Distance driven: 449km
Days spent: 4
Distance driven/day: 112,25km
Diesel price: 0,72€/l
Money spent: 345€
We aquired our visas in Lomé (Togo). The embassy (N6 10.105 E1 12.460) is reached over a very rough track in an area where you would not expect a diplomatic representation to be located. They issue visas while you wait and the date of entry can be chosen freely. A 15 day single entry visa costs 60.000CFA (91,50€) and a 3 month multiple entry visa 80.000CFA (122€). Two passport photos, passport copy and copies of at least 3 African visas are necessary as well as completing one application form.
We did not see much of Congo as we only drove over Dolisie to Pointe Noire and then into Cabinda. Pointe Noire is quite modern and wealthy due to its oil industry. The drive from the border with Gabon is much fun with about 20km of water filled mud holes right after the border. The water once came over our bonnet but we did not get stuck and it was raining a lot the previous days. From the border to Dolisie there is either dense forest or thick grass so it is hard to find a bush camp.
The police gave us a hard time once for not having a laissez passer that allows us to move around (not for the vehicle) but as usual a lot of talking and keeping a cool head dissolved this problem. We also bumped into the biggest prick of an immigration officer at Dolisie. All in all though once again nothing too bad or to be afraid of.
We went to the consulate (S4 47.510 E11 51.553) in Pointe Noire to try to apply for a transit visa for Cabinda so we would not use up our tourist visa. They were not unhelpful but told us that you are only allowed to have one active visa at a time. However an other traveller who got his tourist visa together with us in Accra was able to get a transit visa here just two weeks before. We also heard from other travellers who got a tourist visa issued here without invitation letters so if you do not want to go through the hassle of driving from Ghana to Angola in 2 months (visa validity) then Pointe Noire and Matadi would be your best bets.
Recommended Campings (prices for 2 people and a 4×4):
Cercle Navale (Yacht Club), Pointe Noire – S4 47.359 E11 50.903
Camping at the rundown yacht club with extremely friendly staff and military, terrible toilets and no showers but plenty of water, we asked at the Total restaurant next doors and were allowed to use their pool ablutions
Free, we gave some small gifts to the helpful securities and military post