You can follow my journey here on The Road Chose Me.com and across Social Media:
Africa Expedition Overview
I have completed driving my Jeep Wrangler around the entire African continent.
AFRICA MILES DRIVEN: 53,726
EXPEDITION DAYS: 999
COUNTRIES VISITED: 35
Considering the West Africa route?
Checkout my eBook Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa for everything you need to know.
To see all my stories and photos from a given country, click the country name below:
|5. Guinea Bissau||550|
|8. Ivory Coast||1,355|
|9. Burkina Faso||629|
|21. South Africa||6,563|
|TOTAL|| 53,726 miles
The Jeep Build
I have heavily customized my Jeep into a house on wheels with a pop-up camper roof, solar panels, drinking water and filtration system, interior cabinets, fridge and much,much more. To read all the details of the build see: The Jeep
My name is Rosalía. My husband and I were doing the same trip as you. We are currently in Dakar and we would like to go to Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Mali, CI, ect. Wet season has already started and we want to know how roads are in Guinea before getting there… We drive a 4×4 with cellule so we carry a lot of weight. What do you think could be better going to Mali trough Guinea or Senegal? Thank you very much!! Best regards.
Great to hear from you! Awesome yo hear you are on the road too!
The roads in Guinea are B.A.D. Some of the worst I have seen. Massive potholes on the paved roads, and non-paved roads are very rocky. Not often muddy, more rocky. It is, however, spectacularly beautiul and I highly recommend it. Personally, I think you should go, and if the roads are too horrible for you, just stick to the highways – once you get about half way to the East, the highway is brand new and perfect.
Have fun, let me know if you need any more info!
Finally we went to Bissau and entered again to Senegal avoiding Guinea. After Senegal we went to Mali and Ivory Coast and currently we are in Burkina Faso near to the border with Togo. We stopped in Hotel l’Unité and a staff showed us a photo of your Jeep!! What a coincidence!! Hope you are well!! Best regards.
That is awesome to hear, I hope you are having a fantastic trip !
That hotel was nice to find just as it was getting dark!
How is border crossing, visas and corruption? What budget do you need for this? My plan was to do the same but with my vw polo tdi.
You’ll have to read through my posts.. the visas are possible to get as you go, corruption is around but can be avoided if you have the right attitude, and budget varies greatly on how you want to live.. anything from around $1000/mo to $2500/mo roughly is what most people spend.
For the west coast, you will struggle badly with a VW polo. Even the paved roads have huge potholes and speed bumps that you will bottom out on. Not impossible, but certainly a challenge!
I was wondering, where did you send your Jeep to and from where when starting the trip?
Ultimately I am looking at sending my vehicle to Morocco and would like to chose the cheapest port on that side of the world, can be Europe or Morocco. I would be sending from Alberta.
All the details are on this page – http://theroadchoseme.com/shipping-a-vehicle-from-north-america-to-europe
Let me know if you have any questions!
I wish I can visit Africa one day. People say it’s beautiful.
I can assure you, beautiful is an understatement!
So nice to follow your yourney with your cool Jeep. I was wondering how much of the modiciations and gear you actually have used? Would a stock jeep have made the yourney as well? Or are there things/builds you really have found to be a “lifesafer”. All the best to you and safe yourney. Michael
It really depends how far off the highway you want to get, and how comfortable you want the living quarters to be.
Absolutely you could do the trip in a stock Jeep with no gear – stay in hotels every night and don’t explore the back roads.
On the other hand if you want to camp, eat well, not buy bottled water and explore remote places, then a build like mine is a must-have (I think, personally).
In terms of the best parts of my build, the water system is used 10x per day and I couldn’t do the trip without it. I love the fridge, the solar panels and the pop-up roof is excellent too.
It really also depends if you are planned to go for a couple of months (you can tolerate no fridge and a ground tent) or if you want to go for years, when creature comforts really matter.
All the best,
I’ve been following your amazing journey for quite some time now. As many have said, it’s incredibly inspiring. The blog posts, photos and videos are great and give an insight into countries, some of which I know very little about.
I’m hoping to be able to travel more in the future. For various reasons, it’s not practical right now. I have a family to think about so will wait until my daughter is out of school. I know many people travel with their kids but I want her to have a normal education. The plan is to save up and retire early to go travelling. My wife isn’t keen on the jeep idea but is up for travelling with a motorhome and I see there are 4×4 motorhomes that exit.
I can see that a motorhome wouldn’t cut it on some of the roads you’ve been on, but you’ve made a point of taking some of the most difficult roads you can find! Do you think it would be possible to get around in a well kitted-out motorhome, or would this be impossible / impractical in some of the countries you’ve visited (not just Africa) and would it definitely need to be 4×4.
I’m also curious about a couple of other things. Firstly, is there any particular reason why you missed out Sierra Leone and Ghana? Also, you mentioned in one of your posts (Mali I think) where you’re learning not always to trust government warnings. Can you explain a little more about this as this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this.
Thank you so much again.
