Sudan Wadi Halfa, Egypt Abu Simbel, Qustul Border Crossing

My Overland Adventure

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Sudan Wadi Halfa, Egypt Abu Simbel, Qustul Overland Border Crossing procedures.
(Note if you have recently crossed this border and have some additional information on the costs & process etc. please help us to keep this post up to date and leave a comment with the details or post in our Overland Facebook Group )



The Egypt/Sudan border is known to be a difficult border crossing, taking all day and for helpers, customs and other officials that will fleece you for everything you have, it’s hard to decide “do I get a helper or not?”.

Well the first thing to do, is do yourself the biggest favour and DO NOT pre book a helper, some people have paid up to $650 to cross this border. Totally unnecessary and it is daylight robbery!!

Once at the border, if you are stuck, someone will help and point you in the right direction!!

Known Common Scams
  • Leaving Egypt they will tell you your licence plates do not match, i.e front and back or that they do not match your documents – Take a photo of your plates and documents before entering the border.
  • They will say your COMESA insurance is not valid for Egypt and requires additional insurance – This is not true, hold your ground if you can… Others have reported it being accepted. The alternative is to pay for more insurance which will cost between $20 to $40.


Costs North Bound
  • Leaving Sudan, you should be paying around $50 for two people & one 4×4 (note entering in Sudan going North no fees are paid Ethiopia, Metema / Gallabat, Sudan Border Crossing)
  • Entering Egypt, the maximum you should be paying for insurance, customs, health, plates (excluding visa costs) is $160 for two people & one 4×4.

Costs South Bound
  • Leaving Egypt, you should be looking to pay less as you will not be paying for insurance, plates, health, and a much smaller Customs fee etc. so probably no more than $50, *Note you need a stamp from the traffic court in Aswan before heading to Abu Simbel.
  • Entering Sudan at the border, you have to pay a processing fee to the government and to pay for the border itself (note heading north into Sudan, no fees are paid) Max cost should be $50 for two people & one 4×4, however people appear to be paying significantly more than this i.e. $400 odd whilst using a helper… We are unable to verify the exact costs of entering Sudan from Egypt, but one helper did confirm the costs stated below look correct.


Helpers
If you do decide to use a helper, ensure the following:
  • You agree a fee for their services up front
  • Run through the expected costs, write them down, compare them to others costs
  • Pay all the costs yourself and obtain receipts for each fee

Egypt – Kamal & Mohammed – According to other reports, they charge on top of the official fee anywhere between $50 & $150, they will add mark up to the official costs. Kamal has quoted EG£1640/ $210 plus an additional $50 for him. 4 Wheel Nomads reported that they paid in total EG£1640 in total for his services and official fees.

Sudan – Mazar – On the Sudan side it seems that customs will direct you to Mazar if he is there. He is not actually that bad, he did help us a little, he did not ask for any money but we believe the $10 customs fee goes to him, which was fine for us..

But we are aware that a few people recently have paid a lot to cross, paying anywhere up to $650 to cross both boders with helpers.

Also note these guys go to the border every day, you are doing them a favour driving them to the border, not the other way round!!



Timings – Heading North
It’s important to be at the border as soon as it opens, normally at 9am, we arrived at 6:45am L (did not open until 9:40am for us) there are many others crossing with carnets, and they will all be dealt with first.

Note that the border is on lunch from around 12 noon, at this time everything will stop and the gates will shut, so even if you have completed your paperwork, you will not be able to leave.

Due to the time it takes to clear the Egyptian side, you really need to be there by 12 noon (11am Egyptian time), we arrived at around noon and did not leave until just after 4pm around 30 minutes after they started to leave and close the offices.

The last ferry to Abu Simbel can leave at any time from 4pm to around 4:30pm, if you miss the last boat you are stuck for the evening!! If you see a long queue of trucks, just drive past them and straight to the front of the queue.



Police Escort Aswan to Abu Simbel
It is advised that tourists join the police convoy that runs in both directions from Aswan to Abu Simbel. We joined the convoy but found that just after leaving it dispersed and we were on our own again, the convoy drives fast, between 90 and 120kmph.

