Does anyone know of an easy way to get visas for multiple western African countries at once (Nigera, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea etc.??) OR backpacking overland, do I even need visas? would I just be able to pay a fee at the border?
Thanks for any help!
I have lived in Mali for about a year and did some trips to Burkina and Senegal as well. As far as I know there is no "multiple countries visa". I had to get my visa for Mali from an embassy in Europe. When I travelled from Mali to Burkina, I took my Burkina Visa at the border and the Burkina Policemen were very friendly. There was no problem in getting through. On the other hand, getting back to Mali was not as easy, even with a valid Visa. These guys are just accustomed to "small gifts in an envelope", which I refused to pay...Unfortunately this cost me about half a day to get through the borders. For Senegal I didnt need a visa as I am from an EU country. I don't know about the other countries that you mentioned but to be sure to get your visa, I'd suggest you get it before leaving your home country. Otherwise wou might risk to lose a lot of time for bureaucratic stuff...
Enjoy your trip to West Africa, it's an unbelievable and very enriching trip!!
Sadly there are no multiple country visa's and you have to obtain visa's one at a time. Visa requirements are based on your nationality and have no bearing on whether you backpack overland or fly in. I suggest checking out what visa's you absolutely HAVE to have in advance and getting those ones first, then get the rest as you go. Depending on how long you are in a country for you may have time to get the next country's visa there - rather than doing them all from your home country (which is no good for any that have expiry dates as they tend to run out before you arrive ). I have found www.projectvisa.com and VisaHQ very helpful and accurate. Otherwise ring an independent visa advice office and ask them which visa's are required before arrival (as opposed to ringing each embassy, who of course tell you to get them in advance no matter what).