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-   -   Road conditions south of Dakar to Sierra Leone (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/sub-saharan-africa/road-conditions-south-dakar-sierra-22976)

JonnyRichards 1 Sep 2006 12:21

Road conditions south of Dakar to Sierra Leone
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get a feeling on how the road conditions are or will be south of Dakar til Sierra Leone. I'm driving to Sierra Leone in March of next year and I'm worried that south of Dakar the roads will destroy my Landcruiser.

Does anyone know?



Kevin 9 Sep 2006 15:09

In fairness if you are worried that the Landcruiser is going to get destroyed in Africa it's probably best to stay at home and take it to the Lake District for the weekend.

Most roads in Senegal sre good tar, some stretches are potholed. Conakry can be easily done in the dry season by any 2WD with decent ground clearance like a van or a 2CV.

Sierra Leone I dunno.

JonnyRichards 10 Sep 2006 09:15

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the advice. I'm actually running a charity drive to Sierra Leone with 5 Landcruisers going to the anti-traffiking activities of UNICEF there. The team are worried that the vehicles will be useless when we get there. I'm less worried about that and more worried about the political situation in Guinea.

Do you have any knowledge/experience of the situation in Guinea at the moment?



Kevin 16 Sep 2006 11:31

Hi Johnny

Guinea is for the most part fine, the police are a bit more keen than in other countries but the people and the landscape are excellent, certainly along with Bissau West Africa's most beautiful country.

That said the south east is extremley dangerous although I haven't been there since 2002. It's all about diamonds and the overspill from the conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast.

I suggest you find more info on this area before you go there (if you intend to go there) but it's also a bit off your route.


moggy 1968 17 Sep 2006 11:32

You'll have no problems as far as the senegalise border. the new rd betwen Nouackchott and Nouadhibou (spelling?) is very good. Once in Senegal they aren't as good, also the police in senegal were the worst on our trip, absolute nightmare,especially in St Louis, even though we were a charity (running 2 lanndcruisers).

Probably the worst stretch of rd is the last stretch runnning down to diama barrage. It is very potholed with big corrugations and washouts, my mate bent a wheel here, which takes some doing on a landcruiser, I'm amazed he didn't take his axle off! fortunately this bad stretch doesn't last too long. I would still rather take this route than rosso! the roads can be very potholed and when we did it 3 years ago in the PDC a lot of the cars bent rims, but this year in the 'cruisers it was just a bit uncomfortable. the rd down to and around Banjul are pretty good, south of there I can't help you as that is a far as we went.

with a bit of care though you shouldn't do any damage to your vehicles on this stretch, we were on a tight timescale and running old H60s and they survived, and we had already done 1000 miles of piste driving.

JonnyRichards 17 Sep 2006 22:24

Thanks guys for the really good advice.

Essentially, we are driving from Hull to Sierra Leone down the Atlantic road.

I had heard that vehicles over 5 years old are not allowed in Guinea also only LHD vehicles are allowed.

Do you know anything about that?

And I presume, we can drive this route without Carnet de Passage?

I didn't realise there was a new road between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott. Is is metalled?

When we get down to Bissau, do you know what the roads are like to Conakry? My Michelin 741 says that some of the roads are impassible during the rainy season. Does that mean that they are just earth tracks that break up in the rains?

If any of you guys have the time then do feel free to have I look at my latest project plan downloadable from hullfreedomtrail.com.



moggy 1968 18 Sep 2006 04:13

the road is metalled as of last year. you are supposed to have a carnet for senegal if your vehicle is over 5 years old, but in reality you can get a laissez passer at the border. we paid 80Euro + a coat for 2 landcruisers. you will need a carnet if you are driving RHD vehicles to get into The Gambia. LHD is not a problem. you won't get in without a carnet if you are in RHD. If you have a carnet you can't even dispose of the vehicles in a country that does not require carnets, they must come back to the UK.
we managed to get into Gambia with RHD without a carnet on the basis we were donating the vehicles to a charity, but that required letters of authorisation from customs and chief of police, achieved through contacts within the charity.

JonnyRichards 18 Sep 2006 10:12

Hi Moggy 1968,

It's really good to talk to you because we are wanting to donate our vehicles to UNICEF in Sierra Leone.

We will be travelling with a certain cameraman who filmed Ewan Mcgregor's Long Way Round series and he has quite a few contacts in this area.

Do you know what we need to do to get leave the vehicles in country?

Many thanks


PS. If this would benefit from a telephone conversation them please let me know and I'll call you!

moggy 1968 18 Sep 2006 19:10

I don't know what you will need in sierra leone, if anything, but for the Gambia you need to speak to the customs people and the head of police there. I believe that the British consul in senegal also covers Gambia (we bumped into him at the gambian border). he might be handy as your first port of call, although if you are heading right through if push came to shove then you could bypass Gambia. For Sierra leone I would speak directly to the charity, if they are benefiting from your activities they ahev a vested interest in trying to sort it out for you. If you want you can email me. my address is the same as my user name (without the space) @hotmail.com


JonnyRichards 22 Sep 2006 15:26

Good advice - thanks Andy.


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