On route, there are several police check points where they do take a note of your number plate.

Others have reported driving this route without any problems independently.

Convoy Times
Aswan – From the obelisk at 4am & 11am
Abu Simbel – From the Abu Simbel Temple car park at 10am and 4pm.


Sudan Border




Leaving Sudan

  1. Enter through the gate on your left
  2. Park in front of the cafeteria
  3. Go to immigration: There are several steps
    1. Counter 1 – Give them your passport, they will partially fill in a white form and then give it to you to complete.
    2. Counter 2 – Give them the completed form(s) and processing fees of 50pp and 100 for the vehicle
    3. Counter 3 – Get the receipt for your payments
    4. Counter 4 – Pay the 70pp government fee and obtain a receipt
    5. Counter 5 – Complete the blue exit form and have your passports stamped
  4. Go to the police office and tell them that you are leaving Sudan to Egypt, give the guy at the photocopier the following: (they will make three copies, they will keep one and return two to you for Customs and the border gate) – Fee for police is 120 + 20 for copies
    1. All passports
    2. Driving licence
    3. Carnet / Carnet Stamp
    4. Vehicle registration (both sides)
    5. Comesa Insurance
    6. TIP / Customs document given to you when entering the country
  5. Take these to customs – Here you will most likely be told you need Mazar, if not then give these guys all the documents, they should stamp your Carnet and fill out a form which is attached to the portion of the Carnet they keep. People have reported paying Mazar $10 for this service when he helps out. Customs fee is 110 to leave and 160 to enter.
  6. Go to the gate, and show them your passports and Carnet and leave. Note they may search your vehicle and place customs stickers on everything, any problems just say Mazar said it was ok to go…
Total Costs North: sd£590 / $53
Total Costs South: sd£500 / $45 *Estimated



Entering Egypt


  1. On arrival at the gate you will be stopped and asked to pay an entrance and exit fee, for a 4×4 and two people it cost us in total EG£150, they may also ask you for a health or quarantine fee, people have been charged anywhere between EG£16 – EG£30 each. They may also ask to see your yellow fever vaccination certificates. For entrance and exit fees they will give you several receipts, you will also be given a receipt for health / quarantine.
  2. If you need Egyptian pounds and have USD, you can change them in the bank.
  3. Park before the red cones, at this point if there are two or more of you, it would be best to let one of you deal with inspections / x-raying and the other to jump to step 4 (immigration) & 5 (Photocopies) as this will save quite a lot of time. Customs will want you to put all of your gear through the x-ray machine, we tried to avoid this so it may be best to grab one of the customs guys, start opening boxes and showing him the contents, hopefully they will then just choose a couple of items to go through the machine. You will have to leave all scanned items on the other side of the red cones and drive your bike/vehicle around the cones before loading them back in.
  4. If you already have a visa, fill in the entry card and give immigration your passports, they will take 5-10minutes checking/processing your details.
  5. Once you have your passport stamped, you can go to the photocopy office, copy the following for customs:
    1. Passport & Visa / Stamp
    2. Carnet
    3. Vehicle Registration certificate
    4. Driving licence
  6. Customs – Give them your carnet, passport and the photocopies. They will stamp the carnet and complete a form in Arabic (TIP), ensure you tell them how long you want to be in Egypt. i.e. 2-3 months, as this is stated on the form. They will charge a customs fee of EG£522 to leave.
  7. Go to office next door and make your payment, return to the customs office with the receipt.
  8. Get Insurance (If required). EG£380 for two months for a 4×4. Before going to step 9 return to the copy shop and get 4 copies of the following: Make sure you put all the copies in one of the card folders by the copier. They may charge you EG£30 for copies and the folder.
    1. Passport & Visa / Stamp
    2. Carnet
    3. Vehicle Registration certificate
    4. Driving licence
    5. The Arabic form completed by customs (TIP)
    6. Insurance - Comesa or other
  9. Drive around to the office on the other side of the buildings to register your vehicle and obtain licence plates, Costs for a 4×4 EG£55. They will check through your forms, and then complete a document in Arabic, you will need to run back to the copier shop and take 3 copies of this, and return it back to them. *It’s important to make sure your plates are valid for the total time you wish to spend in Egypt, others have reported only getting a couple of weeks and were required to extend them or pay a small fine on leaving the country.
  10. They will then take you to the office next door for final approval.
  11. Attach your number plates (Make sure you have a screwdriver and some self-tapping screws or double sided sticking pads, duct tape or nylon ties to secure the plates)
  12. Go to the gate, they will check some of your paperwork and head to the ferry to take you to Abu Simbel. EG£100 for a 4×4, EG50 for a motorbike.Total Costs North: EG£1267 / $162
Total Costs South: EG£200 / $25
*Note they did not accept our COMESA insurance and should have done, this cost EG£380 of the amount above. Others have reported that it was accepted for them.


