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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 4 Jan 2012
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Carnet Guinea, G.Bissau, Ghana, Gambia

I just saw on the carnet page that these countries require a carnet (I know the Senegal set up. Been there). Does anybody have experience of these countries? Do they actually check for it and if so can you"talk" your way around it? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 4 Jan 2012
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I have made it into both Gambia and Ghana on a motorbike without a carnet, without any significant hassle. Both issued a temporary import permit.

Can't help you on Guinea Bissau.

Since 2009 Ghana has become much stricter at some land borders and refused to issue TIPs. This was previously an issue mainly for 4WDs, but I have also heard of bikers having problems recently. If you search the sub-saharan section there are a number of posts on the Ghanaian carnet situation.
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Old 5 Jan 2012
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Stevo

We were down in Guinea Jan 2011 with Irish reg 4x4 and had no need for Carnet at border We traveled overland through Mali from Bamako to Kankan

We got Laissez Passer from Guinea embassy in Bamako for two Irish 4x4 to transit to Sierra Leone

Border police at Guinea border wanted us to take one of there guys as security to see us through to S L , but we said no and in the end we were let go on our way

Best Of Luck

Maurice
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  #4  
Old 5 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo52 View Post
I just saw on the carnet page that these countries require a carnet (I know the Senegal set up. Been there). Does anybody have experience of these countries? Do they actually check for it and if so can you"talk" your way around it? Thanks
Some recent experience:

All in a private 4x4 with South African Registration and NO CARNET!

Senegal - Risky - entered in the south on border with Mali using "laissez passez voiture" issued by Senegal Consulate in Bamako and cost 2000CFA - useless document, but better than nothing! entered in the North at Rosso - complete nightmare - ended up paying 120,000CFA for an 'escort' to Dakar - other escorts go up to 240,000CFA depending on which border.
payments of 25 euro and up in the back pocket at Diamma have resulted in 24hour to 10 day passavants, depending on your luck!

Guinea Bissau - Temporary Import issued on the border. Many stamps at checkpoints (demands from 2000 to 5000 to pass) This costs 5000CFA plus "tax disc" which was 50,000CFA!

Guinea - when you purchase your visa, you buy a separate Laissez Passez valid 30 days - that will be stamped on the reverse at each major town (similar demands to Guinea Bissau - but more persistant!) This costs 10,000CFA.

Gambia - good luck - corrupt ****ers! They gave me "laissez passez" valid for 48 hours - were afraid I was going to sell my car.

Sierra Leone - practically the same as Guinea - buy it with your visa - valid 30 days - plenty stamps.

Ghana - no idea - but I am planning on heading there within the next 2 weeks - hoping to make it in without too much hassle (as opposed to getting the visa!)

Done West Coast of Africa with a Motorbike and Car 3 times and never needed a Carnet (besides Senegal). Countries included Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauretania, Morocco, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Gambia.
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  #5  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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First time I've heard of "Laissez passez". This is something I apply for seperately when looking for visa? Safe to presume it's something that I only need to get for countries that are supposed to have a carnet?
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  #6  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Liassez passer and temporary import permit are the same thing.

A number of west african countries that don't require a carnet may still require a temporary import permit issued by the customs office at the border.
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  #7  
Old 20 Jan 2012
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We just made it through Gambia, Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia without a carnet.

It is true (as in prior posts) that Guinea and Sierra Leone want you to purchase a prior Laissez-Passer at their Consulates, together with your visa.

At least you should keep your Laissez-Passer from the previous country (e.g. Senegal) and the following countries apparently will stamp it off as well.

We had lost/forgotten all papers, however we made it through without any Laissez-Passer, but with a lot of discussions. You'll need good nerves for that, especially in Guinea.
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  #8  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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So essentially does all of this mean that except for Senegal, Guinea and Sierra Leone and maybe Ghan now, I can get anything I need at the borders? Guinea and Sierra Leone I ask for it when I go for my visa?

Oh and on the Senegal thing. I have two Transalps, a '99 and an '07, but I'd be going on the '99. If I swapped the plates and the papers A) is it safe to assume they're not going to be well up enough on bikes to know the difference and B) assuming they don't know the difference will they actually respect the 5 year rule and allow me in without hassle on my "5 year old bike".
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  #9  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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Carnet or not to carnet

Hi all
we're planning a trip down west africa leaving Europe October ish this year. Reading these posts it appears you're all saying a carnet is not needed for all countries up to Ghana. Varying reports on how much charged at the border for a 'laissez faire'. So do you apply for the laissez faire along with your visa for each country - or do you get this at each border? Do you need one laissez faire for the whole region? Or one per country?
I'm a bit confused as assumed we would need carnets....

help

Gemma and Mark
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  #10  
Old 2 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemmasun View Post
Hi all
we're planning a trip down west africa leaving Europe October ish this year. Reading these posts it appears you're all saying a carnet is not needed for all countries up to Ghana. Varying reports on how much charged at the border for a 'laissez faire'. So do you apply for the laissez faire along with your visa for each country - or do you get this at each border? Do you need one laissez faire for the whole region? Or one per country?
I'm a bit confused as assumed we would need carnets....

help

Gemma and Mark
You do not need a carnet on the Western Transafrica route (except in Ghana and even there some people managed to drive in without a carnet.)

You do not need to apply for a laissez-passer in advance (although in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the police scolded us for not having done so). The laissez-passer can be obtained for a nominal fee at the border (only Senegal is known for asking higher fees, I heard up to € 300). Some countries will simply stamp the laissez-passer of the previous country.

You do need good nerves and negotiating skills at some borders & police posts. No matter what documentation you have, they will try to extract a bribe from you. (Guinea was worst)

Nothing is sacrosanct in Africa. We've crossed plenty of borders without proper papers (no visas, car papers, numberplates, etc.). And funnily we've been refused twice, even with perfect documentation (Ghana, Angola), but in those cases we simply drove to their next borderpost and entered without problems.
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