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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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  #16  
Old 11 Dec 2012
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Getting to Luozi / Crossing Congo in Rainy Season

Agree with observations in last post - we past through the first section (North of the River) on our own in a 4x4..... rains would have made it hard as the earth is like a sandy clay - so when wet, it becomes hard going / slippy. We diverted to the more remote ferry from Pioka crossing (upstream from Luozi) more by accident than design - we had only one record of a previous overland couple using this ferry.

The drive from the river bank (South of Pioka) once you get dropped off is HARD and defo not worth attempting on your own in the wet as there are many steep hills and several areas of reeds, bogs, ditches, ruts and potholes you can easily drive into. Going off the road without a winch or 2nd vehicle to assist would make this hard going. There is no traffic on this track or many people for the first 5km, 3 sections are little more than ridges with 10+ foot deep eroded potholes on the sides - if your vehicle falls into one you will get seriously stuck. (I cant comment on the state of the road South of the River from Luozi)

Brazz / Kin ferry best option in rains unless you are looking for a proper African road 4x4 / bike experience !!!!

HTH
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  #17  
Old 13 Dec 2012
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I drove from Kinshasa (Bonobo sanctuary) to Brazzaville last week in 2 days. Day 1 I drove until Luozi (had to wait for the ferry for 2 hours, but the villagers were very kind) and slept at the catholic mission in Luozi after registration with the police chief, Freddy. Day 2 we took the allegedly horrible road to Boko, but it wasn't like that at all. It had been dry for a few days and the road was absolutely very doable. Nothing to complain about.

Ferry costs about USD 15 and registration with the police USD 10 (the latter was unavoidable, and may be real to some extent, at least I got a receipt and I was guaranteed not to pay at any other police/immigration office anymore, which proved to be true. Very kind and very easy immigration and custom officials on the way). Very cheap, I would say, if you compare it with the ferry in Kinshasa. If we would have taken that route with our Landcruiser, it would have taken at least USD 600, excluding bribes, potential damage to our LC because of the crane, a lot of trouble with immigration and customs (our visa were issued in Lusaka, which means that they probably would have said that these are invalid), and lots of hassle in general. And probably at least as much time. So take the Luozi route if there is the slightest chance of a dry road.

B.t.w.: we only have had very good experiences in DRC with police/immigration/customs officials and the DRC people. Maybe we were lucky, but it seems to me that to some extent DRC's reputation is unjust.
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