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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 Aug 2009
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Crossing africa west-east

Hi all,
Planning to cross africa this winter, and wanted to check with members here if they thought there was something crazy in my itinerary. Please let me know.
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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I had a similarly planned trip in 2007...but acquiring the Sudanese visa ahead of time to enter from Western Sudan/Darfur...was not possible.

Search the HUBB files for prior postings...there's a lot of useful information to help you in your trip planning.
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  #3  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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Great route, but as @MotoEdde said, we also couldn't get access to that part of Sudan - and we were in Sudan at the time! (also 2007).

Let us know how you get on.
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  #4  
Old 18 Aug 2009
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We did all of the route down and across but then headed south from khartoum. As mentioned Sudan visas would be a real problem. Also even if you did get the visas, that area of the world doesn't seem that nice a place to be at this time. Maybe things have improved but nothing in news coverage to suggest so. Even when we went through before the trouble, had troops turning up in Landcruiser utes with 50 cals mounted on the back, very jumpy, didn't want us in the area. Beautiful countryside and really friendly Sudanese locals but troops, police etc not so good. Also Chad was fairly full on, quite hostile locals, broke down and got stoned and robbed by a mob of about 100 whilst we fixed it, one guy got mugged, met a couple of other travellers whilst we were going through who had also been mugged. Country is ruled by a warload, not a great sense of security. Some travellers got through without incident but not the easiest country and this again was before all the latest troubles. Suggest its may be doable, usually for all the talk that it can't be done, there is some solo german motorcyclist who drove through warzone without paperwork and got through but you would have to be fairly hardcore to do it.

Other difficulty is most likely place for getting visas will be neighbouring countries. Long been the case that you could sit for months trying to get visas in European capitals without success and then get one in 24 hours in neighbouring country. However long way to go to try and find out. Ideally you want an alternative route so you have a way of salvaging your trip, otherwise its just a big back tracking exercise.
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Old 18 Aug 2009
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crossing africa east-west

Hundreds of thousands of starving people in Dharfur, petrol is not high on their priority list. Biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. Chad is listed as highly dangerous on the British Foreign Office site. Visas are the least of the problem.
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  #6  
Old 19 Aug 2009
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Great, that's exactly the feedback i need. I suspected the east part was too difficult. Plus i'm worry about getting saudi arabia visa.
So now, if you wanted to cross a nice part of africa, and then continue your trip east without missing interesting countries in the middle east, how would you do?
Thanks all!
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  #7  
Old 22 Oct 2009
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Africa East to West

Hi Davestar!

Also considered your proposed route - at least for going west to east - but decided to do it much further south, because of the ongoing troubles in northern DRC, Chad and Sudan, but also because my final destination is South Africa. Have a look at the route on One ball One continent and PM me if you'd be interested. Timing though: starting from Amsterdam 31 Jan 2010.

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  #8  
Old 23 Oct 2009
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Hi all!

Im planning a RTW starting next year and my africa part is very similar than the davestars' one!

but aparently is very dificult to do it, I suppose that 2up with my girlfriend will be more dificult!

can the experts suggest a safe way to cross from west to east? my starting point will be Morocco and my final point of africa will be Egypt, we can do a loop going south because we don't like to pass through Algeria and Lybia because is too expensive to hire some scorts, but not going TOO south.

can you help us?
thanks, and thanks Davestar to start a thread like this one for me in advance hahaha
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Old 23 Oct 2009
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As the situation stands today, there isn't one. If you don't want to go via Niger, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, then you are unlikely to get across Darfur for the reasons mentioned in previous posts. Most overlanders seem to be heading down the west coast from DRC, Republic of Congo, Angola but you this would take you down to Namibia before you get across then start heading back north. The odd traveller seems to have made it across Congo to East Africa or CAR looping across to Uganda but these are high risk on very poor tracks and would be as hard if not harder than Darfur. The other thing to note even if you could get through Darfur is that there were no roads when we went through and I don't think anything has changed. There was a tarmac road from one border point to the nearby town but beyond that we did a long section (multi day) travelling next to the railway line in thick sand - there is no track, your following some tyre marks in sand and keeping next to the railway. I've heard motorcyclists discussing the merits of riding the line itself but you would have to watch carefully for trains as some bits, you can't get off. Wouldn't necassarily be impossible to do two up but I imagine would be fairly challenging. Sorry to be negative, it is doable but not that straightforward. Depending on your reasons for wanting to go west -east, you would have more options going north - south. Only other option that you could consider is do part of the route you want and then fly the bike over. Going to cost a bit which given your comments about the cost of Libya may mean its not an option but you could ride all through west africa, then fly out of somewhere like Nigeria or even Chad across Darfur to Khartoum and then ride north.
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Old 23 Oct 2009
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go from west to east is because Im planning a RTW starting from Chile, trying to fly with the bike just for cross the atlantic from and to america, going east by africa-asia and west from asia to europe to cross the atlantic to america again.

I never been in africa, asia or europe so I like to go in that way
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  #11  
Old 24 Oct 2009
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Okay, makes sense, then your options if you stick with the plan to include Africa as per today's situation are 1) go though as much of west africa as you can, then get a flight from somewhere like Nigeria / Cameroon / Chad to Khartoum. 2) Do a big loop south all the way down to Namibia, across and back up. 3) Go high risk, its probably possible but it will be a challenging / dangerous experience just getting through, obviously further complicated by terrain given your plan to go 2 up.

The only other aspect that might help is Africa always seems to change. Routes open up within months but others close. The situation may be significantly different in a few months time. Good luck.
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  #12  
Old 26 Oct 2009
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Actually, I changed my route completely because of this specific portion.
Check my blog at Trans World Expedition
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  #13  
Old 26 Oct 2009
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fuel cost for the trip

Hi Nick,

Read your site. Nice trip and had good look at your budget calcs. I am sure you looked at it carefully but the price for fuel (gas!) seems a bit low to me. Don't know what the precise distance is you plan to cover but for your reference the following;

We did 60K km in Afrika in a LC Troopie diesel, average consumption 1 liter to 6 km (you have to work that around to Gallons to the mile and a diesel is more economic then a gas(oline) engine. From what I make up from your site your car is gasoline car and not a diesel. We worked out that on the entire travelling budget (i.e. exluding investment of car and equipment), the fuel alone was Euro 11.000 being almost 50% of the total moving cost!!!! The faster you move, the higher this will be. We did on average 5000 km per month. Gasoline tends to be more expensive than diesel. I do not think your trip will be much less that 60K km. The envisaged route through Africa alone is already 35K km. Hope you can use the info to your advantage.

Cheers,

Noel
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Old 26 Oct 2009
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Yes, I agree, I probably under estimated this cost.
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