Info for Travellers

Ferry Iskendurun – Haifa – Damietta (UN RoRo)

  • The ferry leaves Iskendurun every Saturday at around midnight. It arrives in Haifa on Sunday at around 6pm and leaves Haifa on Sunday at around 2am and arrives in Damietta on Tuesday at around  3am. You should call the office a few days before departure to check actual departure date and check reservation
  • Ferry bookings are done through Catoni. They do hardly respond on e-mails. Best is to contact Selo. He is very helpful and speaks good English. His phone number:  +90 535 443 98 27.
  • Officially you can not travel on the ferry as there is only space for 12 drivers. For the other drivers, a plane is chartered bringing the drivers to Damietta. Nevertheless, Selo does his best to ensure Overlanders can travel on the ferry and it seems he is almost always successful.
  • The office from Catoni in Iskendurun is inside the port and next to where you will board the ferry. Coordinates of the port entry gate in Iskendurun are: N36° 35′ 53.146″ E36° 11′ 42.983″
  • You will drive your car on and off the ferry by yourself. If you travel on the ferry, you can keep the keys, if not you need to hand the keys to the ferry staff. I think it is trustworthy.
  • In Damietta, you will get your visa on arrival (20 USD) and the car is first inspected after debarkation from the ferry. Then you need to drive it to the customs warehouse where it will be locked until customs clearance process has been done. There you will need to hand over the car keys (only the keys for the drivers cabin). If you have a driver and a living cabin, make sure all stuff is moved to the living cabin. If not, make sure no valuables are left in the car.
  • Customs clearance in Damietta took us five days and costed USD 530 per car (we were three cars). Any fixer from the agency WORMS does a good job. We had Mohamed (+20 1065035653). He speaks good English and has a western business minded behavior and mentions upfront fixed prices.
  • Price in Iskendurun
    –   Ferry: USD 800 (Landcruiser) / USD 900 (Truck)
    –   Port fee: 60 USD
  • Price in Damietta
    –   Shipping agency: 800 EGP
    –  Insurance: 540 EGP
    –  Customs: 600 EGP
    –  Traffic Police: 50 EGP
    –  Warehouse: 400 EGP
    –  Clearance Fee: 1300 EGP

 

Ferry Aswan to Wadi Halfa

  • The passenger ferry leaves Sundays around 6pm and you need to be at the port around 12am. The ferry arrives monday around noon.
  • Tickets for 1st class cabin are 572 EPG, 2nd class 372 EGP.
  • Car ferry leaves on Tuesdays at the moment and arrives Thursday in Wadi Halfa. So it is advisable to ship the car on the Tuesday before the passenger ferry leaves, as waiting in Aswan is much more relaxed than waiting in Wadi Halfa.
  • Price per car is 2500 EGP (Landcruiser size).
  • If you have a truck, you need to rent the large barge which will cost between 21’000 and 25’000 EGP. If doing this, the barge is yours and you can sell the space on the barge to other cars / trucks. Make sure to arrange well in advance because organizing takes its time. Kamal (see below) can help.
  • Our fixer in Aswan was Kamal (+20 100 5322669). We can recommend him as he has perfect connections and is doing a great job. His fee is USD 50 per car.
  • Fixer in Wadi Halfa is Mazar Mahir. He is also very recommendable and speaks perfect english.

 

Visa Information (valid for Swiss nationals):

  • Egypt: on arrival for USD 25
  • Sudan: In Aswan (N24.05518 E32.88316) within one working day (USD 50)
  • Ethiopia: According to my infomration, the ethiopian visa can not be obtained in Africa. I recomment to get this visa at home before departure
  • Kenya*: On the border in Moyale or – if you decide to take the Turkana road – at the Kenyan embassy in Addis Abeba (N9.03242 E38.78323, 50 USD, 2 working days) as there is no border post on the Kenyan side on the Turkana road
  • Uganda*: I received the new East African Visa for 100 USD at the border in Malaba between Kenya / Uganda
  • Rwanda*: Valid with the East African Visa which I get at the border between Kenya and Uganda
  • Burundi*: 3 days Transit Visa for 40 USD at the border
  • Tanzania*: At the border for 50 USD
  • Malawi: In the embassy of Malawi in Daressalam (S6.76296 E39.25106) for USD 100

* A single entry visa for one of the East African countries allows you to cross the border between East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi) as many times as you want within the Visa validity period. As soon as you leave the East African Union, all single entry visa’s become invalid.

