Cairo to Cape Town (Solo female)
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 6, 2013 8:50 AM Last Post By: Biking2Brazil
Nov 10, 2012 8:33 AM
Cairo to Cape Town (Solo female)Fellow Solo travelers out there !!
Has anyone done this or similar itinerary ? Ignoring time available and assuming I have a decent saving to go on this trip, anyone out there interested in sharing their experience? I
Especially solo female ? I have traveled alone in Asia and South America but my first time alone to Africa and getting nervous about safety.
South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Madagascar, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, - Burundi, Rwanda,
Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt -
Nov 10, 2012 10:54 AM
Nov 10, 2012 11:06 AM
Nov 10, 2012 11:08 AM
Nov 10, 2012 12:18 PM
Crossing Sudan would be decidedly dodgy, and there are issues about the border with Ethiopia.
--Can you elaborate on this? Having read up on the UK Foreign Office travel advisory, I am aware of the regions of Sudan that it is advisable to avoid, and they all seem to be at least 100 miles from the route through Sudan. Also, the Ethiopia section advises against travel to "areas off the principal roads/towns within 10 kms of the borders with Sudan and Kenya" - which seems to be worded as if the main highways on the route are safe but the suburbs are not. And as Foreign Office advisories tend to be slightly more cautious than is necessary, I assumed that the route would be passable. have you seen/heard otherwise?
The route from Ethiopia to Kenya is extremely rough, but possible.
--By rough, do you mean the roads? Because I can handle that. I have heard of cases of banditry on the route to Nairobi, but I was under the impression that it had died down somewhat. Is that the wrong impression? Again, nothing on the Foreign Office advisory for either country.
From Kenya, the rest of the journey is pretty straightforward, although you would need to fly to get to Madagascar.
Good to hear it. I have heard of people hitching a ride to Madagascar on a cargo ship but I can't imagine it being very safe. I wasn't planning on going, but if I do go, I'll probably fly. I don't think I'll have the money for it by then anyway.
Nov 10, 2012 1:15 PM
5We self drove the east coast last year.
The only potentially tricky bit is northern Kenya - bad roads yes and possible banditry. Just before we traveled that way we met a tourist in Nairobi who'd been shot in a hold up near Isiolo which spooked us a little. Plenty of people do it though.
If a flight is an option and you are not planning to visit South Omo (highly recommended but probably a challenge to do on a budget without your own transport) then flying Addis to Nairobi would save you a few long dusty days on the road without much to commend them.
North Sudan was fine.
Nov 10, 2012 4:08 PM
6Thanks itchyfeet38. Good to hear someone has trodden the path recently and gotten back in one piece.
Just did a google image search for South Omo, looks amazing. I'll have to look into the logistics of getting there with public transport. If not, like you say the flight is probably the best idea.
Anyway, I digress. Back over to you OP. Message me a bit closer to the time and I'll tell you where I am.
Nov 11, 2012 1:19 AM
7I travelled Cairo to Addis in 2005 and Cape Town to Addis in 2007 so info might be obsolete. You might consider direction of travel. Back then, getting a Sudanese visa was way easier in Egypt than in Addis. I found the Sudanese extremely friendly and helpful. Roads from Wadi Halfa to Dongola very bad, same as Gedaref to the border. The last bit was in the back of a little truck and extremely uncomfortable.
From Kenya to Ethiopia was only possible on trucks. I got to Isiolo by bus and asked around for a broker. They know when trucks leave and can, for a fee, secure a place on top, or as a female you might be eligible to a cabinplace. There was talk of shifta's but trucks didn't drive in convoy as they sometimes do. There was a guy with a gun on board however....
Burundi was then 'decidedly dodgy'. I got a three day transit visa in Kigoma. In Bujumbura I was told not to leave the hotel after dark because there were a lot of violent gangs..
Otherwise be very careful in Jo'burg and Nairobi. They have nasty reputations, I was mugged once in Nairobi and it is not nice. If you walk in cities like these, do not wander in empty streets and keep in the middle of the street where everybody can see you.
Hope this is any help to you.
Nov 11, 2012 3:21 AM
8Just to update some of the info in the post above.
Sill very difficult to get a visa for Ethiopia traveling north (most have to courier passports home) but I'm told no problem traveling south. Most get it in Aswan which is quicker and cheaper than Cairo.
Sudanese visa doesn't seem to be an issue in either direction. There are some hoops to jump through eg letter of invitation from your embassy but otherwise fine (for Brits in any event).
You can now travel on pristine tar all the way across North Sudan!
Moyale to Isolio is still a dreadful road. It takes two days. Not sure what's available by way of public transport. Some self drivers have been escorted by police - others not. The tourist that was shot was in a convoy. Two other local vehicles were also targeted. But I think this is very much the exception rather than the rule.
I haven't been to Burundi but know people who have and suspect things have improved there.
Jo'berg and Nairobi? I spent a couple of weeks in each (red tape/restocking etc). I didn't feel particularly threatened in either but I was usually in pretty low risk places. Obviously the usual common sense rules (don't carry valuables, don't look lost etc) apply.
Nov 27, 2012 2:50 PM
Apr 6, 2013 8:50 AM
Western ZambiaBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$1160.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$200.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$259.00 per night