Timbuktu, Mali to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia overland?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Timbuktu, Mali to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia overland?

1. Posted by jedi-xanu (First Time Poster 1 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Basically: My bro and I have been thinking about planning this overland trip from Timbuktu to Addis (cities chosen largely for personal reasons rather than anything specific we wanted to see) and were wondering if this is at all possible and how easy/difficult it might be, or if it's a stupid idea and we should give up now!

We have sketched out a vague route (mostly following roads) on Google Earth. This would take us through: Mali, Niger, (briefly) Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan and Ethiopia. I have been to Ethiopia before and found it felt a safe, comfortable and friendly country to travel in. My Dad spent a couple of months travelling in Sudan (this would have been about twenty years ago) and says he found it safe and friendly. The only trouble he experienced was food poisoning and a bus accident (both quite serious but as he points out: could have happened anywhere!). I've heard Mali is, by and large, ok for travellers and my mum knows someone who was kidnapped in Nigeria (he worked for an oil company-c'est la vie? lol). Apart from this I have pretty much no idea how safe or easy these places are for travellers, or what to expect generally. Any help?

Also, we have no idea about transport: buses, trains? Is it advisable simply to use our own vehicle (presumably 4x4, though no idea about terrain)? We have, jokingly, suggested using camels at some point... lol. What are the options and how fast/cheap/easy/comfortable might they be?

Other queries: visas, travel insurance, health etc... (boring but neccesary!) How long might this kind of thing take? How much might it cost? And, last but not least, any unmissable sights along the way? We definitley would intend to go to Gondar and Lalibela along the way but apart from that are open to ideas!

So... that would be a vague outline of our ideas... any help, advice or ideas would be gratefully and enthusiastically recieved! Oh, and, this isn't an immediate thing at all, by the way! Definitley going to be AT LEAST 3 or 4 years before it's even possible, so no pressure!


2. Posted by aidni (Respected Member 33 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

As far as I know the border between CAR and Sudan is closed, it's Darfur region, the same for the border between Chad and Sudan :( When it comes to the rest. I've been travelling alone in East and West Africa for 8 months using public transport. Mali (if you don't wander North of Timbuktu and Gao) is perfectly safe, the same for Niger (besides the Tenere desert area), Nigeria I don't know but I've met many people travelling with their cars and they did not have any problems in Nigeria. CAR is bribe taking, especially if you travel with your own car (I know it from my friends travelling with a motorbike check www.singapore2poland.com - it's also in English). Ethiopia is perfectly safe.
Best of luck