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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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  #1  
Old 9 May 2012
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West African visas going north. Cape town - London

Hi all,

Im a British citizen hoping to head north from South Africa up the west coast towards the end of this year.

Ive seen a lot of info on getting visas and some horror stories, especially Angola, but most of it is for coming south.

Has anyone had recent experience going up? Any information would be great. I'm wondering if I can get my Angola visa in Cape town before I leave.

Cheers
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Old 9 May 2012
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Just over a year ago we managed to get visas in Pretoria (where the Angolan embassy in SA is). This was an unbelievably drawn out process involving lots of letters including one from the British High Commission. The most common situation is the granting of a 5 day tourist visa, which is just about enough to cross the country with the new Chinese roads there. I would recommend trying to arrange this particular visa as far in advance as possible.
PS. some people have recommended getting a DRC visa in the passport before you apply to prove that you are just transitting - might be something worth considering.
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Old 9 May 2012
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Holy cow, this board is inundated with bikers from Sark! How many of you guys can there be? Is the whole island out travelling the world on bikes?

A couple of years ago I got my Angola visa in Cape Town. It was pretty easy then, but now the rules have changed and you pretty much have to get it in your home country.

Same with the DRC visa, get it at home and save yourself a ton of hassle. This Christmas, I caught up with Veis in Mali as he was heading south and I was coming north. He didn't have his Angola visa yet and it was a major pain for him to get one and a few overlanders have even had enough problems that they have chosen to fly over instead of spending the time and money to courier their passports back home.

Ghana is another country that has changed their rules and at least on the surface is pushing for visas to be obtained in your home country. A couple I met in Ouagadougou were successful in getting a visa there, but if it's easy and you definitely want to go there, that's another one I would get ahead of time.

Say hi to George for me.
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Old 9 May 2012
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Hi,

Oh yes to get the visa for Angola was a nightmare. First i tryed in germany then in capetown with a agency and finaly i spend hours waiting at the embassy my selfe untill i filany got it:

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

Travel save, Tobi
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Old 17 May 2012
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Unfortunately i am in Australia now and will not be going back to the UK before Africa so this rules out getting it in my home country. Although i could post the passport back i suppose..
I will have to email the embassy I guess. Failing that, cross fingers and hope. That you guys have managed in SA is reassuring, at least there is a tiny chance.
@Mountainman. I will, he is off picking bananas in Queensland at the moment though! and I'm off bush for a while..
I heard Veysal was down there, I'm hoping to bump into him in SA and pick his brains over a few s..
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Old 17 May 2012
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Aye, Veys is somewhere down there although I'm not sure how far along he is currently. He was still wearing the jacket that he swapped with George all those years back

I didn't realize you were in Aus, which complicates the visa thing a bit. If you are going to be there a while, couriering your passport back to the homeland is the way to go. I would definitely get the Angola and DRC visa ahead of time if at all possible, it'll save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Might be worth it to look at a visa service agency that can take your passport to the first embassy and then the second one and then courier your passport back to you. It can be a bit expensive, as a lot of visas cost ~$100USD on the west coast and you have to add the agency fee on top of that, but it beats that alternative of waiting and worrying in a country on the way up a few months down the road.
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Old 20 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarkbiker View Post
Hi all,

Im a British citizen hoping to head north from South Africa up the west coast towards the end of this year.

Ive seen a lot of info on getting visas and some horror stories, especially Angola, but most of it is for coming south.

Has anyone had recent experience going up? Any information would be great. I'm wondering if I can get my Angola visa in Cape town before I leave.

Cheers
Hey Sarkbiker,

How is the visa hunting going? Im going to be catching up with your brother George in a couple weeks in north Queensland. Depending on timing I may head to South America with him? Im off to Antartica for 12 months soon first. If not will be shipping my 4x4 to Africa to do West Africa after that. Will be interested in hearing how you go!. Looks like you had a good time in Western Australia.

Patrick

PS I meet George when I was working in Africa and helped him out with his bike in Egypt. I was the guy that looked after his bike for 12 months in Australia when he headed back to England to save money.
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Old 23 May 2012
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Have just come north from Accra, Ghana to Senegal. Got the visas for Cote divoir, Burkina, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinnea all in Accra- around 80USD each. No carnet or laissez-passez needed for the bikes thus far.
Hope that helps
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Old 23 May 2012
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Hey Alex,

How easy was the Ivory Coast visa in Accra? Did you do the online payment and then have to go for fingerprinting? Or did they issue the old style non-biometric visas? Would be good to know, thanks for any information.

David
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