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  #1  
Old 19 Nov 2011
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Niger - Chad- Cameroon Road Conditions ?

Hi !

I am currently in Cotonou / Benin and after waiting a long time for sparparts and a new visa card ( been robbed ) the nigerian consulor finally forgot his promise 3 weeks ago that he can give me a 2 weeks transit visa. I will try a last time on monday, but if it really doesn´t work out I have to find another solution.

Is it possible to ride Niger - Chad - Cameroon on a classic 125cc Vespa ??

I don´t find any information about this route and my maps are at a friends place that is currently in another city.

How about road / piste condition ?? Extremely sandy parts ?

I know Chad isn´t a walk in the park but what would be the easiest way to get from Niamey to Yaounde ? Maybe i´ll get a Nigerian visa in Niamey too, maybe I even get one on monday here in Cotonou but the problem is my Benin Visa expires on tuesday !

Any suggestions, links on road conditions highly appreciated !!!


greetings from cotonou ( the pope is actually here and the whole city is going crazy )

chris
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  #2  
Old 19 Nov 2011
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Lake Chad Route

Quote:
Extremely sandy parts ?
I've not done it but that's what I've heard so I imagine it might be a struggle on a Vespa. Easier option: get a Nigerian visa and nip through the NE corner of Niger in a day, depending on where exactly the unrest is up there.

Ch



C1 Nguigmi – Ndjamena (The Lake Chad Route) [620km]
(from 2003)

Description
This route takes an inner course close to the lake with a landscape of savannah with many trees and wadis. You’ll see many small villages, and nomads with goats and camels. A carnet for the car is not necessary. At both customs you can buy a laissez-passer for a couple of thousand CFA. Passing through Bol is not compulsory, although it’s the only place on the route where you can actually see Lake Chad. No one asks for car insurance, like almost everywhere in Chad.
People can be quite nasty, especially in Massakori and Bol. Often kids throw stones at passing cars. Some Germans we met had to pay a lot of money because a small boy asking for a cadeau was hurt when they opened the door of their car. It was not their fault, they said, but the police forced them to pay – ‘a lot’, they said. We heard many similar stories.

Route-finding and markers
Navigation is the main problem on this route, especially around the many small towns between Bol and Nguigmi, where many tracks come together. Looking at the Michelin 741 map, it seems that there are two routes; a main one via Mao and this lesser one closer to the lake via Bol. The Mao route may well exist, but all traffic these days seems to go through Bol and we saw no obvious split in the piste that may have gone to Mao.
All border formalities except carnets are completed in Daboua (not on any map). GPS is only helpful to find the towns. On many parts of this itinerary the main route seems to be changing all the time.

Fuel
Petrol and diesel can be bought at many places, but mostly at high prices. Better to fill up in Nguigmi (or better still, Diffa, nearer to Nigeria and so probably cheaper) or Ndjamena.

Water
Many wells, although the water is not always good. Ask the locals.
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  #3  
Old 20 Nov 2011
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I would get an extension on you Benin visa and then focus on the Nigerian visa. Surely it would be a lot easier to drive to Yaounde in a straight line. Have you got experience on piste driving with the vespa? I drove a vespa for 20 years, but the lake chad route I wouldn't even take on with my xt660z with luggage.
Could you explain how you got robbed? This is one of my fears along the way, was there anything you could have done to prevent it?
Be safe, Tony
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  #4  
Old 20 Nov 2011
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I drove the Lake Chad route ten years ago.

There isn't really a route, there are a lot of tracks but they are totally different then the maps indicate.
I think I drove 400 kms from Nguigmi to Bol, but I had a 40 km detour. It might be wise to prepare for 500kms.
Navigation is an issue, there is a lot of blind tracks stopping at villages. You can drive closer to the lake then it looks on the maps - but don't go to close.

The first part after Nguigmi is very sandy, then there is a rocky part before the soft sandy tracks starts. As I saw it the sandy tracks are the worst because they are deep and most of the time you have to drive in the tracks to avoid the bush with a lot of huge thorns.
I'm not sure if a Vespa has enough ground-clearance to follow the tracks.

Personally I didn't see any fuel between Nguigmi and Bol but I carried enough fuel and didn't look for it. There are quite a few villages but most of them are empty (nomadic people?) and the rest is simply a group of huts and a few people.
I think the trucks drive further from the lake and I just saw one other vehicle. If you get problems you might have to wait for a long time.

There is a road that starts a while before Bol but it's in terrible shape, some of the potholes are more then two meters deep and they will easily swallow both you and your Vespa. From Bol it gets easier but there is a lot of fech fech, covering an extremely bad road. We are not talking soft sand anymore, this is the real stuff! I can't remember where the tarmac starts.

Personally I wouldn't have done it on a Vespa, but I'm not familiar with it's limitations. I would also have carried all my food, water and petrol.
There might be possible to get a ride on a truck from Nguigmi, I don't have any information about this.
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  #5  
Old 20 Nov 2011
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I have experiences with piste riding on a vespa which is not a bit problem but if a lot of sand comes into play it can get a little bit wild. Did a lot of sand in the dogon country, and that was pretty hardcore but people told me even guys with teneres had problemes there.

Got robbed in the late evening in cotonou on the street, my fault, caused by a broken down moped of my friend in a dogy area. No need to be affraid about robery here in westafrica more than in Barcelona or Paris, seriously.

Anybody got pictures of the worst parts of that route ? I am always at the wrong place at the wrong time. When I was in bamako, there were no nigerian visas or let me say it was a pain in the ass to get a visa that in the end was not like they promised a 3 month but a 1 month and now in cotonou they behave like the biggest, incompetent dick heads, screw them ...

Anybody know the situation in Niamey for Nigeria Visas ?

greetings chris
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  #6  
Old 20 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.perjalanan View Post
I have experiences with piste riding on a vespa which is not a bit problem but if a lot of sand comes into play it can get a little bit wild. Did a lot of sand in the dogon country, and that was pretty hardcore but people told me even guys with teneres had problemes there.
It's a lot of sand and the tracks are deep and soft. I think the Vespa might be to low and will get stuck in the sides of the tracks. The first section is small dunes.
I'm not saying it's impossible to do it, but it was pretty hard alone on a motorbike and I think it will be much harder (to hard?) on a Vespa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.perjalanan View Post
Anybody got pictures of the worst parts of that route ?
No sorry, my films got confiscated by the army.
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  #7  
Old 24 Nov 2011
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Let me know if you need an invitation letter for the Nigerian visa

What exactly is the problem at the consulate?
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  #8  
Old 28 Nov 2011
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Hi.

Finally one day before my benin visa expired got the visa for ridiculous 50.000cfa, on the visa itself its written 23.500 and in the end it was a 10 day transit visa even though he promised me a 2 weeks one. Anybody who is thinking about getting the nigerian visa in cotonou, prepare for plenty of headache I was close to slap this wankers face as he handed over the passport.

Currently I am in lagos, going to benin city tomorrow morning. Have to get to calabar to get cameroon visa

@ inyang

What is your expert opinion on which route i should take from benin city to calabar ? Is it save to drive the way through Port Harcourt ? Ekok - Mamfe crossing advisible at the moment ?

greetings from Lagos Shomolu

Chris
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  #9  
Old 28 Nov 2011
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Ekok Mamfe is pretty bad, my friends just fried their clutch just 10 km onto that road, lots of deep mud. The more Northern crossing is supposed to be easier but a big detour.
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  #10  
Old 29 Nov 2011
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I don't think It is remotely doable on a vespa.

-dont' really know the fuel mileage on a vespa - but on a 600 XL It took me 1 tank (20 L ) + 1 Jerrycan (20 L ) and I have to buy in a village before making it to Bol. It is lots of 1st gear full-throttle-fry-ur-clutch .And I am talking about a big trail bike , with knobby tires.

