Distance driven: 241km
Days spent: 7
Distance driven/day: 34,43km
Diesel price: 0,94€/l
Money spent: 379€
We got our visa in Lomé (Togo). The embassy (N6 08.764 E1 12.677) was a bit tricky to find and is located near the hospital. It is run by a lovely family and the husband speaks English. A one month single entry visa costs 40.000CFA (61€), can be picked up the following day and you state the approximate date of entry but it is supposedly valid from any date of entry. To be able to apply you need to become a Togolese resident and their son usually sorts that out for you. Costs are 12.500CFA per person (19€). It might be a bit cheaper to organize yourself at a police office. Apart from that you need two passport photos, passport copy and yellow fever certificate copy as well as one filled out application form.
Even though we only saw a tiny fraction of this vast country we really enjoyed our visit. The people were just great, open and lively. Especially Matadi fascinated us with its crooked buildings and hilly location right at the river Congo. The road from the border is a sandy piste until you reach a toll gate where foreign registered vehicles pay 20US$ (14,60€) to drive on an even worse piste to Boma. From there the road to Matadi is quite potholed until you cross the Congo over a giant bridge.
Crossing into DRC was trouble free and once again highly modern and efficient on the Angolan side.
We did not buy insurance for DRC and do not know if it is possible at the border. In fact we doubt it.
As we had used up our tourist visa with the visit to Cabinda we applied for another one at the Angolan consulate (S5 49.707 E13 27.698) in Matadi. The staff here can be quite a piece of work but in the end we were successful. The one month single entry visa costs 101US$ (73€) and takes a week to process. However if you don’t want to wait they can issue an express visa. Fees for that are not really fixed as the regulations only say that “an express fee has to be charged”. We were quoted 200US$ (146€) instead of 101US$. Marc had an ace up his sleeves though and argued that his broken wrist needed immediate looking after in Luanda. We ended up paying 150US$ (109,50€) per person and could pick up the visas about two hours later.
Necessary for the application are copies of every single passport page with a visa or stamp on it as well as the main page, yellow fever certificate copy, carnet copy, car paper copy, 2 passport photos and an introduction letter stating the reason why you apply for the visa in Matadi and your intended itinerary in Angola. Note that if you are a couple you will still have to write individual cover letters!
Recommended Campings (prices for 2 people and a 4×4):
Convent, Matadi – S5 49.908 E13 27.659
Camping inside the courtyard with the lovely sisters, shower and toilet, close to Angolan consulate
They asked for 20US$/night (14,60€) but we bargained down to 10US$/night (7,30€)