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African roads,... My experience,...

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Hi there everyone,
I've been to Africa this summer, more specific Burkina Faso (north of Côte d'Ivoire), which is, when you make a list of the poorest countries in the world, on the third place.

It's been a fantastic "vacation" and there's one thing i'd like to share with you all: the roads,....

Now, i was travelling with a group of people of around my age, and our "organizer" (which is a very good friend of us) who has already been in Burkina for 5 times. We were planning to tour this country, so he arranges this bus for us:

This is a mercedes bus of 20 years old, everything in the bus is 20 years old, exept for the ENGINE, which is 33 years old!!!
Now you must be thinking "what a piece of ****!", well you're right, and the worst thing is, we had to travel with this for over 1500 km, without ac, in africa,... BUT, we were very lucky with this bus, every person had 2 seats (able to cach some sleep) and it was the best bus i've seen in Burkina. The tires were pretty good, the brakes were ok, and we had good suspension, so no reason for complaints. Also, the bus' condition was worth a good laugh, our best breakdowns were: While driving a door of the luggage compartiment suddenly opens; while driving someone stood on the stairs near the door when suddenly the door opened, he was ****ting his pants :blabla:)

Now, about the roads, this is it:

I hope you agree with me: This is a picture where every Gumballer dreams about!
And there's more! Police don't even know the speed limit so you can be able to floor it! If you are stopped, the maximum "pay" (=bribe) for the officer will be 5000 CFA (about 7 euro/5 pounds)
This looks beautiful, but there are some downsides:

  • First of all, the roads are ****, you cannot drive any faster than 100km/h due to extreme bumpy rides and crossing donkeys etc etc.
  • The image above is a peage road (don't worry, tax is only 4000 CFA(6.4 euro) for 500 km, and you may get away with it if you are black and say you cannot read), this kind of roads is about 2% of all the roads in Burkina, the average road is this:

    Unpaved, top speed: 40 Km/h (our bus was going slower than that but the speedo didn't work so exact speed is not availible
  • When you go in/out a big city there is a passport check, when you go in/out smaller cities you always have a check for reason of travelling. No big deal you may think, but again, Burkina Faso is very poor, so policemen try to get money everywhere, and when they see a bus full of Nasara (white men) they sometimes don't let you go unless you pay them some 10.000's of CFA's, but after some hours they'll let you go.
  • Breakdowns,... every car, bus,... always breaks down, you might think, get a good car, well i've seen this for a couple of times:

    Yes, a BMW, but, the times i saw a BMW/Merc (not that often), one thing was very strange i think, the cars made a very special noise, and the smoke had a weird smell, i think this is the cause:

  • Well, following picture explains enough i think:

Never the less, this is a beautiful country to drive trough, the people are fantastic and this,... just look and enjoy:

Most shocking event on the roads??? This:

A real african bus!!! With LIVING ewes hanging up-side down to the lorry :1:

Africa has it's charm!

Well, this was it, hope you enjoyed it, any questions? just ask!
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Thanks for the report! You'd enjoy India a lot :cool:

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Doogy said:
Indeed it was a good report good pictures and good information:M5thumbs: .So when did you go on this trip then?
I went there 4-23 july, it was certainly the best vacation of my life, not only was it a vacation, our group has supported some projects there. We had brought 30 computers with us for two projects, 15 for a hospital which is being built(the first hospital in Burkina which will have "western" standards, clean operation rooms, etc etc.) and 15 for the project Pan-Bila (who gives streetchildren a future). You might think, 30 computers, thats not that much, you lazy bastards!! :7:
Not quite right, the only people in Burkina who are "rich" are the police officers at the airport. As planned they took the computers for 1.5 week, and then, after discussing a lot at the airport with some officials from our airline, we even had to pay 120.000 CFA to get them out of the airport (=200 euro, but for the local people its worth 3000 euro, which a normal person earns in one year :( )
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