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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 17 Jun 2008
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Cameroon-Brazzaville

Hello. I`m planning my route from Europe to South Africa (Western route). Which way I should take from Cameroon to Brazzaville? Should I go via Gabon? Is the road via Yokadouma&Quesso possible for riding? I heard the only way from Quesso to Brazzaville is Congo River.

Alex
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  #2  
Old 17 Jun 2008
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Gabon

You don't say what you're looking for - Gabon has some amazing roads to the west. For sportsbikes! Pack a GSXR-1000 or something.

Seriously, the main artereal routes are largely lovely tarmac, winding through the jungle, with logging trucks hiding around every corner! You won't (sorry, that's not a challenge!) get to Congo on a sportsbike as the Gabon/Congo border really marks the start of the sandy and muddy track most of the way to Brazzaville
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Last edited by edteamslr; 17 Jun 2008 at 16:34.
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  #3  
Old 18 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
You don't say what you're looking for - Gabon has some amazing roads to the west. For sportsbikes! Pack a GSXR-1000 or something.

Seriously, the main artereal routes are largely lovely tarmac, winding through the jungle, with logging trucks hiding around every corner! You won't (sorry, that's not a challenge!) get to Congo on a sportsbike as the Gabon/Congo border really marks the start of the sandy and muddy track most of the way to Brazzaville
I`m looking for the shortest land way from Cameroon to Angola. But I will be alone with my Africa Twin. I can rely on noone who help me on the muddy track in the jungle
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Old 18 Jun 2008
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Hi Alex,

I will be driving in the opposite direction soon, in a 4x4.

From my preparations I have chosen the following route:

Luanda - N'Zeto - Noqui / Matadi - Kinshasa - Brazzaville - Obouya / Leconi / Franceville - Lope - Oyem - Yaounde

We are in the dry season, so I expect the earth roads to be ok.
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  #5  
Old 18 Jun 2008
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At

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Rubtsov View Post
I`m looking for the shortest land way from Cameroon to Angola. But I will be alone with my Africa Twin. I can rely on noone who help me on the muddy track in the jungle
Make sure you have new clutch plates and spare clutch cable in that Africa Twin of yours. Hours of churning through mud and sand on a loaded AT - a test for any bike.

The Gabon way to Ndende, through Congo to Brazzaville, cross to Kinshasa and then off to Matadi is the shortest way by land.
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  #6  
Old 18 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
Make sure you have new clutch plates and spare clutch cable in that Africa Twin of yours. Hours of churning through mud and sand on a loaded AT - a test for any bike.

The Gabon way to Ndende, through Congo to Brazzaville, cross to Kinshasa and then off to Matadi is the shortest way by land.
Thanks for the advice. The clutch parts will be useful there. I have seen your website. Unfortunately your report is too difficult for my english but the pictures say instead of you. If the road via Quesso is worse than you rode I will go to Gabon.

To Travelbug:
Send me please a short report and few photos when you will reach a Yaounde. Some waypoints will be very useful too.
Thank you.
Alex
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  #7  
Old 20 Aug 2008
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Any update?

Am in Luanda, heading north to Matadi, and planning to go Kinshasa/Brazza then Oyo then west to Leconi and then somehow north to Yaounde as I believe I maximize the tar and minimize the mud.

GPS got crushed, bike is in so-so condition, travelling solo with recent stitches from a near-fatal accident in Namibia, have not so great map and would like to do it the easiest and quickest way possible - anyone done it recently?
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Old 21 Aug 2008
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Oyo-Leconi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mblevin View Post
Am in Luanda, heading north to Matadi, and planning to go Kinshasa/Brazza then Oyo then west to Leconi and then somehow north to Yaounde as I believe I maximize the tar and minimize the mud.

GPS got crushed, bike is in so-so condition, travelling solo with recent stitches from a near-fatal accident in Namibia, have not so great map and would like to do it the easiest and quickest way possible - anyone done it recently?
I have a Michelin map. It shows me a earth road (mud track) from Oyo to Leconi.The road from Brazza to Dolisie and then north to Lambarene looks better.
p.s. I plan to ride an opposite direction. You need in an advice now, but your experience will be needed later. Let me know please. Be careful and good luck.

Alex
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  #9  
Old 21 Aug 2008
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Read Lois Pryce's new book - red tape and white knuckles.
There's an excellent description of her route following very much the same route as you intend to follow
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Old 28 Aug 2008
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Hey Alex,

believe me, the Dolisie-Brazza road is in no way comparable with Franceville-Obouyo-Brazza. The road condition is far away from easy-driving and roadblocks with unpleasant guys with ak-47s demanding for money are not uncommon.The Michelin-Map is not always the best source to get information as well as the knowledge of the amount of Ks does not mean you can guess how much time you will spent. Have a look at this , it might be helpful to you.

