Ethiopia to Cape Town 2013

8 months - with Gitane - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

Information on the Journey

While resting in Quebec, we get an Ethiopian visa valid for 6 months (very difficult to get abroad). Then, I leave for Tanzania where I get the vehicle back. For a few weeks, I make changes on the van: installation of an electric fridge, installation of a roof rack, complete mechanical checkup. Later, Gitane comes to join me in Nairobi, Kenya, and we begin the trip.

Our journey starts with the area around Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya. Then we spent almost 3 months in Ethiopia with a small visit in Djibouti. Afterwards, we travel down to Namibia with a few stops in Zambia along the way. We don't explore East Africa since I already visited most of it. After several weeks in Namibia, we go down as far as Cape Town. After a few days in Cape Town, Gitane's trip ends and she goes back to Quebec.

For the rest of this journey that I continue on my own, see Cape Town to Tanzania 2014.


Some data

Travelling with Gitane
Regions visited:Kenya (Turkana), Ethiopia, Djibouti, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa (western region)
When? September 2013 to May 2014

The best

KenyaLake Turkana.
EthiopiaEthiopian people - the food - Lalibela - Omo Valley - Simien Mountains - Danakil - churches around Tigray - Harar.
DjiboutiLake Assal.
ZambiaVictoria Falls - scenery during the rainy season.
NamibiaEtosha National Park - Kaokoveld - Damaraland - Cape Cross - Sossusvlei.
South AfricaAll the Cape Town region.

The worst

Kenya45-50 degrees Celsius at Lake Turkana.
EthiopiaEthiopian children (yes, people are either very nice or irksome; especially rural children.
DjiboutiUnbearable heat, the country seems dying and run down.
ZambiaDuring the rainy seasons, parks are difficult to drive to.
NamibiaDistances are huge.
South Africa---

Technical Data

Travellers with a Canadian passport.

Kenya (September 2013)

VISAObtained at the border or airport. $US 50 for 3 months. Road tax of $US 50 for 3 months or $US 20 for 1 month.
CURRENCYKenyan Shilling - $US 1 = 87 KES
INSURANCECOMESA insurance that covers the country ($90 for 6 months for all the covered countries).
DIESEL$US 1.20-1.30 / litre

Ethiopia (October 2013)

VISAAlmost impossible to get on the road - obtained in home country - $US 35, 6 months, multiple entries.
CURRENCYEthiopian Birr - $US 1 = 18.35 ETB
INSURANCECOMESA insurance that covers the country ($90 for 6 months for all the covered countries).
DIESEL$US 0.95 / litre

Djibouti (December 2013)

VISADjiboutian embassy in Addis Ababa. $US 130 for 1 month.
CURRENCYDjiboutian Franc - $US 1 = 178.5 DJF
INSURANCECOMESA insurance that covers the country ($90 for 6 months for all the covered countries).
DIESEL$US 1.26 / litre

Zambia (January 2014)

VISAAt the border. $US 50 for 1 month. Taxes of $US 62 (depend on km and border posts).
CURRENCYZambian Kwacha - $US 1 = 5.52 ZMW
INSURANCECOMESA insurance that covers the country ($90 for 6 months for all the covered countries).
DIESEL$US 1.66

Namibia (February 2014)

VISAAt the border, 3 months, free. Road tax of $US 20.
CURRENCYNamibian Dollar - $US 1 = 10.8 NAD
INSURANCENone (not needed?).
DIESEL$US 1.20

South Africa (April 2014)

VISAAt the border, 3 months, free. No road tax.
CURRENCYSouth African Rand - $US 1 = 10.56 ZAR
INSURANCENone (not needed?).
DIESEL$US 1.30