Trip from Dakar to Conakry to Freetown, August 2012
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Aug 4, 2012 5:24 AM Last Post By: skorpionRebekka
Jul 11, 2012 6:15 AM
If the rain happens to make this overland trip impossible (we only have a month), which alternative can you recommend, e.g. flying from Banjul to Conakry and take the bus to Freetown from there? Or is there a possibility via the sea?
Any ideas and advice are welcome! Also happy to catch up with other travelers around at that time and in any of those countries. THANKS! Rebekka and Bernd from Germany
Jul 11, 2012 8:12 AM
I've travelled this route in rainy season before (though a few years ago). Rains do make a mess of the roads, but it's certainly still possible to travel. In Guinea and Sierra Leone, most roads are terrible - or at least they were when I travelled there - so you need to be prepared for slow travel, and for a lot of ferry crossings on rivers being out of service.
As far as I'm aware, the best roads from Senegal into Guinea go through Koundara to Labe. I've never travelled that road personally, but you could either go through Gambia and Casamance to get there, or head straight to Tambacounda and then continue south. I believe that the roads through Guinea-Bissau are worse, but I've never been to Guinea-Bissau, so can't comment.
Conakry-Freetown took me about 14 hours in the rain, with all kinds of mayhem along the way. Very little of the road was paved when I travelled this though: if it's paved all the way now (!) it should be fairly straight-forward.
I can give you more specific details if you want, though all my information is a few years old. HOWEVER, don't let the rains put you off this trip: it's certainly possible, and enjoyable, to travel this part of the world during the rainy season, as long you have plenty of patience, and a tolerance for getting wet.
Jul 11, 2012 9:27 AM
2Giora has it, the best road (& I've heard that it's even better these days) is from Koundara to Labe. Don't try doing the route from Quebo (GB) to Boke (Gn) - it was bad enough in the dry season let alone the wet!!!
Guinea Bissau roads are remarkably good in general, far better than Guineas!
Boat - I tried from south of Quebo across to Kamsar area ... very dangerous waters & just pirogues going - a lot of locals were anti the idea so hence took the overland route!
Jul 21, 2012 6:34 AM
3The brand new tarmac road between Conakry and Freetown should be finished now. ( EU funding). It will certainly make travel between the 2 countries a lot quicker and less of an adventure so more stories of pot holes and floods! Do enjoy the trip and stand firm against regular police stops asking for money. We never paid despite their firm insistance on us giving money. I would love to go back to the secondary school in Mange Bureh which will be just on the left hand side of the road as you pass the border into Sierra Leone about an hour in. It was so humbling to see how they cope with lack of electricity and water and books.
Jul 21, 2012 6:38 AM
Aug 4, 2012 5:24 AM
5Hey everybody, just about to start our road trip. Thank you all for your valuable information and thanks Ali for inviting us to stay at your place in Gambia!!! We will certainly post a little update after our return to Germany. Oh by the way: Check out the Senegalese Road movie "TGV Express" about a bus trip from Dakar to Conakry by Moussa Touré! Cheers, Rebekka and Bernd
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