general its suggestible to carry approximately a quadrillion passport photos. I don’t know what the bureaucrats do with them, but they really really love’em.
Carnet de passage. This surprisingly expensive piece of paper guaranties the country you enter with your vehicle that you will take the vehicle out again and don’t plan on selling it while you’re in their country. They know you won’t do such a thing, otherwise you will not get your 3000 € deposit back.
More paperwork would be an international drivers licences, international vehicle registration, international health insurance, vehicle insurance, documentation of your vaccinations and a proof that your vehicle is road safe (TÜV in Germany). We probably forgot something, which will most definitely create some “additional costs” with the border guys.
How to get to Africa
Don’t get me started. It’s these days a bit of a pain to get to Egypt from Europe. Here are some options.
- Ferry from Italy to Tunisia? One would have to cross Libya, not a risk we are willing to take.
- Driving from Turkey through Syria? Same thing, not going to happen.
- Ferry from some where in Europe to Israel? One of the best options (sometimes the only option) right now. Though quite expensive and one needs to take care not to have any traces of Israel in the documents, otherwise Sudan will refuse entry to their country and the trip is over. Can be done with a second passport.
- Ferry from Turkey to Egypt? This is the option we want to take. Unfortunately, this ferry service is a bit unreliable and the service is cancelled quite often these days due to issues on the Egyptian side.
A lot as well, please see the dedicated chapter The Bikes.
What to take along?
That would be too much to write here.
We have two tents and what we need for camping. Most of the luggage we are carrying will actually be for the bikes. Spare parts, tools, oil, gas and so on take a lot of space and are quite heavy.