Our plan was to ferry from Egypt to Jordan. Spend time at Petra and Wadi Rum, one of the most beautiful deserts. The ferry is very expensive for that 3 hour trip. We opted to go into Israel and then to Jordan and back t Israel and ship to Italy. Road crossing into Jordan would save us bucket loads of money.

We cleared Israel with ease and the next day head off to the border post between Israel and Jordan. It’s a mere 10km from the borders of Egypt and Israel.
On arrival we got handed a paper that read, NO MOTORCYCLES ALLOWED IN JORDAN. As it said it must be with early approbation. So we went to several travel agents in Taba that takes tours into Jordan daily and they told us it will take 2 weeks to arrange and even then we have to follow them as part of their tours we were not allowed to travel on our own.

Motorcycles and bikes not allowed

So here are two pictures of what we could have seen.

Remember Indiana Jones and the whatever ark or something?
Wadi Rum, one of the most beautiful deserts in the world.


  1. Hi M & E,
    Tx for keeping us posted on your wonderful experience, May GOD bless the 2 of you on your travels hence.

  2. Dis pateties en SO belaglik – Petra is iets ongeloofliks om te sien 🙁

    So hoe nou Mich?

  3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

  4. hi guys!! did you come right with the Jordan entry for the bikes????? i might be entering Jordan from Saudi arabia and exiting into israel…any info you have will help!!


  5. Hmmm, who says it is not possible to go on a motorbike into Jordan? I was there with my bike, German plates, for 4 years- 2007-2011!

    Many magnificent rides: from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, through the desert from Petra to Wadi Rum, in and out of Israel, to the Iraqi border along the wonderful desert castles etc., etc.

    Please check before saying it would not be possible!

    It is!

  6. Hi Jan, infact we did check, we were at the border post to enter Jordan and were given the letter that we posted. I highlighted the part in red. We were really excited to visit Jordan, infact we had issues in SA to get the visa and was really seeing forward to spend some time there.
    In the end we tried 2 border post and at both we were told NO MOTORCYCLES. Unless we pay a tour operator in Israel and they must accompany us during our entire stay in Jordan and will take 2 weeks to arrange. We tried in vain for 2 days to secure a tour operator in Israel to help but most did not know and were unaware of the limitation and also did not know how to secure the correct paperwork and approval to help us.

    I can only tell you what we experienced and there is the letter the border control gave us.
    If you can tell how you arranged your entrance it would go a long way to help others when they want to enter Jordan. Where and how does people arrange it so that they do not need an escort and such?

    As with the headline, I needed to get your attention 🙂

  7. See my picks from Jordan, I entered a good dozen times from Israel, from Syria, even from Iraq. Did the Egyptian border guards block you or the Jordanians?

    I avoided Egypt, too much bureaucracy with the all the papers they ask for. But the border crossing from Israel into Jordan were no problem at all, just a lot of time to do the Israeli security check: I crossed in the South at Aqaba/Eilat and in the North at the Sheikh Hussein Bridge/Jordan River and even at the Dead Sea crossing Allenby/King Hussein Bridge,

    My situation might have been a bit easier since I have a diplomatic passport and a UN passport – but I had a Swiss and German rider visiting in July 2011 and they had regular Swiss and German passports and number plates. Also no problems to enter Jordan on their KTMs.

    In fact, Jordan had banned motorbikes in the 70s after the troubles with the PLO, but since 2005 the regulations have been eased and for foreign bikers (mainly Europeans come) there are no restrictions except the insurance which you can get at the border posts for reasonable prices (about 1 Euro per day).

    In any case, I had a great time there! The rides are just spectacular! But with my heavy BMW 1150 GS I discovered that a lighter bike would do better in the loose sand of Wadi Rum and the deserts leading to Aqaba.

  8. Oh, I see that the letter you posted is from Israeli authorities.

    Well, in the Middle East never assume that they have accurate, up-to-date information about their neighboring countries. In my experience they do not even know about each others holidays when the border offices are closed! I ended up one or two times at Israeli border posts closed for some religious holidays, while the Jordanians (who are just a few hundred meters away) had no idea about that.

    Just should just have ignored the mis-information you got and continue to the border post on the other side. That no Israeli tour operator knew about these “laws” is no surprise, since no motorbiker needs an Israeli tour operator to enter Jordan! At the Jordanian border post you just show your passports, you get your bike papers, go to the Jordanian customs office who will register your bike and give you an insurance certificate, usually valid for two weeks but for longer if you ask friendly.

    Its a total standard process with the Jordanians, you only have to be friendly with them. A polite a-salam-u-aleikum goes a long way in Arab culture! Really a pity that the wrong information given to you, kept you out of Jordan!

  9. Hi Jan, I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed we were not being able to go to Jordan. Our last evening in Egypt we were planning to take the ferry from Taba to Agaba but then were advice to rather go into Israel and then Jordan as it’s a lot cheaper. At both border posts in Israel we were not even allowed to exit the Israeli border into Jordan. The letter was issued to us on the Israeli side by the Israeli customs. There were absolutely no option to even go ask the Jordanians. The Israeli customs just gave us the letter and said this is from Jordan ta-taaa.

    We have spend quite some time in around there and know how to really be polite and understand the Arab culture. At least we still have friends that live in Jordan and will go visit them in due course. Would not be on bikes but that’s okay.

  10. I can send you a copy of the Jordanian customs form, I must have at least 15 of them, for each time I re-entered Jordan on my motorbike. Just show it to the Israelis and tell them they should stop fooling travellers. I had a few situations with silly Israeli border guards, but (polite) insistence helps to get your way. And I had all the “bad” countries in my passport: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan etc. A few questions what I was doing there – it was my job with the UN – and the Israelis were fine.
    Otherwise at the checkpoints in Israel I had more small talk about the bike “how fast, how strong is the engine, from where to where” than any other discussion. Nevertheless Israel is a totally militarized country and can be unpredictable.
    Jordan, on the other hand, treated me well all the 4 years I spent there! And its a lot less expensive then Israel!

  11. Thanks Jan, but for now it would not be necessary, our next leg is from Germany to Greece, Turkey and Iran. It is a pity Syria is still have issues otherwise it would have been easy to go back to Jordan for a visit. Our bikes are still in Germany now.
    Guess that is just some of the good and bads you get while travelling. We have had very little issues over time. Our friends that are still in Jordan love it there, we will fly in for a visit and to go see all the places we have missed.

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