Original Touring Africa Diary – Embassies and Borders

This is only a quick note to update everyone on what is going on. We will provide full diary and photo updates once we get to Namibia in a week or so.

We’ve been here in Matadi for the last couple of days waiting for an Angolan transit visa, seems that the saga for overlanders getting an Angolan visa continues, we have hopefully been rescued by the hotel director where we are staying, he happens to know the Angolan Consul here. So later today we may get our visas. For all other travellers coming through here they will issue it but it may take some time. Abuja seems to be the only place issuing tourist visas, we will only get a transit visa for 5 days. Since we left Yaoundé, after having discussions with embassies there, we had a quick no stop dash straight to Brazzaville. We attempted the Angolan embassy in Brazza, but gave up when the owner of Hippocampe told us they have only issued 2 visas in 4 years. The ferry/border crossing between Brazzaville and Kinshasa was the most nerve racking experience we have had so far, we managed to get through after 8 hours of discussions and negotiations, with the aid of fixers and other travellers that we met in Brazza.

After spending most of Monday discussing at the Consulate, we were exhausted and annoyed at their rudeness and inefficiency, its incredible here, we decided to stay at a nice hotel for the night to calm our nerves. We went back yesterday as instructed hopeing to get the visas, only to be told to come back tomorrow, without any reason. They refused to give us our passports back so we were also unable to leave Matadi. This morning, before going back to the Consulate, we spoke with the hotel director who was nice to call his friend and we will go back this afternoon again and should hopefully get the visas. He said that since this is not our fault we can stay at the hotel one more night for free, including lunch/dinner/drinks. What a sweety! He had done his hotel school apprenticeship in Zurich at the Carlton and the Old Inn.
Wish us luck and hopefully we can get back on the road again tomorrow morning!

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