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A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa

Tripoto
15th Jan 2014
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 1/12 by Francis Tapon
See the mountainous regions of Africa!
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 2/12 by Francis Tapon
My 2013-2017 travel plan. Join me anywhere
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 3/12 by Francis Tapon
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 4/12 by Francis Tapon
I'll be your driver.
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 5/12 by Francis Tapon
Shop in local markets (this is Morocco)
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 6/12 by Francis Tapon
The goat will let you have shotgun.
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 7/12 by Francis Tapon
Climb to the tallest mountain of any country!
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 8/12 by Francis Tapon
Explore the Sahara's stunning landscapes.
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 9/12 by Francis Tapon
Here's the car we'll be using.
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 10/12 by Francis Tapon
Shop for spices!
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 11/12 by Francis Tapon
Hang out with desert nomads!
Photo of A 4-Year Road Trip through Africa 12/12 by Francis Tapon
Have the adventure of a lifetime!

I'm traveling through all 54 African countries from 2013 to 2017. Would you like to join me for a segment of the trip?

I'm a TEDx speaker who has written two travel books:

  1. Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America
  2. The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us

The book I'm writing now is about Africa, which is where I will be until 2017.

I am happy to guide you or a group for a custom tour in Africa. My car seats 4. If your group is larger, we'll have to rent another car (or squeeze in).

Although I can go anywhere in Africa, to keep your costs low, it's best to fly to whatever country I am near. Otherwise, I will add the cost of a roundtrip ticket to my guiding fee. For example, if you want to go to Morocco, I'll need to fly there. And I won't have a car. So this will raise your price substantially.

Contact me to iron out the timing and details. Here's what regions I will focus on and when:

  • 2015: Southern Africa
  • 2016: East Africa
  • 2017: North Africa

I estimate a 1-2 week trip will cost about $5,000 per person. It depends on how much luxury you require and what activities you want to do.

This itinerary covers my travel plans until February next year and covers western and central African countries. You can join in wherever's convenient for you, but please check with me first as the itinerary is tentative and can/will be changed along the way!

If you want backpacking adventures in the mountains or in the wild, here's a sample of what you can do.

November 20th-30th Our journey starts from Accra, Ghana. The name 'Ghana' means warrior king and is derived from the Ghana empire. Accra is the national capital and the largest city. We spend about a week in this coastal city exploring the city and applying for visas for Nigeria, Togo and Benin (maybe). Some places on our list include the Osu Castle and the Labadi Beach. After Accra, we slowly make our way up north towards Ghana's biggest lake, Lake Volta stopping along the way (that's why having a car is awesome!). Possible stop could be the Aburi Gardens, Aburi. Lake Volta is the largest reservoir by surface area in the world and the fourth largest by volume. After our rendezvous around the lake is over, we head further East. Togo beckons!

Photo of Ghana, Africa by Francis Tapon

December 1st-10th Togo, lying between Ghana in the west and Benin in the east, is considered to be one of the nicest places to visit in Western Africa. The country offers everything from superb hiking and trekking spots in and around Kpalime to white, sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast. We enter Togo from Ghana through one of the border crossings somewhere around Badou and start heading south towards the capital city of Lomé. We stop in Kpalime for a bit for some amazing hiking trails in this Coffee growing region. Once in Lomé we apply for visas to Benin and start exploring maritime Togo. The city has been the capital during the colonization by both, the Germans and the French and is a nice amalgamation of all these cultures. The Grand Bazaar and the Fetish Market (voodoo) are a must-visit to get a feel of the locals and their daily lives. Another possible stop could be Togoville situated on the northern banks of Lake Togo.

Photo of Togo, Africa by Francis Tapon

December 11th-25th The birthplace of voodoo, Benin was a major center for slave trade during European colonization. The country is home to a lot of palatial ruins dating back to the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful kingdoms in Africa, in the 19th century. After crossing the coastal border into Benin we drive to Cotonou, the biggest city in the country. We explore all that Cotonou has to offer including Grande Marche du Dantopka, the city's biggest and busiest market, before heading north to Nikki or Kandi.

Photo of Benin, Africa by Francis Tapon

December 26th-January 17th Two things about Nigeria - It is the most populous country in the continent and one of the places to brew Guinness outside Ireland. The country shares land borders with Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. We enter Western Nigeria after Christmas celebrations in Benin. After exploring Western Nigeria for a week and bringing in the new year somewhere on the road, we slowly start driving towards the capital city of Abuja. This is where all the visa formalities for Niger, Chad, CAR, Cameroon, Eq. Guinea, and Gabon are taken care of. This might take up to a week. With all the visas in place and the city explored we end our brief sojourn in Abuja and hit the road again driving towards Kaduna and then further north towards our last destination before entering Niger, Kano.

Photo of Nigeria, Africa by Francis Tapon

We start are wandering around Niger in Zinder, a city in Southern Niger 270 km north of Kano. Niger is the largest nation in West Africa in terms of land area, 80% of which is the Sahara desert. The country is landlocked, and shares borders with Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Chad and Libya. After stopping briefly in Zinder, we continue our journey northward for another 446 km (approx.) to Agadez in Central Niger. Agadez has long been a center for trade on the trans-Saharan trade route and is a launching pad for expeditions to the nearby Air Mountains. The city will be our last stop before driving to Mont Bagzane (Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès). Located in the south central Air Mountains, Mont Bagzane is the highest mountain in Niger with an elevation of 2,022 meters. Once we've explored Mont Bagzane (approx. 3 days) we traverse through eastern Niger slowly making our way to the next country, Chad.

Photo of Niger, Africa by Francis Tapon

Chad is one of the countries in the Sahel, a region in Africa. Like Niger, it is completely landlocked. The country, named after Lake Chad, is divided into three major belts: the desert zone in the North, a Sahelian belt in the center and the Sudanese savanna zone in the south. After entering Chad we immediately drive to the Libyan border to climb its highest mountain before heading back into Chad to climb Emi Koussi, Chad's highest mountain, rising 3,445 meters above sea level. The capital, N'Djamena, will be our last stop in Chad and our point of getting visas for CAR and Cameroon.

Photo of Chad, Africa by Francis Tapon

This North African country is part of the Maghreb region of Africa. It has a coastline with the Mediterranean Sea in the North and is surrounded by Egypt, Tunisia, Chad, Algeria, Niger and Sudan. Our only aim in Libya is to climb its highest mountain Bikku Bitti (2,266 m) in the Tibesti Mountains of southern Libya close to the Chadian border.

Photo of Libya, Africa by Francis Tapon

We drive through CAR, the geographical center of Africa, headed towards Cameroon with brief stops along the way.

Photo of Central African Republic, Africa by Francis Tapon
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