Introduction: Seven months research, 14 days overland trip by bus from London to Lagos, across eight countries (France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic). Crossed the Mediterranean Sea and the amazing Sahara desert. Slept eight nights, at six hotels in 6 countries. Covered a distance of 9115 kilometers. Yet under £1000 (one thousand pounds) budget.
Dedication: This trip is dedicated to all those, who love adventure and those who suffer from flight phobia. Be it known, that there is well tarmac road to Europe. Finally to my mother who opposed this trip, but unknown to her, that she was the driving force behind this adventure.
Acknowledgement: This trip would not have been possible without the following; www.overlandingwestafrica.com, www.dakarchallenge.co.uk, Chloe (aka Kira, CREER Cote D Ivoire), Chris Scott (www.sahara-overland.com), www.budapestbamako.org in addition to numerous travellers forum like; www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree, www.tripadvisor.com
Day 1: (28/12/15), England to France.
Mega bus from Leicester to Barcelona. Departed Leicester by 5:15 am, arrived London Victoria by 7:18am. Departed London 11:02am. Arrived European Tunnel 12:56pm. Entered European Tunnel by 14:56pm. Exited European Tunnels about 15:20 hrs. Arrived a town called Amiens by 17:40 hrs. Departed Amiens by 17:49. Arrived Paris by 8:54 pm and departed Paris by 11pm. Stopped at a place (service/petrol station) before the city of Limonges by 2.45am, for 40 minutes.
Bus fare from Leicester to Barcelona £60
Cup of tea: £1.90
Hotdog and bottle water £2.61
Tea €1.20 equivalent to £.90p.
Water €1.20 equivalent to £.90p.
Day 2 (29/12/15). France to Spain.
Arrived Limonges by 4:19am. Departed about 4:30am. Arrived Brive by 5:25am. Departed Brive by 5:29am. Arrived Toulouse 8am. Departed Toulouse by 8:17am Stopped at a service station near the French border with Spain, for 45 minutes breakfast break. Arrived Barcelona by 2:20 pm. Journey time from Leicester to Barcelona: 32hrs, 20 minutes.
Bought breakfast €11:50.
Bought lunch €8:60
Bought my onward ticket (€104) to Algerciras.
Bought a Spanish Vodafone mobile sim card with Internet €15.
Hotel €45. (www.brustarr.com).
Subtotal: €184.1 equivalent to £139.1 (exchange rate then).
Day 3: (30/12/15), Spain.
Departed Barcelona by 12:02 pm, arrived Denia about 8:10 pm. Departed Denia about 8:33pm arrived Benidom by 9:10pm. Departed Benidom by 9:20pm. Arrived Alicante by 9:56pm. Departed Alicante by 10:03pm. Arrived Murcia by 11pm. Departed Murcia by 11:22pm. Arrived Lorca by 12:15am. Departed Lorca by 12:18am. Arrived Malaga by 5:35am. Departed Malaga by 6am. Arrived Mabella by 6:45 am. Departed Mabella by 6:50 am. Arrived Algerciras by 7:45 am. Journey time: 19hrs, 45 minutes.
Early morning tea €2.
Subtotal: €18. Equivalent to £13.60 (exchange rate then).
Day 3: (31/12/15). Spain to Morocco.
At Algerciras, you can buy a ticket for Tangier Med or buy a ticket there, for fast ferry to Tangia Ville. After which, you need to enter a free FRS bus service to Tarifa. I bought a ticket for fast ferry going to Tangier Ville, and entered bus to Tarifa, where I entered FRS ferry services. From Algerciras to Tarifa is not far (about 15 to 20 minutes by free bus transfer).
Fast ferry crossing from Tarifa (Spain) to Tangier Ville (Morocco) is 45 minutes.
Ferry ticket €37 equivalent to £27.9 @ the exchange rate then.
Tea inside ferry €1:50 equivalent to £1.1 @ the exchange rate then.
Hotel in Tangier Ville (Hotel D’ Anjou. Tel 05 39942784/0661731676. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org): DH250 equivalent to £18 as at time of checking in (£1 = DH14) on 31/12/15. Note: Moroccan money is called Dirham.
Fitch photocopies (50 copies + browsing) DH60, equivalent to £4.3 as at the time on 31/12/15.
Had a tour guide who took me around. He was very useful. Paid him DH300 equivalent to £21.42 as at the time of payment on 31/12/15.
Purchase of Morocco mobile line: DH80, equivalent to £5.71 as at the time of purchase on 31/12/15.
Food with tour guide DH260 (I bought him food). The amount is equivalent to £18.60 as at the time of payments on 31/12/15.
Taxi to bus station to book my onward ticket for 1/1/16. DH40 equivalent to £2.9 as at the time of payment.
My onward ticket to Agadir DH400, equivalent to £28.60 as at the time of purchase on 31/12/15.
Evening meal: DH52, equivalent to £3.7 as at the time of purchase on 31/12/15.
Miscellaneous purchases (milk, lux soap, and tin fish): DH24, equivalent to £1.7 as at the purchase on 31/12/15.
