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Ed463 04-23-2019 01:49 PM

West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
2 Attachment(s)
I appreciate this is primarily a North American forum but there are a few interlopers here:tongue: So:

Anyone interested in joining us?

Still a vauge/flexible plan.
Spring 2020 with a group of a few other like minded people. It's a guided tour (So there is a cost of around £400/ week. I have no financial interest in this, some friends are leading the trip. They've been on the toad for 5 plus years so know the score when it comes to border crossings, visa's or places to avoid etc.)
Nothing too fixed in stone yet.
Leave Mid Jan from Spain to Morocco. From there head straight to Mauritania, not too quickly though. Begining of Feb into Mauirtania for 2 weeks. Counties to visit after that Mali, South Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo and Ghana. The plan is around 3 weeks in each country, but this is flexible. Little side excusions on the way too. Camping (When Available!!!) or we wild camp. Or Church Missions, gardens of Hotels etc. It's possible to arrange shipping back from Togo and fly back if time is an issue.
We need to be back in the UK for mid April so we may store the van somewhere safe and fly back from The Gambia as there are loads of nice easy and relatively cheap flights available.
This isn't a full on off road wacky races trip!! It's a nice and steady overland trip.
Gratuitous photos for attention:lol:

VanGoSki 04-25-2019 04:08 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
I've done self-guided tips in East Africa and Southern Africa in rental 4x4's, so this sounds pretty interesting. Is this a 4x4 trip, trucks, buses or what?

Ed463 04-25-2019 07:26 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by VanGoSki (Post 763129)
I've done self-guided tips in East Africa and Southern Africa in rental 4x4's, so this sounds pretty interesting. Is this a 4x4 trip, trucks, buses or what?

It's in your own vehicle. Sorry I've just re read my original post and that's not very clear.

4x4 needed but it's not extreme off road stuff.
We're in our Sprinter and 2 others in Toyota Troopie's. Max 5 vehicles in the group I'd say.
It will probably be a 3 month trip but longer would be better, need to be back for our sons wedding mid April though.
It may be possible to rent but I think that gets difficult when you're crossing borders.

Bobnoxious 04-25-2019 01:53 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
I'll pass.

She's lucky.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/america...ari-in-uganda/

lindenengineering 04-25-2019 03:34 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Bob you should go!
Always remember a very influential AMERICAN writer who wrote :-

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Worthy of contemplation !
Dennis

VanGoSki 04-25-2019 04:53 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed463 (Post 763154)
It's in your own vehicle. Sorry I've just re read my original post and that's not very clear.

4x4 needed but it's not extreme off road stuff.
We're in our Sprinter and 2 others in Toyota Troopie's. Max 5 vehicles in the group I'd say.
It will probably be a 3 month trip but longer would be better, need to be back for our sons wedding mid April though.
It may be possible to rent but I think that gets difficult when you're crossing borders.

So you're shipping your Sprinter to Africa? Man, this really sounds incredible. Is this being organized by people who are familiar with the route and can speak to the safety of these places?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobnoxious (Post 763188)

Note that Uganda wasn't on this list. Africa is a continent with many countries. Lumping them all together is like lumping Mexico in with the US when talking about North America. I've self-driven extensively in six African countries and never had any issues. And that was in a solo vehicle. With a caravan you'd be exponentially safer. On the other hand, I will admit I've never even heard of half of the places this tour covers. :laughing:

Ed463 04-25-2019 05:09 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by VanGoSki (Post 763230)
So you're shipping your Sprinter to Africa? Man, this really sounds incredible. Is this being organized by people who are familiar with the route and can speak to the safety of these places?

It's easy for us. Southern Spain and then a 2hr ferry crossing to Tangier Med. Port Morocco. If you wish you can then get to southern Morocco in a day using very good motorway/toll roads. But why not take a week or so:bounce:
Our friends who are leading the trip more or less live full time in Africa. Predominantly the west coast. So yes they are well aware of certain border crossings to avoid etc.





Note that Uganda wasn't on this list. Africa is a continent with many countries. Lumping them all together is like lumping Mexico in with the US when talking about North America. I've self-driven extensively in six African countries and never had any issues. And that was in a solo vehicle. With a caravan you'd be exponentially safer. On the other hand, I will admit I've never even heard of half of the places this tour covers. :laughing:

Spot on:cheers:
Zero worries on that front. Apart from half hearted pestering/scams (in relative terms we're multi millionaires:lol:)the people are incredibly warm and welcoming. Far safer than any large North American or European city imho:thumbup:

VanGoSki 04-25-2019 09:37 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
This all sounds really good. I'm interested, but I have a few hurdles to overcome before I commit, not the least of which I don't have my Sprinter yet. It's due to arrive late this summer. Of course you'll probably have filled the spot before then, but maybe I can join this group on a future tour.