Cheers Peter
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Old 28 Aug 2008
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Leconi to Brazza

Hi Guys,

Just drove from Leconi to Brazza in 2 days in a 4x4.
First day from Leconi to Oyo, nice track in a beatiful area, alot of sand so won't be great on a bike but it's dry at the moment, also there are alot of hills. It's very easy to follow.
Second day Oyo to brazza, good tarmac with occasional sections of potholes. No problems with the police though we do play the dumb no speak french white tourist trick all the time apart from at the borders. People in Congo are alot friendlier than the snobby Gabonese.
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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Heading north from Kinshasa

In Kinshasa at the moment - had a tough go at the port this afternoon - headed late and lots of hassle with bribes etc. to get hustled on ferry.

Will tackle first thing in morning and planning to spend a couple of days in Brazza - need to organize some new side luggage (soft bags destroyed by Angola) and and get some rim deformation fixed (yes, Angola as well), and somehow get a new tent (disappeared in a pothole somewhere I believe - my fault; rush packing job)

I am planning on doing Oyo to Leconi in two full days; starting at sunrise from Oyo (or wherever the tar runs out) - any tips for the road? Am flying somewhat blind without GPS but sounds like it is pretty direct.

Also any recommendations for possibly organizing a tent or getting some metal lunchboxes or something made into panniers?
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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Hey mblevin,

if you need some help in Brazza for organizing something my advice to you is:
Stay at Hippocampe Hotel, which is run by a young french guy with his vietnamese wife. He travelled the world by bycicle and will be at your service.
Hippocampe Hotel

cheers Peter
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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Brazzaville

Hi mblevin,

First sorry we missed you in Luanda I found out you were here the night before you left and we had no transport to come out and meet you, I believe you were helped out by Diane and co. A friend of a friend. there is a road in Brazzaville locally known as the Rue de Chinois. This is near the centre you can pretty much get anything there, it is a road full of Chinese import shops maybe someone down there will have a tent for you. If you like Chinese food there is a chinese resturant in the centre the food is pretty good if you can cope with sharing your table with a couple of baby cockroaches!

The road north from Brazzaville to Oyo is beautiful, excellent tarmac road once out of brazza, we took the oyo, Bounji, Leconi route. From the main tarmac route the track out to bounji (about50km) was easy going sand/earth road, after bounji it is sand, my least favorite riding medium....until you cross the border. Bounji to Leconi (about 150km)was a hard days ride for me but Dan took it in his stride, I would say you shouldn't have too much of a problem without a GPS as the road is fairly clear and the locals are pretty helpful with directions, we even saw a couple of signs along the way.
Good Luck Linz
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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In Brazza

Hi Linz,

So sorry I missed you - have read your blog entries previously and actually just rereading them 2 minutes ago when I checked on HU for some info update - didn't realize you were in Luanda - would have saved me the idiocy of trying to get a valve cover bolt manufactured/repaired/whatever in Luanda.

Am trying to get fired up for the next section and your descriptions and pics have really helped.

Ferry from Kinshasa into Brazza today obviously sucked, but after an hour of trying to find the Hippocampe have finally arrived - an absolute oasis and frankly can't believe my luck - am camping in the pool room so with my mosquito net I will be fine sans tent.

Olivier and Catherine has been great, and had dinner with Lester and Flip (the South African cell phone tower installer guys - you may have met them) - they may help hunt down a tent tomorrow and I will hit the Rue De Chinois as well, and I love cockroaches - they are delicious.

I need to hunt down a real jerry can as well as apparently a 5L jug that used to hold washing soap will most likely leak out gasoline all over your gear bag, as I have fondly discovered.

And FYI for anyone else taking the solo ferry crossing - The Congolese now know that - 1) the international "money" sign of rubbing fingers together in California means "what time is it?" and there is zero comprehension of giving money outside of Christmas, Hannukah, and (of course) Arbor Day 2) Cigarettes have been outlawed in much of the US so no Americans carry them 3) We really don't understand any French and our English is very, very, very different to what anyone in the Congo knows. 4) The African "I'm hungry" belly-rubbing sign in America means "Are you hungry?" and you should always then say "yes!" then ask the Congolese to buy you something.

I will try to hit the tough sand in one day, but if I spend more time trapped under my bike than on it like I did in Northern Angola, it may not happen.

Thanks for all the advice and help from everyone.

-Matt
African Downshift
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