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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 22 Mar 2014
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Border crossings Angola-DRC and DRC-Rep of Congo.

Hi there,

I will be heading up the west coast from SA in a few weeks and I was wondering what the " easiest " Angola-DRC and DRC-RoC are ?
I will be cycling and I would like to go to Kinshasa.
Thanks,

Levelo.
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  #2  
Old 21 Apr 2014
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Easiest point to cross from Angola into the DRC is at Noqui / Matadi. Did it in 2010 when the end of the road was terrible, but now you should be able to get most of the way up the coast of Angola on a decent Chinese road. Once you hit Matadi, it's decent tarmac all the way to Kinshasa:

Road Trip to the D.R.C. | Polo's Bastards

As for the DRC to RoC crossing, that one I have only done over the river from Kinshasa to Brazzaville. If you are doing it overland do your research as crossing too far west potentially puts you in FLEC / Ninja territory. I remember reading on the Thorn Tree a few years ago about someone crossing impressively far north in the DRC (somewhere like Mbandaka), but you'd have to hunt that trip report down to confirm.
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  #3  
Old 22 Apr 2014
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My info is getting a little old, but in early 2011 we crossed the other direction from Brazzaville - Boko, into DRC and onto the ferry in Luozi, Kimpese, Kwilu-Ngongo, onto the R115 and over into Angola, then on to Maguela do Zombo (can't remember the towns with border posts, and Google maps isn't showing them at the moment either).


All four border formalities (out of Congo, into DRC, out of DRC, into Angola) were straightforward by African standards. Worst part was a drunk official in one town who insisted on recording ALL our details.


We took this route in part to avoid the ferry Brazza-Kinshasa.
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  #4  
Old 22 Apr 2014
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I try to maintain a list of all travellers on the west route, who write a blog:

Trans-Africa: other travellers on the west...

there you will find the most actual informations.

We did it this way at the end of 2012, via Luozi:




Surfy
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  #5  
Old 24 Apr 2014
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Guys,

This is all very helpful.
Thanks for posting.

Levelo.
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  #6  
Old 25 Apr 2014
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Will be trying the Angola -> Matadi Crossing by bicycle in 10 days. Just managed to get a 6 month Multi Entry here in Luanda for the deal of $550 USD. Ouch.
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Old 6 May 2014
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Made it into Matadi. Getting there by bicycle from Tomboki was very challenging with some of the worst conditions I've seen and some devastating hills. May be different out of Rainy Season.

Border entry was easy - Angola wanted to make a "call" and then wanted some money out of me to get a photocopy of my passport, so I went outside and started pitching my tent on their property. I made it halfway through setting up my poles and they came out with the exit stamp.

DRC was a sleepy entry, into a room with a fellow, he made a call as well alerting whomever that a tourist was in - no real problems. Health check went fine, then was sent to show my Carnet. When they asked me in the room I started laughing and sat down and told them it was a bicycle and I didn't need any of that. They laughed and bought me a sprite.

So, that's a confirmed report for a Bicyclist - Hope this helps for anyone.
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  #8  
Old 26 May 2014
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Hi Levelo,

I'm about to do the same but in reverse. Pending an Angolan visa in Congo, that is...

Any advise from your recent crossings?

Cheers,
Spooka
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  #9  
Old 28 May 2014
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Spooka,

Which crossings do you have in mind ?
Border crossings are just a breeze in Southern Africa.
I am still in Windhoek, keeping my fingers crossed for the DRC and Angola visas, I have made some progress !
Cheers,

Levelo.
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  #10  
Old 28 May 2014
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Crossed from DRC into Angola at Luvo. Easy roads are good up till border than a track of reasonable road of 13 km as sson you cross the border. The rest tar. I came from Cabinda annd had 230km bad road be prepared if you are planning that way.

Cheers Richard
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  #11  
Old 31 May 2014
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Hi Guys,

I still haven't decided on the crossings yet. It all hinges on the Angola visa and where I can get it. I'll keep you posted.