Thanks for the kind words and feedback – I’m happy to hear people enjoy my writing and photos!
Absolutely, many people drive AK-Argentina in motorhomes, and certainly East Africa is no problem in 2wd. It’s been done in a stretch limo!
It really comes down to where you want to go, and if you want to get really, really far off the beaten track. Paved highways exist in virtually every country in the world, and if you slow down there is no reason a motorhome or van can’t be a great choice!
I skipped Sierra Leon and Liberia due to safety concerns, though I kind of regret it now – I hear they are magical.
Ghana wanted me to go to my home country to get a visa, and that was never going to happen so I just skipped it.
Government warnings are just extremely, extremely conservative, and they don’t give you an accurate picture of what’s happening inside a country. Talk to people that have been there, talk to people that are there, live there, expats etc. etc. and you’ll hear the truth. The media (and govt warnings) only tell you 1% of the truth (the bad part)
Good luck, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions!
Thank you so much for the reply Dan.
Great to hear that just about any country can be done in a motor home. Thought DRC might be a no go and there doesn’t appear to be another way through! I guess my only concern now would be security. Do you worry about the jeep when you leave it behind for hikes, etc ? How do you minimize the risk?
Sorry to hear about the visa for Ghana. I’m amazed you haven’t had more trouble with visas, though I can see you’ve put in a lot of advance research and know what you’re doing. Visa planning must be incredibly difficult though when plans are so fluid.
Thanks for all the updates, photos and videos. The quality of the pictures are superb. Good choice of camera and the drone gives you some amazing shots too. Love the way you use it on your intro video.!
There is a more conservative route through the DRC than the one I took. It’s a gravel road, but I’m told you can do it in 2wd no problems. Yes, the visas take some work and research, though I have done all the hard work for you and compiled it into an eBook!
It contains everything you need to know to successfully traverse the West Coast of Africa including the visas (how much they cost and where to get them), gas and diesel prices, bribery information, safety and a lot, lot more.
Checkout – Overland Travel Essentials: West Africa – Myths, Misconceptions and Misnomers
All the best on your planning!
Thanks Dan. I’ll be sure to get the e-book. I don’t know if I’ll ever be in a position to do West Africa, but it’s a way to help support what you’re doing. Happy Travels!
Hello, i heard in one of your videos you may be thinking of driving through the DRC again. Me and a friend are planning to to drive right across the DRC from East to west (entering from CAR and departing Rwanda or Uganda). We looking to do it Dec 2019. Do you want to plan together?
That sounds like an amazing adventure! I would love to, though there is no chance of me getting back anytime in the next 5 years. My money will be completely gone and I will have to save before the next adventure.
Have a great trip!
So nice to follow your journey with your cool Jeep. I was wondering how much of the modification and gear you actually have used? Would a stock jeep have made the yourney as well? Or are there things/builds you really have found to be a “lifesafer”. All the best to you and safe yourney. Michael
I have used absolutely all the modifications and gear, so many of them I rely on heavily every single day.
I think a stock Jeep could make it, but you’re not going to have a great time camping and things like that. Buying water would really add up.
The water system is a lifesaver, as is the fridge and pop-up roof for a good night’s sleep.
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin years ago and traveled hiitchhiking throughout the continent before joining the U.S. Foreign Service and traveling to 51 of Africa’s 54 nations. I realize it may be more dangerous today. Please keep me apprised! … Paul Pometto
You are such an inspiration…my wife and I are just getting started with the over landing dreams. First East Africa, then Southern Africa and when we grow in confidence, West Africa and wherever else the road takes us. I have been following you on your journey and man I tell you, I have enjoyed your videos, watched them over and over.
Will you be traveling through Rwanda by any chance ? If so, please do come through to my house and have dinner with us, stay at our house if you like …we would love to hear more about your stories. It would be truly an honor to host you.
Journey mercies and keep inspiring us.
Wow, thanks very much for the kind words, it really means a lot to me!
Absolutely I’ll be coming through Rwanda at some point, I will fire you an email when I’m getting close. Thanks very much for the offer of hospitality, that is really kind of you!
Did you record the track with GPS and would be able to provide a gpx file?
I am looking for good tracks off the road for a bicycle trip that so far follows roughly your trip.
Would be great hearing from you!
No, I didn’t keep track logs of where I went – I think the whole point of an adventure like this is to seek out the unknown, and adventure to the fullest!
Don’t follow me, find your own path!
Good luck, have fun,
Your trip looks amazing! We’re doing a Southern Africa trip for 80 days, up from Cape Town to Namibia, Botswana, Zim, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. I drive a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. Few extra Jerry cans and that’s about it. There is not much of a Jeep presence up in Africa and spare parts are tough to find. Did you have an essential list of spares you took with?
Thanks so much
Your trip sounds amazing! Those are all the places I would go back to in a heartbeat if I could right now!
For spares I carried stuff that is a show stopper, but can be relatively easily fixed.
Radiator and heater hoses, serpentine belt, sensors for the engine, 2 spare spark plugs, oils, air compressor and plug kit for tires.
