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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 18 Feb 2009
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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
Steve
www.overafrica.org
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Old 18 Feb 2009
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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...
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Old 19 Feb 2009
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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!
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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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
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Old 24 Feb 2009
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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.

Torsten
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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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!

Steve
www.overafrica.org
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