chasingborders.com Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
January 7th, 2020 Victoria Falls Backpackers Lodge

Price for dorm is 18 USD pppn. Internet is still another 3 USD extra, but fast and reliable. Had a relaxing stay here, not too many other guests during low season but overall a great stay. Town is a 10-minute walk away, and is safe to do also during night.

January 6th, 2020 The River Brewing Company

Their 12 USD burger is one of the most tasteful burgers I've had in all of Africa. Great beers on tap as well!

January 3rd, 2020 Lakeview Hostel

A very relaxing and friendly stay. Perfect if you want to be in a more relaxing place, nice pool and view. About 15 minutes from the airport.

Paid R 200 pp for dorm room.

January 2nd, 2020 Sani Pass Lodge, Backpackers & Camping

New dorm prices as of 01.11.2019:

Dorm bed: R 305 pp
Dorm bed w/ breakfast: R 470 pp
Dorm bed w/ dinner: R 600 pp
Dorm bed w/ both meals: R 755 pp

Dorm rooms could use some upgrades, squeeky beds and doors making a lot of sound when closing. Nice common areas and decent ablutions. However it's the view which is the main attraction here!

January 2nd, 2020 Sani Pass Border Post

Drove the Sani Pass today with a 4x2 FWD Toyota RAV4. No questions asked at the border. Depending on weather conditions, the pass is fully doable with any car with decent ground clearance. Prior off-road experience in order to do it in a 4x2 is highly advisable to know which paths which are doable. Please also drop the tire pressure to make the climb easier, avoiding spinning and damaging the trail.

August 20th, 2019 Sea Buckthorn Rooftop Restaurant

Proper rooftop restaurant serving great tasting food! Super outdoor cozy atmosphere well suited for a drink or for a three course meal.

Hunza food, soups, salad, pizzas, fish, chicken/meat courses. Vegan options. A bit more costly than average street food but the taste is well worth it.

Highly recommend!

August 20th, 2019 New Shelton House

Great place to stay while in Islamabad! Awesome location right in between the Faisal Mosque and the Centaurs Mall. Several restaurants in walking distance.

Clean rooms with probably the best beds we've had in Pakistan so far. Proper working AC and fast WiFi (15mb/pr s). Good enough to stream Netflix and YouTube in HD!

We paid 4000 pr night for a double room including breakfast. Stayed here for 3 nights with great service while sorting out visas.

Secure gated parking for rigs, trucks and motorcycles outside of the reception. The hotel also has plenty of CCTV cameras.

Recommended.

PS! There are neighboring guest houses to this one with different prices, be sure to check you are at the correct one.

August 18th, 2019 Backpackers Hostel Islamabad

Spent one night here, arranged a private room with the friendly owner Haris through WhatsApp.

Paid 3000 for the room. Overall an OK place to stay. A couple of other travelers, but the location in the sixth floor is not optimal for overlanding when parking bikes/trucks. Would say it's not secure despite having a compound guard. Bathroom rather filthy and no breakfast included.

Spent a few hours looking for an alternative the following day and ended up at a hotel for nearly the same price.

August 16th, 2019 Gateway Hotel

Basic hotel with surprisingly good wifi! Said by the locals to be the most clean and modern hotel in town. Decent beds, squat toilet and ok food.

Double rooms from 2500-4500 per night, negotiable prices.

Safe parking inside the lobby for several motorcycles. Normal cars can also park inside the lobby. Campers might have to park on the streetside, but they're keeping an eye on it.

August 15th, 2019 Army Check post

No need for N.O.C, all friendly and polite.
Several checkpoints up ahead, no one asked for NOC.

August 13th, 2019 Checkpoint with camping opportunity

Friendly police checkpoint without any hassle. We came through here minutes before sunset, and they offered us to camp down by the post building.

They already had a big Chinese tent set up which we slept in. Their hospitality was tremendous offering us blankets, pillows and sharing their meal with us.

An absolute amazing genuine experience. If possible, ask if you can camp there and you'll encounter fantastic hospitality.

