2013-Jan start Morocco to South Africa, comments on route please
Replies: 32 - Last Post: Feb 25, 2013 11:08 AM Last Post By: Expatriate_LP
Jan 22, 2013 12:55 PM
Morocco - not required
Mauritania - in Rabat 340 MAD
Senegal - not required
GHANA - got it in Dakar
Be prepared for them to say "No" b/c of non-residency in Senegal.
Stage 1: I wrote my "Permanent" address of abroad ,,, consulate said residency inf Senegal
Stage 2: i wrote address of Auberge -- obvious from my date of entry into Senegal and 50-100 stamps that i'm not a longer term resident of Senegal
Stage 3 (and stage 0 zero / i mentioned initially):
1. No embassy of Ghana. only a couple of embassies of the world are located in the island where i living
2. Travel route many countries before Africa and in Africa - not possible/feasible to get all visa's beforehand
3. Started trip about 3.5 months ago
4. Researched requirements - yes indeed... and other people have received their visa's in countries other than which they reside ... i had webpages saved on my laptop; showed my map and notes , which i made starting from 2 yrs ago when initially planned this trip
5. 5 invitations ... each printed on a separate page
(a) 2 from NGO's to volunteer -- showed the emails they sent me
(b) 3 Individuals
6. Giving back to society/communities ... if a place feels that my knowledge is useful for its community and Ghana is asking/inviting me to do so
7. Serious person / intentions
(a) explained my profession - invited them to Google my name and see my publications and community / volunteer activity
8. insurance and medical shots -- showed i had the required ones and more
Consulate very polite, professional, firm (and listened to my points about 6 or 7 times) and agreed to process faster than normal PLUS they made up for the Malian embassy's error in my passport as i have only a handful of blank pages remaining so each is important.
I will make new passport in Ghana .
Jan 22, 2013 1:20 PM
Jan 24, 2013 10:50 AM
17Glad you got the visa for Ghana but unfortunately I don't think it'll be the same for many :(
Enjoy the rest of your trip
Jan 25, 2013 11:35 AM
(A) in Gambia, forget it! Why?
i. they relocated
ii. they don't have the decency to have a website, and if they do it sure isn;t updated. They could sign-post at the old location that they've relocated with new address, but no
iii. processing time is 7 days! what??? people have posted on Thorntree, TheHUBB, and individual websites that they got their visa in 15, 20, and 30 minutes
iv. price is NOT 350 Dalasi, it's 500 Dalasit...for 1 WEEK processing, 1,000 for 3 DAYS ... fellow shows me a printed memo from 2011 .. i show him webpages of people writing... What is true i asked? Consulate says ther memo and they've never made visas in such short periods
. I ask, you think these people writing on websites are fabricating their messages? You've never issued visas in these short times?
v. He also said same day is 2,000 Dalasi ... this was NOT listed in the memo (what is it...you memo applies and contains all info/rules OR ....)
Then Consul guy goes on to say, 'you know how much it is for us to visa to other countries?"
!@#$%! jerk ... come to Ziguinchour to get visa .... i will not bother to post the new address ...don't go to this embassy at this location !
after 5km walk (guess), with large and medium backpacks, arrived at 9:15am ... they show up ~ 9:30h, chat outside, things seem ok ... then
Jan 26, 2013 7:17 AM
19GB visa in Ziguinchor
- Friday: arrived 14:30h , but Deputy Consul (the only one regularly there and processing visas) was ill and had gone home in the morning. Neighbours called the DC who said he would come to the embassy on Saturday
- Saturday (today) - visa done in 15-17 minutes, from time of Deputy Consul unlocking front gate and handwriting the visa on adhesive-label type visa.
- Deputy Consul says hours are 8-14:00h, Monday to Friday (i did not see any posting) so it seems that Saturday is NOT regular ... but boat arrives from Dakar on Wed & Sat and apparently embassy is open for this boat
- as of December 2012, no single-entry visas... minimum 2 entries within 30 days , price is 20,000 XOF
Jan 26, 2013 7:53 AM
20iii. processing time is 7 days! what??? people have posted on Thorntree, TheHUBB, and individual websites that they got their visa in 15, 20, and 30 minutes
Were those reports you quote of people getting the visa in Gambia?
I ask because processing times vary depending on the embassy/consulate and I know many reports of people who got it in Ziginchor (quickly and easily as you report) but I don't recall reports of people getting it in Gambia. BTW, I recall a report in TT of someone who tried to get it in Praia but finally got it in Ziginchor because the processing time in Praia was longer (I don't recall how much was it exactly).
Feb 2, 2013 12:14 AM
21Yes, those 15/20/30 minute processing times were for the GB embassy in Gambia.
The 30 minutes was Hans Rossel (google his name and country - 30 to 40 countries he's written about)
The 15 and 20 minute timeframes were on the Horizons Unlimited and Throntree - webpages saved on my laptop.
Feb 2, 2013 12:32 AM
22Guinea visa -- get in GB , same day (2 or 3 hrs), COnsul usually arrives about 9 to 9:30 rather than the 8:30am opening time. 30,000 CFA for single entry for North Americans, Japanese. You will pay a lot more (almost double) in other countries.
