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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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Old 14 May 2010
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Crossing Angola - West To East

Hi!

I'm currently in Nigeria heading south and plan to cross northern Angola to get into Zambia and head further east.

Has anyone done this? Does anyone have info on roads/routes in northern Angola? What about fuel availability? Minefields?

I'm on an F650 GS Dakar, still have some luggage and spare tyres, so the bike is fairly heavy. My range is about 500km with extra fuel bag but I can carry more fuel if recommended.

Planning at this stage to go like this: Matadi or Songololo to Uige - Camabatela - Lucala - Malanje - Cacolo - Saurimo - Luau - Mucussueje - Caianda and then cross into Zambia at Jimbe, near where Angola, the DRC and Zambia meet.

For navigation I rely much on hand signals from locals and I have a Michelin map of southern Africa, not very detailed. Does anyone know of a decent map shop / bookshop / institution between Abuja and Kinshasa where I could buy something more detailed?

ANY firsthand info will be appreciated!

Kobus
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Old 14 May 2010
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"Matadi or Songololo to Uige - Camabatela - Lucala - Malanje - Cacolo - Saurimo - Luau - Mucussueje - Caianda and then cross into Zambia at Jimbe, near where Angola, the DRC and Zambia meet."

You (and everybody else) should avoid crossing at Matadi - Songololo to Congo-Mbanza then Nzeto is a much better route (mainly because the Congo-Mbanza to Nzeto route is either good tarmac or good piste).

However if you want to go to Uige then there is a crossing near Kinshantu (?) in the DRC about 100km from Kinshasa on the good sealed road towards Matadi. There is a great old Belgian church being restored there which lets you camp if your nice and give a donation, and the remains of some botanical gardens being restored a few km away. It is a nice place to spend a few days and this part of DRC (Congo Bas) is quite friendly.

The piste pretty much goes straight south to Uige. I investigated taking it, but was told it was very bad piste all of the way, even on the DRC side. I meet somebody in Kinshasa that had came that way - average speed 20km/ph all the way.

That area of Angola was badly ravaged during the war - expect landmines to be everywhere - go to the toilet on the piste unless there is a fresh track to follow etc.

That is all I know sorry. The pistes in Angola when not maintained are truly awful. It is really expensive - $10 american for a piece of grilled chicken etc etc. But bread and local market food was cheap enough.

I found Angolans to be on a par with Nigerians for friendliness and helpfulness, even sometimes from the police.

Maybe ask at an Angolan embassy if that border crossing is open before doing it etc
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Old 15 May 2010
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Angola - West to East

Thanks, Yak, every bit of info helps! Also waiting for info from a Russian who has spent some time in Angola, as well as some 'connections' in Angola of an Israeli man in here Abuja. I'll post whatever info I get and update once I'm through.

Any other info from anyone else welcome.

Thanks!
Kobus
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