Where, when and how much

This section is the gateway to Africa as we know it. Details of our route, timescales and the costs involved are given here. 

In 'countries' the large map shows you the countries we have visited and the number of visits. To visit a country you can just click on the appropriate country (for a first visit) or its visit number. Alternatively you can go to 'itinerary' where you can click on the text. Here the countries are shown in the order we visited them. The calendar shows how long we took in each country (varying road and weather conditions, interesting sights and spending time with locals and fellow travellers) and where we were at a particular time of year.

The 'costs' gives an idea of how much money you will require to visit West Africa.

Which way now?

Navigate your way around Africa !

Click on a country or specific visit number to read about our adventures

 

1999

 

2000

Europe 1
April
6th
 
South Africa 4
January
5th
Morocco
16th
Lesotho
31st
Western Sahara
May
8th
South Africa 5
February
3rd
Mauritania
13th
Zimbabwe 4
27th
Senegal
19th
Mozambique
March
2nd
Gambia
27th
Malawi
3rd
Senegal
June
12th
Tanzania
7th
Guinee
16th
Kenya 1
26th
Cote d'Ivoire
30th
Uganda
April
21st
Burkina Faso
July
23rd
Kenya 2
May
15th
Mali
28th
Ethiopia
June
9th
Burkina Faso
August
2nd
Sudan
July
8th
Benin
5th
Egypt
August
2nd
Togo
11th
Israel
September
3rd
Ghana
13th
Jordan
13th
South Africa 1
29th
Europe 2
21st
Namibia
October
11th
     
Botswana 1
31st
     
South Africa 2
November
10th
     
Zimbabwe 1
30th
     
Botswana 2
December
6th
     
Zimbabwe 2
13th
     
South Africa 3
19th
     
Zimbabwe 3
28th
     

 


We had great difficulty in trying to find out how much "spends" to take on such a trip. It was a bit of a tricky subject and people said "oh, more than you expect". It was only thanks to Jo and Richard Hepper who had recently returned from travels in southern Africa that we were able to get some idea of what that meant.

The following table gives an idea of expenditure on "sensible living" in West Africa for 2 people. Fun activities, of course, increase the expenditure considerably (so we stay in every night and read a book!).

Country
No. Days
Distance (km)
Total Distance (km)
Fuel
Transport
Food
Camping
Admin.
Visa
France
3
1362
1362
93.75
24.05
32.85
0
0
0
Spain
4
1580
2942
52.53
68
0
43.72
0
0
Gibraltar
3
 
2942
15.72
0
0
0
0
0
Morocco
22
3455
6397
101.75
0
82.56
38.40
55.30
0
W.Sahara
4
1022
7419
28.21
0
4.30
7.10
0
0
Mauritania
7
905
8324
15.53
5.28
50.70
18.63
46.83
103.36
Senegal (*)
12
915
10667
52.78
6.06
110.57
35.35
72.22 (**)
0
The Gambia
16
1428
10123
45.92
9.64
101.20
128.28
0
0
Guinee
14
1501
12168
44.68
2.50
60.82
0
0
47.33
Cote D'Ivoire
23
2254
14422
70.45
7.07
227.50
53.74
0
74.56
Burkina Faso
8
1238
16208(***)
31.31
0
74.49
10.17
6.06
26.27
Mali
5
548
15563
18.48
3.03
12.53
30.70
1.92
20.20
Benin
6
1059
17267
20.61
0
29.32
10.07
0.40
40.40
Togo
2
390
17657
0
0
1.55
5.05
0
20.20
Ghana
16
1453
19100
39.28
11.32
12.45
53.09
8.59
24.24

(*) Senegal is in two parts hence the unusual distance calculations in relation to The Gambia

(**) Cost includes third party car insurance for the whole of West Africa.  Make sure you get the CEDAEO or carte brun when you buy the insurance.   This will cover you for Guinee and Ghana at vertually no extra cost.

(***) Burkina Faso is in two parts hence unusual distance calculations in relation to Mali

I started to keep a record of the costs in the southern African countries but so much money was spent on dining out and having a lot of fun that the figures would not give a true reflection of the budget traveller expenditure. Also ATM's were common so cash advances were regularly made and it was difficult to keep a tally on what was spent on what. Costs are much higher in the south than in the west and the opportunities for tourists much greater. Travelling at minimum cost I would expect to pay twice that of the costs above over the same period of time. More realistic though would be to treble or even quadruple the figures.

The prices of parks, camping and various fees have been given in the text of the country pages in the South and the East. These are the basic figures. Fuel costs are higher in the South and East than in the West and distances are much greater hence the basic fuel costs are much greater. Fortunately visas are not required for most of the countries.

In Northern Africa the fuel costs are much lower than in the South and hotel prices are cheaper than campsites. However you are back into the land of the visa and costly paperwork so your costs soon mount up. If you can drive home via Syria (no entry if you have previously visited Israel) then you can avoid a nasty boat bill travelling from Israel to Greece.