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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 1 Dec 2009
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east or west coast?

Hi there,

As a part of my RTW trip, I'm planning on crossing Africa south to north. Which coast should I take? east or west?. Do you have a suggested route on Google Maps I can use?.
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Old 1 Dec 2009
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West then East..

I would combine the two.

Cape Town
Namibia, follow as much of the coast as you can until you get to Angola
Cross Caprivi
Jump into Botswana
Get the ferry into Zambia
Malawi, drive down to southern lakeshore
Cross into Mozambique
Up the east coast, Mozambique, Tanzania/Zanzibar/Pemba, Kenya/Lamu
From Nairobi, head to Ethiopia via Lake Turkana or Moyale.
Then keep going north.

If you've got the time have a look at Uganda and Rwanda.

You can drive on tar all the way to Nairobi, please don't...
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Old 1 Dec 2009
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Other suggestions?
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Old 3 Dec 2009
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check out my route on OverAfrica - overland, over Africa - you can do either west or east coast according to the "standard" routes as shown on my map (google maps)

Angola is the biggest issue for the west coast route - getting a visa is almost impossible. Check out the DRC thread I contributed to on the HUBB for details on the Angolan visa.

The route "Mangochi Taxi" (assuming that that's not his real name!) suggested is the most popular / classic overland route for Africa - relatively easy going (until you hit northern Kenya), combines most of what people come to Africa looking for (big 5 game, African villages and locals, corruption, crazy experiences, African sunsets etc...!)

The west coast is not at all geared up for tourism and is much more of a slog than the east coast. It really depends on what you're looking for. (read my journal on OverAfrica - overland, over Africa to get an idea of our experiences on each coast)

OverAfrica - overland, over Africa
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Old 3 Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by steve.lorimer View Post
Angola is the biggest issue for the west coast route - getting a visa is almost impossible.
Almost impossible? C’mon that way overstates the issue.

It’s true that the Angola visa can be vexing. You want to do your research and monitor reports here, and Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum is another good source. Have all your ducks in a row.

The vast majority of overlanders who apply for Angola visas receive them. I’m aware of two sets of motorcyclists denied – one set southbound in DRC in 2007, and one set northbound in Namibia in 2009. Meanwhile dozens if not hundreds have received Angola visas.

I haven’t ridden the east side yet, but did love the west side. It can be challenging but the adventures are fantastic.
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