The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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sub-Saharan AfricaTopics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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At the initial stages of planning a trip from Ndjamena to Bangui at the end of this year (I will have been working in northern Cameroon at the time) and would really appreciate any info that is available. Particular points of interest include:
Public transport availability
Costs of everything
I will re-enter Cameroon at the end of the trip but still undecided as to where.
The Cameroon side is easy, so I will scope on CAR only here.
All officials at both sides of the border at Garoua-Boulai demand 1-2k CFA unofficial bribes. Once across the border there is minibus waiting for passengers to Bangui - do not bother to take it as most probably till the time you will finish formalities it will leave. It is extremely overcrowded also (costs c.a. 3.500 CFA to Bouar). The border is open from 9 am.
You can catch a lift in lorry cabins, pickups or small cars (on French plates, to sell in Bangui), most of them go straight to Bangui. Some make overnight stopover in Bouar, some in Boali. To Bouar it should be 3.500 - 4.000 CFA. To Bangui 8.000.
There are couple of barriers (checkpoints) on the way to Bouar, 0.5-2k CFA is what seems to be acceptable "bribe". They demand more of course, from 2 to 10k. Starting in the morning, I have arrived Bouar just before dark.
If you are a tourist, like me, prepare piece of paper with explanation in French, that you are not a tourist. I had with me written information that I am a brother of one missionary in Bouar and I am on family visit. Prepare also for questions like your mother and father names, occupation, marriage status etc. Prepare also for checking yellow fever vaccine book at every second barriere. They check also cholera jabs - if you do not have one expect further request for money to pass a barrier. I have hepatitis vaccine record in the yellow book which worked fine as cholera - they look simply for two stamps in the book.
Nowdays, checkpoints are only before and/or after towns. The worst are military guys, Bossemble is a place which locals are most afraid of, here they ask as high as 20k CFA to pass (I had paid 6k). Even worse were military "hyenas" about 20 km before Bangui.
Bouar is simple small town. I have stayed in Catholic Mission up the hill - 7000 CFA a night. You can ask here for a lift to Bangui, which is possible from time to time. In the centre are some cheap auberges in a range 2-3k CFA. There is even inetrnet cafe at the post office. Cheap food is available in the centre, here is the place also, from where all the transport leaves. Minibus to Bangui leaves at 6am, costs c.a. 6k CFA and takes more than 12 hrs, so you arrive after dark. I advise not to take is as one go and take a break in Bossembele, as going through last barriers after dark is not pleasant at all. At the km 20 checkpoint my passport was "arrested" and I had to pay 15k CFA to get it back. Than two soldiers "escorted" me through the last barriere at km 12 (more bribes) to the center of Bangui, demanding againg 15k CFA each for "security service". I had get rid of them with help of one friendly NGO worker at catholic mission, but the situation was not pleasant at all.
In Bangui I have stayed in Hotel National. Not cheap - 28k a night. Cheaper options are around km 5, but this used to be dodgy area. Please note, that guesthouse along the Cathedral Notre Dame, which used to take travellers do not take them anymore. You can however prearrange night here if a missionary from Bouar will call and "recommend" you.
In total, to get from the border to Bangui I had to cross 18 barriers and pay 75 euro in bribes (prepare stack of small CFA notes for this reason). One can question if paying all this is ok or not. Here it is simple - either you pay or stay. I have visited 34 African countries so far and never met such sharp and unpleasant approach on checkpoints. I think it is way of life here.
In terms of food there is no big problem in towns. Along the way forget about bottled water or coca-cola; small snacks like brochettes, bananas, locally made cakes are here the only option.
when we came down from Ndjamena I can't really remember that we've seen any busses, but there are lorries, pick-ups and that stuff which you might use. In Moundou there is minimum one hotel to stay but there is also a church oriented youth-project where you might ask for a room. South of Moundou you enter the dense bush and the road is terrible. In Gore is the UNHCR where you might find some help (I remember a post about this in the HUBB - someone was working there). The border is anoying on both sides and you might be hassled for money up to 15.000 CFA per post - and there are a lot. To avoid paying you need time and also look at this thread . The whole situation in northern CAR is not safe although the settled people are very friendly and helpful. There are some serious robberys on the road. I am unsure who is the target, I guess they are looking just for local people. We didn't had any trouble at all - just the anoying police controls every 40 Ks.
In Bossangoa and in Bossembele you will find a mission where you might get a room or you might rise your tent. In Bangui there are several hotels near the Cafe Central (thats the meeting point for all the NGOs) described on my homepage.
We stayed at the police station in Bemal and at the 'chef de village' (they have signs on the road :-) and if you are asking for a safe place to rise a tent do it there and they will be proud to help you) near Bossembele. This is an exciting experience although the chef himself will be drunk. In Bangui we stayed at a french guy we met on the road.
Bottled water you will find in Moundou and Bangui. I am unsure if you do so in Bossangoa or Bossembele but the missions usually have water filters.
Friends of mine are working in Pala, maybe you go there first chat with them about the up to date situation in northern CAR and decide than to take the road via Moundou or Garoua Boulai.
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