Good luck for the Visa's Levelo!

Richard, is the "230km bad road" the one from the Gabon border to Dolisie, Congo? Or is the bad road in Cabinda? I just did the frontier-Dolisie road and I nearly literally drowned the Enfield in mud. Tough going!

Cheers,
Spooka
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  #12  
Old 15 Jul 2014
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Hi everyone,

Still debating whether to cross into RoC from DRC using the Kin/Brazza ferry or simply bypassing this massive town and taking the road/dirt track heading north from Matadi, Luozi and attempting the Mindouli border crossing. Will be there in the first half of August so should be dry.
Anyone riding or driving this route lately ?
Cheers from Lobito, Angola.

Levelo.
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  #13  
Old 15 Jul 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levelo View Post
Hi everyone,

Still debating whether to cross into RoC from DRC using the Kin/Brazza ferry or simply bypassing this massive town and taking the road/dirt track heading north from Matadi, Luozi and attempting the Mindouli border crossing. Will be there in the first half of August so should be dry.
Anyone riding or driving this route lately ?
Cheers from Lobito, Angola.

Levelo.
Gday Levelo,

I'm in Windhoek now after doing the RoC/DRC/Angola route as you describe it about a month ago. So, going in reverse order: The road from Tomboco to Noqui, Angola, is a dirt road in bad condition. If I had my time again I would cross a different way via the nice Angolan tarmac to the East. The road from Matadi to Kinshasa is good tarmac, so if you want to go North via Luozi you wont have any troubles from Matadi all the way to the turn off before Kimpese. From Kimpese to Luozi the road is again a dirt road in poor condition, but definitely passable. From Luozi, DRC to Boko, RoC, which is the route I took, things get pretty remote and tricky, with deeply channelled rock roads that make the going slow and technical. It's still passable on two wheels, maybe not with 4, but I've seen stranger things! Remember also that I got it done solo on a Royal Enfield, so it can't be that bad!

There's no border post on the DRC side of the DRC/RoC border but there's some guys in the village before the "border" who can stamp you in/out of the country, but you have to ask around for it because the hut looks just like all the rest. These guys gave me grief about whether or not I was really a resident of Togo where my visa was issued. That was a fun argument, but since you're leaving the country I'm sure you won't have any troubles. You could probably also stamp out of the country at Luozi, where they have a proper immigration building, those guys also wanted money out of me, 20 bucks for doing "paperwork" but I haggled that down to zero dollars for paperwork

The RoC side has a border post to stamp in on. No worries there. Then there's maybe a 20 kilometre section of the best dirt road I've had on the trip. Very random. To get to Boko you'll have to turn off the good dirt road and then it's more of the bad rock road just like from Luozi to the border. If I was coming the other way, as you are, I'd be tempted to follow the good dirt road and see where that goes, or at least ask the lads at the border where it leads. From Boko to Kinkala it's good tarmac. From Kinkala to Dolisie the road is a combination of dirt road in poor condition and good new Chinese tarmac, which is under construction. Mostly though it's still the bad dirt.

The road from Dolisie to the Gabon border is an absolute shocker. Particularly the last 40 or 50 kilometres. Mud mud mud.

So yeah, the route I went is definitely the more rugged of the two options. I'm not sure, but you might be able to get all tarmac all the way from Angola to Gabon if you just brave the Brazza/Kinshasa crossing and then head North from there. But don't quote me on that! Either way, you'll surely have a tale to tell!

Good luck! If you want more information on the route, don't hesitate to ask!

Cheers,
Spooka
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  #14  
Old 25 Jul 2014
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Thanks Spooka for taking the time to write this, this is extremely helpful !
I am not sure which way I am going to go but the current dry conditions might tempt me to tackle as many dirt roads as I can before the wet sets in... I am cycling, so what is good for motorbikes is also good for me.
Currently in Luanda, getting the one-month extension on a visto ordinario is a real drag but I managed to drop all my paperwork yesterday, should be ready in a week or so and then off to NĀ“Zeto.
Cheers.
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