#1 6-6-2017 11:27 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

Hi everyone.

I posted some queries about travel in West Africa a while ago - presumably the world's hardest region for a traveler - and got useful comments from some of you. Now, as I get closer to the trip, I see it as a very problematic region to prepare for - expensive/difficult visas (at least for Indian citizens), absolute horror stories about land transport in the region, bizarre airfares for tiny distances, rip-off/bribe stories, and so on.

Two things that I spotted on the net that could ease things a bit were 'combo' visas and airpasses, but information on them looked very uncertain and sketchy. I was wondering if any of you knew about them or, better still, have had experience with them?

One is the Visa Touristique Entente (VTE), a combined visa for 5 countries - Togo, Benin, Niger, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. One supposedly gets it in the region itself, not from an embassy in one's home country - so can one bank on it and take the risk of not taking individual visas beforehand? The latter is very expensive and time-consuming and, except for Togo, there is no visa-on-arrival either. A related problem is that I'll be going to Ghana first (which I now hear gives only single-entry visas to first-time visitors) - so can one get the visa Entente in Ghana and how does one re-enter Ghana to catch a flight back after visiting other countries?

The second are regional Airpasses. I've heard Skyteam has one (which I assume I'd be eligible for if I flew KLM from India to Ghana, for example) and Star Alliance has one (if I flew, say, Ethiopian Airlines). But I couldn't find any details on these - how much they cost, what routes they cover, are they better value than individual tickets, etc. While land transport is an option for closer distances, longer routes look like torture-on-wheels, especially in July. In terms of the countries I'm thinking, my start and end point will be Ghana (if I get around the single-entry visa problem). Togo and Benin look doable by land transport from Accra. I've given up on Nigeria, whose visa costs almost as much as the air ticket from India to Africa. So if visa Entente works, I'll probably do Burkina and Ivory Coast, maybe Niger, in addition. If not, I might fly to Senegal from Accra (the Senegal visa is easy) and do Mauritania and maybe a quick stop in Mali (quite dangerous I hear though). Again this would be easier on an Airpass if there was one at all.

Any information/advice/tips on these issues will be much much appreciated. Thank you tons in advance.

 

#2 6-7-2017 11:43 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IVAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

According to "Kira", living in the area and giving usually excellent  advise in Thorntree, 4 month ago the Visa Touristique Entente was still around, but only available in Ouagadougou (not in Accra), and probably not valid anymore in Niger.
From Rapid Travel Chai: Rita • a year ago
Yes the Visa Touristique Entente does still exist. I was in Burkina last week checking into this. The cost is 25000 cf. (about $50) and is good for 60 days single entry into Niger, Togo, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina. They say it makes up to 72 hours to receive it. We finally found the office.(Consular de l'Entente) It's actually inside a police headquarter compound which is a couple of blocks past the Siège FESPACO and across the road from Ècole Primaire Bilbalogho.
We got the Ghana visa in Ouagadougou (pickup the same day and cheaper then in Europe), appearently also at the Togo border (very expensive there)

 

#3 6-7-2017 1:05 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IVAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

The Star Alliance Airpass seems to be quite expensive and quite limited, Couldn't find prices for Skyteam.

 

#4 6-7-2017 8:11 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

Thanks a lot, Uli. Yes, I too had read Kira's post but things on the visa Entente sound very uncertain and sketchy. No embassy or official website or similar talks about it. I don't know if I should plan a whole trip depending on it? Plus the fact that one gets it only in Ouagadougou makes it a problem - my first point of entry is Accra, so it means I'll anyway have to get a separate visa for Burkina first?

I also read on some forum that the Togo embassy in Accra does it - which would have been ideal for me - but I couldn't confirm it anywhere. Any idea?

Thanks once again, Uli.

 

#5 6-7-2017 8:14 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

ulis wrote:

The Star Alliance Airpass seems to be quite expensive and quite limited, Couldn't find prices for Skyteam.

