What language will be spoken during the trip?
The official programme during the expedition will be conducted in English. At the same time we also speak Russian, Finnish and Estonian.
If I cannot spend 40 days on the trip, can I still participate?
Of course. However, we strongly recommend you travel by ship on the way out. There are many reasons for this. Our aim is to have the officials in Cameroon carry out both the border checks and customs formalities on board the ship so that we can disembark quickly and start to enjoy our trip. This may also be necessary from a pandemic perspective, i.e. the cruise itself could fulfil any possible requirement for a quarantine. Another option would be to fly to the Canary Islands, where we have planned to make a stop. And if that's still not possible, you can, of course, travel to Cameroon by plane on your own. To do this, you will need to have the necessary visa stamped in your passport in advance, and arrange for someone to handle and register your means of transport on board the ship and upon disembarking.
When it comes to the return trip, we will also be offering several options. If you are planning a one-way trip by car, you are free to plan your return trip as you wish. However, those who want to send their vehicles back home must first get them to the ship. Thereafter, they can take a scheduled flight, although, if there proves to be a lot of interest in flying back, we will organise a charter flight. It is too early to say what the exact destination will be - this will depend on the geographical location of the interested parties. We have already requested some quotes.
Which ship will take us to Africa?
The exact ship has yet to be decided on, but there are several options available. A great deal depends on how well the pre-registration goes. This will give us an idea of how much interest there is, and which ship we will choose. But it will definitely be a modern vessel with all the creature comforts. As the exact cost is yet to be determined, the prices are somewhat approximate and may fluctuate slightly. However, by the time payment is required, both the vessel and the exact fee will be confirmed.
What additional costs should I consider?
Vaccinations. You must be vaccinated against yellow fever and will need to carry a so-called ‘yellow passport’. For Cameroon, vaccination against polio could also be required but this issue is currently being clarified. Vaccination against cholera is also recommended. The various vaccinations cost between €25 and €50.
Visas. We hope to be able to secure a group visa based on the list of travellers. Visas for African countries are generally expensive, and one can expect to pay about €100 per country.
Fuel. This cost is based mostly on the equipment you will be using. The average price of fuel is approximately €1 per litre. Covering 3,000 kilometres, at a rate of 10 litres per hundred km, would cost €300. You will also need to take into account that the road conditions can be exceedingly difficult at times and the fuel consumption will definitely increase, possibly even double. There are no bridges over the larger rivers and ferries make the crossings for a fee.
Travel insurance. Negotiations are currently underway with insurance companies to secure the best rates for possible insured events. More information will be available soon.
Food. This issue is currently being negotiated and will be resolved once we have concluded our charter contract. When it comes to eating in Africa, a lot depends on the travellers themselves. Generally, local food is inexpensive, while in the larger cities, you can spend a lot of money.
National parks. There are several national parks in the area, some of which we will try to visit. Tickets can be quite expensive.
Overnight stays. Those traveling on their own, with or without a car, must take the cost of overnight stays into account. To an extent, the cost will depend on the desired level of quality. Simple accommodation is usually quite cheap, while luxury hotels can be extremely expensive. Small fees may also be charged at camping grounds.
Plane tickets. If you are short on time and returning by ship would take too long, you can fly back. The possibility of organising a charter flight is being discussed based on the information we gather during registration. Prices for airline tickets to Europe range from €400 to €900.
What should I bring along?
All those traveling with cars should bring a spare tyre (two would be better), along with a jack and wheel spanner. It would be even better if you could bring a set of basic tools which would allow you to make simple repairs yourself.
utensils and a gas stove.
First aid kit
This list will continually be updated.
What happens if my car breaks down?
We will be accompanied by a team of experienced mechanics who can perform miracles, if possible, to help you continue your journey. You may also be able to count on your fellow passengers because travellers on such trips are usually willing to help those in need.
What methods of communication will be available?
You can probably use your own mobile phone, but it will be unreasonably expensive for everyday communication. For instance, the cost of a gigabyte of data could cost more than €20,000, and not many people would want to pay that much. Therefore, we hope to get local SIM cards for each country, which will be pre-configured and distributed during the voyage. Also, it wouldn't hurt to have a satellite phone if you have that option.
What dangers might I encounter on such a trip?
The destination is not a tourist area in the usual sense, and this is not a simple package tour. Therefore, various hazardous situations may arise. Many can be avoided or alleviated with the help of sober, down-to-earth thinking. But not everything can be avoided and not all the time. The local people, especially in rural areas, are not used to tourists and may behave unexpectedly. The following is a short list of potential hazards:
Road conditions and a completely different traffic culture (or non-culture) can lead to accidents. Special attention should be paid to people or animals who may suddenly appear on the road. Running over a chicken or a sheep may seem rather insignificant, but it may be someone's only source of livelihood and demanding equitable compensation may be totally reasonable. There is also a risk that your car will be damaged and unable to be repaired – although some local master mechanics can sometimes work wonders! And it is not impossible that accidents will be caused by fellow travellers!
Since we will be in an equatorial area, the sun will be directly overhead, and the risk of sunburn is high. Use sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
Like everywhere else in the world, you must be on the lookout for pickpockets and other criminals. This is especially true in the larger cities.
Since poverty is widespread, officials are also not very well paid, and it is not impossible that you will be asked for a bribe. However, these should not be given too easily, even if the amount seems small. If you pay, it will make it even harder for the next tourist not to pay. The same applies to the police.
The local food is very exotic for European people and stomach problems cannot be ruled out. In the worst case, you may even contract food poisoning. Therefore,
What should I have in my medical bag?
You should definitely bring mosquito repellent and ointment to relieve itching caused by mosquito bites
Antiseptic (tea tree oil, alcohol)
Stomach medicine. Definitely a supply of charcoal tablets and, for example, Imodium tablets, especially for diarrhoea.
Traveller-specific medicines and a first aid kit with gauze and adhesive bandages.
Before setting out on the trip, you should visit a travel medicine office and get the necessary vaccinations.