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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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Old 1 Nov 2011
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Plotting a route through West / Central Africa

Hi- I'm plotting a trip from Austria through to West Africa and ultimately Equatorial Guinea, in time (hopefully!) for the Cup of Nations at the end of January. I'm travelling (for various reasons) without the bike this time , but this seems to be the best place around for up-to-date info on this part of the world....hope no-one has any objections!

The potential African leg is currently: Mor/Mau/Sen/Mali/Bur-Fa/Niger/Chad/Cam/Eq G. I realise Niger and Chad aren't the safest places in the world right now. I'd be taking the most direct route across southern Niger, which seems to escape the most serious travel warnings. Chad's more of a worry, but I'll only be covering 300ish kms in the north-west corner (as quickly as possible!), keeping as low a profile as I can. Alternatively, if I can wangle a visa for Nigeria somewhere en route (eg Bamako, which someone apparently managed fairly recently) I might prefer to go that way instead.

I'm planning to leave in the next few days, so will get all visas on the way. Could ask you good people to take a look at the current visa strategy (assuming I do go via Niger/ Chad) and let me know if you can see any holes / have any advice? I've got a UK passport.

Mauretania: In Rabat

Senegal: On arrival

Mali: In Rabat / Dakar

Burkina Faso: Rabat / Bamako

Niger: Bamako ( or attempt to get the 5 country visa in Ouagaougou/ elsewhere... any up-to-date info on this?)

Chad: The LP site says it's possible to get a visa in Niger, but I can't find any evidence that an embassy actually exists there... or that Chad have representation anywhere else in West Africa.

Any advice / tips very much appreciated. I'll report back here with up-to-date practical info in a few months time for anyone else passing through.

Many thanks! Matt
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Old 4 Nov 2011
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Matty,

Hey there. My friend and I have just returned to the UK from doing your route but continuing down to RSA. A couple things we thought were amazing:

Tour of the south of Burkina Faso- my mates battery broke so we stayed we some locals and found the scenary and the hospitality to be incredible.

(the croc farm to the west of ouga is pretty cool)
(our southern route: Leo-Po-Zabre and onwards west to Benin)

We got a Nigeria visa in the Gambia (a very short detour and provides a fun easterly journey back into Senegal via George Town)
The west east journey from Benin to Nigeria (we crossed in at Kosubosu) was one of the most remote journeys (and fun) for the first 100km heading n
orth in the forest. Beware the road is not good enough for transport unless it is a local bike)

Our crossing from Nigeria to Cameroon was the highlight of the trip. we went via Bissoula (Nigeria) to the highlands and the track becomes unpassable again for vehicles and only good on local motorbikes. There are various villages on the route who were, as is the usual, so hospitable and do not see any whites or gov officials so the local chief is king.

anyway those were our highlights...until gabon and both congos.
get in touch if you want any other info or have a read of Sim Simma
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Old 6 Nov 2011
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Hey Jules, thanks so much for the tips / advice. Sounds (and looks) like you had a great trip.

Interesting about the Nigerian visa in The Gambia... which month did you get it? I've now seen recent(ish) reports of people picking them up in Gambia, Lome and Bamako- Promising!

Can I ask where you picked up your Cameroon & Gabon visas, and how much you paid?

I'll definitely look into crossing into Cam at Bissaula. Must be rough- Google Maps doesn't even show a road.... or are you talking about the route just a tiny bit north via Abong / Gembu? Would it be at all feasible to get through there with moto-taxis? And how about that crossing out of Gambia via Georgetown... any likelihood of transport over the border, or is it as wild a spot as it looks?

Thanks again!
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