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My journey through Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast borders

 



Travelling across African borders for the first time can be a thrilling adventure filled with unique experiences and challenges. 


My journey through Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast borders opened my eyes to the diverse cultures and landscapes of West Africa.


Starting from Burkina Faso, I encountered the necessity of yellow fever vaccination cards and the need to navigate security checkpoints efficiently. 

It was essential to have my passport and ECOWAS ID card(Ghana card) handy, along with the crucial yellow card and Travelling Passport 

Making friends with my bus seatmate proved invaluable, especially for overcoming language barriers and cultural differences. Their assistance in communicating with local authorities and navigating various checkpoints was a significant help.

As we crossed into Mali from Ghana, through Burkina Faso the landscapes changed, offering breathtaking views of the Sahel region. The journey became more than just a physical crossing; it became a cultural exchange. Cooperation with security checkpoints along the way was vital for a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Upon reaching Burkina Faso and Mali borders late night at 1am, we have to rest at the border because Mali border was closed at that time, until 6am before it will be reopen 





Arriving in Bamako late at night forced us to stop and rest before continuing our journey to Guinea. The following day, as we entered Guinea, we were met with numerous checkpoints that our driver expertly navigated until we reached Guinea Conakry. 


Our stay in Conakry lasted for eight days before we departed for Ivory Coast. 

During the 8-day stay in Guinea, the hospitality of the people of Guinea Conakry was truly remarkable. 

Our journey to Guinea Conakry centered around Abd Traore's two-day wedding celebration, which was a captivating blend of traditional ceremonies, formal office signing, and a wonderfully organized reception. 


The event was graced by the elegance of Guinea Conakry's women, whose beauty had my eyes wandering all around. It was a truly successful event.


However, one issue that stood out to me was the poor internet access and the high cost of data and call credit/bundles. 

To browse more effectively, one needed to use a VPN due to the unreliable internet service. On a brighter note, the ubiquitous presence of acheke, similar to the waakye joints in Ghana, was a delightful culinary experience.


 

The nightlife was vibrant and intriguing - francophones could party in clubs until daybreak. Overall, it was a lovely and memorable experience.

The road from Guinea to Ivory Coast was dusty, enveloping everyone on the bus in a cloud of dust as we journeyed through a forested route. Despite the challenging road conditions, the unique landscapes and experiences along the way made the dusty travel worth it.

We crossed the border from Guinea Conakry to Ivory Coast, where we had to disembark from the bus once again for immigration checks. 

Our 14-day stay in Ivory Coast was eventful - we visited the AFCON village, watched some games, and encountered the familiar challenge of expensive data and bundles costs. 





Acheke was a common sight on every corner, and we indulged in this dish for the entire duration of our stay. 


The roads and towns were picturesque, with towering skyscrapers adding to the beauty. 

The locals generally welcomed foreigners warmly, although there were some who displayed a dislike towards Nigerians. It was not uncommon to be questioned upfront, "Are you Nigerian?"

A humorous incident occurred when one of my travel companions obtained a lady's phone number at a local hangout. 

They engaged in banter, and eventually, the lady invited him to her place. Surprisingly, my friend declined the invitation. 

When we inquired about his reluctance, wondering why he wasn't pursuing the very reason he got her number for, he confessed that he was too scared. In a comical turn of events, he suggested the lady visit him instead, but she also declined, insisting that he visit her first. 😂

Travelling through these borders not only allowed me to witness the stunning beauty of West Africa but also taught me the importance of preparedness, adaptability, and respect for the local customs. 

Each crossing presented a unique set of challenges and rewards, creating memories that will stay with me forever. 


Martin Sedem 

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