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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 15 Apr 2007
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West Coast route for Africa

Hi, Two of us are planning a trip by GS1150 from Tanger to the Cape via the west coast route and are after some advice / help, we are planning to leave on the 15th of December to be in tanger for the new year and then to hook up with the support group of the Dakar rally and follow them to Dakar! This we are hoping will make our first sahara experience a little easier / safer.

From that point does anyone have GPS waypoints from their trip for things such as campsites, places to see / visit places to avoid?
We are planning on camping and the use of cheap hotels again any reccomendations would be apprciated. We are hoping to stay on tarmac as much as poss but to keep away from the city's. at the moment I am using the lonley planet guides for reference and also the hubb.

Does anyone have recent experience of travel through the Congo or Angola?

Thanks in advance

Steve
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  #2  
Old 15 Apr 2007
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west coast

we did the west coast run last year have a look at our web site and we'll be glad to answer any questions..we have a comprehensive list of gps points for accommodation, camping etc...but always remember the circumstances can change quickly..as for roads allow 50% good roads, 40% rideable roads wth care, 5% bad roads and 5% get off and push

jeff watts

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  #3  
Old 20 Apr 2007
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Hi Steve,
I did the west coast in 2004 and had a great time. No real problems anywhere appart from a bit of uncertainty in Congo/DRC/Angola where we didn't know where to go and especially in the Congo (Brazzaville) where we couldn't find out in advance where the conflict was.
The roads are surprisingly good most of the way (too good) and we ended trying to find alternatives to the main routes in order to get a bit more of a "real African" feel. "Getting lost" always ended up being our best experiences, I highly recommend it.
I don't have waypoints (only a vague blog that is not much use for building up a route, sorry) but you can look at some friends websites that might give you some ideas: Diary They have kept a log of their daily waypoints or Welcome to the Tale of Two Travelers! who give a good description of their adventures.
If you have any questions I can also mail you some of my personal experiences regarding good routes and bad ones. OH! which makes me think, if I can give you one advice regarding roads do not ever EVER take the one that links Lobito and Lubango (Angola) its just... I'm lost for words. Take the one that goes down the coast and then cut east. I've heard it's much better (can't think how it could be worse, it looks like it's been carpet bombed).
Good luck with it all.
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  #4  
Old 21 Apr 2007
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I've noticed a lot of people doing the west coast omit Guinea .. is there any reason for this?

Having seen a lot of Africa, I'm now absolutely enamoured with it ... the roads aren't great - wouldn't be suitable for a road bike but something more forgiving would do well ...

Fantastic country that ought to be seen!

Kira
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  #5  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_watts View Post
we did the west coast run last year have a look at our web site and we'll be glad to answer any questions..we have a comprehensive list of gps points for accommodation, camping etc...but always remember the circumstances can change quickly..as for roads allow 50% good roads, 40% rideable roads wth care, 5% bad roads and 5% get off and push

jeff watts

Gone wandering


Jeff, you have to write a book..... your site is great! I havent laughed so hard for a long time. Thanks.
And if you could forward your GPS way points I would very much appreciate it?
All the very best

Steve Bullen
steve267@btinternet.com
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  #6  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissT View Post
Hi Steve,
I did the west coast in 2004 and had a great time. No real problems anywhere appart from a bit of uncertainty in Congo/DRC/Angola where we didn't know where to go and especially in the Congo (Brazzaville) where we couldn't find out in advance where the conflict was.
The roads are surprisingly good most of the way (too good) and we ended trying to find alternatives to the main routes in order to get a bit more of a "real African" feel. "Getting lost" always ended up being our best experiences, I highly recommend it.
I don't have waypoints (only a vague blog that is not much use for building up a route, sorry) but you can look at some friends websites that might give you some ideas: Diary They have kept a log of their daily waypoints or Welcome to the Tale of Two Travelers! who give a good description of their adventures.
If you have any questions I can also mail you some of my personal experiences regarding good routes and bad ones. OH! which makes me think, if I can give you one advice regarding roads do not ever EVER take the one that links Lobito and Lubango (Angola) its just... I'm lost for words. Take the one that goes down the coast and then cut east. I've heard it's much better (can't think how it could be worse, it looks like it's been carpet bombed).
Good luck with it all.
Swiss T, thanks for the advice! I will make a note regarding the road between Lobito and Lobango! The tale of two travellers web site is very impressive, I am hoping we dont encounter the road that took six days to cover 32 Kilometers!!!! Although with the hard work and the bulldozer its looks pretty pasable, even on a 400 kilo BMW!
All the very best
Steve
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  #7  
Old 24 Apr 2007
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Steve,
if you are travelling with the Dakar, it can be a pain - no one is interested in doing your paperwork -(which you have to have on leaving a country -or there will be problems) - they try to wave you through, best to travel with them in Mauritania (waved straight through all those checkpoints !) and then part ways for border crossings, we did this and it worked a treat - and blag a free meal too - with a nice cold Kronenbourg !!!

have a good one
Grif
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  #8  
Old 15 May 2007
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Thanks for the advice
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  #9  
Old 15 May 2007
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I have been down West coast recently

Hi Steve,
I just rode from London to Cape Town and got back in Feb. Although I went through Algeria/Niger, the southerly bit of my route was the same as you are planning - through Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Namibia, SA. Pics and journal are on my website Lois on the Loose and you can email me through the site if you want to ask any specific questions.
The Congos were a bit hairy at time. Angola was demanding but a wonderful experience. The Angola visa situation can be a bit tricky but there seems to be regular updates about it on the Hubb. Most other visas can be got in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Good luck and have fun. Drop me a line if you want any more info.
Lois
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  #10  
Old 17 May 2007
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Angola

Hi
I recently completed west coast and am happy I had an F650 Dakar, anything heavier might have been a liability in Congo and Angola.

The other comment is in response to the road from Lobito to Lubango. I too have strong memories of that stretch. However its just a matter of putting in the hours/ days, and eventually you get through. The carrot is the perfect roads over the border in Namibia. The alternative route is via the town of Namibe along the coast, then inland to Lubango. Warning: I was told the coast road is stony/ rocky but more significantly - untravelled. This is an important factor if travelling solo.

My account of it all is on Kilkenny to Cape Town
And by the way, it was a great experience!
Hugh
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  #11  
Old 4 Jun 2007
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Ghana - Nigeria

Hi, I went from Nigeria to Ghana (through Benin and Togo) and back in December of 2005/January 2006 on board my ยด89 Aprilia Tuareg 600. I took the coast road from Lagos (Nigeria) to Keta (Ghana), then went to north to Akosombo (Volta Dam) and then back south to Accra and nearby. I had planned to reach further West but had to endure a puncture with no spare tubes, find a replacement (which was inadequate) and then find another replacement (this time adequate). I run out of visa time (and days off from work!) by then so I headed back to Nigeria. I had no major problems during the trip, other than the punctures mentioned and some electric issues with the bike which did not escalate too much because it had a kickstart and I rode during daytime. Border crossings were time-consuming, and speaking some French will definitely help

I'm originally from Argentina, although I lived in Nigeria from late '02 till early '06.

Let me know if I can help you with anything.

Cheers. L.
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