Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Only 5 weeks to go before Delilah and I depart on our European leg of the trip. Things are finally starting to blend in, visas, carnet, vaccinations and Malaria tablets now all acquired, all maps and petrol cans have now arrived, clothing, tools and camping gear all packed and accounted for. I have also received my camera so lots of pictures and videos to follow. We have now converted our lounge to be 'ground control', something resembling District 9.

We decided to take the initiative and find out our blood types just in-case of an emergency. Delilah seems to be pretty much alien as we both figured, took 2 blood tests and and came out with 2 different blood types. End result of the exercise is that both Andre and I are both O+ and Delilah is A+ which means that, in the event of an incident, the blood can come from within the group, which is a great relief.

We've even started to pack up our stuff in the house, as we intend giving it up, moving somewhere new when we get back to the UK. Looks like were gonna end up with just short of a luton van load of stuff to go into storage for 5 months. At this time I just wish things would move along and we could get on the road.

One thing I would like to mention is that we are raising awareness and funds for disabled kids at the Tembaletu School in Cape Town. I am trying to sort out a link or a giving page for donations, so keep your eyes on the Charities page, accessed from the tab above.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

We are getting there ...

As Lindsay said, time is running out and fast, but I feel we are making good progress. Last week, I received my camping stove, fuel bottle and 12v DC inverter. Today I received a new waterproof backpack, funnel with a little mesh filter and some other goodies for the bike.

The bad thing as Lindsay mentioned, both our bikes are in the dealership with strange issues. Mine died Friday night while riding home, not wanting to start again, I had to be recovered home. BMW are still investigating, battery is the main culprit at the moment, but we will see ....

I think besides the outstanding visas, only a few minor things need to be done ... not so long now, Lindsay and Delilah leave in only about a month and a half, crazy ! .. I will catch up with them in Venice, Italy on the 23rd of Sept.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Almost time.....

Only 6 weeks to go before we depart on our trip and 2 of the bikes are in for repairs with mysterious symptoms.
Mine is heat related, which if i may say is not good as we head to some of the hottest countries in the world. The electronic part of the fuel pump and the idle valve, after showing faults on the bike computer, has now been changed, so hopefully that would have sorted the problem.
Andre has a potentially computer issue, sending wrong signals to his engine, hopefully a reboot and flush of the system will sort things out. He also gets his chain and rocker cover gasket replaced in preparation of the trip.
Funnily enough, the only bike that seems to be going without an issue, Delilah's, has physical damage, a hairline crack in the crankcase. We do hope to get the crack fixed before we go though, thanks hopefully to BMW.

On another note, we now have our Sudan and Egypt visas secured, just Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda to go. We will apply for the Uganda visa despite the recent occurrence there, but will give it a miss if things are not safe at the time of travel.
We have also booked our ferry from Venice to Egypt, secured our Carnet de Passages en Douane and received all but 1 vaccination shot each, next would be to buy the all important Malarone (Malaria tablets) of which we need 90 each. More to follow shortly........................

Saturday, 10 July 2010


There is a plethora of documentation required to embark on travel through third world states. Most is justifiable when considering the movement of locals between neighbouring countries, and the need to track the whereabouts of tourists.

Passport & Visa's
Passport validity needs to be well beyond duration of travel, with sufficient empty pages for all countries entering. A large pack of spare passport photo's is also a useful addition.
Based on a South African passport, visa's are required in advance of entering, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda & Tanzania. The Sudanese visa was only obtainable in Cairo on a Southbound run, by recommendation from the South African embassy in Cairo, but we managed to get ours in London. Visa's for Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & South Africa are obtainable at point of entry.

Carnet (Carnet de Passage en Douane)
This is effectively a passport for your vehicle, ensuring that its entry & more importantly exit from each country is monitored. It acts as a temporarily import permit, providing a guarantee that should the vehicle be sold within the country, enough funds exist to pay the appropriate duties, taxes & fines. These funds are most commonly guaranteed by your bank. Some travellers are put off entering countries where carnet's are required, however there are a number of options for affording the costs of a carnet, such as to pay into an insurance premium which provides the financial cover, which is what we managed, got a great deal from the RAC for a fixed amount. On our route, a carnet is mandatory in; Egypt & Kenya. It is also accepted in; Tanzania & Malawi as a means of making vehicle entry into these countries easier. The UK finds itself without the need to comply with this international standard, and as such requires a different, separate temporary import permit (form C110). It is worth noting that countries which the carnet originates from have different requirements (e.g. In Egypt 800% value for a UK vehicle but only 200% for a South African vehicle.)

Important contact details
An all important addition is an exhaustive list of important contact details such as local embassies, mechanics, spares distributors & banks.

International Certificate of Motor Vehicles (ICMV)
Simply a motor registration certificate in an international format. It provides vehicle registration, ownership & identification details on multiple languages, and although only mandatory in Libya also useful in other countries.

Vehicle Insurance
3rd party, fire & theft. Rarely provided by one insurer for all countries, however 3rd party is obtainable (and sometimes mandatory) at most borders.

International Driving Permit
Simply a more formidable version of a card-based drivers licence, with some language translations.

Travel & medical Insurance
Most common policies do not cover overland travel by motorcycle above 125cc. Navigator Travel insurance in the UK provide very reasonably priced policy without the 125cc restrictions

Vaccinations & certificates
Vaccination (and proof thereof) against yellow fever is mandatory in various countries along this route. Meningitis, Polio, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitus A & Meningitis jabs are also a good idea. Malarial prophylactics or alternatively testing & early treatment aids are also a reasonable idea. Nomad travel in London or The Medical Clinic at Jan Smuts airport in Johannesburg are useful centres for some needle action. We have decided to go the Malarone route, the most expensive of the malaria tablets available, but in my opinion, well worth it.

Copies of all of the above
It is advisable to carry certified photocopies of all of the above paperwork. This is the exhaustive list if the documents required;
  • Passport(s)
  • Original drivers licence
  • International drivers licence
  • Carnet
  • Vehicle registration certificate
  • International Certificate of Motor Vehicles
  • Vaccination certificates
  • Spare passport photo's
  • Travel insurance policy &
  • General contact details

Friday, 9 July 2010

About us........

We are 3 South African (or similar) adventure seekers, well not professionally really. Delilah and I (Lindsay), are married and Andre is a close friend.


Delilah and a will set off on our journey in the 1st September 2010, spending 3 weeks in Europe. Andre will join us on our journey in Venice, where we cross over to Egypt, and stay with us till Zambia, where we head off through Namibia to SA and Andre heads through Zimbabwe to Bloemfontein. We intend travelling for at least 100 days to reach Cape Town experiencing all the cultures along the way.

Nothing much to say about myself at the moment except that I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and when chatting with Andre about a year ago, who had the same idea, everything just packaged itself together from there. Delilah, well she is always up for anything, and if anything goes wrong, it was her idea anyway.

 I am sure that Andre and Delilah will post something interesting in the near future........