 

Recommended places to stay
Note: I only mention places which are outstanding in one or the other way according to the country standards. That means that some campsites in countries with a generally low campsite standard (e.g. Ethiopia, Sudan) are mentioned in my list although they are not as good as non-listed campsites in countries with a high standard (e.g. Kenya, Uganda).

Egypt

  • Cairo: Isis Garden Camp (N29 57.766 E31 09.544), Nice, quiet, green campsite close to the pyramids. Wonderful garden and nice swimming pool. Facilites are ok. Helal and Sue take good care and can organize trips to the desert. Downsides are the nearby mosque where prayer starts at 5am and the far distance to the city center.Price is 100 EGP per night. If you have a truck then you can not drive through the gate and must stay on the road outside the camping.
  • Al Baharyia: Eden Camp (N28 18.060 E28 56.393), Nice, quiet, off the center. Very good and clean facilities, nice hot spring pool, good food. 100 EGP per person.
  • Aswan: Adams Home (N24 10.153 E32 51.969), Quiet place to stay. Facilities a bit rundown and could be cleaner. Mohamed, the manager, is very helpful and offers nice boat trips. A bit far from the city center (20 mins drive). 40 EGP.

 

Sudan:

  • Khartoum: German Guesthouse (N15 34.123 E32 33.821), very nice outside area with a pool, bar with cold beer(!!!) and buffet meals (one dish per meal). Rooms are ok, airconditioned, a bit expensive (120USD). It is possible to park on the streets and sleep in the car/truck and use the infrastructure for 15 USD per vehicle. Both options include usage of pool, breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet meals, all soft drinks and free laundry service.

 

Ethiopia:

  • Gorgora/Gonder: Tim&Kim Village (N12 13.740 E37 17.930), very nice compound directly on Lake Tana with lushy gardens, excellent food and nice and clean bungalows with wonderful veranda and bathroom with hot water. Prices for bungalow: 850 Birr for two, 700 Birr for one person. Camping: 95 Birr per person. This place is my favourite stay so far on the journey and highly recommended.
  • Lake Langano: Karkaro Beach Cottages (N7.59736 E38.69411), the extremely nice location on green grassland makes up the rather smelly toilet and the cold shower. 90 Birr per Person.
  • Arba Minch: Bekele Mola Hotel (N6.00514 E37.55174), the place has a nice grassland and offers a nice view over the valley. Price, hence, is expensive with 200 Birr per Person. Avoid the Soma Lodge which I tried first, but left immediately after knowing their price of also 200 Birr per person and after seing their facilities: toilet with not seat and a not working flush, water tab and shower without running water.
  • Konso: Kanta Lodge (N5.33336 E37.42992), haven’t stayed there and I think there is limited space for camping. But their food is excellent on a stopover from Arba Minch to Jinka.

 

Kenya

  • Lake Nakuru: Kembu Campsite (S0.29983 E35.89967), the place is on nice grassland, with clean toilets (long drop, but not smelly) and hot showers. Food is excellent. Very quiet. Price is 10 USD.
  • Thompson Falls: Thompson Falls Lodge (N0.04514 E36.368619. Nice green grassland and clean hot showers and toilets. Firewood is available for a campfire. Nice restaurant. Price is 10 USD.
  • Mombasa: Edelweiss Campsite (S3.89611 E39.78833), located a few hundred meters of the beach in a lush, green garden with lots of shadow. They have a nice pool and can do some repair work on the car. Dinner is together with the Swiss owner and the other guests. Price is 5 EUR.

 

Uganda:

  • Ziwa: Rhino Sanctuary (N1.44919 E32.07853). I stayed there three nights and everyday, Rhinos came to the campsite in the evening. The camp is inside the sanctuary, but the entrance to the sanctuary is free. They charge by activity which you don’t need if the Rhino’s come to the camp. Facilities are good for African standards. USD 10.
  • Fort Portal: Kluge’s Guestfarm (N0.59433 E30.25025). Excellent campsite on green grass and excellent facilities. Swimming pool and amazing restaurant. Best food in Uganda. Price is 12 USD.

