The very favourable Top to Tail Route of Africa, travelling via the West
My unpublished (due to security), more detailed route is by no means a direct one and is no doubt subject to change either prior to my adventure or whilst on the road.
I have tried to avoid heavy populated areas by traveling off the beaten track using achievable back roads. In places, I have had no option but to plan using major roads due to accessibility, safety and limited usable roads.
Throughout this route I will be travelling via well know meeting points and scenic attractions such as rivers, mountains and national parks, whilst trying to avoid some busy cities. I have divided the route up into three legs as follows:
1st Leg – Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso.
2nd Leg – Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and DRC.
3rd Leg – Angola, Namibia, Zambia: time/access permitting, Botswana and South Africa.
I class the 1st leg as the most desert like though it appears to have many toll roads to combat this, if I decide to use them. I class this leg as a medium security risk.
Whilst planning the 2nd leg I have at all times tried to priorities my safety by using major roads through the highest risk countries such as Nigeria, Congo and DRC. Depending on the weather I’m hoping to clear DRC and Congo within 2 – 3 days (??!) depending on road surface and timely border crossings. Nigeria will take 3 – 4 days being such a large country. I had real trouble finding an accessible/unrestricted route through Congo and DRC and suspect these countries will be with the most technical terrain. This leg poses the highest security risk and I will need to be vigilant at all times.
I predict the 3rd leg to be the highlight of the adventure taking in some amazing scenery and attractions. I am lead to believe the 3rd leg countries will be the most accessible using reasonable road surfaces. With regards to security all these countries appear to be low risk (inc. Angola). Angola is said to be reborn since the Western world moved in and is suggested a well worth visit before it becomes over developed.
I will be hesitant to alter the countries I visit using this West route mainly due to time and security, though more than happy to alter the towns I visit along the way so that I can call upon any friends and/or take up any invitations to hospitality/accommodation.
I plan to use campsites or wild camp as much as possible to keep costs down and if safe to do so, but will consider using local accommodation through the high risk countries.
I have purposefully avoided using google maps to plan my route so I can make myself familiar with each countries roads and surrounding areas.
With regards to my more detailed route, I suspect some of the estimated travel times and distances will be way out and will just have to predict these whilst on the road using valuable information from other travelers along the way. There will be some long days where I don’t reach my destination as well as short days where I can decide whether to press on or not.
One thing I haven’t researched yet are re fueling opportunities as this may effect the proposed route and will have to divert accordingly.
I have researched each section of this route as much as possible, however will research further and update the attachment notes on my hopeful return.
Using my detailed route planning, I’m able to estimate mileage and fuel costs from the top to tail of Africa. The total estimated days of actual travel (ie on the road) are 43. Border Crossings 17 allowing a day for each.
Total days traveling 60 including border crossings.
This leaves approx 30 days off riding to be used for emergencies and of course relaxing.
Below is a map of the intended route I intend to be taking.
View London to Cape Town via West Africa in a larger map