By Michele Wright

Endless desert stretches, ancient wonders of the world and memorable sites, a road trip through Jordan and Egypt is a remarkable experience – a trip back in time, through historical landmarks. Immerse yourself in bustling market towns where authentic daily life unfolds, before crossing Martian landscapes.

From the hidden city of Petra, with its rose-hued sandstone structures, the iconic Pyramids of Giza to the waters of the Dead Sea, this route encompasses some of the most fascinating archaeological sites with deep cultural roots.

Although these two countries pair so well in an itinerary, they don’t share a border. When overlanding, you need to travel from Aqaba, through Israel at Eilat Border Post, and then on to Taba. The Israeli section is a very short strip but plan ahead so your travel documentation is in order. Most especially, organise your Carnet de Passage (CDP), or Triptik, which is the equivalent of a passport for your car, for a smooth customs border crossing.

Travelling by road through Jordan is comfortable, but the road conditions become more challenging in Egypt. Ideally drive a 4×4 if traversing deserts, and being properly kitted out for camping means you can benefit from incredible starry night skies in some remote locations.

So, what should you include in your Jordan and Egypt itinerary?


1 – Amman

In the centre of the capital city, you will find one of the country’s most incredible archaeological sites, the Amman Citadel.  Built in AD 720, the palace complex was destroyed by earthquake not 30 years later. A short walk from the citadel, view the 2nd century Roman Theatre and perhaps visit the iconic King Abdullah I Mosque or Jordan Museum. The markets are a feast for the senses: sample flavoursome street food or traditional dishes – lamb cooked in yoghurt sauce and falafel – and wash this down with rich Arabic coffee. While in Amman, consider taking a day trip to the ancient ruins of Jerash, a fascinating 3rd century Roman city, 45 minutes from Amman.

2 – Madaba & Mount Nebo

Madaba is very important to Christians due to its intricate mosaic map of the Holy Land – Byzantine-era mosaics on Saint George’s Church. Standing high above the Jordan Rift Valley is Mount Nebo, boasting a steel cross symbolizing the staff of Moses. It is believed Moses first saw the Promised Land from here – and the panoramic vistas are stunning.

3 – Dead Sea

Famous for its high salt content and being the lowest point on earth (it’s 400-metres below sea level), this is the place to cover yourself in mud for a spa-like experience, and float effortlessly on the lake waters.

4 – Petra

Head south to the town of Wadi Musa (near Petra), stopping en-route to explore the mountain-top Crusader fortress, Shobak Castle. Wadi Musa or the ‘Valley of Moses’ features a spring which cascaded from the rocks after being hit by Moses staff, quenching the thirst of his followers.

This town is a great base from which to explore the ‘Rose City’ – the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Being conveniently located you can attend the Petra by Night evening show (timing is essential) or get an early start to Petra Archaeological Park as it opens.

On arrival at Petra, walk through the Siq (narrow gorge) with its impressive walls on either side. This opens onto the iconic Al Khazna (Treasury). Explore the Tomb of Unayshu, the Royal Tombs, Amphitheatre and the Monastery admiring the brilliant craftmanship of the carvings.

5 – Wadi Rum Desert

Continue your journey to Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon), a vast desert landscape known for its unique rock formations, red canyons and otherworldly terrain. Star gazers should try to camp under the stars to appreciate unforgettable night skies.  Some landmark sites here include the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence’s Spring, Khazali Canyon and Nabataean inscriptions.

6 – Aqaba

An hour from Wadi Rum you reach the popular seaside resort of Aqaba, on the Red Sea Coast.  This is a terrific location for water activities, with renowned diving and snorkelling in crystal clear waters filled with vibrant marine life.

Border Crossing Jordan-Israel-Egypt (Aqaba-Eilat-Taba)


7 – Sinai Peninsula, Egyp

Discover the rugged beauty of the Sinai Peninsula, climbing Mount Sinai (where Moses is purported to have received The Ten Commandments), to view the sunrise and then explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St Catherine’s Monastery, at the foot of the mountain. This is one of the oldest continuously working monasteries in existence, home to iconic sites such as Jethro’s Well and the Burning Bush.

8 – Cairo

In the bustling capital of Cairo, stroll historic streets, explore the Khan el Khalili Bazaar to sample popular street foods and desserts, and visit the Cairo Citadel and Mohamed Ali Alabaster Mosque. Check out important Coptic churches and landmarks such as the Hanging Church, Bacchus Church and Babylon Fortress and view ancient artifacts – and the treasures of Tutankhamun – in the Egyptian Museum.

