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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 7 Oct 2010
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Congo Brazzaville-Gabon Lekoni route

I just finished the Brazzaville-Lekoni route and I figured I'd pass y'all some info on it.

Brazz-Obouya along N2:
Decent tar, some short potholed stretches.
Obouya-Boundji:
Under Chinese construction. In the wet the road base they had down was scary slippery clay, but the detours were wet sand and not too terrible (beyond the ruts). In the dry I guess it would be reversed, but they are moving on that road and it should be done fairly quickly.
Boundji-Okoyo:
Beautiful new tar. Bridges are still being worked on, so detours around them are dirt, but bridged.
Okoyo-Border:
Living hell in the wet. DEEP mud, DEEP muddy sand, tire-wide ruts deep enough to make my panniers scrape along both sides, muddy pools of water knee-midthigh deep. Closer to the border you get up a bit higher so you are just left with deep beach sand in many places. In the dry it would be much better, but with many long (multi-km) bits of deep beach sand.
Border-Lekoni-Franceville:
All very good tar
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Old 8 Oct 2010
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Thanks alot for the information DRad much appreciated!
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Old 30 May 2011
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Hi guys, Im planning to go through from Franceville to Brazzaville via Okoyo in late January 2012.

DRAD describes Okoyo to the border as a living hell! Has anybody been through recently? Has it improved? I will be driving a 4x2 Mercedes truck.

Do you think it would be better going for the Lambrene to Dolisie route instead (some people said the Chinese are grading this road).

Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old 30 May 2011
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Hi Dave,

I passed through there last May, DR came through a few months afterwards. Someone will be able to provide more recent experience, but unless they have started to work on that specific section, it's pretty soft, and more of a track than an actual road.

To describe it a bit, the first part after Okoyu is soft, loamy soil that can surprisingly handle a fair bit of rain but there will be puddles if it is raining. The main challenge is that the softness of the soil leads to deep parallel tracks left by the large trucks that ply this route. As DR mentioned, the deep, double wheel ruts cause a bike to scrap it's panniers along the sides as you work your way along.

For a truck, the challenge will be that you have two deep ruts and since it is one lane, you have no choice but to bump along with your tires in the tracks and your skid plate, etc. scraping along the center. Depends on your clearance but I would guess that you would feel like you are about to be high centered a fair bit of the time.

The second half of the road as you get nearer to the border is quite sandy. It's a lot of work for a loaded bike to ride in even moderately deep soft sand, I wasn't looking at it from the perspective of a truck but I would imagine that there are parts that you would like to have a 4X4 to plow through.

Not sure when the rainy season is there, but in May it was a bit wet, not too bad. Additional rain would make the first part worse, but not have too much of an impact on the later sandy section. For a 4x2 and not a 4x4, you may want to ask around more to see what the other route would be like. Happy planing.
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