RORO motorcycle shipping. What is it and is it an option for you?
Getting your motorbike to Africa and back safely can be a headache and done wrong can be expensive. Actually getting your motorbike anywhere in the world is a headache.
Depending on your route, if you are traveling south to North or north to south you have a few options.
Starting from south to north via the west coast, this is by far the easiest way. You can take a RORO (Roll-On-Roll-Off) boat from most ports in the Mediterranean sea for relatively cheap.
I took a boat from Italy to Morocco for 220€ including accommodation for two nights. That comes out cheaper than riding down to the southernmost tip of Spain and crossing. That's if you include tires, gas, road tolls, and accommodation.
As I drove from Morocco to South Africa via the west coast, then from South Africa to back to Europe via the east coast, I had to take a boat from Alexandra in Egypt to Italy. This was more hassle, cost 1200€ more and parts and gear was stolen from the motorbike.
Not recommended but if you want to ride via Egypt your only option. I attempted to fly the bike out but couldn't contact Air Egypt cargo services.
Get the latest news for people that have done it in the last few months, things change quickly in Africa and its always to know what you are getting yourself into before shipping.
I have left some links for more info at the end of this post.
See this complaint about this shipping company: "Don't ship your car with Minoan Lines". I completely understand these thieves, they will destroy your trip and steel your equipment.
If you have the option to fly your bike do it. It will often work out cheaper than sea shipping, and you know your bike is going to be shipped and not left on the port's docks. It is often safer as you can wrap your bike, and there is less paperwork and red tape. Another great bonus is often you can even fly with your bike on the same flight and release the vehicle the same day if you fly early enough.
If you are planning to start from southern Africa, shipping to South Africa is a good option. There is no RORO service as your vehicle will be put into a container.
The service in South Africa is solid and efficient as it can get for a port service, and the prices are reasonable too.
If you are driving north from southern Africa back to Europe, there is the option to go via port Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel. This is probably a great option as you get to see some more countries that you will never be able to see otherwise. Its hard to get a Saudi Arabia via as a tourist, but a 3 days Transit visa is possible.
For updated information on shipping, join the Overland Africa Facebook group, and check Horizons Unlimited for more information. And as always, if you have any questions let me know.
Rider, designer, and hustler. Adventurer and vagabond. Beer connoisseur. Conqueror of Africa, a survivor of bandits and anti-malaria crusader. I have been on the road for 15 years, traveling to far-flung lands on bike, horse or backpacking. Today, running a number of online ventures in the motorcycle industry. – Currently, Traveling in Asia.