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Chris of Motocross Africa 19 Aug 2007 13:31

West Africa - Where Do I Get Visas On The Road?
 
I will be travelling down along the West coast of Africa, starting next month. I am planning to take about 4-6 months to get to South Africa, so I will have to get may of the visas on route. As a UK citizen, I believe I do not need a visa for Morocco, Namibia or South Africa. My questions are, therefore, where do I get the rest of the visas along the way?:

Mauritania - I think these are valid for 3 months, so I should still be in time if I get one before I leave the UK
Western Sahara - Is this visa covered under Mauritania?
Mali - "Mali visas are easily obtained in Nouakchott - 2 months double entry"
Niger - ???
Nigeria - ???
Cameroon - ???
Gabon - ???
Congo - ???
DRC - ???
Angola - Only seems to suggest "you can get Angolan Transit visa at the border, but it's only valid for 5 days. "After overstaying the 5 day visa by another 5 days, we simply pleaded ignorance and weren't even fined on departure". Any better suggestions, or do most people get by with this?

adamiko 19 Aug 2007 13:58

Hallo,

All very simple:

1. Mauritania-Get it in UK, Last resort-Rabat.
2. Westren Sahara is under morrocan control-no visa needed.
3. Mali-get in in Mauritania.
4. Niger, mauritania, or Mali.
5. Nigeria-Mali, or Niger, if you need an invetation letter, contact me, i'm working in Nigeria.
6. Cameroon-in Nigeria, or Mali, Niger.
7. Gabon, in Yaonde-no problem.
8. Congo, DRC, and Angola, all in Libreville, Gabon. Very easy and friebndly embassis.

Allways try to secure visas one counrty ahead, so if you are refueds at one place, you can go on to the next country, and try again without changing you plans.

Good luck,
Adam

Chris of Motocross Africa 19 Aug 2007 14:10

Adam,

Excellent info, thanks! I will pm you in a minute for the Nigeria invite letter!:thumbup1:

I'd just like to clarify some of the detail which other travellers might find useful too...(see bits in red)

4. Niger, mauritania, or Mali. Assume this is also Nouakchott?
5. Nigeria-Mali, or Niger, if you need an invetation letter, contact me, i'm working in Nigeria. If getting in Mali, is it Niamey, Bamako or either?
6. Cameroon-in Nigeria, or Mali, Niger. Again, if getting in Mali, is it Niamey, Bamako or either?

Cheers,

Chris

adamiko 20 Aug 2007 10:18

Hi Chris!

Let me clarify:

1. Niger and Mali visas: one can get in Nouakchott.
2. Nigerian visa: try to get in Mail (Bamako), I'm not sure that it's possible to get a Nigerian visa in Niger anymore…
3. Cameronian visa: You can get in Bamako, Niamy, or Abuja.

Hope this will help! contact me if you have any other qustions.
Adam

Sophie-Bart 20 Aug 2007 10:56

1. Mauritania-Get it in UK, Last resort-Rabat.

A very common mistake, you cannot get a visa in Rabat (since a few years).
Instead you can get a visa in Casablanca or at the Mauritanian border. The visa at the border is recently changed into a 3-days transit-visa after which you have to get a extension.

Keep a watch on Chris Scots's country info pages, the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree pages and offcourse here on the Hubb for changes and updates.

Which offcourse is also usefull for the other countries you are planning to cross.

BTW It is suposed to be possible to get a visa for Mauritania at every French ambassy around the world when there is no Mauri ambassy. Maybe they don't know it but they are entitled to issue the visa's for some of their ex-colonies (at the moment).

enjoy!

ianrichards121 20 Aug 2007 16:08

Another visa question
 
Don't mean to hijack this posting, but I logged on to ask a similar question.
We are doing the Atlantic Route (depart UK 7th October 2007) to Ghana and will a detour into Benin and Togo.
Where would you suggest that we obatin our visas for these two countries?
Thanks
Ian

noel di pietro 21 Aug 2007 09:49

Visa
 
You can get it in Accra, easy as it can be. If you intend to visit other countries like Burkina, Niger, it might be usefull to get a single combined visa for 6 or 8 countries which form a sort of common market (CEDEAO). You can find info on (French) WIKI . You can also get an issurance which covers all of these countries.

Most Embassy will tell you that this Visa does not exist but IT DOES exist! The only embassy that was able to issue this visa to us was the Benin (actually it was the Togo one) embassy in Accra. Cost is slightly more than an individual visa, like Euro 40 i.s.o. 25 or so. (dunno exactly anymore) but it worked like a charm!

cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl

ianrichards121 21 Aug 2007 10:34

Thanks for that, but I did not make myself clear.
We will pass through Benin & Togo BEFORE we arrive in Ghana, so we really need to get them either at an embassy beforehand (any suggestions ???) or can we get them at the border?
Thanks
Ian



Quote:

Originally Posted by noel di pietro (Post 147927)
You can get it in Accra, easy as it can be. If you intend to visit other countries like Burkina, Niger, it might be usefull to get a single combined visa for 6 or 8 countries which form a sort of common market (CEDEAO). You can find info on (French) WIKI . You can also get an issurance which covers all of these countries.

Most Embassy will tell you that this Visa does not exist but IT DOES exist! The only embassy that was able to issue this visa to us was the Benin embassy in Accra. Cost is slightly more than an individual visa, like Euro 40 i.s.o. 25 or so. (dunno exactly anymore) but it worked like a charm!

cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl


Rob Reznik 6 Sep 2007 08:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by noel di pietro (Post 147927)
You can get it in Accra, easy as it can be. If you intend to visit other countries like Burkina, Niger, it might be usefull to get a single combined visa for 6 or 8 countries which form a sort of common market (CEDEAO). You can find info on (French) WIKI . You can also get an issurance which covers all of these countries.

