Getting visa on the road can be time consuming, expensive and frustrating at times. Especially when crossing Africa, it can be hard to get hold of that little needed piece of paper that gets you into that country you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Getting all visa in advance from your home country prior to leaving might seem a  good solution to avoid the hassle, in most cases timing restrictions and planning flexibility won’t allow to do so though.

We have listed up our experiences here so they can be of use to anyone wanting to travel the countries we have traveled. The list is growing steadily as we progress, so better come and check it out every now and then. We are Belgians, that is residents of the European Union. We know that other nationalities might face other restrictions or costs, but in my experience most of what is written down here applies to residents of western countries.

1. Morocco

Moroccan VISA are free of charge at any land border. Just queue up and get that stamp.

Time of application: november 2016

2. Mauritania

This visa cannot be applied for in advance in Europe and you should get it at the border. It is all pretty straightforward with biometric fingerprint readers and stuff, but will cost you a lot: 120 € for a single entry 1 month visa. They take your picture on the fly. And just for the sake of warning once more: avoid the border post of Rosso in the north. See this post.

Time of application: december 2016

3. Senegal

No visa was required for Belgian nationals.

Time of application: december 2016

4. Gambia

We didn’t need a visa because we just crossed in 1 day at Farafenni to the Casamance region in Senegal.

Time of application: january 2017

5. Mali

We got this one in advance from the Mali embassy in Brussels, Molièrelaan 487, 1050 Elsene (+32 2 345 74 32).

You will need:

  • 2 pictures
  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry

Visa type: we got months multiple entry for 90 €.

Duration: delivery the next day.

Time of application: october 2016

6. Burkina Faso

We got this one in advance from the Burkina embassy in Brussels,  Guy van Arezzoplein 16, 1180 Ukkel (+32 2 345 99 12).

You will need:

  • 2 pictures
  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry

Visa type: 3 months single entry for 70 €.

Duration: application on workdays between 9.30h and 12h .Pickup the same day between 16 & 17h. They misspelled my name so I had to go back to get it corrected though.

Time of application: october 2016

7. Visa d’entente (Niger, Togo, Benin, Burkina)

This is a visa arrangement between aforementioned countries. Be careful: visiting Côte d’Ivoire is not possible anymore with a ‘visa d’entente’.

Applying is straightforward but there is a little caveat, in the sense that you MUST have a visa for the country you are applying in that is valid for more than 2 months (standard duration of the visa d’entente). We had to extend our Burkina visa (48000 CFA for standard 3 months single entry). The visa d’entente will cost you 25000 CFA. Bring 4 pictures and make sure you leave the ears 100% visible (no kidding!).

You will need:

  • 4 pictures (2 for the visa d’entente, 2 for the Burkina visa extension)
  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry

Visa type: 2 months multiple entry for the visa d’entente at 25000 CFA, 3 months single entry at 48000 CFA

Location: Secrétariat General de la Police, Avenue Kadiogo, Ouagadougou. Coming from the city center, 200 m after the bridge on the LH side. N12.361276  W1.539501. Open weekdays from 7.00 am – 12.00 am.

Duration:; 1 working day

Time of application: february 2017

8. Ghana visa

This is a special one since applying for the visa should normally be done in your home country. The problem is the passport only remains valid for 3 months since the date of issue. Applying on the road is feasible though, but Ouagadougou seems to be the only place where it can be done (we have tried Bamako and it was a firm no. Other travelers reporting the same from other countries). The guy behind the counter at the embassy was a bit rude, said it was impossible, but we applied anyway. But they let you work HARD for the visa. They made us come back 4 times and everytime they asked for additional information. Everytime they tried to make us clear it was probably not going to be approved… I presume it is their strategy of getting foreigners away from their embassy.

But we got a 1 month tourist visa with 1 month entry period and the guy was very correct and friendly in the end, wishing us a good trip and so on… Golden rule here: don’t give up!

You will need:

  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry
  • A written justification as to why you were unable to apply in your home country. We just said we left 4 months ago on an overland trip and that Ghana seems a must-do, blablabla…
  • A letter of invitation from a Ghana resident or organisation. Contact Richard at The Sleepy Hippo to help you out. We called them and they sent us an invitation the very same day.
  • A copy of your yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • 4 pictures
  • 25000 CFA per person

Place to be: Avenue Thomas Sankara, 200 m west from the junction witth the Avenue de la Liberté, Ouagadougou. N12.378552 W1.510892

Duration: 1 week in total

Time of application: february 2017

9. Nigeria

Everybody you will meet will say this is about the hardest country to get a visa for. The only place that seems to issue them is Bamako, Mali. And it was pretty straightforward too. The embassador even had a nice chat with Caroline and advised on places to visit in Nigeria.

