I had to leave Africa (reasons below).
During a 2 week stopover in Europe many people asked me “How was Africa?”. The video below is my shot to answer this question.
Why I had to leave Africa
After mastering the Ekok-Mamfe road I spent a week in Cameron’s Capital Yaounde to stock up on visas. I was relieved when realizing that I only needed 3 more visas in order to reach South Africa: Congo, the democratic republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, while Namibia and South Africa are visa-free for European citizens. I got my Conga visa without problems but was turned down at the DRC-embassy, reason given: “Visas are only given to residents of Cameroon”. In Africa you have to be patient so I tried it two more times, no luck. I found reports of people in forums who said they managed to get the DRC visa in Cameroon but were then turned down at the border when trying to enter DRC from Congo with a visa issued in Yaounde.
After an intense research on various traveler forums I found out that it is still possible to get a DRC VIsa in Gabon’s capital Libreville. Unfortunately people also reported that in the last weeks Angolan embassies refused to give visas for non-residents. It didn´t look very promising but I still wanted to try it and thus went to Libreville.
I got the DRC visa without problems but was struck by Malaria immediately afterwards. While shifting between chills and high fever I looked deeper into the Angola visa issue. Overland travelers reported that the common places where people got visas before changed their policies and the only place to get it in Africa was in Accra (Ghana), way too far away for me.I heard of two bikers who managed to get into Angola by getting in touch with the president of a bikers association who knows an ambassador, unfortunately he doesn´t help people traveling in a car.
To make a long story short: There was no way to get a visa for Angola and I had to end my Africa trip in Gabon. I printed a “To sell” sign for El Poderoso (my old Mercedes 300D) and put little ads in Libreville’s supermarkets.
Since Libreville is one of the most expensive cities in the world and old Mercedes cars are a rarity there, I demanded 2.5 Million CFA (around 3800 €) as a base for negotiation. Many people called, many came to test drive and after 3 weeks El Poderoso was sold to a guy called Gema for 1.9 Million CFA (2900 €).
Selling Poderosso felt like betraying my best friend. He was my protection shield, my way of transportation and my suitcase for more than 7 months. I realized how lucky I have been. I bought Poderoso for 1100 € without knowing anything about cars. I traveled 18.000 km, passing through 13 countries with the badest roads ever and faced no major problems. An amazing piece of German engineering I have to say.
And there he disappears in the streets of Libreville. Poderoso, I gonna miss you!
The next fundraising bet will happen soon, every € helps:
PS: Leave a comment to send me some motivation to Peru