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Old March 29th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #41
snowman159
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It is however not something I can imagin anyone doing as enjoyment - it will be very hard, expensive, risky and no matter how much you enjoy driving when it becomes your life it loses a lot..
An overland trip to Asia or Africa is not something you decide to do overnight. Everything you said above is true. If you want to organize the whole thing yourself, uou need a lot of experience in many different fields (languages, auto mechanics, people skills, etc.), a lot of open-mindedness, and you have to be able to adapt quickly to new situations under stress.

Don't think of it as a trip to the beach or a leisurely Sunday drive. In mountaineering terms, it would be like climbing a difficult north face or a Himalayan peak. It's not going to be all pleasant, there's a lot of risk involved and you may not even make it back alive. I know.... most people can't understand why anyone would wanna do such a thing.

Oh, btw, I've read trip reports of people who illegally traveled from Niger to Chad and Sudan, or through the Algerian Tanezrouft to Mali, and they all lived to tell about it. So you see, a lot "can be done". It's all just a question of how much risk you're willing to take (and how much money for bribes you carry around with you).

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Old March 29th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #42
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Everyone asking himself where to go - over Russia or the Middle East - I say one way Russia, the other way ME.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #43
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And don't forget crossing Israel to continue driving in most Arab countries is illegal.
That problem can be bypassed by taking a ferry across the Red Sea from Djibouti into Yemen. But from there onwards, you'll face security issues too: not only those already mentioned (Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar), but also a crossing of Iraq would be on the cards. You'd just as well continue all the way North through Africa, take a ferry into Europe (have once read a travelblog where people took one between Genova and Libia) and take the Northern or the Southern route through the former Soviet Union instead.

All in all, a Europe to Cape Town trip or a Europe to SE Asia trip alone would be exciting enough for me. Combining the two would probably be a direct route into the asylum above all.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 08:19 PM   #44
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That problem can be bypassed by taking a ferry across the Red Sea from Djibouti into Yemen. But from there onwards, you'll face security issues too: not only those already mentioned (Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar), but also a crossing of Iraq would be on the cards. You'd just as well continue all the way North through Africa, take a ferry into Europe (have once read a travelblog where people took one between Genova and Libia) and take the Northern or the Southern route through the former Soviet Union instead.

All in all, a Europe to Cape Town trip or a Europe to SE Asia trip alone would be exciting enough for me. Combining the two would probably be a direct route into the asylum above all.
AFAIK it is (or used to be) possible to go from Egypt to Jordan and cross Israel on land via Eilat. From there you go north to Syria, Turkey and into Iran.
However, there's no direct land link to Egypt from South Africa and I'm not sure what your ferry options are. Theoretically, you could cross the Sahara through Niger, Algeria, Libya, and then enter Egypt. But entering Algeria through the Aīr (Niger) may not be easy (or possible at all) at the moment, because of problems in the area.

I think the most reliable route through Northern Africa would be via Mauritania and Morocco. That pretty much means you'd have to take a ferry to Spain and continue the journey through Europe. On the plus side you get to visit three continents.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #45
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That problem can be bypassed by taking a ferry across the Red Sea from Djibouti into Yemen.
That wouldn't be strictly on land any more. :P

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AFAIK it is (or used to be) possible to go from Egypt to Jordan and cross Israel on land via Eilat. From there you go north to Syria, Turkey and into Iran.
It is possible to go from Egypt to Jordan and vice versa through Israel, but not to continue for Syria or Iran. Actually, you can go through Iraq. But that means you'd have to continue through Turkey and ex-USSR, all around the Caspian Sea. And only in direction Africa -> Asia, because Sudan and Libya also reject passports with Israeli stamps. You can get an Israeli stamp on a special paper, which you can throw away, but it's risky, as you'd have to hide ANY evidence whatsoever (or even just a hint!) you've been to Israel, e.g. having an Israeli bus ticket etc., which can well be impossible, as you get visa stamps from Jordan and Egypt with the name of the border crossing, which someone on a Sudanese or a Libyan border crossing might know is on the border with Israel. Or they could just require from you an evidence how your vehicle got to Egypt (by ship or plane) and reject you entry, because you don't have it. Complicated.

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However, there's no direct land link to Egypt from South Africa
What do you mean?

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I think the most reliable route through Northern Africa would be via Mauritania and Morocco. That pretty much means you'd have to take a ferry to Spain and continue the journey through Europe. On the plus side you get to visit three continents.
Which ones? I can only count Africa and Eurasia. :P
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Old March 29th, 2009, 11:15 PM   #46
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What do you mean?
Sorry, I wasn't clear. What I meant is, I don't think you can drive through Sudan to Egypt. Like someone mentioned before, a ferry to Yemen may be an alternative. As far as Yemen and Saudi Arabia are concerned, I have no idea if that route is practical for individual tourists.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #47
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Google Maps shows an Egyptian road number 2 that runs all the way to Wadi Haifa in Sudan, but no trace of it on the satellite pictures. The travelogues I've read all involve the ferry between Aswan in Egypt and Wadi Haifa in Sudan, so I presume the road is actually cut there. If there is a road, it's probably a very bad track that you shouldn't take (most Sahara maps show a lot of such "roads" that nobody with an intent on actually crossing the desert by car would ever consider taking).

