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Read about Ron & Viv's pre-trip planning and preparation for the big trip.

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Comprehensive Insurance
3rd Party Insurance
Other Vehicle Costs
Pre-trip Inspection &        Maintenance
More Information
Shipping Vehicles

Ferries from Africa to        Europe

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african adventure atlas







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PAGE 1 - Pre-trip Planning & Preparation

Remember the old army adage:
  'Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance'

We'll find out a lot more info as we head through Africa but here's the result of our experiences before we even get to drive through this vast continent!

Planning the route
Half the fun is in the planning so take your time to investigate the countries you want to visit and the places you want to see.

Some countries are to be avoided. Others are dangerous while others are risky. Keep up to date and check:

The National Geographic have an excellent book - African Adventure Atlas - see it at:

Full of maps and great ideas if it doesn't get your blood racing and fire up the travel bug to head for Africa, nothing will.

Pick up a range of travel guides and maps. We've listed quite a few towards the end of this section.

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Passports & Visas
You'll need a big passport for all the countries you are passing through.

Get a heap of passport photos for the visas you'll require.
As most visas only have a life of 30 days or at the most 3-6 months from date of issue, you'll probably have to get most along the way.

In most of Southern Africa, Australians don't require a visa or they can be easily obtained at the border crossings.

Further north its harder and you'll need to go to the country embassy in the African country you are already in, ie Kenya is good for Ethiopia and Egypt and hopefully Sudan.

Sudan is difficult and we're still to find out how we enter the country. 'Suck it and see' seems to be the main recommendation. Libya needs a 'letter of invitation' from someone inside the country and you require an security escort or guide, sometimes both. That costs money as you are up for a daily fee, air flights and daily living costs

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Vehicle Matters

For Australians you need to belong to your state automobile association to be able to get a carnet, which is issued by the Australian Automobile Association in Canberra via the state branch - ie; RACV, NRMA, RAA, etc.
For info check out Australian Automobie Association website:

You're up for a application fee ($600 - as at Jan 2007) as well as a $250 bond per carnet as well as covering the value of the vehicle. We found the AAA Insurance indemnity policy to be the cheapest way to cover the Carnet, which for Africa is based on 200% of the official value of the vehicle, ie. if your vehicle is valued at $40,000 you need to provide security of $80,000!

Comprehensive Insurance
Seemingly impossible to get for traveling through Africa. But we did find a couple of companies that have insurance for accidental damage, fire and theft - not comprehensive. Still they are expensive, ie. about 10% of the insured value for 12 months cover! Check out:

If you have a vehicle registered in South Africa you will stand a better chance to get insurance that covers some, or even all of Africa. Try:

3rd Party Insurance
Nearly all countries require some form of 3 rd party Insurance   (Yellow Card, Green card whatever it may be called) for bodily injury of any other person involved in an accident. These are generally available at the border when you enter any particular country in Africa, or the insurance is included in your fuel levy, (ie South Africa).
For 3rd Party bodily injury and property damage check out:

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Other Vehicle Costs
Some countries in Africa have unique ways of extracting dollars from you when it comes to a vehicle. There's a carbon tax payable in some countries, a vehicle use permit in others.

Pre-Trip Inspection and Maintenance
Before leaving we went over the vehicle with a fine tooth comb. We changed oils, refurbished brakes fitted new tyres, serviced suspension, winch and more. You've got to do it!  

More Info
South Africa AA-info for travellers -

Shipping Vehicles
You can do it all yourself but we'd advise getting a 'Freight Forwarder' to look after all the paperwork and detail. There's a new world here and a whole new vocabulary to get used to. For shipping info check out:
P&O Nedlloyd:
CMA - CGM shipping guide-world:

For Australians, Cargo Online specialize in shipping vehicles worldwide and will look after all the paperwork. We've used them a couple of times and recommend them:

Ferries from Africa to Europe
There's a number of ways to get from Africa or the Middle East to Europe (or vice versa). Check out:
Ferry Lines:
SNCM Ferries have regular services between North Africa and Europe.

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