Safety of road from Gambia to Ziguinchor
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 6, 2012 10:47 AM Last Post By: aki2006
Dec 30, 2011 3:02 PM
Safety of road from Gambia to ZiguinchorHi everyone,
several countries warn of road travel from Gambia to Ziguinchor. How real is that danger at the moment? I'm currently in Saint-Louis and am planning to head down to Dakar, Gambia, the Casamance and then Guinea-Bissau.
If the road is not safe, are there any other options apart from going back to Dakar and taking the ferry?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Dec 30, 2011 4:19 PM
1The chances are very slim that you would run into the rebels, who only mount small attacks every so often. They have been a bit bolder lately, attacking and killing some army personnel; however, generally over the entire Casamance region attacks have only amounted to one every other week in the recent past. In particular, don't travel at night, not only for that reason but for general traffic safety reasons. I've lived in Dakar 5 years and done the transgambian highway a few times from Kolda and Ziguinchor, and would do it again.
Jan 1, 2012 8:28 AM
I've done the journey in a 7Place in February and between the Gambia border and Ziginchor I counted about 12 army checkpoints, with only one stop and passport control/ baggage search before Zig. The army was very friendly. The trip takes about 2-2.5 hours. I felt safe. As inidcated, do the trip at daylight and take good transport. I'm doing the same trip next February again, so if you can update us by describing up to date experience, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.
Jan 1, 2012 9:53 AM
Jan 3, 2012 5:59 AM
4Hi, the road is safe just bloody uncomfortable down to Farafeni from Kaolack. The road is better when you cross back into Senegal but not too much. Its more the road condition and animals in the road that is the problem as we hit the back of a cow that had moved into the road suddenly!
I have been up to Abene in a sept place from Ziguionchor and the road was pretty good and we did it in about 1hr30mins i think though the driver was a bit of a madman but made a nice change from the usual slow coaches i have been driven by - usually the sept places are pretty knackered. There were lots of checkpoints up to Abene but i think i got out the bus only a few times heading up.
Update - There was some trouble by separatists yesterday near Cap Skirring that was on the news yesterday, though i don't know for sure if anyone died as my french isn't that good but was on the local tv news.
People are really nice down here and there's some nice places to visit. We saw a few tanks and lots of soldiers around so there must be a threat somewhere but you should have no probs in the tourist centres.
Jan 5, 2012 6:09 AM
5There are so many police, customs and soldiers on the roads it is annoying. A rebel or two to take their attention off of shaking down the drivers would be greatly appreciated by this Senegal resident....
And by the way, any city in America on a good day is much more dangerous than Senegal (or Gambia) on a bad day. Relax.
Jan 5, 2012 2:23 PM
I think you might be mentioning the above rebel attac in Affiniam a couple of days ago. If anyone is there right now I would really appreciate any updates, both on the road situation and general safety. My trip is approaching in February and I'd hate to change my itinerary. Eric, the owner of Esperanto Lodge in Kafountine says the rebels only make trouble for the army, not tourists. However who knows, last month 10 civilians died according to the above website,
Thanks for the updates.
Jan 6, 2012 1:50 AM
7The rebels do mount roadblocks and rob cars which pass. Occasionally they have attacked small villages or farmers working in fields. They don't specifically target tourists or tourist areas, but they will gladly rob you if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, really, your chances of encountering this is very very slim. Go and don't worry about it. It would be best to stay away from the areas around Bignona and Sedhiou areas as they tend to see the most trouble.
Jan 6, 2012 10:47 AM
8Thanks everyone for your comments, that was very helpful. Looking forward to going to the Casamance!
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