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Welcome to WestAfricaTravelGuide.com. We feature narratives from travelers, accommodation advice, sights to see, music and dance from the region, recipes for local dishes, overland travel advice and more. Don’t know where to begin? Start here.


Since 2012, Mali has been victim to varying levels of orange and red travel warnings. I say victim because the travel warnings are often indiscriminate. They cover vast areas of the country - sometimes the whole country! - despite the fact that several regions have not had a single incident. Mali does have a security [...]

staying safe on the roads in West Africa

I remember when I first decided to travel to West Africa. Family members spoke to me as if I had lost my mind. "West Africa? Are you insane?" Thankfully, I didn't listen to them. West Africa has an unfortunate reputation. The region seems to only show up on TV screens when something awful is happening. [...]

Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal

Who knew that a little known park in eastern Senegal has lions, hippopotamus, water buffalo, the rare giant Eland, and the northernmost population of chimpanzees in the world. West Africa is not known for its game reserves, but there are a few on offer (like Pendjari) that are certainly worth visiting. The Niokolo-Koba National Park [...]

Crossing the river into Casamance from the Gambia

There's more than one way to skin a cat, and in this case, there is more than one way to enter Casamance from Gambia. Most people take the Trans-Gambian highway, which starts up in Kaolack, Senegal. This highway, also known as the N4, crosses the Gambia in the middle of the country before darting south [...]

Nigerian visa in West Africa

UPDATE: Unfortunately, as of October 2017 this article is no longer valid and the Nigerian embassy in Bamako has begun issuing visas only to residents of Mali. This is terrible news for overland travelers. We will let you know if anything changes. The following is the original article as written, but unfortunately the information no [...]

getting a visa for Guinea Bissau in Casamance, Senegal

Getting your visa for Bissau in Ziguinchor just may be the most pain-free interaction you will ever have with bureaucracy in West Africa. The whole thing takes about 5 minutes. What's more, the friendly consular officer will even fill out the paperwork for you. The embassy is located in the center of town, on an [...]

Amanar Festival sur le Niger 2015

On the morning after the first night of the festival, I wandered over to a thatched hut where a woman was selling sandwiches with everything you would want in them: sauteed slices of beef and onions, french fries, alloco (fried plantain), tomato and cucumber in a vinaigrette and crushed chili peppers with a bit of [...]

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vaccinations and immunizations for West Africa

We're not going to lie, you may have to get poked a few times before your trip to West Africa. Some immunizations are required to enter certain West African countries, while others are simply recommended (and recommended should not be considered optional in this case). In this post, we will tell you what you need [...]

Cash, credit card and ATM options

It's a testament to the extreme knowledge void with respect to West Africa, that I've been asked on several occasions whether or not the region has banks. So let's get this out of the way now: if you are anticipating some kind of primordial world where financial transactions take place in cowry shells, you might [...]

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bus travel in West Africa

I am writing this on a bus in the United States. I am traveling to Washington, DC and eventually, Abidjan. This bus trip is the first leg of my trip. Some of the in-bus amenities include leather reclining seats, power outlets, wi-fi, on-board toilet and airconditioning. Buses in West Africa are typically less generous. While [...]

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