Day 4. (1/1/16). Morocco
Depart Tangier Ville by 11:20am via CTM bus (with air-condition & heater). Arrived Rabat 3:10pm. Departed Rabat 3:30pm, arrived Agadir 1:30am. Journey time: 14hrs.
DH20 (equivalent to £1.43 as at time of purchase on 1/1/16) for taxi to the bus station
DH14 (equivalent to £1 as at the time of purchase on 1/1/16) for bottle of water and bottle of coke.
DH50 (equivalent to £3.60 as at the time of purchase on 1/1/16) mobile phone top up.
DH50 (equivalent to £3.60) my tour guide.
DH5 (equivalent to £.35p) charged for my luggage.
DH2 (equivalent to £.28p) bread and cake (breakfast).
DH1 (equivalent to £.14p) for urinating in the public toilet.
DH3 (equivalent to £.42p as at the time of purchase) taxi to hotel.
DH150 (Equivalent to £11 as at the time of purchase) hotel (Hotel Canaria. Tel: +212528846727).
Day 5 (2/1/16) Morocco to Western Sahara.
Departed Agadir 10am by Supratours bus (with air-condition). Passed through Tiznit, TanTan, Laayoune. Arrived Dakhla 6am on 3/1/16. Journey time: 20hrs.
DH20 equivalent to (£1.4) for my first breakfast. (I paid for an interpreter who assisted me, from the same money).
DH20 equivalent to (£1.4) for the taxi driver that dropped me to the bus park.
DH29 equivalent to (£2.1) for my second breakfast.
DH395 equivalent to (£28.21) for my ticket to Dakhla.
DH5 equivalent to (£.35p) for my bag/luggage.
DH35 equivalent to (£2.5) for my lunch.
DH25 equivalent to (£1.8) for my evening meal.
DH5 equivalent to (£.35p) for the toilets used along the way.
Day 6 (3/1/16). Dakhla (Western Sahara) to Nouadhibou (Mauritania).
Departed Dakhla 8:45am. Arrived Gargarate (Moroccan border/frontiers with Mauritania) by 2pm. Journey time: 5 hrs, 15 minutes.
DH160 equivalent to (£11.43) for my ticket to Moroccan Border/Frontiers with Mauritania.
DH5 equivalent to (£.35p) for my bag/luggage.
DH25 equivalent to (£1.8) for my breakfast.
DH25 equivalent to (£1.8) for my lunch.
DH2 equivalent to (£0.14p) for using toilets.
Paid Moroccan border official DH2 equivalent to (£0.14p).
€120 for Mauritania Visa. Equivalent to £90.72 @ the exchange rate then.
DH50 equivalent to (£3.6) taken by Mauritanian immigration officials as tip.
Taxi from Nouadhibou border post to hotel/taking me around: DH200 equivalent To (£14.3).
Mauritania high way police MRO2000 equivalent to £4.4 (£1 = MRO 459.758)
Hotel in Nouadhibou MRO15,280 equivalent to £33.23 (as at 3/1/16).
Food, MRO3900 equivalent of £8.5.
Mauritania tel/sim card/top up: MRO 500 equivalent to (£1.08).
Day 7: (4/1/16). Mauritania.
Departed Nouadhibou by 8:45 am, arrived Nouakchott 3:20 pm. Departed Nouakchott 3:40 pm, arrived Rosso 7:10pm. Journey time: 10hrs,5 minutes.
Breakfast: MRO1740 equivalent to (£3.8).
Bus fare from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott: MRO6,000 equivalent to (£13.05).
Departed Nouadhibou 8:45, arrived Nouakchott 3:20.
Bus fare to Rosso MRO2,500 equivalent to (£5.4).
Snacks: MRO500 equivalent to (£1.09).
Departed Nouakchott 3:40. Arrived Rosso 7:10pm.
Cart drive around Rosso: MRO1,000 equivalent to (£2.2)
Hotel in Rosso DH200 equivalent to (£14.3).
Night food MRO1,800 equivalent to (£4)
Day 8: 5/1/16. Rosso (Mauritania) to Dakar (Senegal).
Departed Rosso Senegal about 10am, arrived Dakar about 17:00hrs.
MRO500 equivalent to (£1.09) for cart ride to the Mauritanian border post.
MRO100 equivalent to (£0.21p) for Mauritania tax at the border.
MRO500 equivalent to (£1.09) another cart push to the ferry point.
MRO500 equivalent to (£1.09) for telephone top.
CFA200 equivalent to (£0.22p) for Senegalese immigration.
CFA100 equivalent to (£0.11p) For Senegalese police.
CFA500 equivalent to (£0.56p) for bike ride to the car park.
CFA8500 equivalent to (£9.6) for taxi from Rosso to Dakar.
CFA8000 equivalent to (£9) for Senegalese telephone sim card/top up
CFA200 equivalent to (£0.22p) for biscuit
CFA2000 equivalent to (£2.25) for lunch.
CFA3000 equivalent to (£3.4) for taxi to a destination inside Dakar.