Of course, a trip to Cairo is incomplete without experiencing the Giza necropolis, and seeing the Great Pyramid, Sphinx and secret chambers of the Pyramid of Khafre.

9 – Nile Valley – Luxor & Aswan

Drive south along the Nile Valley, exploring cities like Luxor and Aswan. In Luxor, the ‘City of Palaces’, explore the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and Abu Simbel as well as the Colossi of Memnon. In Aswan view the High Dam and take a motorboat ride to the Temple of Philae.

A road trip through Jordan and Egypt is a journey of a lifetime, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. Ensure you have all the necessary visas and paperwork to cross the Israeli border between Jordan and Egypt – and we strongly recommend you arrange your Carnet de Passage (CPD) or Triptik (your vehicle passport) to guarantee seamless border crossings.

Happy travels!

By Michele Wright

An overland adventure in Northern India and Nepal is a journey of a lifetime where the intrepid traveller can delight in awe-inspiring landscape and a depth of culture and spirituality to sooth the questing soul.

Separated by the majestic Himalayan Mountain range, these two countries boast a melting pot of customs and differences, yet similarities abound. Family, hospitality and religion play a strong role in life, and your interactions with warmly welcoming locals will ensure your journey is a memorable one.

From the bustling metropolis of Delhi, which bursts at the seams with chaos, vibrancy and noise, to the serene lakes and mountain vistas of Pokhara, each day brings new experiences to be mindfully savoured. We have picked out our top 7 destination highlights which should be included in your itinerary.

1 – Delhi

On arrival in the Indian capital, Delhi, you are immediately confronted with a sense of old and new, layers of history which stand alongside a world racing forward at a frantic pace.

Explore the historic Red Fort once residence of the Mughal emperors, and stroll amongst the locals in the markets of Old Delhi. Stand beside India’s tallest minaret the Qutab Minar (or Victory Tower), and marvel at the intricate motifs carved into the stone. Here the bazaars are redolent with aromatic flavours of spices used in cuisine – a feast for the senses. Cuisine in this region includes delicious rich dishes such as butter chicken, biryani and naan – in addition to a wealth of vegetarian options.

2 – Jaipur

Approximately 300 kms from Delhi, along good roads, is Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. One of Jaipur’s most popular tourist spots is the Amber Fort, a hilltop construction of red sandstone and marble, overlooking Maota Lake. Jaipur is also home to the majestic Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and the City Palace, once home to a Maharaja and now an impressive museum. While in Jaipur, star gazers should visit the Jantar Mantar observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the largest stone sundial in the world.

3 – Agra

Fairly good roads lead the 230 kms from Jaipur to Agra, in the western Uttar Pradesh state. Here we continue our themes of beauty and structure, with the iconic Taj Mahal, located on the banks of the Yumuna River. This pristine marble mausoleum is a testament to love – and architectural genius. It was built by a shah to honour the memory of one of his wives and as it glitters pink and gold at sunrise and sunset, it appears that love has stood the test of time.

4 – Varanasi

One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi is the place to immerse yourself in the spiritual heart of India. The city is about 630 kms from Agra and the route has many interesting places to stop en-route.

Varanasi is a location where devout Hindus aim to pilgrimage, if possible. It lies on the banks of the Ganges River, where you can see the mesmerising Ganga Aarti ceremony of the ghats. This evening ceremony, led by priests, is the worshipping of the river. While in Varanasi, spend time exploring the old town, with its rich cultural heritage.

5 – Kathmandu

From Varanasi, travel to Sunauli where you cross the border into Nepal from Northern India on your way to Kathmandu. The distance is approximately 500 kms.

(Handy Tip: You will need to ensure you have your TripTik or Carnet de Passage (CPD) with you during the border crossing.  This is a customs documentation like a passport for your car and allows the temporary importation of vehicles when crossing borders.)

‘Must sees’ in captivating Kathmandu include Durbar Square where the architecture reveals the ancient history of the Himalayan nation. Also take the opportunity to view two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Monkey Temple, (or Swayambhunath Stupa), and the epicentre of Tibetan Buddhism, the massive Boudhanath Stupa.  ‘Stupa’ is a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine, typical of the area. If you would like to immerse yourself in the spirituality of the region, you can witness sacred Hindu rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River, at Pashupatinath Temple.  Nepal is primarily Hindu and Buddhist – the latter due to close proximity to Tibet – and the Kathmandu Valley is a fascinating religious hub of temples, shrines and monasteries.

6 – Pokhara

Although it is only 200 kms from Kathmandu, the drive time from capital to Pokhara is close to 8 hours. As you are travelling through the Himalayas, this route is fairly challenging. The lakeside city of Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna region – a place of scenic valleys, crystal waters and charming villages perfect for exploration. We recommend taking a boat ride on the Phewa Lake to get a true sense of the majesty of the landscape. This region is renowned for its trekking, so keen hikers should consider adding in a 7-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek to get their fill of mountains and breath-taking vistas. Varied hikes cater to all levels of fitness from easy to strenuous.

7 – Chitwan National Park

Approximately 170 kms from Pokhara lies the spectacular Chitwan National Park – where you are bound to get a touch of safari fever. The park’s diverse eco-systems are home to rare creatures such as Bengal Tigers and single-horned Asiatic Rhinos, as well as elephant and pangolin. Resorts and lodges within the park provide accommodation, and while here you can learn about various conservation efforts and programmes, or visit the important Hindu archival site, Bikram Baba.

A trip through Northern India and Nepal takes you through rugged terrain, from one magnificent spot to the next. To many, this is a journey of self-discovery, as you become fully immersed in the magic of ancient cultures, religious traditions and an enchanting history. Don’t forget to plan ahead by obtaining your Triptik or Carnet de Passage (CPD) to ensure when crossing the border with your vehicle, your customs interactions are smooth and event free.

Travelling by road: Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait & Saudi Arabia

By Michele Wright

When planning your cross-border road trip from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia there are a lot of variables to consider. The distance is approximately 4210 kms – an estimated 53 hours of driving time – and this is travelling a route from Pakistan, across the borders of 4 countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and on to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistanis require visas for all these countries, so applying for legal documentation ahead of time is important. You will also need a Triptik (passport for your car) or Carnet de Passage (CPD). This is a customs documentation which allows for the temporary importation of vehicles into various countries (and is needed for Iran, Iraq and Kuwait).

The route is an extensive, even arduous one, which requires careful organisation. To make things easier we have broken the journey down into stages to help with your preparation. Depending on how quickly you want to get from Islamabad to Riyadh, you can complete these stages at your own speed – perhaps you are lucky enough to have fellow travellers sharing the driving so you can take on greater distances. 

Overnight stops should be mapped out, so you don’t miss border times, allowing enough of a buffer in case of delays. 

Pakistan to Iran

1 – Islamabad to Zhob (± 7h24 travel time / 556 kms)

Leave Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, travelling along the M-14 through the Punjab province and crossing into the Balochistan province where you find Zhob located on the banks of the Zhob River. This is an important industrial and agricultural area, and the second largest city in the province, with a variety of accommodation facilities. 

2 – Zhob to Quetta (± 4h19 travel time / 325 kms) 

If you feel like a little detour during this stage of scenic landscape, you could visit the castle of Saifullah Khan at Qilasaifullah en-route to Quetta.

3 – Quetta to Dalbandin (± 5h12 travel time / 342 kms) 

Leave Quetta, travelling past the Akhtar Abad Mosque, and remaining within the Balochistan province as you travel along the Regional Cooperation for Development Highway.  Go through Luckpass tunnel and on to the stunningly beautiful region of Pakistan known as the Noshki district – or Golden Desert – a landscape of dunes, climbing roads and a natural lake. Continue on to Dalbandin.

4 – Dalbandin to Taftan (± 3h29 travel time / 289 kms) 

This route remains hilly desert through to the border. Taftan, in the Chagai District of Balochistan is one of the border crossings into Iran, so make sure you have your documentation ready for the following morning including your Triptik or CPD and passports.

Iran to Iraq

5 – Taftan to Bam (± 4h58 travel time / 425 kms) 

Cross the Iranian border and then on to Mirjaveh Customs. Pass the city of Zahedan, with its Grand Makki Mosque dominating the skyline (it’s actually the largest Sunni Mosque in Iran) proceed onwards to Bam in the Kerman province. 

6 – Bam to Sirjan (± 4h18 travel time / 364 kms) 

Drive through Kerman province today, the largest of the 31 provinces in Iran. You will pass the ancient city of Kerman, known for its Zoroastrian fire temples and mosques and reach the city of Sirjan, located amongst the mountains of Zagros. 

