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Old 28 Dec 2009
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Carnet - West Africa

The HUBB's list of countries indicates that a carnet is required for Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Cameroun. Googling returns mixed results - some sites say a CPD is 'mandatory' for those countries, others say it is 'recommended' while others say that there is no need.

A few HUBB posts from last year suggest that a Laissez-Passer is sufficient for those countries.

Does anyone have recent actual experience on carnet requirements for those countries?

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Old 28 Dec 2009
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Sorry our experience is not really recent, but we went through Ghana and Togo in early 2009 (leaving Ghana in April), got a temporary import permit for Togo but in Ghana we had to produce our carnet. We had met a German in a 4x4 whilst travelling through West Africa, and he did not have a carnet and was using LP. We met him again in Ghana minus his 4x4, he had been refused entry at several Ghana borders without a carnet so ended up entering Ghana without it and buying a cheap Chinese bike to get around. Where there is a will there is a way...

Hope this might be of use...
Mark and Allison
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Old 28 Dec 2009
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Location: Vanderbijl Park, South Africa
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The border officials seem a bit more lenient with bikes than with cars. Ghana and Nigeria won't let you in without a carnet.

You don't mention how far you are coming but down you will also need the carnet for South Africa. I would get the carnet, it really makes life a lot easier.
Jean Visser


Last edited by JeanVisser; 28 Dec 2009 at 12:25. Reason: Syntax correction
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Old 17 Sep 2012
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I am wondering how is now with Carnet for Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Burkina faso, and Mali. any information here?
I heard that I need some other document for Senegal (instead of Carnet).

anyone recently been in those coutnries and could tell?

Thanks a lot,
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Old 12 Oct 2012
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Ghana allows you in, they issued me with their own paperwork valid for 2 months and weren't that interested in my carnet. Friends got in without a carnet no problem. I crossed above Wa, they used the main road crossing.

Togo - no problem I think - use a small border crossing like the one next to the water fall in Ghana.

A Lithuanian friend on a 250cc went all the way down the west coast to Namibia without a carnet. In fact he didn't have a Namibian visa which he should have in advance and got 90 days at the Namibian/Angolan border ;-p

They always have a solution for visitors from other African countries - some guy who lives in a village in Benin is not going to get a carnet to visit his family across the border in Nigeria. Usually you pay 5-15 Euros with no receipt I think - places like Congo they will ask for $100 and you need to discuss over tea ;-)

Ask truck drivers! But don't believe what applies to them applies to you! They have to pay, you don't!

But without a carnet it can be more hassle...
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Old 13 Oct 2012
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You never mentioned if you're traveling by car or by bike. It's true that is different, but still the actual procedure is the same. The difference comes from the way you are perceived by the customs official. With a car you have more money so you pay more... even if the reality is different (you can travel with a 5000USD 25y old LandCruiser or a 15000USD brand new 1200GSA).
I have have traveled from june 2011 to august 2012 from Morocco to Egypt without a Cpd and in the end I payed 625USD for TIP's, Laisser Passez or other custom papers.

Here's what we've payed exactly and what borders we've crossed:

Morocco - Tanger Med - free, just registered at customs
Mauritania - 10E when entered and asked and payed 10E at exit but just because was the first weeks in Africa. In reality you don't need to pay twice
Mali - Gogui - 10000CFA Laissez Passer (normaly 5000CFA but we arrived on Sunday) + 5000CFA police registration of the LP
Burkina Faso - Koro - 5000CFA LP
Togo - Senkanse - 5000CFA LP
Benin - ?? Near Aneho - 5000CFA LP
Nigeria - Seme - 7000 Naira at Seme Border (1000 bribe to stamp passports, 4000 TIP, 2000 Bribes in order not to pay a bond); apparently at Nikki the TIP is free; payed 1000 Naira to extend the TIP for a second month at Mfum
Cameroon - Ekok - 7500CFA 15 days Laissez Passer (no one checked that it had long expired when we exited)
Gabon - Bitam - 10000CFA LP after hours fee (normally 5000CFA until 6 PM)
Congo - ?? Doussala - 10000CFA LP(asked 20000 but negotiated to 10000 - probably possible for 5000)
DR Congo - entered through a small border near Luozi and managed to pay nothing; exited through Kasumbalesa and managed not to go to Customs (very big border post); is not recommended to do so as you can have to haggle to exit (it happened to us in Benin)
Zambia - Kasumbalesa - TIP Free, Road Tax 50000 Kwacha (can avoid paying it)
Namibia - Katima Mullilo - No TIP, just road Tax 140 Nam$
SAR - Vioolsdrif - nothing just waived through
Lesotho - Sani Pass - There's 30 Rand bike tax but we've payed 100 Rand for visas, tax and everything
Bothswana - Grobler's Bridge - 240 Pula (Auch) Permit, Road Tax and Insurance (no papers just a receipt) other reports suggest that this practice is random
Zambia - Kazungula - TIP Free, Road Tax 50000 Kwacha (can avoid paying it, second time we didn't pay)
Mozambique - Cassacatiza - 27 Meticals TIP yeah that's almost 1US$
Tanzania - Unity Bridge - 25 USD TIP
Kenya - Taveta - 20 USD TIP
Ethiopia - Moyale - Free (just completed a form (TIP) and asked for a copy of the registration paper)
Sudan - Metema - 15 Sudanese Pounds for TIP (~3USD).
Egypt - Aswan - Now the funny part: 2500EgP (410USD) for a CpD from the Auto Club of Emirates with 2 pages. Egypt is insanely expensive if you travel with your vehicle; besides Cpd we've payed some extra 700Egp (115USD) to enter from Sudan (Custom clearance, plates, licence, fixer commission) and 2150EgP(350USD) to exit towards Turkey (1250 Custom Clearance, 750 Shipping Agent Commission, 150 Storage in Port Said)

Cheers from Bucharest,
Crazy Oyibo - From Romania Into the World.
Part I - Africa Full Circle http://blog.intotheworld.eu
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Old 13 Oct 2012
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Excellent post mate - I'll do one with using a Carnet costs soon so people can compare....
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Old 17 Nov 2012
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Carnet West Africa

Great posts here folks and very useful info. We did West Africa last year (Morocco to SA). Here is our summary:

- Countries: Mor, WS, Mauri, Sen, Mali, BF, Ghan, Tog, Ben, Nig, Cam, Gab, Cong, DRC, Ang, Nam, Bots, Zim, Moz, Los, SA.
- We were in a 4x4 (Land Rover) and used Carnet by RAC (paid their listed costs as per schedule
- Car list price was £3,500
- carnet multiple was 150%
- We used Bank Guarantee from First Direct £280 for 12 months (easy to set up)
- We found that the Carnet was useful at times, they love to stamp things in Africa - less variables to discuss
- Equally we met bikers and 4x4 people traveling without it - as the posts here suggest - it is possible
- Patience, dialogue, confidence and respect all pay dividends at border posts (on multiple levels) and so its a personal choice
- Absolute rules on Carnet needs for Africa seem to change from year to year BUT its always different when you are on the ground and at a border
- Carnet "rules" and the reality at border crossings vary widely, we found many border people struggling with CDP process, didn't know how to fill it in (in Mali they were more interested in watching TV)
- Even with CDP you will find people asking for processing "fee" to stamp.....this was easy to refuse as we have the Carnet but logically why do you need a Carnet....other locals and travelers get by without it and use TIP
- I agree with the comments here - bikers might find it easier than 4x4 / trucks....walking wallets especially so for trucks!
- We imported our car into SA, so it helped facilitate that process (but that was specific to our own plans)


I hear that Carnet process is not getting any easier or cheaper and so maybe more people are going to try and travel without it in Africa. Our experience was that it proved useful (sometimes) but probably more expensive in the long run.

I personally would welcome a similar post for a loop of Africa in a 4x4 without Carnet...... Roaming Yak, can you post such info?


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