A detailed pre-trip information pack will be sent out to you when you book onto the trip, but here are the main things that you need to know.
This trip goes above 2,800m / 9,200ft where it is possible for travellers to experience some adverse effects on their health due to the altitude. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude; please discuss these options with your doctor. As your trip travels to areas of high altitude, the tour leader will issue you with a self-assessment altitude questionnaire which allows you to monitor how you are coping with the altitude and informs you of danger signals so that you can reports these as soon as possible, either to the tour leader or a medical professional.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection vary according to different regions and recent bulletins issued by health authorities. It is essential to get the latest advice on the region(s) you are planning to travel in so please check with either your doctor or travel clinic in good time before you travel.
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It’s also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Visas & Passport
Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after the conclusion of the expedition. You will need at least 14 pages free to complete the trip.
Many countries that you will visit on this overland tour will require visas to enter. Some are best obtained before you leave home, and others can be obtained en-route. Whilst the ultimate responsibility for obtaining visas is yours, the operator will endeavour to assist you wherever possible.
For visas that are needed in advance you can either make the applications yourself directly to the relevant embassy or consulate, or for trips that require multiple visas, you may prefer to use the services of a visa agency to assist with your applications. While this does increase the cost, it will make the process much easier for you. Note for visa applications made before the trip you will often need to submit your passport together with your applications so we recommend you avoid making any travel plans in the weeks leading up to your departure.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & all EU countries will need a visa to enter Egypt as a tourist for up to 30 days. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required.
- Southbound – visas are no longer available on arrival at Cairo airport and must be obtained from your nearest Egyptian consulate in advance
- Northbound – visas are available on arrival from Sudan into Egypt. This needs to be pre-arranged by the operator prior to departure
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & all EU countries will need a visa to enter Sudan as a tourist. This visa must be obtained in advance. Visas cost from USD100 (USD150 for US citizens) depending on on the embassy. Note the process for obtaining a Sudan visa can take up to 8 weeks so it must be started well in advance of travel as you need an authorisation letter issued by a Sudanese travel agent. Note also that on arrival in Sudan you will need to register your visa – your tour leaders will assist you with this process – the cost of registration is USD55.
- Southbound – it is recommended that you apply for the visa to be collected at the Sudan Embassy in Aswan, Egypt, where your tour leaders can assist with obtaining these for the whole group in one go.
- Northbound – it is recommended that you apply for the visa to be collected at the Sudan Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & all EU countries will need a visa to enter Ethiopia as a tourist. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required.
- Southbound – you must obtain your visa in advance which must generally by done at the Ethiopian Embassy in your country of residence (or the closest place which has an embassy). Note the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo no longer issues visas to non-Egyptian nationals.
- Northbound – you will be unable to apply for your Ethiopian visa before the start of the tour as it will have expired by the time you arrive into Ethiopia (visas are valid for 3 months from the date of issue). Therefore there are two options for getting this visa for the Cape Town to Cairo overland tour
- Option 1: obtain a 2nd concurrent passport before travel, send your visa application using this new passport to a visa agency who will keep hold of it and apply for the visa on your behalf while you are already travelling. The visa agency will then courier your passport to you in Nairobi when the visa has been issued. You will likely need a letter from your employer and from the operator to apply for a second passport, but please contact us for more information if you prefer this option
- Option 2: Continue on the trip as far as Samburu National Park, then temporarily leave the trip – as the truck heads North to Marsabit, you can travel South back to Nairobi on local transport (which our local Samburu guides can help arrange). From Nairobi you can take a flight to Addis Ababa (where you can obtain your Ethiopia visa on arrival) and then on to Arba Minch. From here you can take a short drive in a local taxi or bus to the town of Konso (this transport can be very easily arranged on arrival) – here you will meet the truck again and re-join the trip. The only section you will miss by taking this option is the drive from Archer’s Post – Marsabit – Moyale – Konso, a section without any real ‘highlights’.
Kenya / Uganda / Rwanda
- East African Tourist Visa – this is a common visa that covers Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda. It must be organized in advance from the Kenyan embassy (as this is the first country of the three that you will enter). This visa currently costs USD 100pp and is recommended for this tour as it is a much cheaper alternative than obtaining the visas for each country separately.
- If you are unable to apply for the East African Tourist Visa for any reason then you will need to obtain visas for each country separately
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & all EU countries will need a visa to enter Kenya as a tourist. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. It is possible to obtain this visa in advance at any Kenyan High Commission, or by using the new e-visa service, however currently it is also possible to obtain a visa on arrival at the border. Please note that as this overland tour between Cape Town and Cairo enters Kenya twice, you will unfortunately need to buy two Kenyan visas. Kenyan visas currently cost USD51.
Citizens of the UK, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & most EU countries will need a visa to enter Uganda as a tourist. Citizens of Ireland do not need a visa to enter Uganda. Citizens of other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. The easiest way to get the visa is to obtain it on arrival at the border, it currently costs USD100.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & all EU countries will need a visa to enter Rwanda as a tourist. Citizens of some of these countries can obtain visas on arrival at the border, alternatively an e-visa is available which must be applied for in advance. Visa costs vary by nationality.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & most EU countries will need a visa to enter Tanzania as a tourist. The easiest way to get a visa is to obtain it on arrival at the border, the current cost is USD50 per person (USD100 for US passport holders)
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & EU countries will need a visa to enter Malawi as a tourist. The visa can be obtained in advance at your nearest consulate or on arrival at the border, although it is recommended to obtain it in advance as they can take a while to process if obtaining them on arrival.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & all EU countries will require a visa to enter Zimbabwe as a tourist. Visas are available on arrival, cost varies from USD30 – USD55 depending on nationality.
