Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > sub-Saharan Africa

sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 18 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Putney, UK
Posts: 161
Exclamation Cabinda closed to vehicles

After a long fight with the Angolan embassy in Pointe Noire about letting us drive through Cabinda it has emerged they have very recently passed a law expressly prohibiting foreign vehicles to enter Cabinda.

It would seem the only west coast route open to overlanders is to drive Brazzaville, Congo - Kinshasa, DRC - Matadi, DRC - Angola.

Be warned that the road from Dolisie to Brazzaville goes through the Poule region which is still subject to rebel activity and recently 4 trucks were hijacked at gun-point on this road. We were in Dolisie when this happened, and why we came to Pointe Noire to try drive through Cabinda instead of to Brazzaville.

We are now trying to get our truck onto a train from Pointe Noire to Brazzaville so as to be able to continue. The train is notorious for theft though, but we're stuck between a rock and a hard place here so will have to chance it...

My advice is to drive to Franceville in Gabon, and from there to Akou or Ndongo and into Congo and take the road south to Brazzaville. Don't take the main north/south road through Lambarene in Gabon to Dolisie in Congo as you may well have issues getting to Brazzaville from there. I can't comment on what the Akou or Ndongo border crossings are like, since I didn't go that way, but if you can get through it could well save you a lot of trouble down the road...

Hope this helps
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Paide, Estonia
Posts: 349
Are you sure this "Cabinda closed" is official, not just talk of some full of s**t officials in that notorious embassy to get you off their backs? After waiting several days to get inside the embassy I was refused visa and explanation was that my passport was "full" -- they need a page that is empty on both sides. I had several empty pages but none was empty on both sides...
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Putney, UK
Posts: 161
Met some folks here with 2-entry Transit visas

Some folks from Lichtenstein have just arrived in Pointe Noire and they have double-entry transit visas... they are going to try get through Cabinda.

If they do I'll be very upset (not for them, for us!), and will make sure the South African Embassy knows about it. However, that said I do think they were telling the truth... or at least I hope they were, coz South Africa and Angola are both SADAC members, we're supposed to be neighbours and friends... we'll see!
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Berlin
Posts: 49
As far as I am informed the border between Angola and DRC was closed due to some ebola cases in DRC. Maybe there got something mixed up.

Cheers Peter
Already been there? - Like to get there?
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 140
I can confirm Steves encounter with the Point Noire embassy. Allmost exactly a year ago I was in the same situation. No vehicles allowed! They were perfectly willing to grant us a visa if we had an airticket (so it wasn't unwillingnes to grant the actual visa). But not with a vehicle.

We also were warned in Dolisie to push for Brazza because of high bandit activity. We checked out the train option (not an easy excersise I tell you) but failed in the first attempt. We had however planned to make a second attempt the next day, untill we were told that the train had been robbed by bandits and everything on it seized. Blessing in disguise that we didn't load ourselves and our bikes on it at the time. Couldn't go anywhere from there.

We ended up making a good deal with TAAG airlines and got ourselves and our bikes airlifted over Angola (with an overnight stay in the Luanda international terminal) directly to Windhoek Namibia. As it happened, the southern part of Angola was totally flooded at the time of our passing, so again it was a blessing in disguise. Never the less, it was a bit frustrating to have to miss Angola. Especially after so many great reviews, amongst others, on this site.

I don't know where those people that say "it's propably not official" where they have their information from. I, and now Steve, got ours from the embassy. Don't think it gets any more official than that.

Having said that, I doubt that if you allready have a double entry, they will refuse you entry. Regardless of the policies of the embassy in Point Noire. But you can never be sure about those things before you actually stand in the situation yourself.

Reply With Quote
Old 4 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Putney, UK
Posts: 161
It's all bulls**t!

Hi folks

I was told by a resident of Pointe Noire that there is a law that prohibits vehicles from entering Cabinda, but this is expressly commercial vehicles only... not tourists. Something about the Angolans wanting to promote local commercial transport rather than DRC's.

We have a 10-tonne truck, and getting it onto the train was going to take a month for a space, driving through the Poole region isn't advisable, and shipping around would also take too long... we have a deadline for arrival in SA.

In the end we decided to chance the border, and got through without a 2nd glance. Of course because the Angolan embassies in Pointe Noire and Brazzaville wouldn't help us with getting 2 entries, that used our entire 30-day visa for transiting Cabinda! We had to get a new visa (transit) in Matadi, so now only have 5 days to get through Angola... sux, but what can you do!?

Make sure you get a 2 entry visa where ever it is you get it... if they give you 1 entry and say it's good for 2... they are lying, you will have problems. Refuse to take it, and get them to change it to 2 entries. Don't bother trying to deal with the Angolan embassy in Pointe Noire - they are intent on being as unhelpful as they can.

Hope this helps someone!

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cabinda closed to vehicles steve.lorimer Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 5 16 Mar 2009 15:13
Cabinda Vegan 1965 sub-Saharan Africa 3 23 Jul 2006 14:56
Cabinda Ferry Zanbar_Bone sub-Saharan Africa 3 7 Apr 2006 05:01
tto cabinda or not cabinda, that is the question mavis cruet sub-Saharan Africa 1 25 Apr 2003 02:32
to cabinda or not to cabinda, that is the question mavis cruet Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 0 16 Apr 2003 16:03


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:25.