Thursday, 19 May 2011

Cape to Cairo: Notes

David Hall in the 2010 Cape to Cairo.  Who's David Hall?  What's the car?
Postscript: I see David Hall is in the 2011 Rally....  Still wondering about the car.
Notes from the organiser, Roger Pearce "below the fold" (as we cool bloggers say).  ie, click on "Read More"....  I paid the entry fee today, so it's all go.  Here's the website for the event.

The September 2011 Cape to Cairo is open to cars, motor cycles and any other interesting vehicle or airplane built before the 31st December 1972.

The adventure is a touring trip the length of Africa starting in Capetown and ending in Cairo. This adventure is a bit different to other events in that whilst we will be staying in decent establishments where possible, we will also be camping some of the way. You will not find any expensive brochures and advertisements for the adventure in an effort to keep costs down. There will also be no accompanying medics or mechanics. Road books are simple maps and you will need to find your own way at times. It is an adventure from which many a dinner party story will evolve.

Although an adventure, every care will be taken to provide you with the best sites which are only available up the East side of Africa and certain sections towards the Centre and North. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt are the countries we will travel through and it is only in these countries that some of the best treasures of Africa exist. The route is at present the best possible between Capetown and Cairo.

The organiser, Roger Pearce, of Classic Car Events based in South Africa, has done this trip in an MG, a Mini and a Rolls Royce. He has also done many trips up to Nairobi, mostly in a MK10 Jaguar. He has also competed in various London to Sydney and London to Mexico events.

The adventure will start in Capetown on the 4th of September 2011. From here we will head up the west coast towards Namibia. Into Namibia via the Fish River Canyon and on up to the Etosha Game Reserve where we will spend a day. From here we head east across the infamous Caprivi Strip to Victoria Falls where we will spend a night at the old Victoria Falls Hotel. We head further east into Zimbabwe to take an overnight ferry the length of the Kariba Dam.

We move into Zambia were we have a couple of interesting overnights and a chance to make repairs in Lusaka if necessary. Further on up the Great North Road through Zambia to Tanzania we will pass Shiwa Ngandu where, strangely, the clock tower from the original Brooklands race track in the UK still survives.

Into Tanzania and after a night on a coffee plantation we head down the escarpment through the Mikumi National Game Park to Dar es Salaam. From Dar we will take a flight to Zanzibar for a bit of R and R. From here we head north to the Ngorongoro Crater in the Massi Mara before ending up in Nairobi. We will take a couple of days off in Nairobi to refresh mind, body and vehicles and also to attend Africa’s biggest Vintage, Veteran and Classic car and bike show. It has to be seen to be believed.

From Nairobi we head north again across the Equator for our last stop under Western norms, as they are known. The road from Isiolo to Moyale has many descriptions but the most common is the “Road from Hell”. Rocks, wash aways, corrugations, bandits, corrupt officials, you name it, it has it. We will spend two days travelling the five hundred kilometres across. Unfortunately, this section is being repaired and tarred by the Chinese government and some of the adventure may be gone when we get there. There is no available accommodation along this section and it is definitely self catering. If the road is passable, we will visit a volcano site near the overnight stop at Marsabit.

Into Ethiopia we go, all being well, and we travel a fairly good road to Addis Ababa. Depending on the Sudanese visa situation we may spend up to three nights in Addis but an alternate side excursion with flights to Lalibela to see the ancient churches is planned. Addis is a fascinating city with a lot to see and do.

North again from Addis we cross the Nile for the first time and end up at Bahir Dar where we visit the Blue Nile Falls. From here it is a short run to Gonder, again another interesting Ethiopian town. It is also the last spot for an ice cold beer for the next week or so.

Out of Gonder it is a spectacular drive over the escarpment and down to the Sudanese border. Another dirt track that is being turned into a tar road. The border crossing into the Sudan is reasonable but from here on get used to continuous security stops with one overnight before we reach Khartoum. In Khartoum various permits have to be arranged before we can continue but there is a lot to see, particularly in the old town.

From Khartoum we head north into the Nubian Desert where we spend two to three days travelling the last six hundred kilometres along the Nile to the last stop in the Sudan, Wadi Halfa. Again, this is another route which is being civilised with tar roads etc. It is also one of the reasons behind this adventure because soon one will be able to drive from one end of Africa to the other on a tar road which won’t be much fun at all and one of life’s great adventures will be gone.

At Wadi Halfa we catch a ferry up the Nile to Aswan in Egypt. It is an overnight trip on a two hundred seat ferry carrying four hundred people and all their baggage, including livestock. The town of Wadi Half and the ferry trip is a story on its own. There is talk of the road being extended north to opposite Abu Simbel with a short ferry trip straight across the Nile and then by road up to Aswan. I have contacts in both Aswan and Wadi Halfa who keep me up to date with what is going on in the area. A night or day in Abu Simbel would be quite splendid.

Into Aswan for an ice cold beer after a week of abstinence and another of life’s great experiences with is passing a car through Egyptian customs. The manner in which officials can extract money is an art form worth seeing.
We spend a couple of days in Aswan with customs, vehicle registration and so on but this leaves time to visit all the archaeological spots around Aswan.

Luxor is our next stop where a visit to the Valley of the Kings is a must and from here we head east across the desert to the Red Sea for a days rest at a top resort. If diving is your thing now’s your chance. At this point in time travel by foreigners on Egyptian highways is by police convoy along with the entire local
Tourist busses. The opening laps of a Grand Prix have nothing on this lot.

If you get into Cairo you have made it and after a days rest there is a final function to celebrate and say goodbye to a fantastic adventure although some may take the opportunity to drive across north Africa towards Spain, France and the UK or another option will be to ferry across to Italy and on to the UK failing which you can ship your vehicle home from Cairo or Alexandria.

Mandatory Requirements to be supplied by the Entrant;

1.    Valid passports with six months use left with a minimum of four blank       pages.
2.    A Carnet du Passage for the vehicles entered.
3.    Valid visas for all the countries to be visited.
4.    Vehicle Registration Papers.
5.    International Drivers Licence.
6.    International Inoculation Certificate.
7.    Prescription Drugs Certificate ( Doctors Letter)
8.    Medical Repatriation Insurance for all entrants and passengers.
9.    Certified Copies of items one through eight.
10. Fire Extinguisher.
11. Tow Rope and hooks.
12. Two Warning Triangles.
13. Country of origin Decal on the rear of the car.
14. Adhesive reflectors front (white) and rear (red) of the car.
15. Travelling expenses such as petrol, food and entertainment.