7 – Sirjan to Sarvestan (± 3h47 travel time / 298 kms)

Journey through the striking landscape of the Bahramgor Protected Area, a conservation area which boasts wild animals, gazelle, ibex and protects Iran’s biodiversity. With a history dating back some 2600 years, Sarvestan, the capital of Sarvestan County in the Fars province, is close to the heart of the Persian people. The Sarvestan Palace, one of Iran’s ancient monuments is a fascinating structure, on an isolated plain, built by the Sasanian King in 420 – 422 AD. 

8 – Sarvestan to Masiri (± 3h40 travel time / 255 kms) 

Remaining in Fars province, travel along the Sarvestan Expressway/Route 86, through Seyf Abad and Bakat then passing the beautiful Maharlu Lake. Arrive at Masiri in just under 4 hours. 

9 – Masiri to Ahvaz (± 4h56 travel time / 355 kms)

From Masiri carry on to the province of Khuzestan, known as the “birthplace of the nations”. This is where the foundations of the Persian Empires were built, and Ahvaz is the built- up capital of the province. 

Make sure you have your papers ready for tomorrow’s double border crossings.

Iraq to Kuwait

10 – Ahvaz to Abdali (± 4h31 travel time / 271 kms)

Cross to Iraq at Al-Qurna, a district of Iraq’s Basra Governorate. Travel past Basrah, south through Iraq, then cross the Kuwait border at Safwan, heading down to Abdali, in the Greater Amman Municipality, for your rest stop. 

Tomorrow is another border crossing from Kuwait to Saudi, so be prepared with your paperwork, CPD and passport documentation.

Kuwait to Saudi Arabia

11 – Abdali to Qaryat Al Ulya (± 4h10 travel time / 361 kms)

Travel south passing Kuwait City, along the edge of the Persian Gulf, exiting Kuwait at Nuwaisib Port border post, and entering Saudi Arabia at the Alkhafji Customs border crossing. You then head inland towards Qaryat Al Ulya

12 – Qaryat Al Ulya Saudi Arabia to Riyadh (± 3h55 travel time / 383 kms)

This is the final stretch of the road, the last few hours towards the city of Riyadh and our final destination. 

Please note that the driving durations are approximate and can vary based on traffic conditions and the chosen routes. It’s essential to research visa requirements, road conditions, and safety guidelines before embarking on an international road trip.

Who doesn’t dream of hitting the open road, wind in your hair and sunny skies lighting your path? For many, that dream never crosses over into the realms of everyday life. The enduring sense of adventure remains stifled beneath jobs, bills and expectations.  

An overland trip is a truly immersive experience, one which encompasses meeting new and interesting people, discovering cultures and seeing life at a grass roots level. The Great Overland Adventure comes with a level of personal achievement and an increase in self-worth. 

But there are elements to planning your road trip that should be carefully considered – a lack of preparation can mean costly extra expenses and a waste of your valuable travel time. Crossing borders in your vehicle can be tricky if you haven’t acquired the requisite customs documentation such as a Carnet de Passage or Triptik. An unreliable vehicle, or lack of equipment could have you languishing on the side of the road, rather than exploring your chosen destination. These obstacles may be avoided with some foresight. 

If you feel the allure of wanderlust and are planning your road trip then here are important tips on how to make it happen. 

1 – Research and Plan

Depending on where you are headed, you may find yourself in some fairly remote spots. Let’s be honest, the most fascinating places are off the beaten track! When the local grocery store is a little further away than usual, forward planning is strongly recommended. 

Food, water and shelter are basic necessities to include in your arrangements.  Research your location, routes and climate, paying particular attention to the challenges you may face in terms of extreme weather and terrain. Understand what customs documentation you will need and be mindful of local laws and traditions. 

Be realistic about distances you can cover each day and allow for flexibility: there will no doubt be some entrancing detours which beg to be explored as you go. 

Once you have settled on dates, get your finances in order and save. Ensure as much as possible is automated and on-line (banking, mail, expenses) so you can access if you need to. 

2 – Comprehensive Vehicle Preparation

Having a reliable vehicle is key for any overland trip – your vehicle will be your home from home. Ensure it is in a road-worthy state, kitted out with storage space, battery charging facilities, a spare tyre and a good tool kit.  Make sure you have had any adjustments and alterations which would be needed for the weather and landscape you will be encountering. Depending on your budget, 4 x 4 capability, upgraded tyres, rims and suspension lift are all possible options. Don’t forget to test your vehicle thoroughly before you hit the road.