You will need:

  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry
  • 2 pictures
  • 50000 CFA (amounts for nationalities other than Belgian are slightly different, 45000 CFA for Swedisch nationals, 60000 for Brits)

Visa type: 2 month single entry tourist visa, 3 month entry validity all that at 50000 CFA

Duration: 1 working day

Place to be: the nigerian embassy has moved recently and can now be found at ‘ACI2000 office buildings’. Any taxidriver will be able to drive you there. N12.63328 W8.02691

Time of application: january 2017

10. Angola

We heard about people successfully applying for Angola visa in Accra, Ghana. There is a little caveat though in the sense that the visa are only valid for entry into Angola within two months after issue date. We didn’t want to rush through the continent and weren’t really interested in going to Accra, so we postponed the application. Moreover, getting into Ghana can be a true challenge. Just read the Ghana section a little higher on this page.

There are plenty of Angolan embassies and consulates accross Africa, but they all seem to deny visa. Angola has changed to a new electronic system for visa processing and at present, only the major embassies and consulates are connected to it.

We finally ended in Pointe Noire, Congo-Brazzaville, pretty close to the Cabinda border, that is Angola. Our plan was to get to Brazza, then cross into Kinshasa and work our way down to Angola.

But upon arrival at the consulate in Pointe Noire, we learned that the price for transit visa, regular tourist visa, single entry and multiple entry was exactly the same as was the waiting time. So we applied for a 30 days multiple entry tourist visa.

We are currently waiting for it. Easter holidays slows the process a bit down so they warned us at the consulate.

Our general impression: staff is very friendly and helpful. Procedure is pretty straightforward. We do speak pretty good french though. We heard about an Australian couple going there that had a somewhat different experience. We do think it is because of the language so you might consider taking someone with you that can translate.

You will need:

  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry
  • 1 picture
  • A copy of your Congo-Brazza visa
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your vaccination card
  • A hotel reservation (, then cancel). We took one in Luanda although we had to cross Cabinda first. No problem.
  • 2 copies of the proof of payment of 2000 CFA at the bank (cost of application)
  • 2000 CFA for a standard letter of invitation made by the person at the gate. Even if you draw a nice letter yourself, you have to get the standard one.
  • Upon collection: 75000 CFA cash (cost of visa)

Visa type: 30 days multiple entry

Duration: 2 – 5 working days (Australian couple had it in 2 days)

Place to be: the Angola consulate is located on Avenue Fayette Tchitembo in the center of Pointe Noire. S4.79183 E11.85922.

Attention!!! Visa application on tuesdays and thursdays only from 9.30h! Don’t wear shorts as you will not be allowed access to the consulate. Been there, done that…

Time of application: april 2017 (currently waiting for delivery)

11. Congo Brazzaville

This is about the quickest visa we got. We applied in Lomé and got in within 30 minutes.

You will need:

  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry
  • 2 pictures
  • 80000 CFA

Visa type: 1 month dual entry tourist visa, starts from a fixed date.

Duration: on the spot

Place to be: the Congolese embassy is located in Rue Djaveme, a small sandy road in the center of Lomé. It is the higher grey building. N6.16819 E1.20682

Time of application: march 2017

12. Gabon

Not too difficult in Lomé, friendly and helpful staff.

Place to be: The embassy can be found on Bvd Jean Paul II, N6.18053 E1.23478 Opening hours for visa application are from 8.30h – 11.30h.

You will need:

  • A passport valid 6 months after visa expiry
  • 2 pictures
  • 50 000 CFA for the normal procedure (pickup next day at 15h) or 65000 CFA for the express procedure (pick-up the same day in the afternoon. That is for a 1 month visa. Add another 50 000 CFA for 2 months and 100 000 CFA for 3 months
  • A copy of your VISA card + the card itself
  • A reservation of a hotel (can be done at and then cancelled)

Visa type: 1 month single entry (2 or 3 months also possible)

Duration: next day pickup

Time of application: march 2017

13. Congo RDC (Kinshasa)

We tried in Lomé but they stopped issuing it easily since 1 month now. It is now a major hassle that takes 3 weeks and you will need an invitation etc. The embassadors son stopped his little business of fixing invitations and making you a Togo resident.

Time of application: march 2017

We will try Cotonou as we heard rumours it would still be possible there. Will keep you posted.

Update on Cotonou: Visa application couldn’t be easier. We arrived at the embassy, told what our plans were and they asked if we already had visa for other countries. We already had visa for Nigeria, Gabon and Congo Brazzaville. The guy said there’s no problem getting the visa there and that he knows the procedure usually takes 3 weeks but he does the official stuff with Kinshasa afterwards.

So I asked what was required:

  • 2 pictures
  • 50 000 CFA

That’s it. We applied around 10 AM and the Visa were ready at 3 PM.

Place to be: some sandy little road in the Haie Vive area (N 6.35757 E 2.39427)

Visa type: 1 month single entry, fixed visa start-end date

Duration: same day pickup

Time of application: march 2017