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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 25 Mar 2011
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ghana to cape town

hi all
so i will be in ghana for 5 months while studying. i have plan to by a bike (nothing to big klr 650, tenere, gs 650) get use to riding around accra before heading down to cape town. i will leave ghana around december and have to fly out of jo,burg early march. so here come the questions (they may have already been asked but i have been searching all over and can't quite get the answers)
- is it hard to buy a bike in accra? not after new
- if i buy a bike in ghana will insurance cover me for the trip or will i need different insurence in each country?
- how hard will it be to sell the bike in south africa? can it be done?
- is my timeline to tight?
- are there any must see/ride/avoid destinations along the way?

i heard alot of talk about carnets everybody seems to say something different but i think i will try without one

i am new to this sort of thing (bikes and forums) so i would appreciate any help you could give me.
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Old 25 Mar 2011
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A 650 is a huge bike by Ghana standards. I see them around every now and then, but they tend to look pretty beat up and Africanized (which means lots of highly suspect repairs done to less-than-First-World-standards).

Bikes also tend to be expensive in Ghana. If I wanted one to ride around for 5 months I'd bring my own from Europe or North America. In fact, even riding a couple of weeks at a stretch once a year I'm always on the verge of bringing my own. I've been renting 150's and 200's, since those are by far the most common sizes I find there.

You can buy Ecowas insurance which will cover you throughout West Africa. Seems to me last time I bothered to buy, it cost me something like US$20/30 cedis per month, but don't quote me. Beyond that you're on your own, but others will surely chime in. The whole issue of insurance is subject to lots of differing opinions about, for example, whether it's ever going to do you any good if you're in an accident. My vote is no, as a general rule, but it might forestall some extortion attempts from time to time.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 25 Mar 2011
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Hi OzRider,

sounds like a plan you have there.

I wouldn't worry to much yet. Just go to Ghana, get a feel for the continent, and decide what you want to do. When you live there you are going to make contacts that will help you a lot, i.e. mechanics, expats etc.

Big bikes are not easy to come by and perversely expensive for what you get. I think you will be happier with a small Japanese bike (Yamaha DT 175?).

The carnet (or rather lack thereof) will pose a problem once you reach Namibia, but people have gotten through without it. Remember, in Africa there is always a way. Friends of mine without a carnet camped in front of a Nigerian customs post for 2 nights, had to draft a paper describing their "mission", get ten thousand stamps on it, and even talked their way out of having to pay.

The time is OK.

Just browse the HUBB, read some blogs (http://www.africa-overland.net), look into visas (and where best to get them).


Don't worry about anything right now. For now, the best preparation would be learning some French. Trust me, when you're there, you'll be glad for every word you know.
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Old 25 Mar 2011
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Ah, you're an ozranger not rider.

And remember: Learn French (Je voudrais une bière froide. Non, j'ai pas un cadeaux pour vous.)
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Old 27 Mar 2011
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thanks for your help guys

these smaller bike 150-200cc how do the go with the weight of gear?(i do travel pretty light) finding parts? initial cost? i saw the guy who went around the world on the postie bike (ct110) so it could be done.
i was more then open to these small bikes. it just seems most people blogging are on pretty big machines.

the french lessons will start real soon. and then i have the 5 months in ghana

thanks again
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Old 27 Mar 2011
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I'm not saying I think you'll be happy on a small bike; that's for you to decide. I'm just saying it might not be easy to find a larger one in any sort of reliable condition. And if you think 650 is "nothing too big," as you said in your first post, you might need to adjust expectations.

Good luck!

Mark
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