I am planning to go to Ghana via truck/mini bus by ending of January or beginning of February 2009 and I am looking for one passenger.
I have lived in Ghana for three years (2000-2003) and that changed my life completely. I started working with a local youth NGO and did never regret it although going through some hard times. I have been back to Ghana in 2005 and 2006 but now I want to go and send a vehicle there as well as donations (computers etc.) for young people in need.
I am planning to send the vehicle to Germany in December and then go down and start the trip from Germany (Cologne) by ending of January. I plan to go via Holland, France, Spain, Marocco, West Sahara, Mauretania, Mali and Burkina Faso. The trip will take roughly two weeks. I have never done this before but have spoken to people who did. One of my colleages from Ghana will also join the vehicle in Marocco for extra security.
As this is a trip for charity we are trying to keep costs as low as we can and kindly ask the person who wants to join this adventure to contribute Pound Sterling 500,00 towards costs associated with the trip and would be glad if he/she can speak better French then I do and can drive too.
Oh, you have no idea how much I would love to do this trip! But the timing is totally wrong for me. I am due to be in DRC for May/June but the way things are looking I may not get there so the alternatives I have been looking at are Mauritania, Mali, Burkinoa Faso and Ghana! My French is not good, but I get by and I am a demon at the wheel. Damn!
I am just back from driving from Oxford, UK to Gambia in an old de-commissioned ambulance. The journey was magnificent- through france, spain, morocco, western sahara, mauritania and senegal.
We gave the ambulance to a Gambian charity as well as around £3500 sponsorship money. The sense of achievement is huge and the journey is genuinely life-changing.
The people, as you will know from your experience in Ghana, are so grateful and warm and I can't wait to travel further in West Africa with a view to working with a local NGO somewhere myself.
Being able to speak French is extremely useful so if you do find a French-speaker to go with you that would be a massive bonus. Otherwise get a phrase book and some tapes before you go and wing it a bit like I did It's amazing how far patience can get you with dodgy border officials and coppers askign for presents etc. Just say no, stay firm and wait as long as it takes. After a while they lose interest.
Unleaded fuel is hard to come by in southern Western Sahara and into Mauritania but the amby ran on leaded petrol ok. Jerry cans are invaluable - fill up whenever you can and always have spare fuel. Sorry if that sounds patronising but we almost came to grief with no fuel and met people who had run out in the sahara!! Not a great thing to do
If I can help any more give me a shout.
Best of luck,
thanks for your enthusiastic message and well wishes. I do appreciate that very much. I have indeed a few questions and would be glad if you could answer them for me.
1. On the road in Europe especially France did you pay Maut (fee for using highways), if so how much was it?
2. Which ferry did you use and how much was it? Did you hear about a better crossing then the one you used?
3. Where did you get the tickets from?
4. How was the entrance into Morocco? Any problems or other issues?
5. Most important, what about insurance for the vehicle? How did you go about that? How much was it?
6. Apart from the border to Senegal, did they ask you for a 'Carnet de Passage' anywhere else?
7. How long do you estimate did it take you from entering Morocco to Nouahdibou in one go, without stopping anywhere? Is that possible or would I need to rest?
8. Any other issues you or I did not mention yet?
Thanks again for your posting. I hope to hear from you soon.