Crossing any border can get very tedious, but West African borders rank the highest on the spectrum because the process can drive you up the wall (most times). We’ve been travelling around West Africa by road and so far, we’ve had 9 border crossings. I decided to rank them from the most stressful to the least one.

  • Ivory Coast to Liberia

For us (the Jollof Road team), this border crossing wasn’t difficult in terms of the bureaucracy. The problem was the bad roads. We couldn’t continue the journey into Liberia because the roads were unmotorable. So we returned to Ivory Coast, and then followed the guinea route in order to get into the country.

If you ever want to visit Liberia by road from Ivory Coast, avoid the Gbinta border route. But if you think you’re Dominic Toretto, go ahead!

  • Liberia to Sierra Leone

Crossing this border was a bit of a breeze, but there was one thing. Bad roads. So bad the team had to sleep overnight in Black (the bus) because it got stuck in mud. Make sure you’re driving a jeep wrangler with 45-inch tires if you want to be able to weather the storm that is bad roads.

  • Togo to Ghana

You will need argent and an “agent” for this one. Why? Z. However, this is not enough to help ease the long process. It will still take about 3 hours to sort out paperwork and to do a vehicle inspection. That’s enough time to reduce your brain cells, but don’t be grumpy, time flies while you’re having fun.

Ps: If you’re still trying to figure out what argent is, I’ll help. It’s French for money.

  • Benin to Togo

With the help of an “agent”, it only takes about an hour to cross the border into Togo. But don’t get too excited, because you will have to make some unnecessary payments. Like 1000 XOF, if you have a “virgin” passport.

  • Ghana to Ivory Coast

The process is simple if you ignore the rude border officers. They follow due process. No fee required. No palms to grease.

  • Nigeria to Benin

Thanks (but no thanks) to Bubucakes, crossing this border was a walk in the park for us. About two months ago, he ordered the closure of the border to clamp down on illegal trade. And as a result, traffic congestion has reduced.


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