August 13th, 2019 Hotel Alexander Post

Located in the must see Kalash Valley lives the 3000 year old Kalasha tribe. This valley houses most of the remaining people, which is now a Pakistani minority. They have their own culture, religion, language, clothing and a unique history all independent from the rest of Pakistan.

This hotel is located in the heart of it all, offering you easy access to the sights such as museum, graveyard and shops with local produce. The hotel has a service minded staff, all polite with an eye for details.

We paid 2000 PKR for a double room, but prices may vary dependent on tourist season and local events. Great restaurant and outdoor area with seating. There is the possibility of camping in the garden for 600 PKR with access to toilets and showers. Tell them if you want a hot shower as they need to warm the waters by firewood.

Safe gated parking with plenty of space for trucks, rigs and motorcycles.

We enjoyed our stay and will highly recommend it. An interesting and fun experience all different from the rest of Pakistan.

The road up here is rocky, but any car with a 4x4 ground clearance will easily make it. No problem at all on motorcycles.

August 12th, 2019 Washed away section

Impassable washed away section of the old Mastuj Road. Be sure to do the new road, just north of this one which is perfectly fine.

If you're coming from EAST on a motorcycle, you'll see a narrow steep trail 100 meters before the washed away section. Follow this trail up to the new road to avoid backtracking.

August 10th, 2019 Hotel Riviera

Decent hotel in Gilgit. Safe parking for bikes and rigs. Good beds and fairly clean rooms with fans and AC. On site restaurant with decent food priced between 150-300 for a dish. Nice backyard to enjoy in the evening.

Prices normally vary from 3000-4000 rupees, but it's possible to haggle it down by only being one person or not using the AC. We used this hotel as a basecamp to store stuff from the motorcycles while touring in the area.

Pro tip: Ask for a room upstairs and for them to bring out chairs and table to the "balcony". Quite nice to sit there during the evening.

August 8th, 2019 Entering point to camping in the desert

An absolutely stunning campsite! Amazing view and beautiful overlook of the mountains. Will highly recommend this spot.

Follow the road in between the house walls until it clears out and you see the small dunes and the view. Plenty of space for tents and trucks.

August 7th, 2019 Rama Lake

Beautiful camping spot with an amazing view. Bring a fishing rod and firewood if you have. Highly recommend spot!

Only doable with motorcycles at the moment due to partly destroyed trails. It's a rough road but skilled riders will do it easily. We managed just fine with a local 150cc Suzuki and a bigger KTM. If you're in a car and want to camp there, it shouldn't take more than 30-40 minutes to hike the way up from the safe parking area.

August 6th, 2019 Passu ambassador hotel

Awesome place with amazing views, clean rooms and great food. Run by two extremely service minded brothers. We used this hotel as a base camp while exploring different valleys and dirt roads on our motorcycles for a few days. WiFi also works good!

Paid 3000 per night for two persons.

August 3rd, 2019 Motorcycle Mechanic

Nafees Ahmad, a great guy who speaks fluent English. He's a motorcycle mechanic with good knowledge, tools and skills on smaller motorcycles. Will help you out and get the parts needed for Japanese motorcycles.

His uncle is said to be the town's best mechanic, and will probably show up if you come with a big bike.

Just opposite of the Honda Auto Palace near the Park Hotel.

July 16th, 2018 MOTO CTO - BMW Motorcycle Workshop

English speaking and highly qualified BMW workshop, but not official. However, the guys have training from BMW. Nice little garage with all tools needed, diagnostics computers and friendly guys! They keep normal maintenance parts in stock also, even the Kahle fuel filters inside of the fuel assembly.

They know all BMW bikes, but can also work on other brands. They also let us work on our bikes ourselves.

Contact Denis at +380674024832

Highly recommended!

July 12th, 2018 Amazing Ionika Hostel

In the heart of town, motorcycle friendly and secure parking inside gated backyard. Prices starting at 7 euros per night for dorm beds including breakfast. Very clean, good vibe, fast WiFi and friendly staff. Lots of restaurants and such nearby.

Find them on Hostelworld/Booking.com. Fills up during high season but they do have options.

When coming towards this place, look for the gate on the left with the number 62 on it. Can't be missed.

