Getting In – 5 Easy Steps:
1. Get a letter of letter of introduction ($50) from Canadian High Commission in Nairobi
2. Go to Sudanese Embassy and give letter, passports, completed visa form and $50 one day; come back for the passport with visas the next day.
3. Arrive at Sudanese border: complete arrival form and get passports stamped in, get stamp in “carnet de passage” (see note at the bottom)
4. In the capital Khartoum, go to the airport for “foreigner registration” for $45.
5. In the capital Khartoum, do to a government office for the “travel and photography permit” – this one is free.
Getting Out – 7 easy steps
First thing to know about crossing the border between Sudan and Egypt is that there is a beautiful new tar road. The second thing to know is that no one is allowed to use it!
So that means that you cross Lake Nasser from Wadi Halfa to Aswan (350kms) on a boat. But wait – actually two boats – one for the 4x4 and another for the people. Here is how it worked.
1. Arrive in Wadi Halfa several days before anything is supposed to leave because know one actually knows what day anything will happen. We got there on a Friday. We can debate whether that actually counts as a step…
2. Wait for the day that the vehicle barge is supposed to depart – for us it was supposed to be Saturday, but then it was Sunday until it was actually Monday. Meet other overlanders (if any) as they come into town to also wait for the barge and the ferry. We met motorcyclists Birgit and Rainer from Germany. They have been travelling for almost a year all over Africa - their blog is here, but I warn you it is in German so I can't read it.
3. My Dad went to the port with the car around 10:30 in the morning. The 4x4 was actually loaded onto the ferry and set sail at about 5pm. In between there was all the paper work (done by a “fixer” named Mazar). Fortunately it was only about 45 Celsius that day so it was no problem for my Dad to wait for all this to get done.
4. So the car is off, what about the people. Our ferry went on Tuesday. We got on the “bus” from the “hotel” at about 11:00am, then waited about an hour for 25 other people to cram in with babies and luggage for the 10 minute ride to the port with the ferry scheduled to depart around 4:00pm.
5. The ferry ride was 18 hours, but fortunately we had an air conditioned cabin. It was an experience!
6. Then we arrived in Egypt, got our visas and did all the paper work to get into the country.
7. But wait – where is the 4x4? Simple answer – engine breakdown on the barge so it limps into port three days after departure. Then we need to get it through customs (not yet done), register with the police and get new license plates (not yet done) and get on with thebigdrive (not yet done).
Piece of cake. Here's some pictures.
We are in Egypt, with the 4x4. I won't bore you with the details. But here are the highlights. It is 30km from the port to the city of Aswan. Some of the processing gets done at the port, some in the city. My Dad spent 14 hours sitting in government offices and driving between them over the course of two days to get all the stuff sorted out. I'd say that calls for two pieces of cake!