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  #1  
Old 7 Jan 2003
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Lake CHad

Hi!

I am still in the process of figuring out which is the best way to cross from Tunis to Khartoum according to the evolution of the situation.

I just came across the french foreing affairs website & they state that the Lake Chad region should be avoided. Besides, reading the accounts of the two belgian guys in their 2CV, I saw the went through Nigeria to avoid this area.

So what sohould I think of that? Is this region really a no-go place? Are there still people cossing the border there? Any chance to team up with someone (somewhere in march april)? I mean, I'm ready to accept a certain amount of risk, but don't want to head straight into a mouse trap!

What do you advise??

Thanks in advance Séb
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  #2  
Old 8 Jan 2003
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Lake Chad isn't that bad - its not that hard a drive although there are lots of wash outs. If one leaves suitable time then its fairly easy, its only harder if one tries to rush it as the tracks don't lend themselves to travelling fast. There didn't seem to be any significant bandit problems. Very few people with guns compared to parts of Niger / other parts of Chad. We did get robbed in Massakory, not a nice place and it has a reputation for it. We got stoned as well by about 100 people. Obviously didn't appreciate a pink landrover. If you do go there and find someone with a massive house then punch them as its probably where my £1000 ended up. Have said that its low level robbery - they grabbed stuff from the truck, we did meet other travellers who had been robbed, one Aussie backpacker was pinned down and robbed whilst he camped in central Chad. One of our team and a Danish traveller were pinned by about 11 guys in Charles De Gaulle Street and robbed but not hurt. Don't wander in Ndjamena where it is quiet. I would definitely drive round Lake Chad again, just allow enough time and try and keep enough supplies to keep out of villages.
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Old 8 Jan 2003
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Hello Seb,


we want to reach Sudan as well at the end of this year (and going on to South Africa).

Have you got any recent information on how to get a Libyan visa? : what about the need of 6 people to get visa? Is it possible to get a visa in Tunis for Libya?
How and where did you get your visa for Sudan and Tchad?

Greetz,

Karel
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  #4  
Old 8 Jan 2003
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Hi Karel,

I can't give you any info about Libya as this is not a path I have explored (we won't cross this country this time, alas...)

Niger visa vill be obtained in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as the Sudan visa (hopefully: we're only on the start with this administrative stuff, but they say it will be issued without problem) For Chad, we read here & had confirmation by the chadian embassy in Niamey that they would issue it on the spot. We keep our fingers crossed.

I dont' think this is very helpful to you if you travel through lybia, but that's it!

Cheers
Séb
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Old 8 Jan 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by sebch:
Hi!

I am still in the process of figuring out which is the best way to cross from Tunis to Khartoum according to the evolution of the situation.

I just came across the french foreing affairs website & they state that the Lake Chad region should be avoided. Besides, reading the accounts of the two belgian guys in their 2CV, I saw the went through Nigeria to avoid this area.

So what sohould I think of that? Is this region really a no-go place? Are there still people cossing the border there? Any chance to team up with someone (somewhere in march april)? I mean, I'm ready to accept a certain amount of risk, but don't want to head straight into a mouse trap!

What do you advise??

Thanks in advance Séb

Hi Seb,

Travelling around Lake Chad is not too difficult - 2-3 days , although avoid Bol where possible, especially for an overnight stop. Bol is where you may have to complete entry customs and they will want to take advantage of you. We have just completed a similar journey (in reverse)and is documented on our website www.daphneoverland.co.uk. We are happy to answer questions, although we did not experience any hostilities as the previous travellers suggest - check the website.
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Old 9 Jan 2003
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Hi Seb,

Sandy and I will be travelling down that way too in our Defender, and intend to go around Lake Chad. We are leaving in April, from the UK, probably in convoy with another Land-Rover. I expect we'll be in Chad in May.

This isn't meant to be reassurance - the fact that we are going that way doesn't make it safer! But it might be feasible to travel together?

Regards,

Michael...
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Old 9 Jan 2003
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Michael,

Indeed, I doubt twe landies will ever make any area safer, but at least I would feel a lot more comfy knowing there are backup vehicles driving with me. I'd be very glad to spend some time with you on the way!!

I'm not sure what your plans are. We intend to go at a slower pace, leaving switzerland around mid february, aiming to to be in khartoum around end of may or very early june. We'll be travelling in my beloved Citroen 2CV and this is also a reason for me wanting to team up with people in 4x4, just in case. I'm not yet a hardcore 2WD raider as some guys are (e.g. alone in a 2cv off-piste in mauritania...)

Of course 2WD travel will be slower than yours, esp in this sandy area. We won't be able to do any "paris-dakaring", the car just won't bake it that way. I don't know if this is suitable to you, or nerve-consuming. Let me know and above all pleas keep in touch in case our ways join at some point!

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon, here or by e-mail!

Séb
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  #8  
Old 10 Jan 2003
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Just out of interest, why are you taking the route via Chad to Sudan and not Libya-Egypt?
I am heading from to Tunisia to Khartoum in early March, but via Libya (if thevisa agency I will be using comes through on their promise)

Geoff
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  #9  
Old 11 Jan 2003
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Hi Geoff,

Two reasons why we chose Algeria. Firstly, I don't think we can afford Lybia which seems to be a fairly expensive country. Visas could be OK, but this mandatory guide stopry scares me a bit dollarwise... And you can't bring a third folk in a 2CV. So we'd have to pay for his car or team up with people, which is not guaranteed or could take a while if few people get through the visa process at the moment.

Secondly, Algeria just appeals to us A LOT. It's been ten years since I first wanted to visit. I was always either too young or too broke or too busy, so I have the feeling my time has come. Besides, I'd love to be part of the big family of people who crossed the Sahara in a 2CV: there is always something special between you & your first car and it's precisely my first car I'm going to use. So maybe this second reason has more to do with my own mythology!!

Since you leave in march, you might be in Khartoum end of may, which give us good chances to meet there, probably stuck like many people get there... Let's keep in touch on the board or per e-mail

Have fun planning you rtrip!
Séb
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  #10  
Old 11 Jan 2003
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Having driven around Lake Tchad about 1 month ago on the way to Sudan (we are in Khartoum at the moment), I'd say the difficultys are very exaggerated. We drove with 2 other cars, but not because it was needed. I'd drive around it again alone without hesitation. But, as mentioned above, Bol is a BAD place. Unfortunatly, when coming east, this is where you have to do custums and do the police paperwork that you've already done in Badou, over again! This is a minor hassle, but the main problem is that all the village kids, and I'd say quite a few grown-ups are very agressive. We had rocks thrown at the car, and in the end my wife had to get out and walk behind to keep them from breaking a window. She herself then became the target... No real damage was done, but she got some bruises.
N'djamena is a very dangerous city and 2 couples we met got robbed in broad daylight on Charles De Gaulle avenue. People around just stood there watching.
When driving from Adre in Tchad to El Genina in Sudan, you will look back at the Lake Tchad tracks as an easy highway. The border track to Sudan is much worse. Not to mention that when we got to El Genina, the police told us that 3 cars had been held up that same day and they closed the border after we entered. Some tourists on the Tchad side had to sit and wait while the "goodguys" went "hunting"... Either we passed the bad guys when they were off the road or they passed us when we drove off the road for a break!
Generally speaking, people in Tchad were far more aggressive than any other country we've been through.
More info is being added to our website at the moment and maybe you might find it helpful. Good luck!!!

Erik D.

www.dunia.no


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