CFA20000 equivalent to (£22.5) for hotel in Dakar, including breakfast, dinner, WiFi and air-condition.
Day 9: Resting Day. 6/1/16. Senegal
CFA2000 equivalent to £2.25 for taxi to change money.
CFA2000 equivalent to £2.25 to bus park to check buses going to Bamako.
CFA25,000 equivalent to £28.3 for my bus ticket to Bamako.
CFA2000 Equivalent to £2.25 for taxi back to my hotel.
CFA20,000 equivalent to £22.6 for my hotel bill
Day 10: Resting in Dakar 7/1/16.
CFA20,000 equivalent to £22.6 for hotel room.
Day 11. (8/1/16). Dakar (Senegal) to Bamako (Mali).
Departed Dakar 17:20hrs, arrived Senegal/Malian border/frontiers by 4:20am. Departed the border about 6am, arrived Bamako 8:30pm on 9/1/16. Journey time: 27 hours
CFA4460 for shopping (bread, biscuit, cake, tin fish).
CFA200 for plastic cup.
CFA2500 for taxi to bus station.
CFA1000 for mobile phone top up.
CFA500 for water.
Paid CFA4,000 to Senegalese immigration/police
Paid CFA5,000 to Mali immigration/border control
Paid CFA2,000 to Malian police check Points.
CFA500 for lunch.
Paid CFA35,000 for my onward ticket to Cotonou
Met a Malian couple inside the bus that provided me with free accommodation house.
Subtotal: CFA55,160 equivalent to £62.5 (as at then’s exchange rate).
Day 12: 10/1/16. Bamako (Mali) to Bobodioulaso (Burkina Faso).
Set back: I got the bus station about 6am. The bus company I bought their ticket the previous night, took us to another bus station. Waited till about 11am. The bus loaded people so much that I got upset and came down out of the bus. There was no refund. Please be careful when your in this region, with their bus companies. Many of them, can be funny, ask for good companies like TCV, Sonef, African tours etc.
Departed Bamako by 3:20pm, arrived Sikaso about 22:00hrs. Left Sikaso 12:08am, arrived Malian border/frontiers with Burkina Faso by 1:08am. Had over 4hrs sleep/rest. Departed from the Burkina Faso side of the border/frontier post by 5:40am. Arrived Bobodioulaso by 8:40hrs. Journey time:10.5 hrs.
Paid CFA600 for tea.
Paid CFA500 for motor bike that dropped me where I bought my initial bus ticket
Paid CFA,1500 for taxi
Paid CFA11,000 to Ouagadougou.
Paid Malian Police CFA2000 to Malian Police.
Paid CFA1000 to Burkina Faso immigration.
Paid CFA1000 to Burkina Faso Police
CFA1000 for similar card.
Subtotal: CFA18600 equivalent to £21 (as at exchange rate).
Day 13: 11/1/16. Burkina Faso (Bobodioulaso to Ouagadougou).
Departed Bobodioulaso by 11:45am, arrived Ouagadougou by 6pm. Journey time: 6hrs :15 minutes.
Paid CFA3000 for calling cards
CFA6000 for bus ticket to Ouagadougou
Paid CFA1000 for Tea
Paid CFA500 for rice.
Paid CFA3500 for the taxi driver that took me around looking for good bus companies going to Cotonou.
Paid CFA20,000 for my onward ticket to Cotonou
Paid CFA500 for spaghetti (night meal).
Subtotal: CFA46,400 equivalent to £52.60
Day 14: 12/1/16. Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) to Cotonou (Benin) to Lagos (Nigeria).
Departed 7:30am, got transferred to another bus. Reached Burkina Faso border/frontiers with Benin by 2:30pm. About 3:30pm our bus stopped and trans-loaded us to another bus. Our bus had several stops and wasted a lot of time (culminating to over 8 hrs). This second bus, transferred us to an old Peugeot 505, when we got to Parakou. Finally got to Cotonou by 8:30pm. Journey time: 37hrs. Departed Cotonou about 9:30pm, arrived Benin border/frontiers with Nigeria about 10:30pm.
Paid CFA1000 for the motor bike that dropped me.
Paid CFA500 for water.
Paid CFA500 for coke.
Paid CFA50 for grand nut
Paid CFA100 for orange.
Paid CFA1000 To Burkina Faso immigration.
Paid CFA3000 To Benin immigration.
Paid CFA2500 for Benin tel/sim card/top up.
Paid CFA300 for tea with driver
Paid CFA1500 For yugorts/water.
Paid CFA2000 for taxi to Seme border.
Paid CFA1000 for apples
Paid CFA500 to the first police post.
Paid CFA2000 to Benin immigration.
Paid CFA1000 to the motor bike that took me along the border crossing
Paid N3000 equivalent to £8 (at the exchange rate then) for my hotel at Badagry, Lagos, Nigeria.
Subtotal: CFA16,950 (£19.21) + N3,000 (£8) = £27.21
Overall total: £925.09
Note: costs might vary due to lifestyle etc. The costs above might act as a guide.