3 – Have the Right Toys: Equipment, Tools, Sat-nav

In addition to possessing a sturdy, reliable truck, carry spare parts and tools for travelling repairs. Other essentials are recovery gear, jack and tyre repair kit, snow chains and an air pump. 

If you will be camping on your trip, you need shelter from sun, rain or cold. Your options are ground level camping equipment, or a rooftop tent. 

Travelling to a remote area with no cell phone signal? Make sure you have satellite messaging device for emergency comms. You don’t want to be caught out in the dessert or a game reserve, with car trouble and no way to call for help! A reliable navigational app and GPS device is crucial, but also carry detailed maps and a compass (old-school sometimes works best).

4 – Travel Documentation and a Carnet De Passage or Triptik

Crossing borders in your vehicle means having all your travel documentation, passports and visas in order. But what about your car? 

Cut out many of the challenges and long queues you would face as you cross border customs by ensuring you have a passport for your car – known as a Carnet De Passage or Triptik. This allows for the temporary importation of vehicles and simplifies border crossings. Apply to your local Automobile Association, (members of AIT and FIA organisations) and allow at least 4 weeks to process.  This is a vital part of planning your road trip and is valid for a year.  

Without a CPD you may incur costly customs guarantee cash deposits when crossing borders into foreign countries.

5 – Staying Safe

In addition to ensuring your equipment and vehicle are in tip-top condition, and you have emergency access to satellite navigation or a personal locator beacon, take a fire extinguisher and a good first aid kit. It is also important to be aware of any political unrest, or hot spots to avoid.

Once your thorough planning is complete it’s time to depart. Fully embrace the spirit of adventure, so encapsulated in this exciting form of travel and build life-long memories along the way.

Happy Travels! 

We’re improving our website with an interactive CPD trip planner.  Soon visitors will click on the country they plan to visit and read all requirements for vehicle entry.  

Our CPD trip planner will advise if you need a Carnet, Temporary Import Authority, or a bond for the country you will be taking your vehicle.    

The country information can then be compiled in a PDF form and emailed to you for future reference.  We’re hoping to launch in a couple of months, so come back and see our new website feature and start planning your global road trip.

After a two-year hiatus, this intercontinental car rally which starts in Europe and ends in Russia is getting ready to kick off in July 2022. While registration has closed for this year, 2023 registration is now open.  

There are only a few simple rules. To enter, teams must only use a small unsuitable car of 1200cc engine limited (ideally under 1000cc), and raise at least £1000 for charity.  The 10,000-mile road trip is entirely unsupported. This rally is not for the faint hearted!

The Route? The Rally kicks off in Devon in the UK and travels through central Asia (via Europe) and to the finish line in Ulan-Ude, Siberia. Unlike most rallies, success isn’t measured in position or time – it’s just a matter of getting to the finish line. Needless to say, many vehicles don’t quite make it but that’s all part of the fun.

If you’re in this rally, you will need a carnet de Passage en Douane to travel through Iran or Pakistan.  Another important document to accompany you is an International Driving Permit. This will come in handy with border and other customs officials. The IDP is a translation of your existing license, so convenient to have as it is an official UN-sanctioned document.  You can never be too prepared for this adventure!  

To follow the July 2022 race, check out their Instagram and Facebook page and get planning for an experience of a lifetime in 2023.


If you love a road trip in a new country, then India is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The country offers many adventurous routes.  Who wouldn’t like to explore the roads leading to the cities of Royal Rajasthan?  Rajasthan is the quintessential land of the Maharajas, taking in Jaipur, Jodphur, and many other fortress cities.  Take a trip through the Madhya Pradesh region, where white tigers roam, or drive precariously through mountainous terrain along the Indian borders of Nepal, Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh.

Travelling with your own vehicle?

A Carnet de Passage en Douane (CPD) for India allows for a tourist’s temporary importation of private road vehicles, free of customs duty, for a maximum stay of up to 180 days (6 months). If you are taking your vehicle to India, please note the recent changes when applying for a CDP.

All CPD holders travelling to the country are now required to inform the local motoring club, the Federation of Indian Automobile Association (FIAA), of their entry.  Failure to do so will delay the importation of your vehicle .

To prepare for arrival, CPD holders travelling to India must email

  • a summary of their travel itinerary
  • a ‘no objection letter’ from their local motoring club
  • a scanned copy of the carnet and,
  • a scanned copy of the driver’s license, vehicle insurance, and registration. 

