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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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  #16  
Old 23 Jul 2011
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Thanks very much indeed Nick, that's great.
The whole queuing process sounds very familliar from previous trips.....trying to keep your cool in the midday sun when you've not moved for hours....everyone else has sharper elbows.....it's just not cricket!!

Heard a couple of years ago it was the done thing to overstay the transit visa by a few days, didn't seem to cause anyone major issues.
Do you know if this is the case?
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  #17  
Old 24 Jul 2011
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Niva

I would not recommend overstaying your visa in Angola.... it simply leaves you open to a bribe when you leave.

I have heard a few stories of people that overstayed by accident (car broke down, illness etc...) and they were "let out" FOC. Your chances increase if you go to a busy exit border, say peak time into Namibia.

If you go to a quiet crossing like we did, they have LOTS of time to check things out and keep you waiting. So as a general rule I would say, don't chance it. They have recently changed the rules on extending 5 day transit visas, which I think can only be done in Luanda now BUT don't rely on that.

5 days is fine to cross the country but not to explore. Southern Angola is great and we will go back one day.

HTH

Nick
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  #18  
Old 24 Jul 2011
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Thanks again Nick, that makes sense.
It's a real shame, as 'I wish we had more time in Angola' seems to be a guarenteed response from everyone who's traveled the west route.

Sam
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  #19  
Old 28 Jul 2011
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The regulation change is VERY recent. Apparently a month or two ago max. So the information you got before that is irrelevant.

Yes, DRC is a big country, non-existant infrastructure and thus poorly governed. So you MAY get through some border posts that haven't been informed yet or just wanting to make a little money with some "semi-illegal" stunts to get you in and out again without Kinshasa noticing it.

The 30-day travel permits etc seem to be outdated or created by corrupt officals to make some money (they also can make you fake visas when entering from Zambia, on the border) and I bet you probably get arrested if you ever show up with any of them in Kinshasa. The information we got is that Kinshasa has sent out letters to all DRC embassies and consulates abroad to NOT to issue visas for non-residents anymore and also noted that they will legally punish any DRC embassy who still does. That letter just happened to be at Windhoek's DRC embassy a week after we had DRC visas in our passports but we still got sent back at the border with perfectly valid visas. And also, we have no DRC embassy in our country but that didn't ring the bell for any of the imbecils in DRC's ministry of interior. By the time we'd spent a week at the border a message came through that we should have applied in the country nearest to our home country (or, maybe a country in Schengen space would have worked as well).

DRC officials claim the new visa system is supposed to bring order but it's brought chaos to them. Especially with European citizens where many don't have embassies etc.

To cut it short: there appeared to be a huge scandal in Kinshasa because of us being stuck on the border for ten nights - in the end, the DRC's foreign ministry was involved and being very pissed off about the interior ministry's new visa regulation that damages DRC's reputation, the French embassy claiming they've drawn the image that the Congolese are simply imbecils on higher levels, putting people into inhumane conditions being stuck on the border, and they need to change the system, since EU is too important economical partner for the DRC.

Well, I guess with DRC everything is wishful thinking, but we can foolishly hope they'll change it again soon.

It seems however, that they still do issue transit visas for non-residents - we met Germans in Brazzaville on the way to Kinshasa who got a transit visa to supplement their regular visas (issued elsewhere than their home country) for DRC in Brazzaville, but they already had their Angolan visas. Not sure though if they actually got into the country with those transit visas. Time will tell.

As to what we did in the end - we rode to Soyo (with the exit stamps still in our passports, which we managed to get cancelled after some talks with the immigration chief in Soyo), took a "ferry" to Cabinda (did not have any problems with the single-entry visa as they only checked passports but did not stamp them) and from there, entered Congo-Brazzaville. Now BEWARE, this "ferry" does take motorcycles, but it is by no means a roll on - roll off service. With all the luggage taken off, we could barely squeeze the bike onto the ferry, and on the Cabinda side, the unloading took place right in the middle of a bay, from this ferry into a wooden boat. Not sure if they would take bikes going the other way as they'd have to lift them (lowering is tricky enough as we are speaking about some two meters difference here), and cars/trucks are out of the question. But if you bikers opt for the ferry, it leaves Soyo three times a week and the ticket costs 45 000 kwanza (same for the bike). The tickets are sold at the Capital Outsourcing building on the main street, opposite a fuel pump, and the ferry is called "Navio Tschizo".
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  #20  
Old 30 Jul 2011
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Can confirm the rule-change, however recently we got our visa's in Brazza, and crossed near Luozi, where its only 1 (corrupt) man on the job. So he let us through. But we met others who were refused entry at Matadi and also at Kinshasa.

Regarding Angola visa, we tried Matadi, and the consul was away for 4-6 weeks so we got it in Kinshasa. Couple of people we were with got tourist visa's in Kinshasa easily , just so long as you have a letter of invitation.

for a transit visa they want a letter from your embassy, which can be a pain for some.

