Deep into Africa without a visa!
Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
212Trip End Dec 16, 2012
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Obtaining our Congo visa in Nigeria, we were looking forward to this country, having being told how friendly the locals were. We crossed the border from Gabon, and straight away treated ourselves with a cold beer. Things were looking up. Little did we know, we would be deep into Africa without a visa.
Our first bush camp in the Congo, and straight away we had locals visit. We were all hot, and really enjoyed the cold beers in which we had earlier
Heading back to our bush camp in the dark was always going to be a struggle, so thanks to a French speaking fellow traveller, we got a ride with the locals on the back of a truck. It was cool, Karen even got to talk to some locals who turned out to also be teachers. We were all on a high, but things were about to get worse. As we returned to our bush camp, we were informed that drugged locals visited the camp and threatened those who stayed behind at the bush camp. We weren't to know something like this was going to happen, neither did we know that we soon would be deep into Africa without a visa.
Our next stop was Dolisse and it was here where we were to get our Angolan visas. Not being able to check into our planned accomodation, ten of us had to have baby wipe showers, we were then scrubbed up and dressed in our best clothes. In the heat of the day, we confidently walked to the Angolan Embassy and were stopped at the gate
So off we went to Pointe Noire. We drove on a really impressive road through the jungle. This road was amazing, to think a country like Congo could have such a flash road. As we continued towards Pointe Noire in the pouring rain, we weren't thinking that we would be deep into Africa without a visa.
Camping at the yacht club in Pointe Noire became bearable, especially knowing that we were going to be getting our Angolan visas. So the next day we had a shower (after several days of bushcamping), put on our best clothes and headed to the Pointe Noire Angolan Embassy. We arrived, then were turned away as it was a public holiday in Angola. When we were discussing what we were about to do, we were ushered away from the Angolan security guard as they didn't even want us in their car park. Now we realised that we were deep in Africa without a visa.
The next day we tried again. Up until now we had tried to obtain our Angolan visas in Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Dolisse and now Pointe Noire. We had spoken to other tourists who had been waiting for four months to get their visas. We even spoke to a local bar owner who was Algerian and as a Congo resident, could not get a visa for Angola so that he could go to the African Cup of Nations in Cabinda, Angola
So even though we had dreamed of travelling around Africa overland, we had resigned to the fact that Angola had spoiled these plans. We had decided to book an expensive flight to Johannesburg and travel around South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, planning to meet the truck in Namibia. We were deep into Africa without a visa, but we were going make the most of this blessing in disguise.
As far as Congo goes, we enjoyed our time and really enjoyed the people, the scenary and the souvenir shopping. With our spare time in Pointe Noire we went shopping and we really had to barter hard. We purchased some cool African statues and ornaments for less then five times of the asking price. We were deep into Africa without visas, but at least we had some awesome souvenirs.
We were so glad we didn't give up on Angola hopes like others on the tour, who left the truck in Cameroon and Gabon, as flights were cheaper. We were disappointed that we were not only missing out on Angola, but also the Democratic Republic of Congo (which we have a visa for). DRC was going to be a big highlight for us as we would cross the Congo River and Shaun was aiming to do a nudey swim in the second greatest river in the world, but now it was just a big disappointment. But at the end of the day, we were so glad we went to Congo, even though we were deep in Africa without a visa!