Four Wheels Around - A Road Trip from the UK to South Africa

In February 2009 we are setting off on the trip of a lifetime from Brighton, E-Sussex, UK to South Africa. Furthermore, we are raising money for the British Red Cross along the way. This blog will cover our preparation until we leave and our adventures whilst we are on the road.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

The Route

This section is broken down into two sections, travel to Africa and travel in Africa.

Travel to Africa: This part of the trip is easier in terms of paperwork. We won't have any issues with visas and carnet de passage. We still need to research into European driving laws and ensure we have an international driving permit before we leave.

Travel in Africa: We are planning to follow the traditional Cairo to Capetown route with a few deviations to countries we are keen to explore which are slightly off the direct route.

When we were planning our route we came across a number of problems which are highlighted below:

Route Planning and Problems!

Travel to Africa:

  1. We originally planned to travel through France and Italy and get a ferry from Naples or Scicily down to Tunis, Tunisia. From Tunisia we planned to travel through Libya to reach Cairo whereby we could begin the traditional Cairo - Capetown route. However travelling through Libya presents us with a number of problems. Namely one big problem. That is that to cross Libya independently, well you can't! For us to drive through Libya we would need a guide to accompany us for the whole time. That is meeting us at one border and basically escorting us to the next border. From internet research and reviewing other people experiences these guides do not seem to come particularly cheap....
  2. The other option that we could pursue involves more of a European/Middle Eastern tour. This involves travelling through much or Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Syria before ending up in Jordan where we can cross over to Egypt. It seems to be quite common place to travel between the Jordanian port of Aqaba across the Gulf of Aqaba to either Taba or Nuweiba in the Sinai province of Egypt where from we could continue to Cairo.
  • To make a decision between these two options we debated mileage and cost. These discussions threw up a number of issues.

  • Cost of diesel with the higher mileage through europe Versus the cost of a guide through Libya. Would the high cost of a guide through Libya mean that despite travelling extra miles through Europe and the Middle East, the revised route would be more economical for Four Wheels Around?

  • A ferry crossing between Southern Italy to Tunisia would take considerably longer and cost more than the ferry between Jordan and Egypt.

  • It was also worth bearing in mind that with the current exchange rate between the pound and the euro, travelling through Europe could be rather expensive.
We have finally decided to travel the following route. Obviously we may decide en route that we want to take a few detours but this is our current plan.
Europe and the Middle East:

Travel in AfriAlign Leftca:
  • The main problems we have encountered when planning our route through Africa centre around the political instability in a number of the Countries on the Cairo to Capetown route. We need to be careful throughout the journey with regards to this. We will monitor the political situations in all the Countries we will travel through prior to crossing the borders to ensure we have uptodate information. If necessary we can try to find an alternative route to our destinations. For example, Southern Sudan is still not deemed safe so instead of travelling through Sudan straight to Kenya we need to detour via Ethiopia to avoid Southern Sudan. Also although the most direct land route to Eygpt is via Israel we are detouring to Jordan as an Israeli stamp or visa in our passport would mean we would be refused entry to Sudan.
  • Weather conditions. We have had to plan our route around the rainy seasons in parts of Africa. The rainy seasons coupled with poor road conditions mean that many roads within Countries we will be travelling through could become impassable during the rainy seasons.
    We have currently decided to travel the following route once we are in Africa:

In Africa:

Provisional route:

Begin: UK,
Czech Republic,
South Africa.


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