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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 8 Oct 2008
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Unhappy It is all being paved!!

We recently rode from Munich to Cape Town and two of the highlights of our journey were the ride through Sudan from Wadi Halfa to Dongola and the northern Kenya section from Moyale to Isiolo. Both tough rides but in hindsight (!) fantastic experiences.

When we went through Sudan we saw evidence of the road construction:



I just read a newspaper report about elephant poaching in Kenya is getting worse again because the Chinese are building a road north to Ethiopia:

"But Chinese newcomers may be stimulating the local market for poached ivory. Close to Archer's Post, a desolate settlement of tin-roof shacks 190 miles north of Nairobi, dust rose from a shallow mine where a Chinese engineer in a wide-brimmed straw hat had just detonated high explosives.
From across the scorched floor of the valley came the distant clank of heavy machinery at the Chinese work camp, where rocks released by the explosions are broken down to gravel to build a new road running to the border with Ethiopia."

I guess soon enough we'll be able to ride a K1200LT from Munich to Cape Town...
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  #2  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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Yes its a damned shame for us overlanding types. You'll always be able to find crap roads in Africa but it just makes the whole Cape to Cairo seem that less adventurous.

If you're thinking of doing this trip do it NOW!
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  #3  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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Hi Ekke, glad you made it home safe.

Yes it is a great pity!

North Sudan (Wadi-Dongolo-Meroe) - "Man for Roads and Bridges Company"; North Ethiopia (Metema-Gondor) - Japan Sponsored road; North Kenya (Moyale-Isiolo) - Chinese = All tarred in the next 3-5 years.

These sections of road being the highlights of our trip as well, it will take the challenge out of the route so go do it now.

Where to next...West Africa?!?

Charlie
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  #4  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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Thumbs down Typical chinese quality

In Western Africa the chinese are working on the roads as well. See the many Angola threads in this section. But I wouldn't be to worried. The quality of the chinese roads is so bad (5 cm tar on top of gravel) that within 5 years they'll be completely fu**ed up again. Then the real challenge starts, like still in Angola, endless potholes. And by the time they are ready with logging and all the trees are gone, they will stop maintaining the roads too. So the end is nearing, don't know whether that is a good thing though

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Noel
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  #5  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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On the up-side there will be some awesome chow-mein & peking duck on future trans-africa's, instead of fried goats & injured chickens

Sorry I'm being flippant, it is a shame really.

I was most disappointed to see the new road at Dongola, as tough as the desert riding was.

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Old 8 Oct 2008
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I had forgotten Metema to Gonder...

Right, that was a rough stretch of road too though no-one fell off so maybe it wasn't as memorable. They were working on the road when we went through though:



Nice to hear from you Charles! Say "Hi!" to Rensche from us!
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  #7  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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Unhappy

just how selfish and brainless can one be ?

people living in africa should remain with dirt tracks as main transport links such that filthy rich overlanding types can have their allroad "adventures"?

people die every day because of the time it takes to reach hospital over their lousy roads.
But that's not your problem, is it?

Because of poor infrastructure, high transport costs make goods & trading more expensive for the poorest, the further upcountry you go.
But that's not your problem, you've got money enough anyway.

Probably the africans should remain poor and jobless too, such that they can entertain you with their smiles, sitting under an old mango tree?
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Old 9 Oct 2008
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This exact theme with similar responses has been made on numerous occassions on these boards. So in summary: "Yes we accept progress. Yes we are glad that roads are being built into these areas which will spur on economic growth and improve the quality of life for millions. Are we sad that we will not be able to ride that section of road which will become just like any other stretch of tar road with settlements scattered along it's length? Yes. Are we allowed to reminise over fond memories? yes."
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  #9  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uganduro View Post
just how selfish and brainless can one be ?

people living in africa should remain with dirt tracks as main transport links such that filthy rich overlanding types can have their allroad "adventures"?

people die every day because of the time it takes to reach hospital over their lousy roads.
But that's not your problem, is it?

Because of poor infrastructure, high transport costs make goods & trading more expensive for the poorest, the further upcountry you go.
But that's not your problem, you've got money enough anyway.

Probably the africans should remain poor and jobless too, such that they can entertain you with their smiles, sitting under an old mango tree?
I'll stress what I said in my first post (in capitals so its easier to read where the emphasis is)

"Yes its a damned shame FOR US OVERLANDING TYPES"

At no point in this thread was it suggested by the three well travelled contributors that progress in infrastructure development was not a good thing for the locals or much needed.

Find a different thread to moan in buddy
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  #10  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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I hear they are planning to pave sections of the Sani Pass in South Africa / Lesotho too.
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  #11  
Old 10 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekke View Post
When we went through Sudan we saw evidence of the road construction:
That gives you a choice - old dirt road - or new sealed road .. the best of both ..
if either road is badly damaged then the other becomes a possiblity ..
or if you prefer one to the other you take your preference..

---------------------- If it is anything like the Australian road 'system' .. you can always go a different way .. could be a long way around though.
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  #12  
Old 10 Oct 2008
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Whoa!

Uganduro, I think you're way off calling me "selfish and brainless" so let's take this over to the HU Bar where we can properly discuss the socio-economic impacts of paving Africa.

In the meantime, yes, Sani Pass is being paved too:



Quote:
Originally Posted by uganduro View Post
just how selfish and brainless can one be ?

people living in africa should remain with dirt tracks as main transport links such that filthy rich overlanding types can have their allroad "adventures"?

people die every day because of the time it takes to reach hospital over their lousy roads.
But that's not your problem, is it?

Because of poor infrastructure, high transport costs make goods & trading more expensive for the poorest, the further upcountry you go.
But that's not your problem, you've got money enough anyway.

Probably the africans should remain poor and jobless too, such that they can entertain you with their smiles, sitting under an old mango tree?
__________________
Ekke Kok

'84 R100RT 141,000 km (Dad's!)
'89 R100GS 250,000 km (and ready for another continent)
'07 R1200GS Adventure 100,000 km (just finished Circumnavigating Asia)


www.ekke-audrey.ca
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  #13  
Old 4 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uganduro View Post
people die every day because of the time it takes to reach hospital over their lousy roads.
But that's not your problem, is it?

Because of poor infrastructure, high transport costs make goods & trading more expensive for the poorest, the further upcountry you go.
But that's not your problem, you've got money enough anyway.

This is a very social thought but I am afraid that in practice the locals can only enjoy these advantages for 1 year or so. Knowing chinese roadbuilding it means the 1" tarmac will not hold very long over the poorly prepared structure underneath. And for a car or truck, driving over potholed tarmac takes longer and gives higher transport costs than over any dirtroad. If they build a road it should be done right, if not is it just wasting money, but that seems to belong to Africa too.
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  #14  
Old 4 Nov 2008
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Thumbs up

Hey, it's not just the chinese! I have seen so many crap roads that are in that condition only due to contractors, consulting engineers and transportation officials lining their pockets at the expense of quality road construction. These contracting companies include: - Italian - German - Irish - Lebanese - Oh and Chinese! - Oh and African too! Gil
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