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  12.04.2006 Formalities: Egypt
Date of Border Crossing April 2006
Point of Entry As Sallum (Egypt) from Libya
Passport and Visa Passport has to be valid for at least another 6 months. You need a visa, but you can buy the visa on arrival at the border in Egypt. You basically buy a set of stamps from the bank. You have to pay in USD and one visa will set you back 15 USD.
Insurance They will make you buy insurance for your vehicle at the border for the length of your stay. You can buy insurance for either 30, 60 or 90 days.
Drivers Licence Did not get checked, but I am sure that you are required to have one. However on the border you will be issued Egyptian drivers licenses, which will list the number your vehicle's licence plate along with your name in Arabic. You will sometimes need these licenses to register at campgrounds or hotels.
Motorcycle papers You need a carnet de passage to enter Egypt. Make sure your carnet is valid for Egypt, since they insist on a 400% deposit of the value of your vehicle!
Licence plates You will be issued Egyptian licence plates at the border, 2 per vehicle, one for front and one for rear, so bring something to attach the new plates!
How it went

The first building as you drive up to the border on your left will be the Immigration. If you don't have a visa first walk down to the bank and buy the stamps for the visa (USD 15). They will only accept dollars and they will not change your Syrian money. This you have to do with one of the guys out on the street. Best if you know in advance what the exchange rate is, find out by asking one of the truck drivers standing in line on the Libyan side of the border.
Now you can go inside the Immigration Hall. Now your Visa needs to get approved, this is done in an office on the second floor. Best wave your stamps and passport in front of a guy in uniform and he will take you there. Afterwards join the long queue at immigration to get an entry stamp in your passport. That is it for Immigration, you can now drive down to Customs. These is a rather lengthy procedure:

  1. Bomb detection stop:
    First stop is the 'bomb detection' stop. Here they asked us if we had any weapons. We said no, so we got waved through. Buses and trucks got checked very thoroughly though.

  2. Engineering stop:
    Just past this checkpoint on the right hand side is a little hut. In there is the 'Chief Engineer'. He told us to wait for the Engineer. Eventually this guy turned up. He wanted us to point out the chassis and Engine numbers on the bike. He then rubbed them down onto a piece of paper with a pencil. We then had to take this piece of paper and the carnets to the 'Chief Engineer'. He checks the information on the Carnet against the rubbed down numbers. By now an Egyptian guy had introduced himself to us. He offered to help us with the paperwork. This was fine with us. We have heard from other travelers that they used the tourist police to help them, but there is no tourist police at the Soloum border crossing.

  3. Buy insurance: 15 Egyptian pound per bike for 30 days
    After your carnet got checked, drive down to the 'Vehicle Registration office', a ways down on the right hand side. Here you first have to buy insurance for the bikes. You can buy insurance for 30, 60 or 90 days. Here they want payment in Egyptian pounds and we paid 15 Egyptian pounds per bike.

  4. Photocopies: 25 Egyptian pound per bike
    Next door to the guys selling the insurance is a little office that does copies. Here you have to hand in your paperwork (Carnet, passport, insurance) and they will photocopy everything and put all the papers in a nice little folder. This set us back another 25 Egyptian pounds per bike.

  5. Customs: 500 Egyptian pounds per bike entry/processing fee
    With the originals and the folder with the copies you now walk back to the Customs office (Big building on the right hand side as you walk back, where a lot of people queue in front of one single x-ray machine). Drop your paperwork off at the "scribe" in a little office on the back of the ground floor. While he is copying all the information onto a form, go upstairs and pay the entry/carnet processing fee. This will set you back a staggering 500 Egyptian pounds per bike!
    Pick up the form from the "scribe". He will hang on to the folder with all your paperwork, since you have to come back anyway once you have the licence plates.

  6. Licence plates: 10 Egyptian pounds per bike
    With the form you walk back to the 'Vehicle Registration office'. Here you now have to get the licence plates for the bike. These cost us 10 Egyptian pound per bike. They will give you a receipt which list the licence plate number and your name in arabic. There will be two plates, one in the back and one in the front. If you think it is silly attaching a plate in the front, they let you get away with just attaching one in the back, but you will regret this. There are a lot of checkpoints and things go much faster if the officers there can see your plate as you approach!

  7. Drivers licence: 10 Egyptian pounds per bike
    Also get your drivers licence here at the same office (guys sitting next to the plate guys), another 10 Egyptian pound. It will take them a while to print these.

  8. Customs:
    While they are preparing your drivers license, take the receipt of the licence plate number back to customs and they can now finish the paperwork. You get handed back all the originals and your carnet will be stamped. Now you are free to go (don't forget to pick up your drivers licence).
    We tipped the guy who helped us 50 Egyptian pounds. We thought it was worth it.

We had heard from a lot of people that going into Egypt was a lot of hassle and very unpleasant. That wasn't our experience at all. On the contrary, everybody was very friendly and helpful. We even got offered cool drinks and a seat in an office while we were waiting.

Point of Exit Nuweiba (Egypt) by ferry to Aqaba (Jordan)
How it went Don't bother trying to buy the ferry tickets the day before. They will not sell tickets in advance. So the morning of your departure turn up at the port and first buy your ferry ticket. The prices are listed in US Dollars. But they will accept Egyptian pounds as payment too. We paid 760 Egyptian pounds for two bikes and two people.
In front of the port gates, there will be a lot of trucks queued up. If the gates are still closed just wait up front so that they can get a good look at you. Before the gates officially opened we were met by an officer from the tourist police. He introduced himself and then let us into the port.
First we had to take all the language off the bikes and put them through the x-ray machine. First time this has ever happened to us.
Then we had to go to the Immigration Hall, where we collected an exit stamp in our passport. Then in a little office down from the waiting hall towards the sea and to the left we had to get photocopies of all our documents (carnet, passport) and a folder.
Then an Engineer had to check the motor and the chassis number, which he rubbed onto a piece of paper. With that we were able to go to the customs office and get the carnet stamped. We paid 50 Egyptian pound per bike for exit tax and 25 Egyptian pound per bike to get the photocopies done. We tipped the officer form the tourist police with 20 pounds and he seemed really happy about that.
Additional Information


These are the details of the border crossing into this particular country. The information is correct as of the date on which the border was crossed. But, due to the stability and vagaries of the regimes involved, it is prudent that you get additional data directly from the embassy involved, preferably in your own country. Also you should keep in mind that the procedure can vary depending on exactly who is on duty. So never assume anything is a particular way, and regardless of what anyone says, the impossible is often possible if you are in the right place at the right time. Good Luck.


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