So this doesn't appear to be an option either. sad
I'm beginning to think that maybe one's first trip to West Africa shouldn't be too ambitious. Maybe I should just do Togo and Benin from Ghana, maybe fly to Senegal, but keep the tougher countries (Mali, Mauritania, Burkina, Niger) for another trip.

 

#6 6-8-2017 8:00 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IVAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

An other possibility, get a re-entree permit for ghana from a immigration office in Ghana, did see similar post somwhere else, from LP:

stany82
2 years ago
You can get Burkina Faso visa in Accra. Single entree visa for 3 months costs 146 cedi. I submitted my application in the morning and picked up mijn passport in the afternoon same day.

I just received my re-entree permit for ghana from the immigration office in Bolgatanga. I submitted my application at 9 am and got it at 1 pm same day. The price was 75 US dollars or 300 cedi. So everyone who has single visa for Ghana and want to visit some other countries in the region and then return to Ghana should know that getting re-entree permit in Ghana is easy and quick (if not done in Accra)'but expensive.

Mole National park is interresting, then the distances for bus are not extreme far.
didn't use this Lagos based airline (was considering it), they are expensive from Accra, but quite reasonable from other some places:
http://www.flyasky.com/asky/en/home.aspx

 

#7 6-8-2017 8:36 AM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

Thanks, Uli. The re-entree permit is a helpful idea, though I also spoke to the Ghana embassy here and now they are willing to give me a multiple-entry visa seeing that I have a well-traveled passport. But it is very expensive. I am thus thinking of buying a open-jaw ticket now, flying into Ghana and flying out of Senegal, which seems to be the easiest country in terms of visas and prices.

 

#8 6-8-2017 11:42 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IVAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

A open Jaw ticket is usualy a good idea, but with a random date in July 12. and 29. and different places either open jaw or return i got New Dehli Accra for € 714 (Kenia air from Mumbai, but Mumbai to Accra for around 800) everything els for 1000 or well over 1000. But i looked only at that date ond not every possible plece...

 

#9 6-8-2017 7:39 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

Thanks again, Uli. My actual dates are 8 July for flying into Accra and I'm thinking of flying out of Dakar on 25 or 26 July on KLM, taking a brief stopover in Amsterdam to meet a friend, and flying back from there on 29 July. Pretty decent fare on this.

 

#10 6-8-2017 8:42 PM

jacobi
Bendigo, Australia
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: Vox Populi I
Tourist
Posts: 188

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

I hope you get what you want out of your travels there. I just can't see myself ever traveling around that area.

 

#11 6-8-2017 8:47 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

jacobi wrote:

I hope you get what you want out of your travels there. I just can't see myself ever traveling around that area.

I know, it's not the easiest area to travel in and the horror stories keep pouring in. But I like traveling, and this sort of 'adventure' is part of it. smile

 

#12 6-8-2017 8:52 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

Plus there are a few good aspects to it too. Ghana, Senegal and Benin get good reviews from travellers. Mauritania is supposed to be a very 'different' country - nothing like anything else in Africa or the Arab world. Mali, and going up to Timbuktu, is a dream for many travelers - but this is tough traveling, and probably not advisable in the conflict situation Mali is in right now.

 

#13 6-8-2017 10:56 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IVAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

Then have a good trip

 

#14 6-8-2017 11:47 PM

Apurva_N
Apurva
New Delhi, India
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Writer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Spambuster IAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 389

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

ulis wrote:

Then have a good trip

Thanks, Uli. There's still almost a month before I fly, so I might trouble you with a few more questions! smile

 

#15 6-9-2017 1:17 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
Award: Community LeaderAward: Photographer IVAward: Critic IVAward: Writer IIAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: TravelpedianAward: Bedbug IIIAward: Vox Populi IIAward: Most Helpful Hotel Reviewer (Past Winner)
Wanderer
Posts: 426

Re: West African Visa Entente & Africa Airpasses

I will be travelling the next 2 weeks, depending on available wifi i might be late in answering

 
This post has had no activity for 90 days and has been closed to new replies.

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB