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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 31 Aug 2010
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Getting visas in advance

Seems like a lot of time that could be spent enjoying countries gets spent hanging out in capitals waiting for visas to come through ( or going from one border crossing to another). Angola/DRC visas... for example

Which visas can be got in advance of a trip and what does that mean in terms of dates and fees?

If anyone knows, it would be great to share this info!

Thanks, D
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Old 2 Sep 2010
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Get them on the way

I've gone down the East coast and am now going up the West coast (in Angola now) and I've gotten all the visas on the way. They normally only take a day or so, but the real benefits are:
-No schedule, just because you only have so long for a trip doesn't mean you know how long each country will take, if you get the Visas before hand you have to stagger them and just guess at where you'll be when. No to mention what happens if you have a breakdown.
-It's usually easier and they want less to get a Visa in a neighboring country than at home. When you apply from home many African countries want a letter of invite , etc, etc, but in Africa that can be avoided most times.
-Theft. Your passport may get stolen/lost- that is a huge hassle. Now think of the hassle if you happen to have $500USD worth of visas in it? Think they'll reissue them for free? This also applies to change of plans (have to cut the trip short or delay it- there goes all that visa money).

I've also talked to people who have come down the west and they generally agree that getting the visas on the way is best. Check the site for the best cities to get what and I think you'll be okay.
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Old 2 Sep 2010
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Sounds very sensible! Thanks DRad. So you even got the fabled Angola visa or is it the 5 day transit pass?
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Old 2 Sep 2010
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I lucked out and have a full 30 day tourist visa. But, maybe it wasn't all luck...

I got it in Cape Town (though they all get processed through Luanda) and it was a pain in the ass. They really make you jump through hoops and the 5-7day processing time is wildly optimistic. If you really have yourself in gear and get things done Bam-Bam book on two weeks from arrival in CT to leaving with your visa. It's not just getting the visa that takes time, it's getting the translations, the letter of invite, etc. Some of it you can start ahead of time. Actually, I'll make a post right now on the translator and the lady to go for for a letter of invite.
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