Detailed Costs
2 x people 1 4×4

North Bound

Leaving Sudan

Police £120 + £20 for copies - 140
Departure fee government 70 pp total - 140
Other processing fee £50 pp total - £100
Car fee EG - £100
normally an extra 50 per car is due, we did not pay this..
Customs fee - £110
Total 590
USD @ 11 $52


Entering Egypt
Gate Fee - 150
Health fee - 60
Customs - 522
Licence plates - 55
Insurance (2 Months) - 380
Ferry to Abu Simbel 100
Total 1267
USD @ 7.78 $162




South Bound
South bound costs have been estimated from information provided by others, and one of the helpers in Sudan (Mazar) also looked over the costs.

Leaving Egypt
Gate Fee 150
Health fee N/a
Customs 50?
Licence plates N/a
Insurance (2 Months) N/a
Ferry to Abu Simbel 100
Total 200
USD @ 7.78 $25


*Estimated Costs



Entering Sudan
Police £120 + £20 for copies Total 140
Departure fee government 70 pp total N/a
Other processing fee £50 pp total 100
Car fee £100
Customs fee 160
Total 500
USD @ 11 $45


*Note you may also have to pay 385SD per person for Alien registration. Some people have reported Travel and photo permits are not required anymore, however we were asked for them several times.. They are free going north... not sure about on the border going south.


Contact details of Helpers:

References to people who have crossed this border
Other References
Updates can be found in our Overland Facebook Group or Forum – Overland Border Crossings

*The information above (text and pictures) may not be used commercially in any way without prior written permission.
 
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My Overland Adventure

Around the World in a Land Cruiser
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Additional information posted here: Overland Facebook Group Sudan / Egypt border

Easy to get visas in aswan - no seen for fixer - just go to the 'embassy/comissary' office and fill out the form - takes about 30mins - come back 48h later and pick it up.

Then the Egypt side of border - follow instructions - counter intuitive vehicle check, then visa stamping, then carnet stamp and plates. We didn't have any problems, but love the idea of taking photos of your plates in case of arguments. They tried saying my license was not registered to me but I shrugged my shoulders enough times and all seemed ok. Then Sudan side - again we didn't use a fixer - saved a fortune - but it was 7 hours in the the heat on this side. Don't stress as the border closes at 5pm and they can't leave anyone there - it was at about 4.30 that everyone started to be very helpful!!! Here are the costs on Sudan side - Alien registration 390SDG per person, road insurance 150SDG for vehicle, Transit registration 50SDG (altho no one checked this bit of paper so may have been a scam), traffic police 120SDG per vehicle, customs 160SDG per vehicle. Worth having photocopies of vehicle document, carnet and passport (which I am sure you already would) as is you want to use their photocopier its 20 SDG a copy!!! Its easy to find a nice bush camp just outside Wadi Halfa. Hope that is helpful.

Also easy to change money once on the Sudan side. We changed some money at a terrible rate in Aswan which we totally didn't need to do. Hey ho...
 