 

Tanzania:

  • Usambara Mountains: Irente Biodiversity Farm (S4.79388 E38.26549). Excellent campsite with on green meadows. Great facilities and excellent food. Price is very cheap, about 4 EUR.
  • Ruaha Nationalpark: Ruaha Public Campsite #1 (S7.67864 E34.94069). The facilities are ok for a camp inside a national park. The location is superb, overlooking the Ruaha river and you can watch elephants, hippos and giraffes while you sit in your camping chair. 30 USD.
  • Mikumi: TanSwiss (S7.39644 E37.00185). Good facilities and great restaurant with reasonable prices. Price is 7 USD.
  • Iringa: Rivervalley Campsite (S7.79841 E35.79810). Nice location in a lush green garden and very good facilities. Dinner in the restaurant is buffet style and starts a bit early (6.30pm). Price: 10 USD.
  • Iringa: Kisolanza (S8.14603 E35.41197). This place about 50KM after Iringa towards Mbeya has excellent facilities and the restaurant  is amazing. Price: 7 USD.

 

Malawi:

  • Cintheche: Makuzi Beach (S11.91876 E34.17791). Facilities need renovation, but the beach in front of the campsite is outstanding and the campsite itself is very charming. 10 USD.
  • Cape Maclear: Chembe Eagles Nest (S14.01236 E34.85056). Great facilities, nice campsite directly at the beach. Restaurant is average so bring your own food. 10 USD.

Zambia:

  • Chipata: Mama Rula’s (S13.58313 E32.61031). Nice, huge and grassy campground. Excellent for a stopover. Facilities are good with a great bar/restaurant. 7 USD.
  • Siavonga (Kariba): Eagles Rest Resort (S16.53590 E28.72886). Awesome location overlooking Lake Kariba. Great facilities with a nice swimming pool. Restaurant is average so bring your own food. 10 USD.
  • Livingstone: Camp Nkwazi (S17.82990 E25.64448). Fantastic campsite with awesome facilities (private ablutions). Nice swimming pool and the bar/restaurant area has a nice view over the Zambezi river. It’s a bit expensive: 25 USD per person.

 

Zimbabwe:

  • Matobo National Park: Malene Dam Campsite (S20.54435 E28.50298). Fantastic campsite inside the park. There are no to little animals but the secluded atmosphere is what this campsite makes it worth a stop. Facilities are good and the nights are dark and silent. 8 USD
  • Gweru: Antelope Lodge (S19.50738 E29.71943). Nice colonial style lodge/campsite. Good facilities and a zebra is grassing around the car. 10 USD.
  • Great Zimbabwe Monument: Norma Jean’s Lakeview (S20.25164 E31.00262). Awesome facilities, nice and clean campsite. Great restaurant. Definitely a stop if you visit the Great Zimbabwe Monument. 12 USD.

6 Gedanken zu “Info for Travellers

  1. Thank you for the information and I am planning a trip from Bahrain to Europe and then to Morocco, we used to cross via Syria and will consider Egypt to Turkey this time. Take care and enjoy your travel. If you come to Bahrain, please let me know.

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  2. Fantastic site, thanks a lot! Im also living in Zurich (bin Schwede) and Im planning to do more or less the same trip next year on motorbike. Would be great if I could buy you a couple of beers when you are back in town and get some inptuts? Enjoy your trip!

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  3. Hallo!
    Verfolge deine Reise – Danke für die tollen Berichte und Fotos!!!
    Hätte eine Detailfrage: Habe auf einem Foto gesehen, dass du auf einem Origo Spirituskocher kochst – wie geht es dir mit der Verfügbarkeit von Spiritus??
    Danke und weiterhin eine gute Reise!!
    Markus

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    • Hallo Markus,
      Ich koche durchschnittlich nur 2-3 Mal pro Woche auf dem Kocher. Sonst gehe ich ins Restaurant, weil das einfacher und oftmals auch günstiger ist als die Nahrungsmittel selbst einzukaufen. Spiritus gibts unterwegs fast überall zu kaufen. Allerdings habe ich nur in den grösseren Supermärkten in den (Haupt)-Städten geschaut. Nimm einen 5-Liter-Ersatzkanister mit, dann kommst Du problemlos damit durch.
      Lg, Lukas

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