These documents must be emailed to FIAA at [email protected] and copied to your motoring club, which has supplied you with the carnet.

India is a signatory to the International Custom Convention and the ATA Carnet Convention, and allows the import of vehicles without payment of customs duties via the CPD. 

While this can cause stress for travellers, it is essential to ensure all the documentation is provided in advance, so you are not held up at customs.

See the sights on a self-drive guided tour.

Another way to explore India is to try one of the many self-drive guided tours with a professional company who can assist with all the necessary paperwork and visas.  

Adventures Overland has ten years of experience in exotic locations such as India. Itineraries range from 10 to 28 days exploring routes such as India to Kailash Mansarovar via Nepal and Tibet or India to Thailand via Myanmar.

Motoring clubs such as the Western Indian Automobile Association in Mumbai also offer tourists advice on hotel accommodation and other travel-related products.  

To learn more about Adventures Overland’s self-guided drive adventures, visit https://www.adventuresoverland.com/

For more tourist information and local support, visit https://www.wiaaindia.com 

Lea is an author, journalist, photographer, and most of all, a Globe-trotter.  Her adventures have been covered in a recent publication now available on Amazon, entitled Got2Go.  

She also diligently documents her travels on her popular Youtube channel, including her 90,000 km solo ride over 18 months across 50 countries. Lea, and her trusty motorcycle, have explored some of the world’s most beautiful and most remote places.

In 2016 Lea quit her job to tour the world on her motorcycle. Surprisingly, she only got her motorbike license a year prior! We asked Lea about her border and customs experiences and where she might use a Carnet de Passage en douane (CPD) during her travels.

So, Lea, lovely to meet you. Where is your next trip?  Do you need a carnet for this one?

I won’t! My next trip will be riding the East coast of the United States of America from Miami to Boston. I bought a motorcycle in the USA last year, so I won’t need a carnet for that trip. But I hope there will be another journey this year to some carnet countries – because Pakistan, one of my favourite places to visit, requires a carnet.

Have carnets been helpful in any of your trips?

Definitely! I couldn’t enter countries as I didn’t have a carnet. If you, for example, enter Senegal without a carnet, you have to pay quite some money for the temporary import permit for your vehicle – that you may be able to avoid if you have a carnet.

What sort of encounters have you faced at borders about carnet? Are customs aware of the document?

When travelling West Africa, I crossed many tiny land borders; many customs officers had never seen a carnet before. But I always insist that the document be stamped. I am aware of the complications of exiting a country on a more significant border where customs knows that a carnet is required and then discover it hasn’t been stamped. I always share a lot of jokes with the border officers who were curious about the document I brought with me for stamping! 

Any strange/comical border experience you can share?

I think one of the funniest border experiences was crossing the border from Guinea-Bissau to Guinea in Africa. I took a tiny road and had to stamp out my carnet at the customs office 30 kilometres before the official border. However, at the border, I had to put my motorcycle on a wooden raft pulled over a river that divided the countries by five guys. After the river experience, I met two locals who told me that the road ahead was treacherous, and it indeed was. It took me five hours to cover 80 kilometres.

You have covered enormous mileage and met so many interesting people, beyond adventure!  Any stand-out countries you must go back to?

It is hard to single out one country. I fell in love with so many places. Pakistan is a priority for me to revisit.  I didn’t have the time to explore the country on my first journey, and I know there is much more to explore. Tajikistan is also a country I must return to, there are wonderfully high mountains and a problematic climate due to the altitude. 

What is on the horizon now for you, Lea?

Hopefully, many more adventures and trips. I hope to continue my journey around Africa as this came to an abrupt halt due to COVID; even today so many borders remain closed. I will return one day.

Check out Lea and her incredible adventures on her Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/Got2Go

Or follow Lea on social media at



The Mongol Rally is an intercontinental car rally that begins in Europe and ends in Ulan Ude, Russia. The rally originally ended in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. However, to avoid punitive costs and taxes associated with vehicle imports and disposal, the rally now passes through Mongolia and ends in Ulan Ude.

Entrants need a Carnet de Passage en Douana if you are travelling through Iran or Pakistan. An International Driving Permit is also highly recommended. If you are not familiar with the Mongol Rally watch the video below from the organizer. It is an extreme adventure and not for the faint hearted.  The 2021 program is underway and if you purchased a carnet in 2020, ask your club for a 12-month extension*.

