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November 07, 2011 GMT
Research/Planning

Dear All, please see the attachment of the very favourable tail to top of Africa travelling via West Africa.

The route is by no means a direct one and, although detailed is no doubt subject to change either prior to our adventure or whilst on the road.

Whilst I have tried to take us off the beaten track using achievable back roads, in places, I have had no option but to plan using major roads due to accessibility, safety and limited usable roads.

Throughout this route I have done my best to direct us via travellers meeting points and scenic attractions such as rivers, mountains and national parks, whilst trying to avoid some dangerous and busy cities.

I have divided the route up into three legs as follows:

1st Leg
South Africa
Botswana
(Zambia) time/access permitting
Namibia
Angola

2nd Leg
DRC
Congo
Gabon
Cameroon
Nigeria
Benin
Togo

3rd Leg
Burkina
Mali
Mauritania
Western Sahara
Morocco

I predict the 1st leg to be the highlight of the adventure taking in some amazing scenery and attractions. I am lead to believe the 1st leg countries will be the most accessible using reasonable road surfaces. With regards to security all these countries appear to be low risk (inc. Angola). Angola is said to be reborn since the Western world moved in and is suggested a well worth visit before it becomes over developed.

Whilst planning the 2nd leg I have at all times tried to priorities our safety by using major roads through the highest risk countries such as DRC, Congo and Nigeria. We should be able to clear DRC and Congo within 2 - 3 days, depending on road surface and timely border crossings. Nigeria will take 3 - 4 days being such a large country. I had real trouble finding an accessible/unrestricted route through DRC and Congo and suspect these countries will be with the most technical terrain. This leg poses the highest security risk and we will need to be vigilant at all times.

I class the 3rd leg as the most desert like though it appears to have many toll roads to combat this, if we decide to use them. I class this leg as a medium security risk.


I will be hesitant to alter the countries we visit using this West route mainly due to time and security, though more than happy to alter the towns visited along the way so that we can call upon any friends and/or take up any invitations to hospitality/accommodation.

I suggest we use campsites or wild camp as much as possible to keep costs down and if safe to do so, though recommend we use local accommodation through the high risk countries.

I have purposefully avoiding using google maps to make myself and fellow travel partners more familiar with each countries roads and surrounding areas. If any of you guys are interested in this route then maybe an idea to plot yourselves using a paper map as I have.

I suspect some of the estimated travel times and distances will be way out and will just have to predict these whilst on the road using valuable information from other travellers along the way. There will be some long days where we don't reach our destination as well as short days where we can decide whether to press on or not.

One thing I havnt researched yet are re fuelling opportunities as this may effect the proposed route and we will have to divert accordingly.

I have tried to research each section of this route as much as possible, however will research further and update the attachment notes throughout 2012 until our departure.

Using this route, total estimated mileage from tail to top of Africa is 10,584.1 miles. You may be able to work out the cost of your fuel using this estimation.

The total estimated days of actual travel (ie on the road) are 43.

Border Crossings 17 allowing a day for each.

Total days travelling 60 including border crossings.

This leaves approx 30 days off riding to be used for emergencies and of course relaxing.

If you can spot any mistakes with regards to any of this proposed route or planning I welcome any corrections, suggestions or feedback.

Many Thanks and I really do hope that we all can commit to this sooner rather than later.

Regards to all, Tommy

Posted by Tommy Foy at November 07, 2011 09:54 PM GMT

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