Congo – D. R. Congo (Ndalatando): We used this remote border post in order to avoid the troubles of
crossing straight from Brazzaville to Kinshasa. It was a detour of 580
km (360 miles) and most of them were on dirt roads, so it took us three
Even there the border officials didn’t like the fact that we didn’t get our visas in our own country of
residence. The Beninese residence permit didn’t help at all, since they
could see that we spent only a few days in Benin. They called the chief,
who gave us the permission to enter in D. R. C. after a couple of
hours. The border officials asked us 10 USD per person but we finally
didn’t bribe them.
In Luozi we had to register again at the D.G.M. (Immigration Service), where they asked us 20 USD per person.
Once again we refused to bribe them and they let us go after a couple
of hours. We also stamped our Carnet de Passages en Douane at the town’s
customs office. The barge which crosses the Congo River there is free
for motorcyclists and their riders!
D. R. Congo – Zambia (Kasumbalesa): The border post is facilitated in a big and modern building. Exiting the country is quick and easy. Nobody asked us a bribe.
The Kinshasa – Lubumbashi route
There was a lot of sand until Tshikapa and the ruts were so deep that sometimes my panniers were
crashing. We were riding 70 km (43 miles) per day there. Usually there
are bicycle trails which are more decent. It’s important for
motorcyclists to keep looking for them. The locals always point the
riders towards them.
Some local motorcyclists indicated a route to us that we had never heard of. We tried it and it was really
easier than the route through Mbuji-Mayi. The petrol was cheaper there,
since it’s coming from Angola. It costs 1.7 euros (2,000 CF) per litre.
Just before Kananga we turned south to Luiza. Before Musumba we had to
cross Luluwa River. There was a barge, which could take even a truck,
but it was too expensive to use it just for our motorbikes, so we used a
pirogue. We rode through Sandoa, Kasaji and Kolwezi.
The whole route was 2,500 km (1,553 miles) and it took us 13 days on a slow pace. Sure you can do it faster.
Nevertheless, for a 4-wheeler even this route would be a hell, since it
would be impossible to avoid the tough parts through the bicycle
trails. Moreover, if your vehicle breaks down, it would be difficult to
find assistance because there are parts of this route were trucks are
They stopped us 20 times in total and almost everybody was asking us for bribes. Some of them were keeping
our documents and they wouldn’t give them back unless we paid them. We
were very patient and finally we didn’t have to bribe anyone. On the
route that we tried the checkpoints are less and the policemen are not
as horrible as on the route through Mbuji-Mayi.
Open Street Maps work great even on the route to Lubumbashi!
In the area between Tshikapa and Luiza we often couldn’t find some space for wild-camping, since the
region is either inhabited or it has lush vegetation. What we were doing
was to choose a small village and ask for the chief’s permission to
camp there. However, this means that more than 50 persons were gathering
around us and they were not letting us alone until we were going to
sleep. They would not mess with our stuff but that situation was quite
annoying when it was going on for days in a raw. An alternative solution
is to camp in some missions which function in many towns. In Katanga
Province we could find quiet places for wild-camping, so we were
enjoying the tranquil nature by ourselves.
- More details at: http://madnomad.gr/main/en/mad-about-africa/diary/