22 Incredible Pictures Show What It’s Like To Drive Around West Africa

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Reddit user popdisaster00 shared these amazing photos he took while staying in West Africa. They show a glimpse of everyday life in Africa — the good and the bad.

“Probably my favorite picture I took in West Africa- here’s a minivan with 15 or more riding inside, a few hanging out the back, and another 10 on top. This was taken in Liberia, post-Civil War, and traffic laws were a little lax.”
“First thing we got to do is gas up! Not every place has gas pumps. Often gas is sold in 1 gallon glass jars (usually empty mayonnaise jars like this one) -it’s sold in glass jars so you can see there is no water mixed in (which more corrupt gas vendors will do to save a few pennies). Suck a little bit to get the flow going, ignore the warnings about Benzene poisoning….”
“When the car is full up, only place left for room is standing on the back bumper. I’ve seen 2-3 guys riding like this going about 60 mph down a pothole-ridden roads.”
“Taken in Togo, I believe. Can you guess the number of people on this bike? If you said 8, you are correct. Amusing as this is, it can be a little disheartening considerig the condition of the roads and often heavy traffic.”
“Perfectly safe, I am sure….after all, there are no potholes in West Africa.”
“Ok, maybe there is a pothole or two. This one in downtown Lome, Togo was about 5 feet deep.”
“Oh no- car trouble! Get the jack! What, no jack? I guess we’ll have to improvise. I was always amazed at how W Africans can do so much with so little. When a car would break down along the highway,…to warn others, they would grab a clump of the ever-present 3-foot tall elephant grass from the side of the road, and put them alongside the road…much as we would do with orange cones.”
“Whoops! Roads can be rough, and most of the cars you see are the ones that are too old and too broken-down to pass inspection in their original countries. Yes, there’s a pretty good chance when you sold your last beater- it went to Africa. We saw many with American and European plates still on them.”
“Let’s stop by the garage. This amazing piece of architecture i s a garage made up of car hoods, pounded flat and welded together to form a makeshift garage.”
“West African Pep Boys! Again, another example of West African ingenuity. My hat is off to this man, who needs to lay this entire collection out every morning….only to have to pick it all back up that evening. Everything from tools to screws, to cables, to head gaskets.”
“Stuck in the mud! You know this this rainy season. This mud was about a foot deep, at least. Africa is very ‘communal’, and there were plenty of folks willing to help push these cars out.”
“All this driving is making me hungry. There’s no drive-thru, but this place in Lome has delicious schwarma, homemade hummus, and great ice cream. No, they don’t make hamburgers.”
“Oh, and try not to hit a policeman when driving, it won’t end well!! Likely this is a result of stubbornness of both parties in refusing to get out of each others way. This one isn’t mine- A friend visited me in Togo and showed this picture, taken in Sierra Leone.”
“Goats in the road, goats in the road, everywhere in Africa, there are goats in the road. Seriously, the best sign that you are approaching an urban area is the increase of goats you see on the road.”
“Speaking of goats- Market Day! his guy lashed the goats ‘ legs together and biked over to the market. I’ve seen two full grown pigs lashed onto a motorcycle. Wish i could say I took this picture, but a friend in Benin sent it to me after I left.”
“TRAFFIC JAM! Lots of these in rural West Africa. Sadly, the only cut-off was about a mile down the road, so this traffic jam wound up being about a half-hour long.”
“From the beach next door, I heard what sounded like a woman screaming for 10 minutes. When I went to investigate, this is what I found. I imagine these pigs screaming all the way to the market.”
“When you see a car full of oranges, you might be in West Africa.”
“But when you see a coffin in the taxi, you are most definitely in West Africa. Chased this guy for about a kilometer to get this picture. I never got to find out if it was full or not.”
“Don’t bother asking THESE guys for help. While some UN Troops were occasionally helpful, I found many of them to be indifferent towards the country they were there to assist.
No, I didn’t take this one. great picture, but I can’t claim it as my own.”

“If you see this, just keep driving. Sadly, ‘vigilante justice’ is rampant in West Africa. This guy was a know thief who was chase by the crowd after stealing a cellphone out of a car at the stoplight. They chased him and beat him to death down the road from where we were. The body laid there for three days.”
“Trips over! Here is a common method of sleeping for W African truckers. Conking out inside the cab is crazy hot, and keeps you from hearing anyone from breaking into your trailer.”

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