Most Embassy will tell you that this Visa does not exist but IT DOES exist! The only embassy that was able to issue this visa to us was the Benin embassy in Accra. Cost is slightly more than an individual visa, like Euro 40 i.s.o. 25 or so. (dunno exactly anymore) but it worked like a charm!

cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl

Hi Noel - do you know what this document is called or is there a reference number for it as non of the CEDEAO embassies in the UK know of it - I also phoned the Benin Embassy in Ghana who were very helpful but also hadnt heard of it
cheers

Rob

TT-Kira 25 Sep 2007 10:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by noel di pietro (Post 147927)
Most Embassy will tell you that this Visa does not exist but IT DOES exist! The only embassy that was able to issue this visa to us was the Benin embassy in Accra. Cost is slightly more than an individual visa, like Euro 40 i.s.o. 25 or so. (dunno exactly anymore) but it worked like a charm!

Having rung the Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo & Burkina Embassies in Paris I'm getting no where fast - no one will issue one from France & I'm looking at going to Marseille to get a CI visa to start the trip.

They all also said that the Visa d'Entente doesn't exist anymore & has been like this for about a year ...

So, Noel, could you shed some light on when you got yours please!?? I'll be going past Accra & will stop to get one for the other countries if you think it's still do-able

Thanks

Kira

noel di pietro 25 Sep 2007 10:45

visa
 
Kira,

Ah that would maybe explain, as what I am refer to was in Dec 2005!! But at that time too, all embassies except Togo's in Accra said it did not exist (anymore).

Maybe not worth persuing from Europe or everywhere along the road but when you are in Accra I would certainly try the Togo embassy for this visa!!

cheers,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl

MotoEdde 25 Sep 2007 14:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by adamiko (Post 147746)
Hallo,

All very simple:

1. Mauritania-Get it in UK, Last resort-Rabat.
2. Westren Sahara is under morrocan control-no visa needed.
3. Mali-get in in Mauritania.
4. Niger, mauritania, or Mali.
5. Nigeria-Mali, or Niger, if you need an invetation letter, contact me, i'm working in Nigeria.
6. Cameroon-in Nigeria, or Mali, Niger.
7. Gabon, in Yaonde-no problem.
8. Congo, DRC, and Angola, all in Libreville, Gabon. Very easy and friebndly embassis.

Allways try to secure visas one counrty ahead, so if you are refueds at one place, you can go on to the next country, and try again without changing you plans.

Good luck,
Adam

1. Mauritania...there is no consulate in Rabat. Its in Casablanca near the Oasis campground...you can get it same day...show up in the morning with a couple of pics, fill out the form, hand it in...and after lunch its processed. 30-60 day visa...I got a 45 day one...

2. per Adam.

3. Mali...can ge obtained in Rabat...same day.

4. Niger...can be obtained in Rabat...same day.

others...not sure

I would get the visas a couple countries ahead, if possible as some consultates are friendlier than others. Morocco in general is pretty consulate friendly area to pick up your visas...

levitan 26 Sep 2007 18:19

Mauritanian Visa
 
We collected our visas in Casablanca 2 days ago. We arrived at the consulate at 8.30am and waited, along with other overlanders and Moroccans for something to happen. We'd heard that if you file your application before 9 you can collect the same day.

This was impossible since the application forms were only handed out at 9.30. Once you have filled in the form you join the huddled mass pleading with the guard to convince him that you arrived first. One by one you are allowed to go up the steps to the embassy window where you hand over 200 dirham and are given a ticket with your photo. We were told to return the following day, which we did and the visas were ready.

Incidentally, we asked for 45 day, multi-entry starting on Oct 1st (we like to keep our options open) and received 30 day, single entry starting on day of issue. Either way, it will do for now.

I think Ramadan is probably behind the late opening and 24 hour wait, but we're not in a rush so these things don't bother us.

Dick 26 Sep 2007 21:36

Whilst this isn't exactly the answer you want to the question you were asking, I'd put loads of thought and research into ensuring your trip doesn't become one long Visa Hunt. Ours occasionally did and in retrospect, that was a bit regrettable. You end going to cities that you didn't really want to go to, spending too much money and time in places you don't want to be.Cities aren't necessarily a bad place to be but.....
I can't offer specific advice because I am an old fart who did his Africa trip evading the dinosaurs millions of years ago - but this is a really useful thread if it means folks on the road don't waste too much time and dosh waiting for a Visa stamp. We didn't enjoy it much.

ianrichards121 26 Sep 2007 22:25

Feeling smug !!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by levitan (Post 152074)
We collected our visas in Casablanca 2 days ago. We arrived at the consulate at 8.30am and waited, along with other overlanders and Moroccans for something to happen. We'd heard that if you file your application before 9 you can collect the same day.

This was impossible since the application forms were only handed out at 9.30. Once you have filled in the form you join the huddled mass pleading with the guard to convince him that you arrived first. One by one you are allowed to go up the steps to the embassy window where you hand over 200 dirham and are given a ticket with your photo. We were told to return the following day, which we did and the visas were ready.

Incidentally, we asked for 45 day, multi-entry starting on Oct 1st (we like to keep our options open) and received 30 day, single entry starting on day of issue. Either way, it will do for now.

I think Ramadan is probably behind the late opening and 24 hour wait, but we're not in a rush so these things don't bother us.


Picked up our visas yesterday from the Mauritanian Embassy in London. Turned up at 11.00am, shown to a comfy leather arm chair, filled in the forms which were then collected by a lovely young lady, sat and read a few magazines and 30 minutes later .... there were our visas ... valid for 3 months from 15th October .... perfect.
Sad note is ... the embassy closed its doors on Friday for the last time.


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