June 25, 2024

Visas (well almost), Carnets de Passage en Douane, International Driver’s licence – what a day!

We had a lot planned for today and left home at around 9h00. First stop, Visalogix in the big city. We were told that Lungi is our lady when it comes to applying for visas. This turned out to be true, because less than half an hour later we left with a comprehensive list of requirements for the three “trouble” visas, being: Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. The visas are only valid for three months from date of issue, so everything has to be timed to the day. We basically have three months to finish the trip, but we need to book our air ticket home, before we can get the Egyptian visa. But we need to know when the visa expires to plan the ticket. My head was spinning.

After we’ve seen the bikes at Motomia (see Tania’s post), I received an email from Lungi. She informed us that she managed to organise an extended visa for Epypt, but that Sudan might pose a problem as it is only valid for two months. This should make for some exiting admin in Nairobi or Addis Abeba. Lekker! Our biggest hurdle for Ethiopia will be getting an invitation for stay in order to get the visa. We have this week to get everything together and hand it all over to Lungi. More on this as it unfolds.

After we picked up the paperwork from Peter at Motomia, we headed for Stellenbosch to register the bikes in our names. About half an hour later, we were the proud new owners of two brand spanking new Pachinos. Tania now has four bikes by the way, I am falling behind!

With the papers in hand we headed for Somerset Mall and the AA travel agency to apply for the Carnets and international drivers licences. The Carnets are basically a set of documents accompanying each vehicle as proof that you are not going to sell it in another country (without paying import duties). We had to take a ten-pager which does not come cheap. Then you also need to be good for the maximum amount of import tax, which is 200% of the value of the bikes, for Epypt. Luckily if you get all your entry and exit stamps in the Carnet booklet, the full deposit is refunded. Thanks to Jolita Paxton at the AA who was a great help with everything, we also left with our driver’s licences that are valid for all African countries. This is a pic she took of us writing out our addresses and motorcycle VIN numbers for the three millionth times today.

Last stop, Computer Mania. The friendly sale-ist, Emile, suggested the Gigabyte Netbook for best battery life and lowest price. After sms and email consultation with experts to the likes of Martin Pretorius (Tania’s brother) and Eddie Silberbauer (my childhood neighbour), we bit the bullet and bought the (net)book. If I am not entirely mistaken, Tania just posted our first encounter with the Pachinos from this little laptop, which will sit on her back for the entire three months (less vibration than on the bike). It took Tania less than half an hour to set the whole thing up. I took me two days earlier this year to set up mine…

At 1700 hours we finally arrived home, exhausted but satisfied that we ticked some important boxes on our list that is our Crossing Africa admin. Good night! F