In March 2017 we crossed the border between Sudan and Egypt. Although we surely had border crossings that took us longer to cross or were more unpleasant, we definitely categorize this crossing as one of the more complex ones on this journey. What makes it so difficult compared to all our previous border crossings are the different steps in the process. All those steps can come across as very unorganized and complex which they definitely are!
200 SDP Processing fees (50 pp + 100 for 1 car)160 SDP Government fee (80 pp)110 SDP Customs50 SDP Mazar (Fixer, used only to get the carnet stamped)
Total: 520 SDP = 30 USD
(SDP to USD Black Market rate at the time: 1USD – 17.5 SDP)
The border gate opened around 9.00 am. We parked next to the Cafetaria and waited for the Immigration office to open. When we entered the building it is not really clear which counter does what, just start with the first one and let them show you which one is next.
At the police office we did NOT have to pay anything, also we did NOT have to pay anything for the photocopies. Make sure they photocopy the following three times (1 for the police, 1 for customs and 1 for the Egyptian customs) :
drivers passportdriving licensecarnet / carnet stampvehicle registrationCustoms document given to you when entering Sudan
We used Mazar to get our Carnet stamped. (He said we could pay him whatever we wanted) We gave him all the documents while we had something to eat at the cafetaria. They checked our Chassis Nr, but did not inspect the inside of our cars. We drove out without any problems after this.
187 EGP Gate fee
60 EGP health fee (30 pp)
110 EGP Car check by Customs
525 EGP Customs (Carnet Stamp)
60 EGP license plates
180 EGP insurance (1 month)
10 EGP copies
150 EGP ferry to Abu Simbel
Total: 1282 EGP = 71 USD
We got our visas for Egypt at the border: 25 USD visa pp
1. Gate fee and health fee:
If you don’t have EGP they will allow you into the gate on foot to change money. Pay your gate fee, fill out the health card, pay the health fee and go through the gate.
2. Customs car check:
We walked inside the x-ray building and walked into an office behind the X-ray machine to ask someone to check the car. They walked with us and checked the car, without having to get anything out. Just open everything and show them the things they want to have opened.
If one of you want to go ahead to Immigration, just be aware that they will not let you through carrying bags (they should go though the X-Ray machine, but since there is usually a line, just take your passports/money in your pocket and go ahead).
3. Visas & Immigration:
Getting your visa at the border:
Go to the bank where you changed you money earlier (or do it at the same time, we just did not know this at the time) and pay for your visa. They will give you the visa sticker that goes into your passport.
Go to the Immigration office and fill in the entry form. Give it back to the officer together with your sticker and wait for them to process it. We got a visa for one month.
TIP: There are two lines at immigration, male and female. The male one is usually very long, while the female one is way shorter. To all women: get both passports, stand in line, let your partner stand somewhere in sight and call him over when the immigration officers want to see him to check his passport photo. Since we were the only foreigners they gave us back our passports personally. (with the local people they will just hand out 25 passports at once by calling their names one by one).
4. Customs – Carnet de Passage:
Copies of passport, carnet, vehicle registration and driving license.CarnetDriver’s Passport
They will allow you to be in the country as long as your visa is valid for. If you buy your visa at the border, you get a standard 1 month (you can extend this), but they will also give you just 1 month for your car (also when you tell them you will extend your visa….).
>>>>>>> Drive around the building <<<<<<<
5. License Plates:
There is a photocopy office next to the License plate office.
Make photocopies of:
– Vehicle registration
– Driving license
– Arabic form completed by customs
He will put everything in a folder which you take to the license plate office next door.
The guy at the license plate office did not accept our Comesa nor our friend’s Alessie insurance for Africa. They would not issue us license plates without Egyptian insurance. The insurance office is across from the License Plate office. Make two copies of your insurance, one for the insurance guy and one for the license plate office.
The guys in the office will then fill out all the forms, they keep the original insurance form (??) and give you the license plates. We made sure we made copies of the insurance form to take ourselves, but it just proves how much bullshit the insurance is….
Attach the plates and go 🙂
There are two ferries, leaving from two places close to each other. If you drive down the road to the ferry, all the way to end, there is a fork in the road. To the right is where the big ferry leaves, to the left is where the small ferry leaves. We took the small ferry as someone directed us to go there.
Since the whole border crossing will certainly take you all day it is no more than logical than to spend the night at Abu Simbel. Also, you will not want to miss out of the Temple! Go there before 8.00 am at least, before all the tourist busses arrive from Aswan.
We stayed at Eskaleh Hotel where they allowed to camp on the premises for 15 USD per night.
There is no convoy any more from Abu Simbel to Aswan, but they will not allow you to drive to Aswan after 4pm.