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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 20 Dec 2007
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Where are the diamonds? CAR, DRC, FCO, BBC

OK, I'm looking into possible Africa west-east routes.

1. Has anyone dopne CAR recently? The FCO seems keen to warn of bandits on the road between Cameroon and CAR. Is that border open? Is there really a risk? The CAR-Sudan border is closed; so what about entry into N.E. DRC from CAR? I know there is increased activity in that region now, but there must be some secure routes; or is everywhere engulfed in civil war in that pocket of East Africa?

2. Asumming option 1 is a no-hoper. I know that a route from Kinshasa to Lumbashi (sp.?) is open; through the congo forest. My Michelin implies there are several routes. HOWEVER, from reading this forum and others it seems that there may be certain restrictions. Ok, certain bribes/certificates/validations/permits to aquire. For all of the southern DRC routes, or all of it? And from where do you buy them please?

Where are the 'mining areas'

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Old 21 Dec 2007
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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
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take a read ..


I'm certain there are more later on .. try using the search function too .. it does work.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 21 Dec 2007
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Thanks; but I've read that already - no mention of exactly where the mining areas are and where/how to obtain permit.

can't pull-off anything useful about CAR on the search either.

more up-to-date 1st hand info appreciated.

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Old 21 Dec 2007
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I've done this 2 years ago through CAR to Sudan. I cannot imagine that the border should be closed, cause there was not really a border. Everything was very informal on the sudanese side, we got a travel-permit by the splm and the visa from Khartoum they ignored (but it was 6 month after the peace-agreement). In CAR it was not really clear to us where to check-out, anyway we tried to pass every control-post. If you need more information concerning the road conditions in CAR have a look at this.
If you are going to CAR keep the following in mind:
Near CAR you should be careful with original documents, better use blueprints. In CAR it is the only chance you have. There, the best way to avoid paying something is, do not even negotate with them. Just say 'No. For me it is forbidden to pay.'. You have to know and remember, that there are no charges for anything and they are not starving, because the forest will give them enough to live. They are just lazy. If you like to give someone something, don't do it to any offical. The more stable you are acting and argueing, the faster they are working. Don't hesitate to shout at them :-) . If they ask you to leave the car to meet the chef, tell him everything import is on the blueprints and there is nothing more to say. Btw. do you speak french?

Regards Peter
Already been there? - Like to get there?

Last edited by slep_afrika; 21 Dec 2007 at 15:45. Reason: spelling problems :-)
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Old 21 Dec 2007
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Back again with a little more time...

The last time I was in CAR is one year ago. We came from Yaounde/Cameroon and went to Bayanga for Gorillatrekking. This road is frequently used by Timbertrucks (corrugations!). We left the CAR via Garoua-Boulai, so we passed the Diamond-Area near Carnot. This was no problem at all.
If you enter from there you will find tarmac at Bossembele up to Sibut. You might leave the CAR in every big settlement like Bangassou, Rafai, Zemio by piroge to the RDC. Stay at the missions there and you will get good informations of the further situation. Find the missions here here and here. If you decide to go directly to South Sudan, keep an eye on the part from Obo to Bambouti. By bike it might be easier, but you will find a lot of trial-passages there. If you enter Uganda don't go to Gulu. Arua is safe, from there go via Pakwach to Kampala.
If you decide to enter RDC imho it would be the best way to go to Aru and then Arua.
At the moment there are two spanish cars on this way.
Keep in mind that the rainy-season starts again in the end of January, it would be a good idea to be in Maridi up to than.

Hope I could help you.

Regards Peter
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Old 22 Dec 2007
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Thanks very much indeed. This is just the sort of information I was hoping for.

I won't be doing the trip until next year at the earliest, so I guess things will change by that time.

I will certainly update you as to what I decided.

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