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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 29 Oct 2012
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Safest way to get from North Africa to the South by public transport?

Hello everyone,

I am a white British male lone traveler age 25 who would like to fly into North Africa and travel down at least half way down the continent using public transport. I am distinctively white, I say this just to make it clear that I will stand out as a western foreigner. I have experience of travelling in third world countries but have not been anywhere really dangerous and am not a "thrill seeker" looking for dangerous situations.

I would like advice as to the safest way to travel by land from North Africa to some of the safer countries in the middle (either Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon on the west or Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or the east).

Is it true that Mali, Sudan and Chad are currently no-go areas? Also, is it the case that the Southern borders of Algeria are all closed? Is it safe to travel by public transport down through Western Sahara and through Mauritania, or is there a safe route from Egypt to Ethiopia through Sudan? Also would any of these countries trigger visa difficulties.

I cannot afford to hire any sort of guard or guide, I am a fluent English speaker and speak good European French but often struggle to converse in French with French speaking Africans.

Any advice or suggestions gratefully appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 29 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essien View Post
Hello everyone,

I am a white British male lone traveler age 25 who would like to fly into North Africa and travel down at least half way down the continent using public transport. I am distinctively white, I say this just to make it clear that I will stand out as a western foreigner. I have experience of travelling in third world countries but have not been anywhere really dangerous and am not a "thrill seeker" looking for dangerous situations.

I would like advice as to the safest way to travel by land from North Africa to some of the safer countries in the middle (either Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon on the west or Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or the east).

Is it true that Mali, Sudan and Chad are currently no-go areas? Also, is it the case that the Southern borders of Algeria are all closed? Is it safe to travel by public transport down through Western Sahara and through Mauritania, or is there a safe route from Egypt to Ethiopia through Sudan? Also would any of these countries trigger visa difficulties.

I cannot afford to hire any sort of guard or guide, I am a fluent English speaker and speak good European French but often struggle to converse in French with French speaking Africans.

Any advice or suggestions gratefully appreciated.

Erm...ahem. Why not do it on a motorbike?
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  #3  
Old 29 Oct 2012
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I dont really ride motorbikes...... sorry, when I discovered this forum I did not see it predominantly catered for bikers. However, someone may still know about public transport options?
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  #4  
Old 29 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Essien View Post
I dont really ride motorbikes...... sorry, when I discovered this forum I did not see it predominantly catered for bikers. However, someone may still know about public transport options?

No probs. You have my permission to post. Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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Fly

Plane !!!
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  #6  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essien View Post
Hello everyone,

I am a white British male lone traveler age 25 who would like to fly into North Africa and travel down at least half way down the continent using public transport. I am distinctively white, I say this just to make it clear that I will stand out as a western foreigner. I have experience of travelling in third world countries but have not been anywhere really dangerous and am not a "thrill seeker" looking for dangerous situations.

I would like advice as to the safest way to travel by land from North Africa to some of the safer countries in the middle (either Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon on the west or Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or the east).

Is it true that Mali, Sudan and Chad are currently no-go areas? Also, is it the case that the Southern borders of Algeria are all closed? Is it safe to travel by public transport down through Western Sahara and through Mauritania, or is there a safe route from Egypt to Ethiopia through Sudan? Also would any of these countries trigger visa difficulties.

I cannot afford to hire any sort of guard or guide, I am a fluent English speaker and speak good European French but often struggle to converse in French with French speaking Africans.

Any advice or suggestions gratefully appreciated.
don`t listen to the above Forget bikes etc; you have picked the best way to travel, on foot public transport or hitch hiking WELL DONE !!!!
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  #7  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essien View Post
I dont really ride motorbikes...... sorry, when I discovered this forum I did not see it predominantly catered for bikers. However, someone may still know about public transport options?

And stay with the forum, during or after your trip I am sure you will have some interesting stuff to post that the majority of us will enjoy, good luck
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  #8  
Old 17 Nov 2012
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I am not sure there is a "safest" way to do this trip, you will often be using public transport and places like bus stations, train stations and taxi ranks tend to attract people on the lookout for an opportunity to exploit so you will have to be on your guard. But it will be an exciting adventure and you will have great opportunity to meet local people and yes being white you will stand out but this will attract the interest of many friendly people with good not just bad intentions, you will have to learn to tell the difference.

I have no experience of West Africa but travelling down East Africa will be as safe as it is going to get with a lot of English spoken, Sudan which you mention will be one of the safest and friendliest places en route. If you fly to Egypt I believe there is a train to Aswan, a ferry once a week to Wadi Halfa and a train from there to Khartoum, I am not sure after that but it is a start.

You can get worldwide train information including Africa here.

The Man in Seat Sixty-One - the train travel guide...

And a similar journey is discribed in this book which is a good read.

PaulTheroux.com {} NonFiction {} Dark Star Safari
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