Travelling in West Africa is quite difficult, I must admit. I’ve been to some other areas that are fairly difficult to travel (such as Central Asia) but still, nowhere was close to West Africa level.
I guess the most difficult part for me is the transport part and I’m going to write about it today.
For sure you can also rent a car if you are with more people. I used the public transport the whole time.
When I’m travelling, I do prefer local public transport to be honest, even though it’s sometimes not as comfortable, but you also get to see a bit more of local life and maybe to meet some fellow travellers on the way. But forget meeting other travellers in West Africa, especially countries like Côte d’Ivoire. There are very few people travelling there.
What makes transport difficult is:
- They sometimes fit two into one seat. They happens in remote area for example during the border crossing.
- No timetable. So no need to plan the exact time, just leave a full day or two free when you need to get to the next city. I’ve read the bush taxi system before departure, so it’s no surprise, better than I thought because mostly you can still get your bus/taxi the same day without have to wait for the next day.
- The road condition is pretty bad, a lot of holes.
UTB is one of the bus companies in the country. In West Africa, big buses are already luxurious, most of the time you only find minibuses and chicken buses.
People transfer basically everthing they can bring.
Buses, no matter bigger buses or minibuses, have no timetable, and you have to ask around which platform it leaves, kinda chaotic. Inside the bus it can get full due to the luggage people bring with them. But at least you get your own seat. ^^
some nice music on the bus you can listen to
I didn’t get the chance to try this kind of chicken bus though.
Inside the minibus ^^
But for minibus if you get bad luck like me, your seat will constantly fall down especially on a bumpy road…not so much fun for a long trip and especially 3 seats already fits 4.
To be honest, I was so traumatised after that trip, and I took a picture on arrival.
Tuktuk is cool though. You find them in Debiso and border area in Ghana.
Anyways, be prepared for hard condition if you ever plan to travel independently in West Africa and good luck!