Doing research for a trip generally requires a bunch of time sifting through multiple websites trying to find useful information. While learning about people’s personal experiences abroad can be enlightening and informative, it can also be exhausting to scroll through a novel to get to the numbers.
Without further ado, here are a few tables of info we like to have (and often struggle to find) on a country before visiting. The first table shows the cost of the shit you’ll likely to want to buy based off of our experience buying it or inquiring about it’s average cost. The second table regards visas and the entry process. We are American and Canadian so the visa chart is based off of our requirements and experience. However, we have noticed that our nationalities tend to have more difficulties than many others in obtaining visas so if you’re not American or Canadian, you can probably expect the process to be easier and cheaper than we have listed. We’ll update the content of both tables as we move through different countries.
|COST OF SHIT IN AFRICA||MOROCCO |
655 XOF: €1
|1L WATER||6-10DH||300XOF||5-10LRD (400 mL water sache)|
|AVG. MEAL 2PPL, (restaurant)||20-50DH||See below||1500-3500XOF||20,000-50,000 GNF||300-500LRD||500-1500 XOF|
|AVG. VEG MEAL 2PPL, (groceries)||6-11DH||See below||400-600XOF||10,000-20,000 GNF||600 XOF|
|BEER (bar)||25-50DH||N/A||1000-2000XOF||5,000-10,000 GNF||350-400LRD||600 XOF|
|BEER (store)||11-24DH||N/A||425-600XOF||500 XOF|
|DORM BED IN HOSTEL||30-130DH||See below||5000 XOF|
|LOCAL BUS||4-8DH||10MRU/person (taxi)||100XOF||1,500-4,000 GNF (taxi)||30-80LRD|
|LONG DISTANCE BUS||80-140DH||80,000 GNF (taxi)|
|PETROL (1L)||9-11DH||655XOF||10,000 GNF||650-750LRD (1 gallon)||590-650 XOF|
|RECHARGE FOR SIM (1G)||10DH||50MRU||1000XOF||50,000 GNF (3 GB)||4,000LRD (10G)||5000 (8G, ask about deals)|
|SIM CARD||20-30DH||62.5MRU||1000XOF||10,000 GNF||217LRD||1000 XOF|
|WHISKEY (cheapest, store)||80-90DH||N/A||1300-2000 XOF||2000 XOF|
|WINE (cheapest, store)||30-40DH||N/A||300 XOF (Palm Wine)|
|2,000-4,000 GNF (Palm Wine)||2200 XOF|
*Mauritania is such a difficult place to approximate prices. There are very few towns that you will go to and they all vary so much in terms of what shit costs. A hotel room in Nouadhibou was around €26 for a shitty, cheap room. In Nouakchott, you can find one for less than €5. Booze is illegal, however, we heard of some expat/Chinese bars in Nouakchott but we didn’t go to any. Food is expensive and we got fed at most of the places we stayed outside of Nouakchott. There, we ate out but the part of town we were in was significantly cheaper than the center, so I wouldn’t feel right basing an approximation on our experience.
|VISAS OF AFRICA||COST/MULTIPLE ENTRY||LENGTH OF STAY||VISA ON ARRIVAL||PREFERRED ENTRY POINT(S)||OTHER HELPFUL INFO|
|MOROCCO||Free/ No||90 days||Yes||Any|
|*MAURITANIA||€55/ No||30 days||Yes||Guerguerat||Border open from 9-18:00 (will also close at some point for “lunch”, or whatever). BE PATIENT!|
|SENEGAL||Free/ No||90 days||Yes||Diama||People will still suggest entering at Rosso but truly Diama is so painless and easy and it’s closer to St. Louis.|
|GUINEA||€75/ Yes, 2 entries||60 days||No||We tried to enter @ Lougana but were turned around b/c of instability in the region and had to enter at Sambailo. Double check before you go!||You can apply for an e-visa that can be picked up at the airport, however, if traveling overland it is best to get at an embassy. You need 2 passport photos|
|LIBERIA||€140/ Yes (American), No (Canadian)||1 year (American), 90 days (Canadian)||No||Ganta from the north||Apply at embassy. Need 1 passport photo; proof of hotel reservation (booking.com w/ free cancellation), letter explaining: entry date, accommodation, intent of travel; come in for “interview”|
|COTE D’IVOIRE||$70/Yes||1 month (3 month available as well)||No||Use snedai.com to get a cheaper and longer visa. We went to the embassy but later were told to use the website, print out confirmation, bring to embassy for better deal|
|GHANA||$100/Yes||3 month (Canadian), 1 year (American)||No||Went to embassy in Monrovia, got a straightforward checklist to complete, brought it back, and received visa the next day|
*To get into Mauritania from Western Sahara, you have to go through a 5km section called “No Man’s Land”. This is a lawless area not belonging to either state but it is technically the portion of Western Sahara where the rule of the SADR is actually recognized by Morocco. It is a wasteland with nothing in it except burned out cars, trucks lined up in a seemingly futile attempt to get into Western Sahara (they want to get to Morocco), and caravans of people unable to do so. This area used to be littered with land mines but it has been cleared of them within a few kilometers. DO NOT STRAY TOO FAR OFF THE ROAD! There are still active mines. A man told us he owned camels and when we asked about if they are affected by the mines, he replied, “They get blown up all the time.” That being said, you can choose to pay a driver to take you to the Mauritanian border (some people make their living doing this and they will swarm you when you officially leave Western Sahara) but it is perfectly okay and safe to walk, we did and had a great experience. People did stop to offer us free rides along the way, too.