Whenever you decided to go on an African road trip, travelling around Africa by road definitely you’re assured of excitement and lively journey of daily occurrence. The excitement is an excursion by itself, and it worth exploring anytime.
Even though travelling by air is fast and a sought after mode of transport all over the world, travelling by road remains the most popular, easy to undertake and the cheapest within and around the continent of Africa.
Despite the issue of coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, very many Africans are travelling by road within the continent, Unlike what’s happening in Western and Central European concerning the second wave of coronavirus pandemic most African countries especially the West and Central Africa are not badly affected and moving from one country to another is basically without panic or fear of coronavirus pandemic.
WHY TRAVELLING AROUND AFRICA BY ROAD
1. It’s the in thing or a way of life to see local inhabitants travelling between Ghana, Guinea and Mali and beyond without little or no restrictions. A routine they’re used to and still practising up to date.
2. Travelling by road between Katsina in Nigeria and Maradi, to Niamey in the Niger Republic is so common and popular that you will not believe you are in another country.
3. For those market women in Gabon it is no big deal to buy goods in Cameroon and brings them home by road, it is a normal life.
4. A Beninoise going to Abidjan or Dakar with consumable items will not think twice before heading to the Cotonou motor park and hit the road anytime.
5. Likewise, coming to Lagos via Badagry, from Cotonou is a daily routine by an Ajase trader, she does not need a guide or border barrier to travel by road.
6. Moving around in East Africa by road especially between Kenya and her neighbours, except for Somalia is so common and easy that you will have no time to think of another mode of transport.
TRAVELLING AROUND AFRICA BY ROAD – Flexibility is the biggest advantage
1. You don’t need much preparation. In most cases when you intend travelling around Africa by road there is no need for a long preparation. Just pick your bag and head to a motor park designated for such an area you’re on your way. The ice on the cake is that most regions have treaty or agreement that allows for free movement of the citizens such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), The Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) Arab Maghreb Union (ANU) Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) etc. All you need, often time is your National Identity card.
2. You have the freedom to choose – You are at liberty to select the type of vehicle to follow, some people prefer cars or bus cars, likewise there are various types of buses you can select from in most areas
3. You can take along as much as you want travel lite or travel heavy, it depends on your business, you’re free to carry goods as much as you can buy, no restrictions the road will conveniently accommodate you.
4. Most motor parks operate days and nights. You can stay overnight with no extra charges. Music shops are operating 24/7 ready to entertain you all day for free.
TRAVELLING AROUND AFRICA BY ROAD – THINGS TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION
1. The mode of transport: The first question to ask a potential traveller is that – Are you going by commercial transport or a personal vehicle?
Generally, going by a commercial vehicle is much more common and reasonable in Africa due to so many factors, however, if you cherished personal comfort and time factors you may decide to travel using your car.
Going by a commercial vehicle are less expensive and safer because most drivers understood the terrain and know much more about the safety of the road and how to navigate their ways through becoming easy due to their day to day experiences. For example, there are some roads you would not travel at night, furthermore, commercial drivers understand the various shortcuts. Navigating and mastery of rough terrains can only be done by professional commercial vehicle drivers. It may be practically impossible to follow them without due permission.
The most important factor you have to take into account is the overall safety on the way. The issue of kidnapping and bandits operates openly on some Nigerian roads are so common nowadays especially around the northwestern and the north-central region that it may be reasonable to go by flight instead of taking the risk of passing through the above-mentioned areas.
Routes that are safe for you to travel
1. Travelling through the West Coast of Africa is safe and very popular and statistically busier than the air travel of the same region. Its practically possible to commence a road trip from Yaounde in Cameroon, coming to Lagos, passing safely through the Eastern region of Nigeria and move westwards to Ghana, passing through Benin and Togo. From Nigeria to Ghana you can choose to drive personally or go by commercial vehicle to Abidjan and move straight to Mali or Mauritania. The choice is yours.
You may wish to go further north and end up in Morocco. This is possible if you can take off from Bamako, Mali, using their popular system of transport, simply go on one of the numerous luxurious buses plying Bamako to Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. On reaching Nouakchott, enquire about the motor park where you can board a minibus to the second-largest city in Mauritania called Nouadhibou. From Nouadhibou it is easy to get a bus car to Dakhla. Please note that Dakhla is a city in Western Sahara, a disputed territory currently administered by Morocco. When you reach Dakhia ask for a commercial motor park where you can get a bus going to Casablanca, Morocco.
2. Travelling through the Eastern Africa region is equally safe and less expensive.
STILL ON, TRAVELLING AROUND AFRICA BY ROAD- ROUTES TO AVOID
1. Please do not travel by road from anywhere in Africa to Libya and Algeria, these are dangerous routes currently. Travelling to Libya and Algeria by road is equivalent to committing suicide. No matter how they package the journey, please refuse, in that the areais unpredictable, horrible things are happening there so frequently. To make the matter worse, there is no a functional central government in Libya currently.
Equally, avoid the Central African region and South Sudan. These places are not safe for you, due to the inter-tribal war currently ravaging the area.
2. When you’re in Lagos Nigeria never attempt to travel to the country’s capital Abuja by road, currently, the road leading to the federal capital is unsafe, especially a State called Kogi is well known for kidnappings, banditry and arm robbery.
3. TRAVEL BY RAIL
Unfortunately, travelling by rail which unarguably should by safer, cheaper and much more comfortable to move around is non-existence in most native African countries, therefore making road trips non-enjoyable.
CONCLUSION ON TRAVELLING AROUND AFRICA BY ROAD
Whenever you decided to travel around Africa by road it is important to bear in mind that in order to make the trip cheaper, simply travel as local inhabitants do. Do not go by charter transportation, when you’re in a town patronise the functional motor park, most of the motor parks operates schedule inter cities or inter States transportation system. Usually, they open 24/7 or all night long. Along with affordable local restaurants. If you miss the last vehicle you can stay in the motor park untill the day break as long as you keep low profile and respect the local culture, nothing bad will happen to you.
It’s advisable and very important, never travel at night unless you intend to follow a luxurious or a commercial bus. Night journeys are often time very risky and dangerous. It’s usually,
That’s all for now on travelling around Africa by road, for more information you can continue to visit this website.