*12-month extension – This can generally be organised with either the carnet country club or customs.  Carnet holders can apply for one 12-month extension and then a replacement carnet is required.    Permission from the guarantee club, customs and/or CPD country is required.

A Carnet de Passage en Douana is required if you are travelling through Iran or Pakistan. Click Here to contact your local issuing authotity.

Nick Lewis left Australia in 2016 with his Suzuki DR 650 for Asia and Europe via an overland route. Check out the video on Driving cross open border into Thailand and Malaysia.

His first stop was Timor-Leste, he then ferried his way through Indonesia via a wooden junk to Malaysia. From there, it was all overland—from India to Pakistan and Iran before entering Armenia—and most of the borders on the first half of his trip required that little yellow booklet known as the ‘the Carnet’ or Carnet De Passage en Douane (CPD).

Nick confirmed that the Carnet made crossing borders easy on his trip. “For the most part the Carnet worked well,” advised Nick, “there was no need for the temporary import documents in the Carnet countries and there wasn’t too much confusion.”

However, before driving cross border into Myanmar* he joined fellow travellers to share the cost the bureaucratic burdens. While the group was lucky most of the time, at some checkpoints they engaged a ‘fixer’ to explain their travel plans to customs officials.  It was not always easy to cross borders into non-Carnet countries such as Thailand where you are required to purchase a local Temporary Import Permit (TIP). TIPs can be purchased at border crossings and are only valid for 30 days. To understand all the documents required for a Thai/Malaysia border crossing watch this video.

Fast forward to 2020 and Nick is a little disappointed as his motorcycle remains in Bulgaria. Unable to continue his overland experience, he’s back in Australia waiting for his next opportunity to cross borders.

*Self-driving in Myanmar will require permission from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism or via a travel agent.  It is also mandatory to engage a guide.  Highly recommended is an International Driving Permit and visa for your stay.

Contact the Australian Automobile Association for information on obtaining a Carnet De Passage.

When Jonathan and Hannah McGregor shipped their Land Rover Discovery to Russia in July 2019 for an adventure across Northern and Central Asia and Europe, they were very well prepared.  Arriving in the USA for the final leg of their trip which they hoped would also include a Mexico, it became clear however that due to COVID-19 repatriation back to Australia was prudent and the vehicle was shipped back in May 2020.

The McGregors did however manage nine months of adventure. With their LandRover (pictured above) they travelled several thousand kilometers through many of the ‘stan’ countries, (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and quite a few others) before making their way through Europe. Their adventure is very well documented on their travel blog at globalgregors.com.  As experienced travellers, they have some good advice on insurance and how to be as well prepared as possible for when borders reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using the Carnet de Passage en Douane (or not)

While Carnet de Passage en Douane (CPD) can be used in many countries, the McGregors found that given the choice, border agents preferred to use their countries Temporary Import Permit (TIP)*. The TIP is typically a computerised process, where the vehicle is essentially logged into and out of the country based on its registration document (eg as a proof of ownership).  In this region, the CPD was mainly used by truck drivers who did not own their own vehicle, and many drivers appeared to have a Russian version of the CPD, so the Australian CPD caused some confusion because it is in English and difficult to interpret.

Despite not actually using the Carnet as intended, the document was helpful at every border crossing. Border agents completing TIP generally need the same basic information: Country of registration, registration number, owner, vehicle make/model, vehicle colour and sometimes engine capacity. The Export Clearance page of the Carnet, and the rather official appearance of the Carnet document itself, helped immeasurably to clear up these confusions and put the border agent at ease.

The million-dollar question, how to insure your vehicle?

Most insurance companies will not provide comprehensive insurance when you export a vehicle out of Australia for travel overseas. However there are agents who will insure foreign tourists travelling in Europe and driving temporarily such as Alessie. Other specialist insurance agents include TourInsure who will cover motorcycles, recreational or heavy expedition vehicles.

Third-party insurance is mandatory in each country although arrangements (and indeed policing) varies. Typically, in any given region insurance providers extend their cover for use in surrounding countries. For example, Green Card insurance purchased in one EU country typically covers most EU countries, therefore travellers only need to purchase it once on first arrival to the EU. Similarly, third party coverage purchased in Russia can be extended if one requests to cover the Eurasian Customs Union.

