Visas, LOCATE, Spot, Vaccinations and Insurance

Today has been one of much square eyes in front of the computer, phone calls, spreadsheets and a dozen cuppas!  Planning a round the world trip on motorbikes is awesome fun but there’s a mega amount of paper work behind it all!  As we finalise the details we will post our Visa, vaccination and insurance details on the document section of Chasing Horizons so you can download and use at your leisure!  We hope it will eventually save some people a fair bit of time when planning their adventure travel on motorcycles!

Visa and Embassy Details – North Africa, East Africa and South Africa

Normally I would curse with great fury at the likes of Excel, however, it’s days like today I forgive them for their infuriating quirks as they manage to organise so many details for our enormous trip with ease and simplicity.  We have spent a long long few days researching visas and embassies for our section through Africa and have managed to compile a list of all the British Embassies, relevant contacts and forms we need to complete to gain entry to various countries.  So far the visa entries are looking like so:

Libya Visa: Required Beforehand.
Libya Visa Costs: TBC (Rumour has it around $400 per person! Yikes!)
How to Obtain Libyan Visa: Can apply to local Embassy although it is recommended to apply through an agent.  We will provide details when we know more!
Entry Requirements for Libya / Other:  Must Register passport with police within the first 3 days of entry.  Carnet and Visa / Border details can normally be sorted by a fixer for a fee of LD 10-15.

Egypt Visa:  None Required for under 90 day Stay

Sudan Visa:  Required Beforehand
Sudan Visa Costs: Around $100.00 per person (Letter may cost from British Embassy, will update when we know!)
How to Obtain Sudanese Visa: Depending on which way you’re entering and your nationality it varies.  For us Brits heading in from the North through Egypt we have been recommended to go to British Embassy in Egypt, Cairo where we can apply for a letter inviting us into Sudan and then popping 200 yards down the road to the Sudanese Embassy in Egypt, Cairo and picking up a 14 day transit visa there.  Apparently it can be a day or two process although it’s been known to take longer for some!
Entry Requirements for Sudan / Other:  You will need 2 photos, $100 per person, valid passports and a letter from the British Embassy as above!  Once you do eventually enter Sudan, you are required to register if you are staying longer than 3 days and can pay a fixer to organise this and your carnet details for a fee of around USD $25

Ethiopia Visa: Required Beforehand.
Ethiopia Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa £14.00 (Valid for 30 days stay)
How to Obtain Ethiopian Visa: Apply direct to the Embassy in UK.  Form can be printed online through the Ethiopia Embassy Website here.  I will be making a call to them tomorrow as have a couple of questions about the form (dates entering/leaving and places staying – all anomalies at the moment!)
Entry Requirements for Ethiopia / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Tanzania Visa: Required
Tanzania Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa USD $50 (approx)
How to Obtain Tanzania Visa: Pick up at Border upon Entry
Entry Requirements for Tanzania / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Malawi Visa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

Kenya Visa: Required
Kenya Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa USD $50 (approx)
How to Obtain Kenya Visa: Pick up at Border upon Entry
Entry Requirements for Kenya / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Zambia Visa: Required
Zambia Visa Costs: Single Entry Travel Visa USD $50 (approx)
How to Obtain Zambia Visa: Pick up at Border upon Entry
Entry Requirements for Zambia / Other: Validated Passport and Yellow Fever Certificate

Botswana Visa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

Namibia Visa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

South Africa: None Required for under 90 day Stay

As above, we will put up our Excel spreadsheet once we’ve finalised the minor details so you travellers alike can use, adjust and print for their trips!

LOCATE and Spot us!

Incase anything goes a bit pear shaped we’re doing our best to make sure we can be found with relative ease.  To help this we have registered with LOCATE, a system set up by the foreign commonwealth where you can input all the locations you are heading to so if there is an emergency they are able to track, contact and help you as easily as possible.  Being engaged only one of us had to register where we then added a travelling spouse/partner/fiancee under all the countries we are travelling.  With soooo many to enter and dates being sketchy it did take time and will need updating but well worth it for a bit of peace of mind for us and our families.

We will also be subscribing our GPS tracker to SPOT.  Whilst we’re away, every 10minutes our tracker will send a location signal to SPOT which will then update where we are on our website!  Awesome eh!?  In an event of an emergency there’s a button to press too which then sends out a signal to local services requesting help and a little message to a number of emails we register saying “Oh bugger, we’ve had a boo boo, please help!” or something similar!  We can also send generic messages to these emails saying everything is aok which we plan to do regularly :)

Vaccinations… Jabs and Pills

Being a big girls blouse when it comes to injections I decided today I’ve put this off long enough and started to get the ball rolling.  Currently all I’ve managed to establish is that we pretty much need every jab going!  AiieieiEEEEE!  Haha!  Having both filled out the docs forms we’re popping them back in tomorrow and organising a date to pop in.  Pin cushion arms AHOY!

With regards to our Medikit we have a good few friends who are helping out with suggestions for this.  We’ve the makings of a list of what’s required and after I’ve established the over the counter costs and what isn’t available and requires prescription I will update our trusty spreadsheet and upload for you all to see!


Well it would seem it is a bit of a limited market for round the world travel insurance!  Over the few we have sifted through the Post Office is looking like one of the best options at a cost of around £900 for 12months.  We’re still shopping about… if we can find any deals we’ll give you all a heads up! :)

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Motorcycle Outreach

Bit of a shout out for this charity as it is one which is a pretty darn mega!  Motorcycle Outreach’s (MoR) goal is to be able to improve and introduce sustainable and effective delivery of healthcare to remote areas in developing countries.

