Help – We can’t get out of here

Fortunately I came across the website of

Heidi and Werner

website. As they are traveling on the same route that we have planned, I get in touch with them. The crossing for our MAN is scheduled for June 15 from Genoa. Fortunately, Messinal Lines is running late . Then we receive the following message:

“Hello Verena and Ernst
Please read Jamie Wood’s post on Facebook “overlanding africa”. There are serious problems handling 4x4s in Alexandria. Everyone has been stuck in port since May 13.
Best regards Heidi”

I can’t believe my eyes. That can only be a rumor, I think. First, of course, I read the message in the Facebook group “Overlandig Afrika”. Jamie Wood writes:

So all 4×4 vehicles have been stuck in the port of Alexandria for weeks. This not only means waiting and worrying about when you can finally set off, but also incurs immense costs, e.g. port fees, which can amount to several hundred francs a day, as well as hotel costs, etc.

I don’t trust this yet, as it could be an isolated case, but I’m pulling out all the stops to find out what’s going on. My letters to Egyptian customs, to the Egyptian embassy in Switzerland, to the Egyptian automobile club, etc. all came to nothing. I just don’t get an answer.

When I read the news about Marcus Barker, who was held up at the Egyptian southern border and had to wait there for many days until he was finally able to return to Sudan to ship his vehicle from Port Sudan, I was completely convinced that the story about Egypt must be true.

The story of Marcus Barker continues here:

Finally someone in Egypt takes pity on us, the port agent of Messina Lines in Alexandria. He confirms that it is currently difficult and time-consuming to obtain a permit for Egypt. The authorities he contacted said that they could not give a time frame for approval.

We are appalled!

The end so close to the finish line? Ship booked and paid for – and now? I struggle – why didn’t we set off earlier, I blame myself, I can’t see a solution. Why now – couldn’t they have waited a little longer? For a while, the ceiling falls on my head, because I was really looking forward to Egypt!

I then investigate new possibilities and have the shipping agent check out other shipping options, but at the same time leave the reservation on the “Jolly Quarzo” open, as there is still some time, since the Jolly Quarzo doesn’t leave until June 21.

Options for circumnavigating Egypt

Below I have listed the options for shipping the vehicle, leaving out Egypt.

I am trying to clarify the following shipping options:

  • The simplest shipment, to Israel and then by land via Jordan and transit through Saudi Arabia to Jeddah as well as by ferry from Jeddah to Port Sudan, is out of the question, as you are automatically turned back in the Islamic countries (except Jordan) when entering Israel.
  • Shipping to Aqaba (Jordan) and then transit through Saudi Arabia to Jeddah and taking the ferry from Jeddah to Port Sudan would have been the most obvious option for me. However, Messina Lines did not want to make me an offer. There is also a risk of getting stuck in Jordan if Saudi Arabia refuses the transit visa.
  • All ships go to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), so why not ship there and then take the ferry over to Port Sudan? I received no response to my inquiries at the Saudi Arabian consulate. Our visa agency (AVS Allvisumservice) didn’t know what to do either. Shipping to Jeddah costs around CHF 4600, plus the uncertainty of obtaining a visa to pick up the vehicle at the port of Jeddah was too risky for me. In addition, this option is not easy to plan, as the visa is difficult to coordinate with the outbound flight and the arrival of the ship (delay).
  • Direct shipment to Port Sudan. I could not find a shipment from Europe directly to Port Sudan. The shipment offered by Messina Lines for CHF 5600 included the reloading of the vehicle in Jeddah onto another ship, as Messina does not call directly at Port Sudan. Reloading our vehicle? How many days will it remain unprotected in the port of Jeddah? – No, that is out of the question. The risk of receiving a damaged or robbed vehicle in Port Sudan is too high for me.
  • Then there is the shipment to Djibouti. But on the one hand the agent didn’t want to tell me the price and at the same time I read reports about horrendous port fees…..

Good advice is expensive. Despair spreads.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ericus Steyn
    3. April 2022 9:47

    Good day
    We want to take the ferry from Post Sudan to Jeddah and I think we have everything in place. EXCEPT I now read somewhere else that Saudi Arabia does not allow Right Hand Drive vehicles into the country. Can anyine maybe confirm this?

  • Ericus Steyn
    5. August 2021 9:43

    Good morning
    I share your pain. We are currently in South Sudan and want to get visa for Sudan so that we can ship from Port Sudan to Jedda. 2 problems. I read on Wikipedia that ferry services from Port Sudan to ANY destination has been suspended. Not sure how accurate that information is but regardless that is where we are going. Secondly we first have to get a visa for Saudi Arabia before getting visa to Sudan. They want to be pretty sure you leave their country. Lastly we are traveling without carnet from South Africa and no issues so far.


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