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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
(My Nigeria crossing starts with the story Into Nigeria. You should begin reading there)
In the morning we are woken by the sounds of the village – people chatting happily and making fires to cook breakfast and brew tea. As a thank you we share out massive pots of tea and coffee, the locals heaping in the sugar as always.
Another hour on the road sees our jungle track increase slightly in size, then after another thirty minutes we pop out onto a fully-grown road, completely with cars! We have arrived at a bustling market on the junction, and a couple of friendly locals explain this is all trade between Nigeria and Cameroon. Swinging North we head directly back towards Nigeria and the larger border crossing at Abonshie.
One look at the overloaded wooden canoes crossing the nighty river in Abonshie confirms my earlier research. With no bridge, there is no way to cross with the vehicles here.
After tracking down an Immigration officer he explains he has never seen a single foreigner in his three year posting here, and he is extremely impressed we have found this remote corner of Cameroon. The gap in dates in our passports does not present any kind of problem, and he is happy to officially welcome us into Cameroon.
Over at customs my friend uses his Carnet and is quickly stamped in, and a Passavant (temp import permit) is written up for my Jeep. The junior officer asks for 50,000CFA (about $90USD), and of course can not issue a receipt. After much back and forward, and talking to the more senior man, I eventually pay 20,000 CFA (about $30USD). It’s more than I want to pay, though at the same time I am extremely happy to now be legally in Cameroon – with the Jeep.
This has been a seriously intense couple of weeks!
Setting off we are now on roads shown on my maps, which I assumed meant they would be much larger and better than what we have just driven.
I was wrong.
Here comes Cameroon, African country number thirteen.