Recommended!

June 5th, 2018 Motorcycle and bicycle mechanic

The towns best mechanic for motorcycle is located here. And does everything from advanced to smaller repairs. Carry some spare parts for different bikes. Not too expensive. Does not speak any English.

June 4th, 2018 Wangaari Guest House

This place is permanently closed.

June 4th, 2018 Abadama Hotel

A decent budget friendly place to spend a night. Single rooms are 150 birr, and double bed is 250 birr, both with en suit bathroom and european toilet. The water didn't work during our stay, but they provided a bucket.

Clean and safe, with secure parking for trucks and motorcycles, also a big backyard and maybe the possibility to camp. Didn't understand when we asked.

Restaurant at the hotel, most dishes are priced between 20-30 birr. WiFi available, but didn't work in the whole town while here.

June 4th, 2018 Annadhufu

Beautiful view. The road up here is a bit washed away after the rains, but still doable with trucks and motorcycles!

June 3rd, 2018 Forty Springs Hotel

Arrived late and paid 600 for a double room with ensuite (3 persons). European toilet and water heater, but takes a long time before it's warm. Secure guarded parking lot, great restaurant and coffee for 5 birr. Ice cold tap beer is now "shockingly" 15 birr, perfect place to relax, drink and eat like championships after Lake Turkana!

Highly recommended!

June 3rd, 2018 Progress International Rezort Hotel

This place is rather rundown and in serious need of rehabilitation. We camped behind the restaurant for 150 birr pppn, and was given access to use the restrooms by the restaurant. It seemed like it hadn't been cleaned for decades, filthy and disgusting with no running water at the time.

At first, this place looks good with the amazing view and the pool, but the pool is green like acid and does not look healthy to swim in, showers didn't work either. The staff however is kind and speaks ok English. It was nice to enjoy the sunset, but with a warm beer as they didn't keep them cool. Breakfast is seriously overpriced at 70 birr for a few slices of bread and two eggs. Don't serve coffee until later in the day.

June 2nd, 2018 Customs and immigration

Norwegians traveling without carnet:

Friendly staff and guarded lot. Immigration was quick and hassle free, he checked the visa we were issued in Nairobi, stamped it in and directed us to customs. He made us TIP's, but spent closer to 30 minutes making it per bike. No fees! A local money changer came by and gave us close to bank rate on the exchange from KES.

Fuel is also available in Omorate, local price per liter is 25 birr.

June 1st, 2018 Palm Shade Camp

As others have stated, this is a little oasis after a long day of riding. Camping still 500 KES pppn, and the fish dinner course for 500 pp is huge great tasting meal. Ice cold sodas and beer available.

We also had a great breakfast for 400 pp, as many eggs as you'd like served with beans, chapatis and juice.

Friendly and service minded staff!
Safaricom signal strong, but not 3G. Worked ok for email and WhatsApp.

June 1st, 2018 Fuel on bottles

Small shack that sells gasoline on jerry cans and bottles. The price is 150 KES per liter.

Coming from the south, its on the left hand side side, 50m before the road towards Palm Shade Camp. You'll see a lot of blue drums outside of the shack.

May 31st, 2018 Milimani Backpackers

Spent a few nights camping here, 1000 KES pppn for camping including small breakfast (one pancake, one banana and instant coffee/tea). Secure parking, warm showers, friendly and helpful staff plus fast and Netflixable WiFi. Cold beers and soda for a decent price in the reception. Computers and printer also available.

The restaurant serves a variety of foods from 150-800 KES, it did however take many hours for the chef to prepare the dish. Be sure to order before you're hungry, or order food through Jumina (app).

They arrange budget friendly tours to Masai Maara, 110 USD per day incl. park fee, safari, accomodation in tented camp, buffet meals and transportation. It's a good deal, as the park fee itself is 80 USD for non residents. Would highly recommend spending 2-3 days in Masai Maara, it's an awesome experience.

Only real downside was the intense barking from the five dogs next door sporadically during day and night. Karen is regardless a good place to stay in Nairobi, not too hectic and all sorts of shops nearby.


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