Citizens of the UK, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & most EU countries will require a visa to enter Zambia as a tourist. Citizens of Ireland will not need a visa to enter Zambia. Visas are available on arrival, cost is currently USD50.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & most EU countries will not need a visa to visit Botswana as a tourist.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & most EU countries will not need a visa to visit Namibia as a tourist.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, USA, Canada & most EU countries will not need a visa to visit South Africa as a tourist.
It is a condition of booking that you have comprehensive travel insurance. Without evidence of valid travel insurance you will not be allowed to start the trip.
The Operator recommends that any policy has a minimum medical (including repatriation) cover of £5,000,000. We recommend that any policy also has a minimum level of cover for Personal Liability of £5,000,000 and for Cancellation and Curtailment of £5,000. Cover for loss of baggage, personal effects, money and other inclusions are down to personal choice although please bear in mind that personal effects are more likely to go missing whilst travelling and you should ensure that your policy is adequate to cover the value of your personal effects e.g. cameras, iPads, phones etc. Please note that the operator is not responsible for your personal effects and is not insured for their loss.
Whatever policy you choose, you must ensure that it is designed for adventure/overland travel and make sure it covers any activity you intend to undertake. As such it must cover you for adventure activities such as white water rafting, trekking, horse-riding and that the 24 Hour Emergency Assistance Company must be experienced in handling situations in developing countries – for example, that they have the ability to arrange repatriation from remote areas such as Sudan. On activities or side trips that are not recommended by the operator please ensure you are happy with the safety of the activity before participating.
Please double check if you have annual travel and/or credit card policies to ensure they have the cover you require, as many of these policies are not able to cope with adventure travel to remote areas.
Note re Sudan
The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently has no travel warnings in place that will affect this trip for British clients.
Non-UK clients should check the travel advice of their own governments, as this may be different frp, the British FCO advice. Australia and New Zealand currently advise ‘against all travel’ to all areas of Sudan outside of Khartoum. Canada advises against all travel to Sudan and the U.S asks travellers to carefully consider the risks of travel to Sudan.
It is therefore imperative that all non UK travellers check their insurance policy carefully to ensure they are still covered for this trip (as travel to these areas may invalidate some insurance policies). All non UK clients will need insurance that will remain valid throughout the entire trip before they are able to travel on the tour.
What to pack?
The less you take the less you have to pack, wash & lug home & you can always pick up extras along the way. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much gear. Clothes washing or laundry facilities will be available at least once a week. You will be travelling in the heat & camping in the cold, so bring clothes for all climates; rough stuff is best. Pack according to season: allowing for extremes in temperature (from the constant baking heat in the dry season to the cold and occasional frost overnight in some areas)
- 4 season sleeping bag and sleep sheet
- Foam sleeping mat or thermarest (and repair kit)
- Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
- Soft rucksack or holdall (not rigid suitcase) – 70 – 90L in size
- Remember baggage is limited to 20kg per person plus one day bag.
- One pair of trainers or boots
- Sandals / flip flops / jandals / thongs
- Underwear / socks
- T-shirts / shorts
- Shorts / swimwear
- Jeans / trousers / jog pants / leggings
- Skirt or dress
- Sweat shirt / jumper
- Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket
It is worth bearing in mind that keeping your arms, shoulders and legs covered will go a long way to prevent causing offence and hassle to yourself. This is true for men as well as women (especially in predominantly Muslim countries). Avoid wearing tight or revealing clothing, but generally on some beaches you can wear what you like. Attitudes range from fairly liberal in such places as the Mediterranean coast, to extremely conservative in Iran and some of the small towns elsewhere.
Toiletries – note most are available to buy on the trip
- Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm, moisturizer
- Sun block 30+, after sun, hat & sun glasses
- Tampons (can buy in most places)
Personal medical kit
Even though the operator’s trucks are equipped with a comprehensive medical kit, the operator advises you to bring a small personal medical kit as the truck kit is not for general everyday use. It will also be your responsibility to carry your kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.
- Antiseptic ointment / antihistamine cream & tablets
- Paracetamol / ibuprofen or equivalent pain killer (please see the notes re medications in Central Asia for restrictions on certain medications)
- Eye drops / bath
- Anti-diarrhoea treatment
- A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
- Medication for personal allergies / asthma etc
- Insect repellent containing DEET
- Re-hydration sachets / vitamin tablets
- Assorted plasters
- 1-2 sterile syringes
- 1 course of malaria treatment
- Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery
- Malaria tablets
- Camera with protective case, spare batteries & memory card
- Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
- Alarm clock
- Travel adaptor plug / charger (for cameras and mobile phone batteries)
- Money belt
- Personal stereo – there is a stereo on the truck with CD / iPod / MP3 adaptors
- Towel &/or sarong