We have got two visa’s sorted out for the trip prior to departure, Libya and Egypt.  United Kingdom nationals do not require a visa for Tunisia, so we can get straight in.  Libya is another story!!

It is very difficult to get a visa for Libya, you cannot get one though the embassy in London, as you need a letter of introduction from a Libyan tourist agency.  To cut a long story short we have found a fixer in Libya, who will arrange everything for us, and meet us at the border with the visa’s (we hope).  His name is Farhart Gahuagi [], seems to be a good guy.

We will get our Sudanese and Ethiopian visa’s in Cairo.  You need a letter of introduction from the UK embassy in Cairo. This easy to get but costs 350 E£ (£35), so is quite expensive.

The rest of the visa’s we will get en-route.  The majority will be able to get at the border of the country we are going into.


Carnet des Passages

The Carnet des passages is basically a passport for the vehicle, that allows you to import and export your vehicle into each country visited.  Entry is not allowed without it.

The carnet is issued by the RAC, with the best contact being Paul Gowen 01454 208304.  The RAC cost is around £200.

The main problem is that you have to provide the RAC with sufficient funds so that if the carnet conditions are not followed, the they can cover this cost.  Sounds easy enough, but when you take Egypt for example, who require a guarantee of 800% of the vehicles value. So if the vehicle is worth £10,000 then you have to give £80,000 to the RAC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what we did, was value the vehicle, as though it had no kit on it, and as though it was just a bog standard 11 year old vehicle in poor condition. This is all the RAC are interested in, and even reduced the value we gave them, to make the math’s easier! 

If the amount comes to under £10,000 you can deposit the amount with the RAC, let’s just say it didn’t for us!!

So there are two ways to do it:

  • RL Davison will provide you with an insurance indemnity for the amount.   However, they charge 10% of amount required, then 5% insurance tax on that amount.   I was looking at having to pay them in the region of 4.5k to provide the indemnity.   You do get half back but it is still very expensive.
  • A Bank guarantee.  It is best speaking to someone who knows what they are doing in the bank, and also very important to apply early.  This is the option we took, and is by far the cheapest.  It looks like the total cost will be around £500, which is obviously much better than the above.  It took about 2 months to come through, with constant chasing.  Generally the bank will have an arrangement fee then a quarterly interest charge is payable, until the guarantee is cancelled, which will be when the carnet is back with the RAC.


Travel Insurance

Obviously travel insurance is necessary for any trip, but definitely for a trip like this.  We got ours through Campbell Irvine , same company as the vehicle insurance.  It is pretty good, and covers all the activities that we are likely to do on route.  Cost is about £215 each for 5 months.


Vehicle Insurance

Third party insurance is required in every African country.  There is no one way of doing this, so generally it requires to bought at the border of every country.  There is a thing called the Comesa Yellow Card, which can be bought in Ethiopia, and covers quite a few countries.

Insurance for our vehicle is something we thought long and hard about, and decided to get it in the end. It is not cheap, but we are covered for accidents, fire and theft for our vehicle, so it should mean we do not lose everything if something were to happen to the vehicle.


International Driving Permit

Required by quite a few countries, easy to get through the post office, for £6. Worth getting a couple.


International Motor Vehicle Certificate

This is basically a document that translates your vehicle details into numerous languages.  Easy to get through the RAC, costs £5 get it at the same time as the Carnet.


Arabic Translation of Passport

This is something that is required by Libya to gain entry, and also helps a lot in other Arabic speaking countries.  It involves two processes:

  • An Arabic stamp in a page of your passport.  This can be obtained from any passport issuing office.  Just ask, it is free.
  • Getting an Arabic speaker to write in your personal details in the places provided by the stamp.

We looked into the second requirement, there are companies that will do this, but charge about £100 for ( per passport).  We contemplated going to the local Kebab shop and trying to get them to do it, but decided this wouldn’t be too wise.  It is literally 10 words.  Eventually I found an Arabic speaker, through a friend that works at Heriot Watt University.  I paid her  £5 per passport, and it was done.


Carte Grise

Asked for this, and every time shown the V5 and it has worked.