That said, on a trip like this I would settle for small ferry rides like Aswan - Wadi Haifa or Djibouti - Yemen. Compared to the entire journey, they are so small that it would still feel to me like making the full trip by car.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 05:30 AM   #48
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Google Maps shows an Egyptian road number 2 that runs all the way to Wadi Haifa in Sudan, but no trace of it on the satellite pictures.
How not? I see it. I also see the Egyptian-Sudanese border crossing, though the road rather ends in Sudan, I guess there are tracks. But you have to take ferry over the Nile, staying on the left bank doesn't look like a good idea. But you can go along the Red Sea coast. Of course in Sudan there's a gravel road.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 02:23 PM   #49
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Even though scarcely mark..isn't there two Asian Highways (A-1 and A-2) that is possible to take from turkey all the way to japan(A1) and the A2 all the way from Iran to Bali?The A2 refers that one could take a ferry from Singapore to Merak (100 km from Jakarta) as a further connection down South East Asia. Does anyone know more about the ferry?As for roads, from personal experience in going through some SE Asia roads, The North-South in Malaysia is very quick and the A2 in rural Java is Indonesia's best maintained national road-a 4 lane road (sadly only around 220 km of around approx. 800 km is expressways, the rest is the 4 lane road)- that was built by the Dutch two centuries ago

A2 from Wikipedia:


A1 from Wikipedia:

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Old March 31st, 2009, 02:42 PM   #50
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Tell us how to cross from India into Myanmar (Burma).
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Old April 1st, 2009, 02:13 AM   #51
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And moreover how to get through Balochistan without having your head tied in a sack and chopped off.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 02:19 AM   #52
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I would drive over Russia and then get a Chinese driver for Chinese roads. Perhaps even new car. Don't think you need the 4wheel drive truck for Chinese motorways.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 10:02 PM   #53
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And moreover how to get through Balochistan without having your head tied in a sack and chopped off.
You can pass Turkmenistan- Uzbekistan-Kyrkyzstan coridor instead.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 10:17 PM   #54
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Never heard of Overland World Truck Expedition? It's possibile to drive from Europe to America without take any ship...they did 14 expeditions all around the world, from Rome to New York, From NY to Sao Paulo, from Cape Town to North Cape, from Lisbon to Beijing and back and many others...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=GR5dPZKGh4Q
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 10:43 PM   #55
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I've read trip reports of people who illegally traveled from Niger to Chad and Sudan, or through the Algerian Tanezrouft to Mali, and they all lived to tell about it.
Those who didn't make it back alive didn't post trip reports, so the trip reports have a self-selection bias.

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It is possible to go from Egypt to Jordan and vice versa through Israel, but not to continue for Syria or Iran. Actually, you can go through Iraq. But that means you'd have to continue through Turkey and ex-USSR, all around the Caspian Sea. And only in direction Africa -> Asia, because Sudan and Libya also reject passports with Israeli stamps. You can get an Israeli stamp on a special paper, which you can throw away, but it's risky, as you'd have to hide ANY evidence whatsoever (or even just a hint!) you've been to Israel, e.g. having an Israeli bus ticket etc., which can well be impossible, as you get visa stamps from Jordan and Egypt with the name of the border crossing, which someone on a Sudanese or a Libyan border crossing might know is on the border with Israel. Or they could just require from you an evidence how your vehicle got to Egypt (by ship or plane) and reject you entry, because you don't have it. Complicated.
If you're going to go through Israel, you should have at least two passports, preferably from different countries, and you should still make sure that the Israelis don't stamp either/any of your passports. Get the Egypt/Jordan stamps in one passport and don't show that passport in Syria or Iran.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 11:35 PM   #56
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Never heard of Overland World Truck Expedition? It's possibile to drive from Europe to America without take any ship...
But the crossing from Russia to the US State of Alaska was done on the ice, unless vehicles were shipped from Vladivostok to an Alaskan port.

To go from Europe to China, the best, and by far, easiest way, would be to go through Russia. One would cross the border into China from Russia near a place called Derevnya Kamyshovyy (SW of Vladivostok) on the Russian side. On the Chinese side the point of reference is Hunchun. There are a few pics of this border crossing on Google maps.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #57
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The red tape and hassle involved in driving through China is well known, but it can be done - and has been done by many.
Basically, you have to find a Chinese agency that takes care of all the formalities (visas, permits, Chinese license plates, the required guide or military liaison officer, etc.) Of course, all that comes with a hefty price tag and there are absolutely no guarantees that you will actually be able to obtain all the necessary paperwork (or in time for the trip).
But as long as Myanmar is off limits, there's no way to avoid China.
There was a group of people who decided to take a bus from Helsinki to Bangkok in 2010. The route was through Finland, Russia, Kazakstan, China, Laos, and Thailand. Their vehicle was a 1988 model Mercedes-Benz bus: simple enough to repair. They faced some red tape at the borders. However, the bad roads were a bigger issue, because they caused problems to the bus.

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Old October 24th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #58
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But the crossing from Russia to the US State of Alaska was done on the ice, unless vehicles were shipped from Vladivostok to an Alaskan port.
No, they crossed the sea on the ice, no shipping to any port. The expedition was in winter for this, otherwise would have been too easy
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Old October 24th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #59
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If you're going to go through Israel, you should have at least two passports, preferably from different countries, and you should still make sure that the Israelis don't stamp either/any of your passports. Get the Egypt/Jordan stamps in one passport and don't show that passport in Syria or Iran.
Unless they check all your belonging.
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Old October 24th, 2011, 09:02 PM   #60
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Unless they check all your belonging.
If you're really risk-averse (or paranoid) then drop the 3rd passport (the one with the Egypt/Jordan stamps at the Israeli border) into a FedEx or DHL envelope and ship it home or to your lawyer or someplace else safe.
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