Travelling in Africa

In Adventures, Technical by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

A friend of mine recently left Parkhurst in Gauteng and travelled across Africa to Cairo. He will return to South Africa by e-bike and as part of his journey he will plant trees in various countries to offset the carbon footprint of his vehicle.

We met for Coffee well prior to his departure and as part of the planning we consulted with the Automobile Associations Travel Division. Michael has safely reached Cairo and went through with a hitch- his paperwork was all in order. As a resulkt of this I thought it worthwhile sharing the information we received from the AA Travel Division

Travelling in Africa can be a wonderful, life-enriching experience. For South Africans, exploring other countries on the continent can also be relatively affordable making it very attractive for those wanting to holiday on a budget.

But, says AA Travel, South Africans must be aware of the rules and regulations of travel within Africa, particularly if they are going to be travelling with their own vehicle. So, just as one needs a passport to travel, many countries also require your vehicle to have a similar document. This is known as a Carnet de Passage.

“A Carnet de Passage is compulsory for travel with your own vehicle to Egypt and Kenya and recommended for travel to countries outside of the Southern African Customs Union (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini). This document offers a guarantee to the foreign government that the vehicle identified in the Carnet will be removed from the country within a given time limit. If it isn’t removed, all duties and taxes associated with permanently importing that vehicle may be claimed by that government,” says AA Travel.

Apart from this assurance of the timely removal of the vehicle from the country, a Carnet is an alternative to leaving cash as a security deposit with a foreign country, and facilitates entry at most border posts. Importantly, a Carnet eliminates the need for national temporary importation documents.

“This document secures the vehicle’s entry into a country and makes the process of getting into the country with your own vehicle a lot easier. The AA is the authorised issuer of the Carnet de Passage in South Africa and we encourage anyone who is travelling to consult us about the requirements before they leave,” urges AA Travel.

The AA has prepared a regional travel service advisory available at

Knowing you need a Carnet de Passage is important when travelling. Similarly, knowing about rules and regulations will make your travel experience even better. For instance, did you know that it’s compulsory to have a reflective vest in your vehicle when travelling to Mozambique, or that a foreign vehicle circulation permit is needed for your vehicle when entering Kenya?

“It is important for travellers in Africa to educate themselves on the local laws and regulations of the country’s they are visiting. Failure to adhere to these rules could ruin your holiday. Being prepared is always advisable and not difficult as most of the information you need is only a click away,” explains AA Travel.

More information on cross border travel is available at

“All travel requires proper planning well in advance of a departure date to ensure there is enough time to deal with any unforeseen events. Don’t wait until it’s too late to research what you need, especially because some processes may take longer than you think to finalise,” concludes AA Travel.

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