Bobnoxious 04-26-2019 05:01 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lindenengineering (Post 763212)
Bob you should go!
Always remember a very influential AMERICAN writer who wrote :-

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Worthy of contemplation !
Dennis

Hell no, I'll stay on my own turf. I wouldn't be able to sleep a wink.

jcmadeintheshade@gmail.com 04-28-2019 07:52 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Any room for a fellow sprinter van enthusiast to join you without a van there? I am always looking for another bucket list item to add while I am still relatively in good enough shape to hike around and be mobile.

I recently watched a history of the Dakar race from Paris to Dakar and there seemed to be an alternative in the making that might bring this race back from South America.

The last Dakar was, in my opinion, focused too much on running in deep sand dunes, to the point of becoming repetitive. Holding the entire race in Peru was also a factor that bugged me.

Crossing national borders has always been a part of this longstanding endurance race until this past year.

Here is to a great trip whenever it happens. I will be looking forward to your reports as they come in. Thanks for sharing to all here.

Ed463 04-29-2019 11:23 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jcmadeintheshade@gmail.com (Post 764087)
Any room for a fellow sprinter van enthusiast to join you without a van there? I am always looking for another bucket list item to add while I am still relatively in good enough shape to hike around and be mobile.

I recently watched a history of the Dakar race from Paris to Dakar and there seemed to be an alternative in the making that might bring this race back from South America.

The last Dakar was, in my opinion, focused too much on running in deep sand dunes, to the point of becoming repetitive. Holding the entire race in Peru was also a factor that bugged me.

Crossing national borders has always been a part of this longstanding endurance race until this past year.

Here is to a great trip whenever it happens. I will be looking forward to your reports as they come in. Thanks for sharing to all here.

I think renting a vehicle (usually Toyota Prado's/LC's or Mitsubishi Shoguns in that part of the world) will be prohibitively expensive but the real issue would probably be crossing borders.
I'll ask the question though:thumbup:
We'll no doubt follow some of the Paris - Dakar route. We drove a lot of it in the Sprinter last year.

Roodster 05-27-2019 08:54 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Ed, this sounds like a plan! The only bit that worries me is Mali, & thats the country I would like to see the most. Love the look of the place the people, & the Music is the best in the world. But very mixed reports coming out of there Might have to think on this one, would love to go, but slightly scarey. BTW I have a 4x4 sprinter. Cheers.

Ed463 05-27-2019 09:25 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roodster (Post 771456)
Ed, this sounds like a plan! The only bit that worries me is Mali, & thats the country I would like to see the most. Love the look of the place the people, & the Music is the best in the world. But very mixed reports coming out of there Might have to think on this one, would love to go, but slightly scarey. BTW I have a 4x4 sprinter. Cheers.

True, that's Africa:idunno: it changes by the day.
Having said that Mali is huge and the West seems safe at the moment.
Our friends (who are leading the trip) live in Bamako for part of the year so have lots of local contacts/knowledge. I'll update or pm you as things progress.

Roodster 05-27-2019 10:00 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Ed, thanks for that, Local knowledge turns a fool into a wise man. Keep me updated, I've travelled in Morocco, Kenya & S Africa, but weirdly enough never driven abroad. Was always planning on Morocco or Iran in me van. Cheers.

Bobnoxious 05-27-2019 03:13 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by VanGoSki (Post 763230)
So you're shipping your Sprinter to Africa? Man, this really sounds incredible. Is this being organized by people who are familiar with the route and can speak to the safety of these places?



Note that Uganda wasn't on this list. Africa is a continent with many countries. Lumping them all together is like lumping Mexico in with the US when talking about North America. I've self-driven extensively in six African countries and never had any issues. And that was in a solo vehicle. With a caravan you'd be exponentially safer. On the other hand, I will admit I've never even heard of half of the places this tour covers. :laughing:

The law of averages will catch up. It only takes one group of teenagers brandishing AK-47's to ruin a person day.

Roodster 05-27-2019 07:38 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobnoxious (Post 771500)
The law of averages will catch up. It only takes one group of teenagers brandishing AK-47's to ruin a person day.

And in London, one teenager with a kitchen knife is an everyday occurrence,. But it doesn't stop me going to London. We only ever hear about the bad things in the world, the everyday acts of kindness & hospitality worldwide are rarely reported.

Midwestdrifter 05-27-2019 11:25 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Humans are pretty bad at assessing risk. How many folks sleep with a gun near their bed? The statistics indicate they are more likely to commit suicide, or have an accidental discharge, than successfully use it do defend themselves. The reality is that walking down the stairs, driving a car, and eating high sugar diets are much higher risk.

There are truly dangerous places all over the world. Rarely are they a whole country. Usually its a specific area. For example there are some areas of Detroit, LA, and even rural Oregon that pose high risk.

