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  #1  
Old 10 Feb 2008
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Manchester to Abuja

We are in our final stage of driving from Manchester to Abuja, is it at all realistic to do it in 10 days flat. We plan to daily drive from about 6am-6pm, three drivers sharing the driving, with enough fuel reserve to cover upto 500miles.

The route we would follow is driving to Dover-Calais, across France & head to Algeciras in Spain, across to Tangiers and across Morrocco heading to Agadir - Dakhla - Noudibou - Noukchott - Kiffa - Kayes - Kita - Bamako - Ougadougou - Niamey - Sokoto - Abuja.

Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 11 Feb 2008
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Just flew back from Lagos last month, did London – Genoa – Tunis –Djanet – Tam –Bordj Mokhtar –Gao – Ougadougou – Lagos in 27 days (15/Dec/07 to 10/Jan/08). We (6) did it in two Peugeot 505 and a Jeep Cherokee.

I and friend (in a Peugeot 505) did the same route (Western Sahara route) you are about to embark on in Nov/Dec 2004, but from Kiffa we went on to Ayoun – Nioro –Diema – Bamako - Ouagadougou – Lome – Cotonou –Lagos. The only really bad stretch of road then was part of Noudibou to Noukchott, which should be fully tarred by now. The other bad stretch of road that might slow you down is from Nioro to Diema, which I believe is still bad. The route via Kiffa - Kayes – Kita – Bamako I don’t know.

10 days flat would be pushing it, (may I ask what type of car/4x4). Without the entire border crossing formalities it might be possible, I recon you’ll need at least 14 days.

To save time, get as many visas for the necessary Countries before leaving Europe. Nigeria does NOT issue visas at the border. In Niger we got turned back at the Ayorou frontier because we had no visas, they said they no longer issue visas at the frontiers, that’s why we had to go via Ouagadougou. For Burkina and Benin we got the visas at the frontiers. Nigeria, Mali and Algeria visa we got before leaving Europe.

We entered Nigeria at the Tchikandou border post (Kwara State), the Police officer was very nice and did not ask for a dime to stamp our passports, the customs officer and his assistance were hilarious, I basically had to show him how to fill the laissez-passer (temporary import permit) and he did not charge us a dime for any of the cars nor ask for bribe, he was so friendly and kept on cracking jokes instead of doing his job, that when we had completed all the paper work (Police, Custom, Quarantine) which lasted almost 3 hrs, we gave him NGN 2,000 and the Police officer NGN 2,000 as well. It was only the quarantine officials that tried asking for bride, so we ended up not giving them anything. It would be a good idea to have some naira before leaving, works out cheaper than paying in EUR. For Nigeria have a fire extinguisher and C Caution (warning triangle), the police/road safety use them as offence to extort bribe. The lasted one the Nigerian Police tried to pin on me, just in case you've got a roof rack with stuff on it, was where is my “Carrier permit” for my roof tent.

Having a Carnet de Passages and expensive European car insurance to cover you in Africa would save you time, but since we never intended to return with our cars, we paid for laissez-passer along the way which takes time. In Noukchott you just might be able to already get ECOWAS car insurance, which should covers you for Mali, Burkina, Niger and Nigeria. We did our ECOWAS insurance in Gao roughly GBP 40/car valid for 3 months.

Tunde (tundeadu@hotmail.com)
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  #3  
Old 11 Feb 2008
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It took me 7 days to do Kayes via Kiffa to Agadir in Morocco - though I rarely left before 9am, but usually drove till 8pm. Even with 3 of you 10 days would see you in about Nouakchott, maybe Kiffa or Kayes at best imho.

Give up on Kiffa/Kayes/Kita and stick to the sealed road and that will save you a day or two.
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  #4  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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Manchester to Abuja

We are travelling on EU/Nigerian passport and do not need visa across France, Spain & Morrocco & only need visa to enter Mauritania and do not need visa across rest of West Africa, Mali, Burkina, Niger of course Nigeria, which we hope would cut the time needed at the borders.

Last edited by yorks-lad; 17 Feb 2008 at 15:46.
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Old 18 Feb 2008
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Gambia - Sweden

Last year me and my friends drove home to Sweden from Gambia in 5 days in a very slow MB 300D Geländewagen. Including a long boat trip from Germany to Sweden and 700km in Sweden. Drove day and night except for one night we raised our tent in the middle of Spain.
It was not a pleasant journey home but we got more time in Africa!

I think it's doable but not fun...
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Old 18 Feb 2008
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Manchester to Abuja

Thanks for the info, doing Sweden to Gambia in 5 days puts our trip in to context.

Again, having dual passports of EU/Nigerian passports would cut the time we spend at border crossing in West Africa, as there is 'free movement' nationals of CEDEO or ECOWAS countries.

A friend reached Abuja from Ougadougou in 18 hours of driving, so we would give it a try to reach Abuja from Manchester in 10 days.

I would still apreciate comment and input from others.
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Old 22 Feb 2008
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Much quicker after Nouakchott would be Aioun--Nioro--Bamako. Now tarred & fast almost all the way. The road is still flooded 5km West of Aioun but you can make a diversion (or maybe it will be dry by the time you arrive).

I drove Bamako - Manchester in 8 days recently (including a day or so off). That was solo and sticking at 80kph so driving shifts your timescale is realistic.

My tip would be to drive the autoroutes wherever possible and try and arrive at the Mauri border at a quiet time. Leaving Morocco can be painfully slow if you hit a busy day.
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  #8  
Old 22 Feb 2008
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Manchester to Abuja

Many thanks for the information.

You are very brave man to drive all the way to Manchester from Bamako on your own.

Can you say if there is any need for GPS device, Sat phone, etc as a back up measure, as we are on a tight budget, we would be cutting down on all avoidable costs.

If you are based in Manchester, we could link up Richard K.
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  #9  
Old 26 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yorks-lad View Post
Many thanks for the information.

You are very brave man to drive all the way to Manchester from Bamako on your own.

Can you say if there is any need for GPS device, Sat phone, etc as a back up measure, as we are on a tight budget, we would be cutting down on all avoidable costs.

If you are based in Manchester, we could link up Richard K.
Sticking to the fast roads, at least as far as Bamako there is no real need for a GPS. Take a good map though.

On major routes and near towns, cell phone coverage is good in West Africa.

If time and money are tight, take a standard diesel saloon or estate rather than a 4x4 - faster, cheaper and more comfortable.
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Old 24 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Richard K View Post
Much quicker after Nouakchott would be Aioun--Nioro--Bamako. Now tarred & fast almost all the way. The road is still flooded 5km West of Aioun but you can make a diversion (or maybe it will be dry by the time you arrive).

I drove Bamako - Manchester in 8 days recently (including a day or so off). That was solo and sticking at 80kph so driving shifts your timescale is realistic.

My tip would be to drive the autoroutes wherever possible and try and arrive at the Mauri border at a quiet time. Leaving Morocco can be painfully slow if you hit a busy day.
,
,
Hi Richard,
I can't find Aioun, but there is a Ayoun el Altrous just to the North of Nioro,

is this the same place with 2 different spellings?

Then is it right down to Kita, and then East to Bamako?
Graham
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  #11  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
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,
Hi Richard,
I can't find Aioun, but there is a Ayoun el Altrous just to the North of Nioro,

is this the same place with 2 different spellings?

Then is it right down to Kita, and then East to Bamako?

Graham
Hi Graham, yes it's the same place. Following the new tarmac it is impossible to get lost. Very handy if you are in a hurry or a 2wd and don't have time for the scenic alternatives. The Malians have even installed a peage!
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