Oh and the visa prices were much lower than expected. around $35ea
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  #21  
Old 18 Aug 2011
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we just got a 45 day multi entry visa for DRC in Pretoria.
it was straight forward and the folks at the embassy were helpful.

you need to deposit the appropriate funds into their bank account, then go to the embassy with the application form, 2 x photographs and a copy of your accommodation confirmation.
the visa was issued in 24 hours.

will let you know what happens at the border in early October.
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  #22  
Old 31 Aug 2011
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I'll be departing from Paris heading to Cape town mid october '11 and I'm trying to arrange all visas required prior to arrival here in Paris. I'll be travelling with a german pass.
Already managed to get the visa for Gabon but now I´m stuck with visa for RDC: I got the reservation from the hotel. Signed and stamped by the hotel crew. I got that even without paying nothing in advance. But the embassy here is requesting this reservation to be stamped by the city authorities. Some hotels have replied to me saying they won´t do it. Can anyone help me with that? Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.
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  #23  
Old 31 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikorive View Post
I'll be departing from Paris heading to Cape town mid october '11 and I'm trying to arrange all visas required prior to arrival here in Paris. I'll be travelling with a german pass.
Already managed to get the visa for Gabon but now I´m stuck with visa for RDC: I got the reservation from the hotel. Signed and stamped by the hotel crew. I got that even without paying nothing in advance. But the embassy here is requesting this reservation to be stamped by the city authorities. Some hotels have replied to me saying they won´t do it. Can anyone help me with that? Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.
Travelling South, I got my Congo visa in Libreville, Gabon.
Then when you get to Brazzaville, you can get your DRC visa same day.
Good luck with your Angolan visa in Kinshasa!
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  #24  
Old 1 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmarcus View Post
Travelling South, I got my Congo visa in Libreville, Gabon.
Then when you get to Brazzaville, you can get your DRC visa same day.
Good luck with your Angolan visa in Kinshasa!
When was that? Because according to this thread, it´s no longer possible to get the visa for RDC in neighboring countries. I also saw on the Paris embassy a note about that.
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  #25  
Old 1 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikorive View Post
When was that? Because according to this thread, it´s no longer possible to get the visa for RDC in neighboring countries. I also saw on the Paris embassy a note about that.
Last DRC visas (in a South African passport):

South to North: (both were 30 day single entry visas, both I overstayed my welcome, but didn't pay any fine on exit)
Lusaka, ZAMBIA - October 2010
Luanda, ANGOLA - 2009

North to South: (transit visa issued for 72 hours, overstayed that by 5 days waiting for a transit visa for ANGOLA in Matadi)
Brazzaville, CONGO - January 2010


If one can show evidence that you had already left and were "on the road" before the new regulations came into effect - they usually make an exception...
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  #26  
Old 8 Sep 2011
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Good news?

In terms of the DRC visa I might have some good news.
We went to the DRC High Commission in Maputo/Mozambique today to find out what the story is. And they showed us the letter dated end of July 2011 from Kinshasa, the one that was written about earlier in this post. The letter said that only residents of the country where the respective DRC embassy is located can obtain a visa and threatens the embassy staff with disciplinary action if they issue a visa to non residents. So for us there was no visa to get in Maputo.

BUT:
There was another, newer letter from Kinshasa, dated 25/08/2011 which said that visas for non residents can be obtained in countries neighboring the DRC. The letter explicitly stated Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda as examples where embassies can issue a DRC visa to non residents. And the friendly lady also called the embassy in Lusaka/Zambia. The guy there said he would be able to issue a DRC visa to two Germans/Australians there and then and even said 'no problem' at the end.

If it helps you I put down the phone numbers here so you can give the two embassies a call to inquire yourself.
DRC High Commission in Maputo: talk to Liliane (+258) 826884570
DRC Embassy in Lusaka: talk to Gaston (+260) 977808256

I hope it all works out and we will try to get the DRC visa later when we get to either Rwanda or Zambia. Will let you know if it works.
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  #27  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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Just been to the DRC ambassy in Cotonou / Benin and they said its no problem to issue a visa ! Asked about this no resident problem, but when I said I have 2 month multiple entry visa for benin everything was fine.

Prices :

1 month single entry : 50.000cfa
1 month double entry :70.000cfa

2 month single entry : 78.000cfa
2 month double entry : 100.000cfa

Told it will be 3 days to proceed the visa, gotta inform you guys how it worked out, going to hand over the passport tomorrow ! Visa is valid for entry in the country for 3 month and starts with the entry stamp in the passport, would be pretty perfect.

Any recent experiences in other countrys ?

cheers,
Chris
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  #28  
Old 16 Oct 2011
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DRC visas... the saga continues

Hi
Currently in Franceville, Gabon. Word coming to us from Brazzaville is that no visas are being issued there to tourists for DRC because of upcoming DRC elections on 28th Nov. Also people having great trouble securing Angolan visas (as usual). We are going back to Libreville to try the embassy there and look into shipping around as it seems like DRC and Angola are real obstacles at the moment. Always knew it would be tricky, but we have hit it at a bad time with potential unrest in the DRC before the first elections since 2006.
We will update any info we get about DRC and angola in the next few weeks - both from us and info from those down the road in Congo.
We missed getting DRC visas in yaounde, but t was potentially possible - new rules were 15000cfa for one month, takes 5 working days.
Will write again soon!
Emily
London to Cape Town 2011 - home
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  #29  
Old 17 Oct 2011
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I have run into some engine troubles so waiting for a parcel with spareparts to arrive while exploring benin with backpack and hitchhike at the moment. Didnt apply for drc visa yet, thinking about doing it in 1,5 weeks. From where have you got the information that the 1 month single visa is only 15000CF in yaounde? could you find out how much a 2 month visa is ? Wont be in Brazaville bevor 6th december when they announce the result of the elections so thinking about what to do right now.

greetings from Parakou

Chris
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  #30  
Old 19 Oct 2011
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Visa granted

For those of you who travel north: we just got our visa for the DRC in Lusaka in Zambia. Even though we were not residents in Zambia (we're Australian) they issued it to us within a week. One month visa for us$65 worth of Zambian Kwacha. A two month visa would have costed US$125 in Lusaka.
First they insisted on a letter of invitation but we convinced them otherwise. Apparently a letter of invitation is not necessary for tourist visa. So don't let them turn you away too easily!
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