So .. no. Its not doable on vespa.

however .. theres some geezer on Nguimi that arranges rides for bikers ,from Nguimi to Bol . (in Bol It is compacted earth/tarmac to Njamena) . It charges around 150 Eur.. I didnt took it . But lots of bikers do.

It is most unwise do it on a motorcycle (whichever type ) on your own . I would never repeat it again . Until Nnguimi ...It is just populated sahara. From nguimi .. you are on the emptyness of ruthless desert. . If you have a crash (and with the sand that happens every hour ) no-one will ever find you. If you have a fall and break yourself something .. .no-one will ever find you . And also there's the issue that the people around there are not friendly at all .
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  #11  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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Hi Chris,
Just logged on to forum. Replied your PM

Been on the road past 4 days


Benin-Onitsha-Owerri-Port Harcourt

From Port Harcourt go through Ogoni route to Uyo then Calabar

Avoid Aba! I have not passed through Aba in last 4 years or so.

Where are you now?

I did the Ekok Mamfe road 4 years ago on a GS and it took 6 hours to do 50km or so. If the road has not been fixed, bye bye your scooter unless you get a truck to carry it

There is a ferry from Calabar to (close to-) Douala you may want to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.perjalanan View Post
Hi.

Finally one day before my benin visa expired got the visa for ridiculous 50.000cfa, on the visa itself its written 23.500 and in the end it was a 10 day transit visa even though he promised me a 2 weeks one. Anybody who is thinking about getting the nigerian visa in cotonou, prepare for plenty of headache I was close to slap this wankers face as he handed over the passport.

Currently I am in lagos, going to benin city tomorrow morning. Have to get to calabar to get cameroon visa

@ inyang

What is your expert opinion on which route i should take from benin city to calabar ? Is it save to drive the way through Port Harcourt ? Ekok - Mamfe crossing advisible at the moment ?

greetings from Lagos Shomolu

Chris
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  #12  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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Meetings across Nigeria, some places I passed through

https://picasaweb.google.com/1020946...eekinNovember#
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  #13  
Old 4 Dec 2011
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Currently in Calabar, met some lebanese guys and now stay with them. Family has very good connections, managed to make one month visa extention for free. Went through Aba, pretty dodgy place indeed. Otherwise, my Nigeria transit was long but abnsolutely not as bad as i thought. Met really really nice and hospitable people, basicly slept every days at peoples houses I met on the street.

aeet inyang ...

Got your message too late, arrived in Port Harcourt from Benin City at 9 in the evening and acctually got a room a Rollys Hotel for free as i told the manager about my trip when asking him for a place to put my tent, love nigerians.

No problem with police at all, got stopped at maybe 8 Checkpoints but always just where are you from, where are you going, lets take a photo together, bye bye, friendly guys. Even drove through maany checkpoints even though they tried to stop me but nobody tried to follow me, too lazy ...

Looking forward for cameroon, but have to fly in new front shock damper so loads of time for plenty of and ghanaian herbs

chris
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Old 19 Dec 2011
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Hi Chris,

we fried the clutch on our Tenere on Ekok to Mamfe. For you will be fairly easy as you can follow the tracks of the small chinese bikes that the locals are using without any problem. For us the difference in tire size made the clutch fry (like driving with the rear brake on all the time) Also now is way less rain (should be dry season from dec) so way easier. more recent pics on ride tales or on aour blog blog.intotheworld.eu
The north Nigeria - North Cameroon road is pretty dangerous (Boko Haram territories) but it was done safely by 2 germans w. a Land Cruiser (alpertours.de). I personally would not recommend it.
The 3rd option is the ferry from Calabar to Limbe which is the simplest option (but more $$$ ~8000naira/person + the bike).

Take care and safe riding. We're currently stuck in DRC without Angola Transit visa. I'll give more info on the thread about that.
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  #15  
Old 19 Dec 2011
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Got attaced and nearly robbed in nigeria. The roads in Kamerun are hard in rainseson...

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3
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