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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 11 Jan 2011
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Gabon-Congo border crossings

Dear travelers,

This is not strictly a biker-related question, as we're traveling on public transport, but bikers would have answers and the answers will be helpful to bikers.

We’re seeking information from anybody who has traveled overland from Gabon to Republic of Congo. We’re heading to Angola, and the next major stop from Gabon would preferably be Pointe-Noire. We’d like to avoid the Poole region for obvious reasons (the Ninja security situation).

We’re looking at three border crossings:

1. Ndende, Gabon, and onward to the nearby border at Doussala, and from there to Dolisie, where we’ll try to get the train to Pointe-Noire. Based on our limited information, this is the preferred option. The route is labeled a "national highway," but that means little. From one biker blog (Torstens Great Escape), we understand there’s a Catholic Mission in Doussala, but other information is thin on the ground. How much traffic is there on this route? What’s the likelihood of getting a lift or, in the worst case, hiring a car? Has anybody attempted this during the rainy season, and if so, in wet conditions, where does the road become passable again?

2. Mbinda. There’s an account of crossing here in the most recent Congo Bradt guide, and it sounds difficult, even by Congo standards. Any information would be helpful. That route links up with the "national highway" mentioned above, which then goes on to Dolisie.

3. Leconi, near Franceville. This route would have to go through Brazzaville and Kinshasa, which we’d like to avoid entirely – and if we’re to avoid Pool, we’d have to enter DRC in Brazza and therefore bypass Pointe-Noire.

We’re looking for information and advice on border issues, transport, food and accommodation options, hopefully from somebody with direct experience of these routes. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Scott and Roger WanderingSavage.com
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