Bit of a tight schedule, i'm skipping Sierra Leone and Liberia (now i'm in Mali) but fif go to these embassies + comments from trusted travellers.
(a) price seems rather standard at embassies in different countries
(b) $US100 for several nationalities (UK, Canada, Japan, European), $131 for USA
(c) $US 50 at border ... i heard this second-hand from a Japanese person
(d) in Gambia processing time could be 30 minutes or next day; in Conakry 72 hours (and Conakry is expensive and not that nice a place, so....)
(e) embassy in Conakry, only wanted to make visa for residents of Guinea OR with very good reason why not obtained beforehand -- he did not give it to German traveler b/c there is SL embassy near/in Germany....but where i was resident there's only a handful of embassies of the whole world , so they would give visa to me , but then i didn;t want to wait 3 days
(a) don;t know if price is standard at Lib embassies in various countries
(b) CFA 37,500 in Dakar . Location is only 5 minutes walk from Kings Plaza (south side of airport), but workers at Kings Plaza are not so helpful b/c they don;t know much or give wrong information, or do silly things like lock the outside door of second building where dormitory rooms located and need to wait to get out of the building ...locked-in like "prisoners" we were , no one informing us of going out, no leaving of a key, no phone to call over to main building .... maybe stay at Auberge Jeunesse of campsite in Hana district.
(a) in Mali, two price lists ...one for Land Border and one for Embassy
(b) prices ... Land Border price approx 2x price of going to embassy in Mali (eg. Transit 1-3 days CFA 12k at embassy/24k at land border; 90 days visa 24k embassy, 47k at land border)
Feb 2, 2013 8:01 AM
Feb 4, 2013 1:52 AM
24thanks for sharing your findings as you go along!
where did you get visa for The Gambia? do you recommend a visiit to the Gambia though Im a country collector and like adding to the notches on my belt...
how was Senegal and how was Mali!! where did you go in Mali? guess quite a few of us will be eager to hear any news and reports of how things are even if its only the safest part away from the Al Queda mob...
Hep A and cholera shots are not so much whether mandatory but for your own safety and wellbeing - Hep A is generally caught from contaminated shellfish so its a back vaccination that I have had for a long time since first travelling to China - people who have caught Hep A have sometimes needed liver transplants as the only treatment! - and the vaccination top ups last for 10 years now..so good value.
Feb 6, 2013 1:36 PM
25Gambia - no visa needed if from a Commonwealth country. Immigration stamps passport and writes number of days you get to stay.... note some guy named Brendan at Brendan's Adventures wrote tat you get only 3 days ... not true, they asked me how long i would stay and i said only a couple of days (thinking to tell them something less than 3 days) and they gave me 7 !
Might as well visit Gambia if you are in Senegal, esp b/c no visa needed.
Senegal more expensive than Gambia b/c CFA currency fixed to the Euro -- west coast of Africa is damn expensive for this reason ... and what do you get for such expensive currency? Not a whole lot.
Mali - street food is very different than Senegal,Gambia,Bissau,Conakry. Street food is tasty, varied vs others for example, Senegal (a thin layer of peas without sauce inside a thick baguette). Tons of photos, interesting and scenery different from previous countries. I was the only tourist (except for one Japanese person on January9th) in one hotel in Djenne since August or October ... it was on a previous page and there may have been an extry with a "10" (October).after a few "08" (August). The guides came running after me as i arrived at 21:45h as they wanted business. I went on Sunday night so i could experience the Monday market , which also provides several options for transportation vs non-market days. Could not get 100% clear and full photo of the mud mosque (built in 1907) because trees with leaves there now ... i went on several roofs ... by myself, without a guide... they all tell you 500 cfa per roof, and i told them it's b.s., i didn't pay anything ... why do i need a guide ... several people from internet travel forums are my "guides"....yes, they hassle, but after Morocco, etc, used to it by now
Arrived Burkina-Faso yesterday (another bus ride with people lacking common sense - not cultural differences). Tasty BBQ meat (3 small cubes) with red onion, garlic-parsley-oil-MSG hot powder for only 100CFA (why put it inside a thick baguette where you can taste only the bread?
Met a Burkina-Faso man today, lived in New York, limo driver, chatted for a while, he offered to help me find Nigerian embassy (very nice offer, no money involved ).. We slowed, stopped to make a left turn at intersection w/o a traffic light, ready to make the turn, from behind a scooter/motorcycle hit us (me!) landed on tail-bone, big toe sprained, but other scooter/motorcycle drive hit back of leg at and below the knee, walking w/ limp, went to clinic got bandaged up.
Football/soccer - not a regular follower of this sport but African Cip tournament on now - in Mali i saw Mali win over South Africa in penalty shots and today in Burkinsa-Faso saw BF win over Ghana ... so i suppose i should get to Nigeria or be in BF (maybe sidetrip to Niger and return) for the finals
Music with the Kora instrument -- is not unique to Gambia as seemed to be from reading Wikitravel for Gambia. Kora music also in Mali and BF.
