Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea)

Discuss travel and all things travel related

Moderators: coldharvest, Ultra Swain

Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea)

Postby Ozymandias » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:31 pm

Hello Everyone,

This June I am planning on travelling overland from Luanda, Angola to Bata, Equatorial Guinea. From there I am going to fly to Malabo before catching a plane back to Madrid. I live and work in Luanda, so don't worry, no questions about getting a tourist visa for Angola!

Here in Luanda I am able to organise visas for Congo, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. I will post and let everyone know how that goes in my trip report once it's all done. I'm sure it won't be an easy process...

My main reason for posting is that I am a little concerned about getting into Equatorial Guinea from Gabon. Word on the street is the overland border crossings from Gabon to EG are shut to foreigners (boat from Cocobeach (Gabon) to Cogo / Acalyong (Equatorial Guinea)). This seems like my most direct route into EG. I don't really want to go all the way via somewhere like Oyem.

Anyone based in EG could help me out with some recent information on this? Don't want to get all the way up there then get turned back and have to fly to Malabo. I want to check out the interior.

Thanks,

Oz
Ozymandias
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:07 pm
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby buffybot_in_beirut » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:50 pm

Can offer little more than sympathy and nostalgic memories... I entered EG from Gabon some 20 years ago. Bush taxi from Libreville to Cocobeach. Overnight there, dinner was crocodile or porcupine stew. Boat across the border. Immigration in Cocobeach was actually worse (unfriendly and unpredictable) than in Acayalong. I think the Gabonese were fishing for "fees" and it was a matter of who was more patient. (I was. After all, I was on vacation!) The officials in EG were also looking for "tips", but in a less intimidating manner. Got on a pickup truck to Bata after a short wait. Cogo is a longer trip from Cocobeach and had no road connection going anywhere when I visited, only the boat to Acayalong. Cogo is a rather pretty village though. I also chartered a boat from Cogo to the tiny islet of Elobey Chico, which has overgrown colonial ruins and gravestones.

Now, for all that I have heard since then "tourist" travel to EG has gotten even more difficult since the bastards found oil. When I was in EG there were no tourists, so the poor, uneducated, corrupt and paranoid government officials treated me with suspicion. The officials' qualities have not changed, but their egos have become massively inflated, which means paranoia is now mixed with hostility, arrogance and demands for oil rig-sized bribes when 20 years ago a bottle of beer was enough.

Give it a try, it will be an epic journey. If you don't succeed at Cocobeach, make the detour to another border. What's two or three extra days when you've come all the way from Luanda! I hope you make it to Malabo. The town has a stunning setting.
buffybot_in_beirut
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:02 pm

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby Ozymandias » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks for that response. Yes, I can imagine a huge injection of oil wealth has done little to improve the behaviour of the security forces. This trip is sounding more and more challenging by the day. I think I need to go and make some friends at the EG Embassy in Luanda, see if they can give me some sort of written permission. The detour from Coco Beach seems lengthy! I had the same issue on the Georgia / Abkhazia border two years ago, but managed to get across after an afternoon of discussion. Luckily in that situation there were some EU ceasefire monitors to interject on my behalf. I doubt there will be any other tourists trying to cross the EG border with me.
Ozymandias
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:07 pm
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby rickshaw92 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:12 pm

buffybot_in_beirut wrote: dinner was crocodile or porcupine stew.



How was it?


buffybot_in_beirut wrote:When I was in EG there were no tourists, so the poor, uneducated, corrupt and paranoid government officials treated me with suspicion.



I love it when that shit happens!
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
User avatar
rickshaw92
Pikey Bastard
 
Posts: 8920
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:28 am
Location: Airport Inn trailer park

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby buffybot_in_beirut » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:12 pm

I read your query and replies on the TT, too. Sounds grim. Show me a single country that has found oil and has not gone downhill from there. Well, except Norway.

Crocodile looked and tasted like chicken. Porcupine had all these little spine roots sticking in the meat. Like eating a bony fish, or a steak full of broken-off toothpicks. Both meats were just the dish of the day (well, evening) at my little Pension (Chez Tante something), so nothing I chose to win bragging rights. Did that years later in the DRC though when I had barbecued caterpillars. Not bad, tasted chewy and fishy (I mean - like fish).

For EG, a letter of introduction might indeed work. I had to get a photo permit in Malabo, like everyone. Minister of Tourism signed it in person. Waved it around country-wide, with some amazing results. They even allowed me to photograph Malabo airport airside because the security moron only saw the beginning of the permit "this tourist is allowed to take pictures" and didn't read further on where it said "except objects of strategic importance". Also, the permit has no expiry date. Would love to go back, start shooting and see what happens. Well, maybe not.

Gabon immigration at Cocobeach had no datestamps, only a generic governmental seal, so they wrote a long essay into my passport explaining my status. Have those blank pages!
buffybot_in_beirut
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:02 pm

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby Sri Lanky » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:53 pm

"I love it when that shit happens"

I get that kind of reaction in "1st world" countries.
Sri Lanky
 

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby hog » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:39 am

Sometimes I wonder... will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago
User avatar
hog
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Some third world shithole.

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:19 pm

Getting thrown in any African prison is probably not a good thing.
User avatar
ReptilianKittenEater
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 2851
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:18 am
Location: St. Catharines, ON, Canada

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby Ozymandias » Tue May 21, 2013 4:59 pm

Right, got the visas for Republic of Congo and Gabon. Have even managed to collect the mountain of paperwork necessary to apply for the Equatorial Guinea visa, which I will do tomorrow. Four weeks until we leave. This is going to be tight!
Ozymandias
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:07 pm
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Tue May 21, 2013 9:47 pm

Are you going to have to sell your lair in Antartia to finance this?
User avatar
ReptilianKittenEater
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 2851
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:18 am
Location: St. Catharines, ON, Canada

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby Ozymandias » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:57 pm

Well, in the end we had to pull the plug on Equatorial Guinea. After handing over everything the embassy in Luanda requested (itineraries, letter of invitation, letters from employer, confirmed hotel reservations, map of our route (!) etc., they came back and asked for more documentation which we simply could not provide within our time frame. I am going to try again next year.

We changed the plan and hit Congo Brazzaville, Gabon and Cameroon instead. Here are the photos (trip report to follow, when I have time!)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 8730484b6b
Ozymandias
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:07 pm
Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar

Re: Overland from Luanda (Angola) to Bata (Equatorial Guinea

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:21 am

Thanks for the pics. An actual travel story on a travel website!
User avatar
ReptilianKittenEater
BFCus Regularus
 
Posts: 2851
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:18 am
Location: St. Catharines, ON, Canada


Return to Travel Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron