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London to Cale Town Help

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East London to Cale Town Help

1. Posted by raincity (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello! Me and three other friends are planning on driving from London to Cape Town with the goal of having a crazy time and also making a film about the effects of foreign aid on the continent.

The date for the trip is June 2008, so we are in the early planning stages. We are all Canadian and we'll be buying a Land Rover in the UK and driving down.

Now for the first round of questions:

1) I know about the Carnet de Passages en Douane that we'll need for the car, but I was wondering if anyone had done it and left their vehicle in S.A. we wont have the time to drive it back to the UK to sell, so we were wondering what our options are.

2) Along the same lines, i've looked at the UK Autotrader website and found defender 90s and Land Rover Discoveries for between $4,000 and $6,000. Is this correct? Am I missing something? In Canada the prices are at least twice as much!

3) Insurance for the does that work? How much will it cost (about 4 months).

4) If anyone has done it before, how much should be be budgeting for diesel?

Our budget so far is about $40,000 for the whole thing including vehicle, flights, visas, medical stuff, camera equitment, and food. Does this sound realistic to people experienced in this trip?

Ok, well I guess i'll leave it to that for now. Those are our pressing concerns right now. I will for sure have more questions as planning continues. Thanks in advance!


I know, I know...I mis-spelled "Cape Town". I'm sorry! I was in a rush!

[ Edit: Edited at Jul 14, 2006 1:51 PM by raincity ]

2. Posted by Jase007 (Respected Member 8870 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,
It sounds like it's going to be one hell of a trip.
Hope you have a fantastic time.
Just a couple of things about your choice of vehicle. The first two versions of the Land Rover Discovery are a piece of shite so stay away from them. They came out of the box with leaks and motor/gearbox problems.
The defender is a more basic model, therefore a bit more robust.
I'd also look at the Toyota Hi-lux (more reliable).
Your budget for the vehicle is it in £sterling or $can dollars, if your looking at a 4x4 in the £3-6K area, i'd go for something jap. Also check out what type of engine you need fuel wise - desiel gets better mpg but is it avaliable?

3. Posted by andrevk (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Hi Iain,

I asked my business partner here at (Steve Conradie) to answer your question. He has done quite a bit more driving in Africa than me and will answer your questions better:

Question 1)

Policies change almost daily in most countries in Africa. I suggest not getting any visa's before you leave and rather get them at the borders. Although a small risk, this gives you the flexibility that you often need when travelling in Africa. At the moment, as far as I am aware, the only country you might require a Visa before you enter/arrive at the border is Egypt.

There are plenty of forums and websites of travellers doing very similar trips that keep their websites updated regularly that are worth looking at. You could even pop them an email if they have just passed through certain countries.

Question 2)

If you car is registered in South Africa then you will have no problem bringing it in. No duties or Tax. If registered outside of South Africa the there will be hefty duties - up to 100%. Most people ship their vehicle back to country of origin. If the vehicle is registered in the UK get a Carnet de Passage. It is worth its weight in gold. It will involve leaving money in the UK as "security" but this money is refunded once the vehicle returns. Here is more info on Carnet's
This link applies to vehicles registered in South Africa.


I hope that helps!


---- on 26.07.2006 iorpen wrote----

Hi Andre,

I think that you might be the most qualified person to answer my two questions:

Im planning an overland trip from London to Cape Town in December. As a South African passport holder, can you tell me what visas (if any) are required for the various countries which we have to pass through?

Another question is how do I get the vehicle that I bring with licensed in South Africa once the trip is finished? What sort of import duties/ etc do I have to pay? Is there any way of avoiding import taxes?

Thanks a stack,

Iain Orpen

[ Edit: Edited at Jul 27, 2006 3:02 AM by andrevk ]