In BF first thing this morning, went to BF's migration/passports/VTE office on Kadiogo Rd (a main road but location of hotel or the Migration office was incorrect on Google maps - hotel location definitely wrong relative to Migration office, but also the Migration office is closer to Gare Sogif__) in the Ghoughin area.
VTE visa -- the application form asks which of the 5 countries you will visit and i check-marked all of them.
i asked the officer several times using different routes as examples and the Migration officer said;
a) 60 days
b) 1 entry per country
c) yes, you can exit the zone of the 5 countries adn re-enter the zone to one of the 5 countries not yet visited. In other words, can go to one of the countries, then Ghana and then re-enter the zone.
They promised for 2 days later in the afternoon . I said, ut many people write on internet it's same day or next day. Migration Officer said, never on same day, but it is possible the next day at 16:00h but they don;t want to guarantee that or give that time-frame b/c they want to "manage the expectation" (my words) ... it seems as though it will be ready next day at 16:00h.
Feb 8, 2013 4:17 PM
26thanks for the info - and keep safe - lucky only your big toe!
if we go to Senegal and the Gambia so the parts of Mali from there was it worth going for? and just to Djenne? what about Bamako? and how to get to Djenne the safest from Senegal - very wary of Mali and Al Qeda and bad Africans...though my boyfriend who is Moroccan would be with me - and hes been to Senegal...but hasnt been down to those parts of Mali - and doesnt want to go if its dangerous.
we were going to go last year in his car to the desert festival which got moved from out of the desert into town for security but didnt and then next minute all this no go now stuff happened.
His brother and cousin are in the military down south Western Sahara and they are all at border stations for enhanced security - we were going to go down to visit them Sept-Oct just gone but decided we were too lazy and didnt go!
Feb 9, 2013 5:36 AM
27Toe is ok, Leg less sore, Tail-bone is worst ....but the biggest , figurative, PITA (pain in the __) is the lack of knowledge of Burkina people to know locations and transport options in their city ...asked abt 25 ppl total (a grp of 10, a grp of 6, taxi drivers, 2 medium sized hotels) re transport to Niger and location, even to ask where is Gare Central and on google maps i was within 2 to 3 minutes yet the ppl pointed very different direction or did not know ...incredible!
Also a PITA in Burkina is ppl's lack of French - abt 5 times people said they didn't understand English, but i was speaking French! ....simple words... got fed up a couple of times and spoke each word followed "c'est un mot un francais" ... even the fellow at the National Police Station for the VTE visa , who was a PITA for saying/asking in french and english "our hours are _, why you come here now?" I answered i walked here b/c was hit by moto and it's uncomfortable riding on a moto or taxi so i started early and came here. Later he repeated the question/comment when i would not answer his questions abt other irrelevant items.
Mali - is worth going to, enough differences and interesting things to see, visa cost relatively low. Bamako i enjoyed. People make the place (my own quotation), and i met interesting people (Malians and travelers). For Djenne, first get to Bamako, then bus for Mopti but exit before Motpi at crossroad to Djenne to change transportation. If go on a Saturday there is direct transport at least from San and probably Katialla (otherwise it's just the final 30km or so that need to find transport).
Go when you have time and combine with other places... for sure you'll find something good.
Feb 9, 2013 8:34 AM
28Maybe if you had a different attitude & chilled a bit with people, answered irrelevant questions ... things will happen for you!
It's quite normal that a) Bus stations in Ouaga aren't easy to find, even for professionals who have lived in the city for years & b) French is 'a' national language, not everyone speaks it, but it could be you have an accent with it that they don't understand. Take more time with people & you'll find it easier going
Feb 10, 2013 9:50 AM
29Definitely NOT chilled concerning
1. passport items. Niger immigration today just cost me freedom/cut my flexibility when they listened and said they understood about placing the exit stamp on the same page as entry stamp (Immigration Officer was quick to say he knows about economization of the pages) .. i repeated what i said ... he did not have my passport in hand and the other officers told everyone to stand 50m outside of the Immigration building... well, they put the stamp on a page that makes it unusable for adhesive type visas. Yup, i know ppl all over the world have issues abt lack of freedom ... and this after mention couple of times - could have been handled correctly if the officers allowed me in the room at time of the stamping, like they did for Japanese girl and me upon our entry.
Unfortunately this type of situation can't be repaired like when the Mali office ink-stamped their template twice - and Ghana embassy listened/understood the template did not have the seal/any info, etc and covered it with the adhesive visa.
Ghana seems to be a 'with it" / friendly country based on that and the best (almost 50%)
response rate from NGO's/Couchsurfers in explaining i'm willing to volunteer during new passport 21 day period.
2. After how many times and different types of people/organizations/professionals is reasonable to be frustrated?
3. When a source of info provides wrong info, they lose trust and credibility -- the LP forum is good, but no way to carrying Lonely Planet books (sure, prices are wrong, but there have been many occasions where u can't rely on the accuracy of the info in the book; of course they have disclaimers)
(2 star Hotel)
From US$100.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$104.35 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$222.88 per night