Other Paperwork

  • UK driving Licence -  a must
  • V5 Vehicle Information Sheet
  • Multiple copies of all documents
  • Loads of passport pictures, best to scan  some, and then print out about 50, as they are requird for visa’s and border crossings.
  • A contacts sheet detailing all possible contacts required on the journey


Back Up Information

We made 4 full packs of copies of every bit of information we have.  Two hidden in the vehicle, and another two sets with our respective parents.  We also scanned the information so that we have in electronic format, and have it saved on our email accounts.

Hopefully with all the above precautions, we will be able to get hold of any information we need, if the worst were to happen.


Kit List

General tools
• Mallet
• Crowbar
• Screwdrivers, 2x long flat and Philips, 2x short flat and Philips
• Stanley knife
• Pliers, long and short nosed
• Junior hacksaw?
• Small drill
• Small angle grinder + discs
• Assortment of drill bits + hole enlarging bit
• Metal file
• Tape measure
• Long thin magnet (use to get out wheel bearings and rescuing things that fall into the engine bay
• Set of spanners (essential)
• Socket set, including extra long breaker bar and extra long sockets.   Needs to be half inch.   (essential)
• Axe
• Saw
• Shovel / spade
• Allen keys
• Big adjustable wrench

Landrover / service specific tools
• Correct gearbox socket (e.g. torx socket for R380 gearbox)
• 30mm spanner of socket for radius arm chassis end bolts
• 24mm socket for radius / trailing arms bolts
• Prop shaft nut socket (available from and makes life so much easier)
• Grease-gun
• Oil filter removal tool
• Something that can be used to re-fill diffs and transfer box with oil.   (The Halfords EP90 bottle works very well here and can be re-filled.)
• Hub spanner
• Fan belt nut spanner

Miscellaneous spares / tools
• Bostick liquid gasket (essential)
• Bostick general white sealant
• Cable ties
• Fuel tank hole repair putty
• Multi-purpose glue
• Assortment of jubilee clips
• Assortment of different nuts,   bolts and washers, especially for things like shocks etc
• Locktite thread glue
• Spare in-line filters should you have aux tanks fitted
• Electrical tape
• Duct tape (essential)
• Hose repair tape
• Gloves?
• Overalls?
• Workshop manuals
• String

Recovery equipment
• 8 – 10m tow rope, the strongest around
• Hi-lift
• Hi-lift base plate (essential)
• Hi-lift adaptor
• Bottle jack
• Waffle boards
• 2 x 5 tonne ‘d’ rings
• 2 x 3.5 tonne ‘d’ rings
• 1 x snatch block
• 2 x strops
• Spade
• saw

Spares kit
Split into mechanical / vehicle spares, electrical, tyres and fluids;
• Brake pads all round
• Air filter (start with these, but can be got almost anywhere)
• Fuel filter   (start with these, but can be got almost anywhere)
• Oil filter (start with these, but can be got almost anywhere)  
• Radius arm bushes
• Trailing arm bushes
• Pan-hard rod bushes
• Shock absorber bushes
• Radiator cap / bolt
• Sump plug
• 2 x UJs
• 2 x Wheel bearings
• 2 x hub nuts
• 2 x lock washers for hubs
• 2 x Pinion seals
• 2 x transfer box to prop shaft oil seals
• 2 x hub oil seals
• Fuel pump
• Water pump
• Bulbs
• Drive belt
• Air-con belt (if required)
• Drive-belt pulley bearing
• Wing mirror glass
• 1 x white and 1 x red light assembly
• 2 x dust cap

Fuel & Oil Checklist
• 5 litre15W40 Engine Oil
• 1 litre Break/Clutch fluid (DOT4)
• 1litre of Gearbox Oil
• EP90, used in diffs and transfer box
• Grease, with gun
• Silicon grease for locks
• WD40

• Vehicle wheel-nut spanner and a spare socket.
• 2 Tyre Irons (big ones)
• 2 x Tubeless tyre repair plug kits – Make sure you practice before you set out.
• Assorted Tubeless patches and adhesive
• Abrasive pad or paper to prepare surfaces of tubeless tyres for patches
• 2 x Inner Tubes (use in tubeless tyres in an emergency)
• Tube repair kit, including patches and adhesives
• Air compressor

Electrical spares
• Multimeter
• Electrical tape
• Lots of fuses
• Spare in-line fuse holders
• Several m’s of different electrical wire
• Jump leads
• Assortment of electrical connectors and crimping tool