As with many developing countries, communities tend to be spread out over vast areas of varying and often tough terrains.  Despite aid being available the lack of working and well maintained vehicles means aid is either distributed irregularly or even non existent to remote communities leaving hundreds and thousands of people to die each year from even the most simplest and preventable healthcare issues.

By working in coordination with government and non-government organisations, MoRs implements structured vehicle management systems which ensure vehicles aimed at delivering aid go through a series of frequent preventative maintenance and repairs.  By operating this proactive and proven set up, health ministries can then continually provide a zero breakdown healthcare system thus delivering crucial aid to hundreds, if not thousands.

Please take some time to peruse Motorcycle Outreach’s website at and support them where you can be it through spreading the word of this organisation or donating!


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Oggy Oggy Oggy! Cornwall here we come!

Once again, through the wonderful Touratech Travel Event earlier this year we have managed to make some fantastics friends with a superb and most inspiring couple Craig and Barbara.  Based in the heart of Cornwall they run the charity organisation Motorcycle Outreach and have much experience of adventure motorcycle travel having taken tours through all kinds of amazing places including West Africa and Canada.

With a weekend set aside from all the manic-ness we were quite relieved to jump on the bikes and make our way down to the scenic sights of Cornwall for a couple of days with them.  When we rocked up (numb bummed… once again those original KTM 690 Enduro R 2012 seats have to go!) we were warmly welcomed and topped up with tea and a stupendously home cooked b olognese!  The evening seemed to disappear in a blink of an eye with us all animatedly chatting about travel adventures on motorbikes, our route, spitfires, organ playing and all sorts!  Having discussed a busy planned ride out for the following day at 2am we decided to throw in the towel and head to bed for a good nights snooze!

In the morning we were awoken by a cockadoodledoo breaking the complete silence which had enveloped us beforehand… being in the middle of the countryside is just bliss!  After showering we were then treated to some rather tasty pastries for brekky and a tour of Barbara and Craig’s bike collection… a Matchless, Triumph Bonneville, BMW 650GS, BMW 1200 adventure are just naming a few of them!  The matchless caught Sam’s attention as it was his Grandad’s first ever bike which he bought for a handsome sum of £50 back in the day!  This actual bike was the one which made Barbara go weak in the knees and fall in love with motorcycling!  A stunning little model it is!

We then kitted up and made our way down to some local friends of Barbara and Craig’s who would be joining us for a ride out that day (Nicky, Phil and Andy).  Once they were all prepped we headed off to enjoy a coastal route of a rather stunning and beautiful Cornwall!  Unfortunately, Nicky’s bikes brakes decided to seize up within the first half hour meaning she had to hop onto the back of Phil’s BMW 1200GS and abandon the bike for rescuing at a later time!  On a good note though, we managed to dodge a huge rain cloud!  After weaving our way over hills, dipping down into valleys and whizzing past various Cornish tin mines, we stopped off at the beginning of a byway to take in the view and surrounds which were just truly beautiful!  Blue skies, rolling hills, Levant Tin mines, cliffs and beaches… what more could you wise for?!

Refreshed and relaxed we hop back on our bikes and take a short half mile ride over the cliffs along a gravel byway.  It then kicked back to an open road where we made our way down to a wee little cove to stop for a proper Cornish Pasty.  Oh good God.  I forgot how utterly om nommable these little delights are!!  Having being on a healthy stint for the past few weeks too Sam and I were in a little bit of sinful food heaven!

Back on the road we returned to Nicky’s bike which had managed to cool enough for the boys to loosen the brake pad bolts so she could slow ride it back home.  With Nicky, Phil and Andy back on track they headed home to prep some BBQ goodness leaving Sam, Barbara, Craig and I to take a wee trip down to St Ives.  Being a sunny summer weekend it was absolutely packed with tourists! With St Ives iconic close little fisherman cottages surrounding us our akrapovic exhausts on the KTM 690 Enduro R 2012’s made the whole place reverberate with loud growls, turning all the tourists and local heads!  Whoops!  Barm barm! Haha!  We then had a brief stop off at Hayle which is unbelievably stunning before making our way back for a cuppa!

The rest of the afternoon consisted of pulling out various maps and taking a look at our reroute.  With Craig and Barbara being so well travelled, particularly in Africa and Canada, their advice and guidance was phenomenally helpful!  From border tips, climate thoughts, medical kit guides and all sorts… they were just brimming with useful support which we cannot thank them enough for!

Route replanned and full of useful tips, we happily trundled down the lane to Nicky and Phil’s place for an evening BBQ which consisted of lots of laughs, chiminea’s, stories and hilarious company!  A big thank you for such a divine meal!


The following day we awesomely managed to catch Craig from Touratech as he arrived before we made our way home.  Relaxed and feeling much more organised we had the most superb weekend away and cannot thank Craig and Barbara enough for their support, friendship and awesome riding!  I have to say during the ride out I often found myself watching Barbara ride which turned out to be really quite a useful thing for me!  She naturally commands the bike and road, taking corners perfectly and gliding effortlessly around.  In a monkey-see monkey-do way I found myself imitating and learning, really quite helpful!  So thank you from me and once again from us both… we look forward to visiting again soon!

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