Anything like the alternator or starter locals can easily fix on the side of the road for $20. I would not carry one as they are too heavy and big.
I always knew if I broke something major like a valve in the engine or axle, I’d be walking.
If you pass through J’Burg, stop in at Zone Offroad and say hi and tell them your plan.
These guys are THE Jeep experts in South Africa, and they are great guys. I’m sure they’d be willing to ship you anything you need anywhere in Africa, which should save some time/hassle.
Say hi from me too!
Also rockauto.com ship worldwide and have virtually everything you could ever need for your Jeep at a good price.
All the best, have fun out there!
Your trip is very inspiring. I’m planning to do same. I’ll drive from Morocco to south Africa and from south Africa to Sudan. My concern is the budget. Can you give me a budget range that I have to carry with me after I reach Morocco. I’m saying about 2k us dollars a month will that be enough? Also, is it safe to carry this much cash with you. Thank you,
2k usd per month should be enough if you camp often and cook many of your own meals. For reference I spent less than that during my expedition.
You don’t need to carry it all with you, ATMs work perfectly fine in every country (except Sudan). Take about 1-2k USD in cash $100 bills, and use it in the countries that have a black market exchange rate so you can get a better rate and save money (Guinea, Nigeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan).
I recently found your YouTube channel and Instagram and I really liked it.
My wife and me are planning to do the West Africa route (and maybe drive back on the east) after her whole Covid-19 situation allows it.
We are also people that prefer the “more difficult” routes over the main ones. Is there any place where you have shared your route in detail (GPX file or something similar) or do you keep the routes/tracks for yourself (what I would understand completely).
I would be nice to have a look at it for planning purposes.
I didn’t keep my GPX track logs, and I think you’d rather have your own adventure anyway!
Good luck, the West Coast is a wild ride, and unforgettable!
Hi Dan, you did not go to Sierra Leone and Liberia, you also (your map) just passed through DRC only, any particular reason why you did not visited that countries? Moreover I’d like to ask you if you had any problem for the vehicle import in Senegal with the 8 years rule (http://www.jo.gouv.sn/spip.php?article9475). Do you know where can I find the engine section manual for the JK? Also for the entire car will be great! Please let me know, thank you
At the time it was the rainy season, and I was fed up with 12 hours of hard rain every day in Guinea, and it was going to be worse in Sierra Leone and Liberia, so I skipped them. Ghana wouldn’t give me a visa.
I had a great time in the DRC – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV8V3GdOcPU
The Jeep was less than 8 years old at the time, so I had no problem in Senegal. That is a huge rip-off for tourists, that rule is not supposed to apply to temporary imports, it’s just a big scam to get money, and the head of customs in Dakar is involved and very much won’t stop it.
I don’t have a great manual for the JK Wrangler, just the Haynes repair manual for “Wrangler” which covers a bunch of years.
Dan, thank you for you answers, I’d like to ask when your video for the ‘Carnet de Passages en Douane’ is coming out, I’m very interested on that; for example Senegal does not accept anymore the ‘ATA carnet’ and the ‘Passage en douane’ (CPD) but ACI (the italian office where you can do the CPD) still continue to count Senegal as a mandatory country for the CPD. Maybe your video it is already out and I didn’t know, please let me know, thank you.
Hi Pietro – I’m about to start filming it maybe this week, so give me a couple of weeks until it’s out!
If Senegal doesn’t accept the CDP anymore, what are people doing? Where can I read more?
Hello! Thanks for your amazing reports and information about your travels, it helps us a lot with the planning and preparation.
My boyfriend and I want to travel to West Africa from January until July 2022 with our Toyota landcruiser. So we have 6 months. We love to travel all the wat to south Africa. But we found it hard to estimate how long it will take us with a comfortable planning. We travel from Spain. How far do you think we can get within 6 months, but also have time to enjoy? Have you seen People Who travel from europe and sell their car in Africa? Hope you can help us!
6 months will be fast, but it can be done. You’ll have a lot of LONG driving days where you don’t get to enjoy a whole lot. I would personally slow down a bit!
Selling your vehicle will be extremely difficult, you’ll have to pay import taxes, get it imported, etc. which will be very expensive and time consuming. If you use a Carnet to cross the borders you’ll never get your Carnet deposit back, which will be worth more than the whole car!
First of all, thanks for putting out all that high-quality information, you have helped me more than anybody else. I want to do a really similar trip to yours and of course everbody tells me that I will die. You wrote in your book and mentioned several times in your Videos that you felt safe in Africa. Do you think this is still the case after the pandemic and other events in the past years? Before going to Africa how did you find out which areas were safe for travel?
Yep, I think it’s very much similar to what it was. There are some regions I would consider off limits, and some where you are as safe as anywhere else in the world. And plenty of in between.
Talk to other travellers, read blogs, watch YT of people doing it. Talk to people at embassies, talk to border guards, talk to locals on the street. You’ll get the most accurate and up to date information that way.
Good luck, all the best,