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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 31 May 2006
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Roma,Italy
Posts: 8
visa questions

Hello,we are a couple and we are starting seriously to think for a trip from Italy to Cape Town on the west part of Africa.We will be on foot,using public transport,bush taxi,etc around late September/early October.We've already been overland to Africa for a short 45 days return to Mali and then we have made an easy 6 and half month to South-East Asia and back to Europe,both travel overland again.
We know that such overland trip will be hard.One of the main concerns are visas.How can we cope for country that ask for outward airplane ticket,letter of invitation,prepaid hotel? Obviously we hope that these requests could disappered as we slowly will move for an embassy in the next country to be visited in Africa but these are the request the embassies in Rome asked.
How you on a motorbike or a car that have travelled on the same route have solved these visa trouble?Our main concerns are on country such Cameroon,Gabon,Congo-Brazzaville,Angola,maybe less trouble for Chad.
We've read posts about embassies in Yaoundè and Libreville on the Hubb,but we being on foot,could have some more trouble and,of course ,we don't know anyone in such countries.
We know that such nasty request from the embassies were the same for Mongolia or China when we questioned the embassies here in Italy,so we have hope to be able to do it!
Thanks for any reply
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Old 1 Jun 2006
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 42
In general it is faster and less trouble to get your visas in Africa rather than in Europe before you go. It also tends to be easier to get visas when you don't have a vehicle of your own. It isn't normal for embassies to ask for letters of invitation or onward plane tickets if you simply let them know you are transiting through. If they do ask for hotel references then a quick phone call to any well known hotel in your destination country with an "assurance" that you will be staying there when you arrive is all you need, coupled with a letter which you can easy produce yourself. If the embassy wish to check your reference with a phone call (very unlikely) then you will be covered.

In general visas are not difficult to come by on the western route to Cape Town although being Africa things are constantly changing obviously. At present you can get Gabon, DRC and congo visas in Yaoundi very easily (24 hours each) and then get a double entry Angola visa in Libreville where passports need to go in on the Monday for collection on Friday. As a general rule visas are becoming easier to get rather than more difficult on this route so I don't think you have too much to worry about. Good luck!
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