BasZ

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#3
Did this crossing going North on 27/10/16. The description is very accurate. It is correct that once you are in they will make sure that you are processed before it closes. Egypt does not accept my Comesa insurance despite insisting (and I speak Arabic!). Visas were issued for 45 days only despite pushing for 90 days. Car papers were also 45 days and insurance 2 months. People speak enough English so that a fixer is absolutely not needed. On the Sudanese side I politely refused Mazars services and he proceeded in giving me the cold shoulder (and possibly arranging that our papers were processed slower). Sudan side took 4 hours, Egypt 2.5 hours (we didn't need to X-ray anything). One tip: if you leave the border check if there are a lot of buses leaving with you. If so make sure you reach the ferry first as there may not be enough place on it ... Oh and by the way: SD pound is now 15.8 to the USD. Egyptian pound 15.6. Street rates that is. Happy travels
 
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Egypt to Sudan border crossing without a fixer.

Starting from Aswan Egypt this is our account of the Egypt border crossing to Sudan without a fixer. This was all correct on the 24/11/2016 I'm not sure how often their procedures change.

We set off for Abu Simbel with our visa from the Sudan consulate in Aswan (very easy to organise on your own, no need for a fixer, they are very nice in the consulate offices, $50USD per visa, copy of your passport and copy of your Egyptian visa) and our letter from the traffic court in Aswan (again easy to organise, you need your passport for this so do it before you apply for the visa, £10EGP)
Fill up in Aswan before leaving as we got to Abu Simbel and there was no petrol (benzine) to be found in town, you will be able to fill up again in Wadi Halfa.
We camped in the car park of the Abu Simbel temples. To do this you must inform the tourist police, you will see their offices when you drive to the car park. They will want a copy of your passport and if you are on bikes and in a tent they will ask you to camp near their window so that they will be able to see you.

The queue for the boat starts at 6.30am the next morning and the gate will open at approx 7am. There are two ports in town, you will go to the port on the left as you leave the Abu Simbel car park. You will see all the trucks parked up there from the night before and can't miss it. On a bike you will be able to skip to the front of the queue (as always!)

The queuing to board the boat was weird, we couldnt make sense of it. People we met in cars at the top of the queue at the gate were the last to board the boat but as we were on bikes we drove on. Bikes go free. Cars £100EGP and larger vans £200EGP. (You can haggle if you wish) there were two vans on the boat with us from Germany and they got it for £150 through haggling. Pay at the gate before getting on the boat.

45 minutes later you will disembark and head for the border about 20 minutes down the road.

Gate fees
At the border drive on up. Stop at the gate, here you will pay to get in, at a window on the left hand side of the gate. £60EGP per person and £67EGP per vehicle. Total for one person on a bike £127EGP. You get handed a bunch of tickets stapled together. Hop back on the bike and an officer at the gate then asks for this bunch of tickets, he rips them and gives them back (they were not needed for the rest of the day)
Next drive to the left through the open green fence, drive down towards the buses, you should see lots of people unpacking cars and busses, park on the right in front of them. Fixers will now propably approach you quoting prices you can choose to take their help at this point if you wish.

First stop customs
If you chose to go alone head for the customs office number 6 on the map above. When you walk in the office there is a table directly on the left, the friendly guy that sits at that table is the man you want to start your day with. For him you will need your original Carnet, a copy of your Carnet's first page with the import stamp of Egypt, a copy of your passport, a copy of your Egyptian driving licence and a copy of your vehicle log book. He will fill out two forms for you and staple them together and give them to you.

To the copy room
He will inform you to get a copy of them in the copy office number 5 on the map. Get 4 copies of this you will need them during the day, get all your copies now while you are here (i will do a total for copies below) There are pages laid out here between the copiers that you need to pick up. From here take one folder, also you need two more of these sheets , as they are in arabic ask the guys in the copy office which one is for leaving egypt going to sudan, they will give you the correct sheet. Take their help they are not fixers, it will cost £30EGP for the copies (although some people were able to avoid this cost by walking straight out of the office)

Back to customs
Go back to him with your copy, he will keep you Carnet and send you to the traffic office.

