Zambia-DRC-Congo...Info wanted





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  1. #1
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    Default Zambia-DRC-Congo...Info wanted

    Hello,
    My husband and I are currently waiting in Harare for a visa for Angola... It is looking like it may not become avalible, so are researching alternative routes from Zambia through the DRC to Congo (we are driving the West Coast back to London- or attempting too!)
    Any info on this route would be much appreciated. We are particularly interested on any details or experiences from the border at Kasumbulesa, DRC to Kinshasa, DRC.
    Many Thanks.
    Clare

  2. #2
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    Glen & Clare, I have been through the Kasumbulesa border about 2 weeks ago and I can tell you its a nightmare at best. The road to Lubumbashi has been redone by the Chinese, thus good for now but wont last, with regular speed traps with fines of $10 /kmh exceeded. If you see a hut close to the road, know that the speed limit is 40kmh and there are no signs indicating the limit. So if you did not spot the hut and was doing about 100km/h full of border frustrations your fine would be 60x$10 = $600, payable in unmarked notes only. After payment they might have the audacity to ask for a lift back to Lubumbashi as they do not have transport of their own.

    The "road" from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa, wonder when last this was done? Mike you did the DRC trip many moons ago?

    I would rather stick with the original plan and wait for the Angola visa................

    BTW welcome to the forum!
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2010/07/03 at 04:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Clare,

    I don't know much about the whole route, but as Bertie says, speed limits are a pain in the butt. The road from Kinshasa to the coast I do know. All the way to Matadi and then on to Boma is reasonable tar. From Boma to Muanda its dirt, repaired about 9 months ago by the Chinese but already in a pitiful state, but doable in a 4x4. From Muanda up to the border at Cabinda its also not too bad. But the border post is once again sent to test one's patience...

    HTH, Gary
    I am strong, because I've been weak.
    I am fearless, because I've been afraid.
    I am wise, because I've been foolish.

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    Thanks Guys for the information.... It really is confirming what we have researched and are holding our fingers truly and firmly crossed that the Angolan embassy comes through for us. However, if they don't, then we have little other option than to try DRC, which will be the biggest adventure of the whole trip....Hopefully we find out this week about the Visa.
    Many thanks,
    Clare

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mfuwefarmer View Post
    Mike you did the DRC trip many moons ago?
    How did I miss this thread?

    Yep, Bertie, I did, but on a completely different route from what is proposed here, up in the north-east of the country. I entered from CAR at Bangassou, and exited at Aru, having travelled via Buta & Isiro. We took nearly 30 days to do 907 miles, and drove typically for 8 to 10 hours every day........ie averaged about 4 or 5 mph!! I doubt whether the road we took is any better now, indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if it is completely overgrown and impassable.

    Whilst DRC (Zaire) couldn't be any more decrepid and corrupt than when we travelled there (during Mobuto's rule), I doubt whether it has improved much either. The SNIP (secret police), ran everything when we were there, and were the scum of the earth. Fuel was virtually impossible to find, and guards at some bridges extracted a "toll". Indeed, villagers would set up barriers across the road and try to extract a toll for letting us use the road.

    Even with a new Chinese road, this will not be an easy trip.

    Mike
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    Last edited by MikeAG; 2010/07/05 at 09:26 AM.
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    Mike, I was about to send you a note on this thread.

    My advice to Clare is........... STAY AWAY!

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    Hi Guys,
    Finally, after 3 weeks got the visa for Angola!! So, fortuantly, we now don't have to cross DRC.
    Cheers for the advice.
    Clare

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    Clare

    Read this trip report: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=50799

    Its WOW.... but you need four hours
    "A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster "
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    Default Would like Information on getting through Congo DRC accross to Cameroon from Rwanda

    MikeAG,

    Im new on this forum and have been having a look through old threads and come accross im im interseted on were you traveled through. Im from Australia and planing on doing a trip very much like you have done. Ive worked in Africa driving Overland trucks up the east from Cape Town to Cairo but want to head up the eastern side of Mozambquie to Dar then head west below Lake Victoria then cross over congo DRC to Cameroon. I liked the pictures you posted it looks just like what i want to get out of my trip Tuff 4x4ing have you got any info for me? I know you did it a couple years ago but any info would be much appreciated.
    Regards Patrick Davey ( travelingaustralian )

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    Hi Patrick, and welcome to the forum.

    The route we did is not do-able these days, I'm afraid. That trip was way back in 1994-5, and was Bangassou-Likati-Buta-Isiro-Aru. My understanding is that both of those border crossing points are shut, and that with the Lord's Resistance Army and millions of displaced people, that neck of the woods is just not somewhere you want to be. You may struggle to get out alive.

    I don't think you'd have to look too hard to find similar adventures in Congo and Cameroun, but without the same danger of being killed.....the latter is a truly incredible place, and worth spending a while exploring. Get your French in order before you head up (or down) the western route through Africa.......and don't, whatever you do, miss Mali. It is magic.

    Have a look on the HUBB for up-to-date info from people on the road, but I really don't think anyone has gone east-west or vice versa across the DRC for a decade or more, and for very good reason.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2011/06/12 at 11:01 AM.
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    Default Thanks for the heads up!!

    MikeAG,

    Thanks for the heads up. Its funny, in the time i traveled through Africa i felt safe everywhere i went , but having said that it was along the tourist route!!! Now i want to do it by myself and head off the beaten track so to speak puts a whole different twist on things!! I had a mate that went through DRC about 4 years ago and he said it was hard, but he did get through, maybe with some luck by the sounds of things??
    I diffidently want to go to Cameroun!!!! What i do know is i want to go from Cape Town accross and up to Dar along the east side then accross to the west coast, In the end i want to end up in Londan where ill work a bit before continuing on to India. As i do have friends in different part of Africa id like to catch up with them!! it been a while, Time is not realy a problem but it is a long way to divert to get to Angola!! just to head back up again. But maybe its be my best bet?
    Cheers
    Patrick ( travelingaustralian )

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelingaustralian View Post
    ......... it is a long way to divert to get to Angola!! just to head back up again. But maybe its be my best bet?
    I think it is your best bet, Patrick. I'd be interested to hear where your friend crossed DRC........clearly things are quite different in the south and west of the country. It is mainly the NE that has the serious problems.

    My biggest piece of advice for you as you contemplate this big trip..........take twice as much money as you think you'll need, then be prepared to run out. So many people make the mistake of thinking the Africa is a cheap destination. Luckily for you, your next port of call, India, is dirt cheap. Amazingly cheap. And a wonderful place to travel, too.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

  14. #13
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    Hi Patrick,

    Problem with the DRC around the Great Lakes region, the Ituri Forest and further west towards Mbuji Mayi is that nobody is in control: there are scores of militias and warlords fighting it out over resources like coltan (the stuff that's in your cellphone), bauxite, diamonds etc, and they are ruthless. Human Rights Watch reckons that over a thousand women are raped daily as a weapon of war. Nearly six million people have died in the conflict, making it the worst war since WWII. In other words, don't even think of crossing the DRC from east to west or north to south unless you are in a UN convoy or plane, and even then you're not safe!

    Read Tim Butcher's "Blood River" for his account of crossing by motor bike etc. Tim's a former war correspondent, so pretty sussed in the ways of conflict.

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    Thanks guys!!

    More homework to be done! But thats why i joined this forum to find out more answers.

    Cheers.
    Patrick (travelingaustralian )

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    Hi Patrick,

    You could do worse than to Google "Johann Hari Congo" - he's a writer at the London Independent who has written some excellent pieces on the link between resources and the regional wars in the area.

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