To be fair some folks are paranoid, and tend to consume media that paints vast swaths of the world as a teaming mass of inferior types who would turn criminal given the chance. Thankfully that is not the case.

Ed, we would love to join you! But the timing is not right, we are not yet on that continent. Hopefully when we finally get that way, you will have space for a custom built T1N 4x4 overland machine and two "crazy
engineers.

Ed463 05-28-2019 06:22 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter (Post 771647)
Humans are pretty bad at assessing risk. How many folks sleep with a gun near their bed? The statistics indicate they are more likely to commit suicide, or have an accidental discharge, than successfully use it do defend themselves. The reality is that walking down the stairs, driving a car, and eating high sugar diets are much higher risk.

There are truly dangerous places all over the world. Rarely are they a whole country. Usually its a specific area. For example there are some areas of Detroit, LA, and even rural Oregon that pose high risk.

To be fair some folks are paranoid, and tend to consume media that paints vast swaths of the world as a teaming mass of inferior types who would turn criminal given the chance. Thankfully that is not the case.

Ed, we would love to join you! But the timing is not right, we are not yet on that continent. Hopefully when we finally get that way, you will have space for a custom built T1N 4x4 overland machine and two "crazy
engineers.

Couldn't have put it better:thumbup:
Add, driving whilst on a mobile phone, driving with no seat belt, driving/walking down the wrong street in any North American or European city....
It would be great to see you, be handy to have a NCV3 recovery truck following us around :lol::lol:
We've travelled to some amazing places (and not so amazing:idunno:) and met great people but Africa does get you hooked!
And yes we've met a teenager with an AK47. He was a very happy and friendly individual. But he wouldn't let me have a go with it:frown: even in exchange for $20. I'm guessing no bullets:laughing:

Sabrina Smith 01-23-2020 02:11 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
The trip, especially by car must be planned in a precautious manner. There are many scams and violence against foreigners in Africa. However, picturesque views, landscapes, wild life cover all these negative moments. I hope you will have a nice break away in Africa as I did. Now I am planning to visit Columbia which is quite similar, I think. I wonder if you know some good websites about traveling to Columbia? Is http://www.travelsafe-abroad.com/colombia/travelsafe-abroad.coma trustful source of information?

Bobnoxious 01-23-2020 03:18 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
I'll take a hard pass. Nothing to see, smell or do in West Africa that's already migrated to So Cal.

Bon Voyage, have a safe and enjoyable trip.

lindenengineering 01-23-2020 06:25 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
First words of advise.
Don't dress like a Yank , rather more like a rag bag Columbian or Venezuelan.
The popular Yankee belly pack is a big giveaway, only Yanks wear those ! Big attack target followed by expensive designer sneakers like genuine Nikes!
Again only Yanks wear those
I lived for years in that region, mostly in Caracas .

I traveled all over South & Central America, petty theft (pick pockets) & mugging assault is the biggest issue in some areas especially at night & entering unknown "barrios" without local invites. So don't attract attention to yourselves try to look and act like a local.
All the best
Dennis

surferJ 02-09-2020 11:06 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Hey Ed, I missed this call for travel mates back when. At the time I was in the waiting period for my van and couldn’t have committed. Now that I’ve got her I would be tempted.

An organized group is easier for sure, but so far I have really been digging the solo wandering style. That is in the safe confines of Western Europe so far.

Enjoy the trip.

lindenengineering 03-19-2020 08:50 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Interesting perspective and I agree with everything written above.
Doing customer support in Arab Africa I would occasionally venture south into sub saharan regions like the Congo & Uganda in a Landrover.

For me the remedy was some info from the "in territory" British Embassy & local info on road conditions etc, before venturing further was always helpful.
With a Nian Persian carpet to stretch out on the roof for a nights sleep and adequate provisions that bloody Landrover took me all over the continent & back to Baghdad where I was based.
I didn't need no agency simply this "mazunga" was on his own like a lot of wandering Brits, however we are usually armed with tea making equipment and various flavors of the leaf.
Usually guaranteed to "soften & sooth" even the most aggressive local a hot cuppa always seems to mellow the relationship. I suppose its a shame that some nationalities haven't YET discovered its medicinal and diplomatic remedies to many a meeting of the minds.:thumbup:
Dennis

Ed463 03-20-2020 08:59 AM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Ah yes, stay calm and put the kettle on. Great advice for when things go pear shaped. If that fails crack open the rum and think about it in the morning:-)
Patience, the "time is of no consequence to me attitude" (even if it is an illusion) can work wonders.
I really need to follow my own advice more!

lindenengineering 03-20-2020 07:21 PM

Re: West Africa Trip Anyone?
 
Being able to speak Arabic and other ME languages helps--BUT this is universal east of Turkey and south of Spain across the straits .
Dennis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7aX28m0TDU


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