The traffic office
This is around the other side of the complex of buildings near the gate you entered earlier in the morning, number 9 on the map. Drive around to this office as they will look at your bike here and take a rub of your chassis number. Here there is a man at a desk at the window, the second office up from the little shop. Nice man doing the job of ten people all on his own. The biggest issue here is not having all the copies you need. He seems to want two of some things and one of others so for arguments sake get two of everything for him. You will need, your egyptian driving licence, a copy of passport, copy of Carnet, copy of Egyptian licence, copy of aswan traffic court document, a copy of your vehicle log book, a copy of that sheet that the customs office filled out for you earlier. You will get a blue sheet of paper from this man when he is happy that you have given him all your copies, you will pay £5EGP for this piece of paper. An oily looking mechanic will then possibly appear to take a rub of your chassis number, if not you will need to ask the man at the window to get someone to make a rub for you. Hand the person who comes to take the rub the blue sheet, he will do the rub then he will stick it on the blue sheet and fill something out on the sheet before returning it to you. Go back to the man in the window with the blue sheet and the number plates. He will put everything in the folder that you got earlier and he will fill out one of the sheets that you got earlier from the copy room, he staples your Egyptian licence to the folder. He then pops everything else in the folder.

To the office next door
With this new trendy folder you will queue up next door, the office right beside the shop, number 10 on the map. This is some sort of army offical, he will look through the folder, stamp and sign a few things. He then rips a piece of paper out and gives it to you, he keeps the folder and at this stage you go back to the customs office.

Customs again
You can show the guy in the customs office the nice new sheet of paper that you have, he will give you a sheet, you go to to the office right next door and pay them £22EGP (they will have no change at all so try bring exact money) you will get a reciept here. Bring this back to the customs office and he will stamp your Carnet for you.

Copy room again
You now need a copy of your freshly stamped Carnet. Take two you never know.

Traffic office again
With your freshly stamped Carnet, and your copy of course go back to the office with the officer who has your folder full of paper. Show him the copy of the carnet. You are now finished with traffic and customs. Armed with one sheet of paper that this officer gives you you are ready for the next phase.

Baggage search
Hop back on your bike and drive around to where you parked earlier that morning where everyone is getting their bags scanned number 3 on the map. Here they will ask you to get yours scanned, if you chat to a nice officer he might just inspect them for you instead as the queue for the xray machine looks like chaos. When they are happy with your bags you will get a small white strip of paper. We got away without the scan, i can only imagine how much time we saved.

Passport exit stamp.
At the opposite side of the complex around the corner from the x ray machine lives the passport office, not marked on the map but it is on the opposite side to number 4. Here you will need to get your hands on a pink slip that is an Egyptian exit slip (there are blue ones flying about but these are for entry). If there are no pink sheets just open the door into the visa office and ask for them. They will throw out loads. Fill out the sheet and then queue to get your passport stamped. They make you wait about 10 minutes and then they will hand out about 20 passports, keep an eye for yours. In hindsight you may have been able to do this earlier in the day if you found yourself waiting for something, I'm not 100% sure if it has to be done last.

Last step.
Finally, take the white slip of paper you got from the people that scanned your bags, walk to the gate as if to leave, number 1 on the map. Here there is another man at a window, hand him your white slip. Pay £60EGP get a pink receipt and do a victory dance you are now armed and ready to leave. Take the sheet you got from customs, your pink slip from that last window and your passport. Drive to the gate to on the right hand side to leave the complex, to the left of number 1 on the map. Show all the sheets to the officer at this gate and he will open them for you, usually when there is a little queue. You have now exited Egypt. Time to begin again in Sudan

If you do fancy getting a fixer a couple we met got quoted £100EGP for his fee and £450EGP (much more than is needed) for the processing. It could make for a more relaxing day though. It took us 6 hours for this whole process. As we were not told about what copies or sheets we needed we bounced between that copy room and the other offices all day. We lost a good hour or more making copies.