These third-party insurances are either purchased at booths within or nearby border crossings or purchased online in advance of the crossing. The country that proved hardest to find third party insurance was the USA, where the process is complicated by different states having different coverage requirements, the McGregors used SeguroGringo

Another important insurance is for international search and rescue and medical evacuation, these can be found via GEOS Worldwide and medical insurance through World Nomads.

South Gobi, Mongolia

Advice for travellers

If you are planning to visit remote places in foreign lands with your vehicle, you will need to be prepared. The Global McGregor Blog is essential reading and they have provided a summary of some very important factors:

  • Know your crossing: Not every crossing between two countries is the same. In fact, generally no two are the same. Crossings mostly used by local traffic will either be super-fast (low wait times) or super slow (unfamiliar dealing with foreigners and/or foreign vehicles). Crossings preferred by cross border truckers will have peak and low periods and typically proficient but binary personnel – annoy them and they will simply turn you around. iOverlander is a great source to understand and select a suitable crossing and the best time to cross.
  • Smile and keep your cool: Border personnel have a relentless, difficult, and sometimes dangerous responsibility – it is disappointing to see how little respect they are shown. They are often not in the best of moods, turning this around can have a big impact on your crossing. Australian flags on the vehicle, kangaroo business cards and/or Instagram can all be harnessed to build rapport and see you through in a fast and friendly fashion.
  • Don’t have anything to hide: Avoid carrying alcohol in the vehicle and no drugs and/or weapons. Make sure there’s no sketchy content on your camera, phone or devices. Point out your camera equipment, drone and two-way and/or satellite radios as in security-conscious areas these are used by combatants. Be conscious of your online persona – it may be prudent to keep your critique of the regime off the internet or at least save it for later.
  • Be assertive: Truckers cross borders all the time and often encounter day-long waits, more in some areas. They will push you to the end of the queue unless you step up. Again, the best solution is to engage with the border agent in question. For more information visit their FAQ:

*Temporary Import Authority, (TIA) Temporary Import Scheme. Countries that don’t recognise a carnet will allow you to enter the country under a Temporary Import document.  Generally, these are computerised and enter your vehicle details upon entry and exit. A fine can be made if they don’t have a record of your vehicle being exported within the timeframe.  It is important to understand the duration of the TIA.

It is important to extend your carnet de passage or a replacement carnet organised with approval of the local motoring club if your vehicle is being stored overseas during Covid 19.

Click here to contact your local issuing authorities 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, carnet holders were told to return to their home countries before borders closed.  This created panic and not enough time to have vehicles shipped back to their home countries.  Many carnet holders were told to leave on the next flight and their vehicles were stored in the most convenient places that could be located.

Local customs authorities have had to exercise some leniency in these unprecedented times, however at some point, vehicles will need to be shipped back to avoid a customs claim*

Adam Smith’s plan was ‘13 countries in 12 months’ until the pandemic hit.

Adam was somewhere in Uganda when the official advice from the Australian Government came to  ‘leave immediately’.  With no time to organise the shipping of his Kawasaki motorbike back to Australia, Adam asked a colleague to store it until he could return and hopefully continue his journey across Africa.  We asked Adam a few questions about his trip.

Did you use your Carnet De Passage in your travels?

“Yes, my carnet took me from Australia to Uganda, via South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Rwanda.  Without it, crossing these borders would have been very expensive as you would need a Temporary Import Permit for each country.  Most border patrols stamped the counterfoils and were familiar with the document.  For those who were not familiar, you could usually guide them through what was needed.” 

Any mishaps on the way?

“I strongly recommend ensuring the CPD document is secure. My carnet was travelling in the container with my vehicle, but it fell out on the tarmac in Australia.  When I got to Johannesburg, there were desperate call to have the document flown out to me so I could leave the country and start my journey!”

Where is your vehicle now?

I had to leave it in Uganda, where I plan to go back when the pandemic eases.  The AAA in Australia issued an extension until April 2021, so here’s hoping.  I met a number of other travellers with carnets from around the globe, we are all in the same situation, just waiting till we can return to our vehicles.”

Adam’s vehicle awaiting his return alt

Adam’s vehicle awaiting his return.

*Customs claim—when a vehicle is left in a country beyond the carnet date, the local customs authorities will issue a claim to the guarantor club.  The cost of this claim will depend on the age and value of the vehicleIt is important to have your carnet extended or a replacement carnet organised with approval of the local motoring club.

Overlander: Latest CPD Stories

Welcome to the FIA’s Overlander: a blog dedicated to sharing personal stories from Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) holders about their travels.