Open gate fee - £127EGP
Copies - £30EGP (cannot prepare fully for this by doing them before hand as you need to copy sheets that they give you in there, but do try bring the copies you can do as it will save you time)
Chassis rub fee - £5EGP
Customs fee - £22EGP
Gate exit fee - £60EGP

£244EGP total cost of leaving Egypt without a fixer

Copies
5 copies of your passport
3 copies of your Egyptian licence
3 copies of your stamped carnet imported
1 copy of your stamped carnet after they stamp it
2 copies of the sheet you get from the first customs office
3 copies of your vehicle log book
2 copies of aswan traffic court

Now to enter Sudan

You will be happy to know it's much easier. We did this in november so we lost an hour crossing to Sudan as they do not use day light savings, so we left Egypt at 3pm which was 4pm in Sudan. It took us two hours without a fixer and some of that time was because we were having the craic with the officials, chatting and the like. Sudanese are great people

When you leave Egypt you will drive up to the gates. An officer will welcome you to Sudan, you can show him your passport and he will take your Carnet from you. Drive in there is no fee to open this gate. The first port of call is to get your passport stamped. Go to the big building on the right as you drive in, not marked on the map it is the building to the left of number 3. Queue at the first window on the right as you go in the door. They stamp your passport here. Then there are another set of windows on your left go to these. They will give you a form to fill out here and may look at your passport aswell.

Insurance
After this what you do next will depend on whether you have international insurance for your vehicle nor not. We did not so I will proceed with how to get insurance. Go to the first prefab building beside number 5 on the map. As we were walking over here we got our carnets handed back to us by the officer that took them previously (not sure how else you would get it back as you need it for the next step) Just walk in to this office carnet in hand or nothing will happen, we were told if you wait to be asked in you will wait all day. It was at this stage that Mazar offered to be our fixer, we politely declined and he graciously accepted this refusal, offering that if we get stuck at any stage just ask, no price was discussed. The guys in this office will sell you insurance. We bought it for two weeks and it cost £70EGP they will take it in Egyptian or Sudanese same price in either currency. They will also take it in USD we paid $12USD (the exchange rate that day) as we had no EGP or SDP at the time. You will get your insurance document then they use the details from your Carnet to populate it.

Copies
Next head to number 4. The officer in here knows what you need. Give him your passport, insurance, driving licence, carnet, the sheet you got from the passport stamp window and your log book. He will copy what is needed and staple them neatly. After this head to the prefab building behind this office. Here give them the group of stapled copies. These guys are good fun, they will fill out two forms while you are there and ask you to come back when you are finished customs to bring them to see your vehicle. Go back with these new sheets to the copy office. Here you will pay for the traffic stuff that just happened £120SDP and £20SDP for the copies

Customs
Go to the office beside number 5. Here an officer will be sitting at a table with a computer that he said he only uses for games. You will give him all the copies you still have. You need to fill out a form here that is fully in arabic. It should be easy, make, model, year of vehicle. As we were doing this a Mazar must have got impatient with how slow we were and he filled it out for us and took our carnets, he went next door and then came back with the Carnet stamped and the officer had a look. We did not pay this fixer, we took our documents back and continued. You now get a piece of paper and need to go pay for customs back over in the passport building that you started out in. If you drive a bike you don't have to pay motor tax if you are in a car you must pay this first near to the customs office. The people we met paid £120SDP for this. Pick up the man from the traffic office to show him your vehicle. He will walk over with you to the passport building. He checks your chassis and number plate. Now go to the passport building. Go into the back and over on the right go behind the counter and head to the office at the very back and just go in. Here you pay the customs fee. We paid £158SDP per bike. Not sure if this is the same for a car.

Now go back with this reciept to the customs officer. He will give you a piece of paper and your Carnet and you are nearly there.

As we went to leave a lady called us to pay £50SDP in the passport building on the left hand side as you enter the building. You get a little ticket after paying this. We thought it was a kind of exit fee. We met someone later in Khartoum who told us it was a fee to get into that back room of that passport building. Either way we were told it was necessary.

Hurah you are now ready to enter Sudan and hit the road to Wadi Halfa hopefully before night falls

Hold onto the paper you got from customs we used it a few times on the road when they asked for our travel and photo permit and they accepted it.

Insurance - £70SDP
Traffic - £120SDP
Copies - £20SDP
Customs - £158SDP
Fee to either leave or get into immigration not sure - £50SDP

Total to enter Sudan £418SDP (you can change EGP, USD and EUROS at the border)

Any questions message us on Facebook, Two Eegits Touring and we will gladly help