Ouagadougou - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

I have a beat-up 2007 Rav4. Don't bring a nice car here, it will get banged up a bit. You want something with a little clearance, but you do not need 4wd. Don't bring a car you love, it's not uncommon for fender benders with motos, bikes, etc. - Jun 2020

Be careful about bringing anything new that you want to keep in good condition. The roads are poor and the traffic is chaotic. - Oct 2019

The infrastructure is quite poor with rough roads full of potholes, and many unpaved. There are also a lot of accidents with few reputable repair facilities. Something older with high ground clearance is best. - Jul 2019

Roads are roug, and many not paved and/or full of potholes. Recommend something old and sturdy with high-ground clearance. - Jul 2019

A small/mid-sized 4x4 is a good idea, there are many potholes even in the city. Not advisable to bring a large or very wide vehicle. Gas is very pricey here. Carjackings are not common. - Dec 2017

Highly recommend an SUV. If you plan on doing much in terms of safaris, having a clearance greater than that of a RAV4 is recommended. Imported parts can be very expensive or of suspect quality. But for routine care, you can find very inexpensive labor. - May 2016

High clearance SUVs are needed if you're going to get out of town. Many people do fine in town with sedans. Parts are expensive and can be hard to find for all vehicles. Labor and is cheap and not always reliable. Bring an extra set of tires. - Aug 2015

We have a 4-wheel drive pickup truck that has been great. Toyotas are the easiest to service, but there is also a Ford dealership here, randomly enough. - Jun 2015

Most makes can be serviced, Toyota and Ford have dealers here. Servicing U.S. spec vehicles can sometimes be difficult due to lack of parts. - Jul 2013

Bring a 4x4 if you every plan to leave the city (which you will want to) and do not bring a Honda. They cannot fix them. Toyota and Ford both have dealerships, but they won't work on American standard vehicles. Parts are expensive. Make sure you bring them. Very few mechanics know how to work on automatic transmissions in-country. Bring extra tires. You may never need them, but if you do you won't deplete your savings replacing them. - Jul 2013

Buy a local 4x4 or ship one. Toyotas are popular here and you can get them fixed without issue. - Apr 2013

Bring a 4x4, truck or some type of smaller SUV, just for comfort and because many roads are in really bad shape. If you don't plan on leaving Ouagadougou, you'll be fine with a sedan. There's a Toyota dealership, but they will not work on your American Toyota, which I learned the hard way. All car parts are insanely expensive, a tire costs 2x - 4x what an American tire costs, and they try to pass off used tires as new tires. - Nov 2012

4x4. Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes and Ford all have dealers here. Parts are fairly easy to find. - Aug 2010

For going to the country I suggest a four wheel drive. (especially in the rainy season. - Aug 2008

Bring a small 4WD with high clearance. If you never leave the city you won't absolutely need it, but we live on a dirt road and getting there in the rainy season can be hazardous. - Jul 2008

Something with 4WD and high ground clearance. Most streets are not paved (look up Ouagadougou on Google Maps and you can see the difference) and are quite rough. Outside of Ouaga and the other large cities it's even rougher. Toyota and Mitsubishi are the predominant Japanese dealerships. We brought a new Nissan Pathfinder and have not found a Nissan dealership, although the local mechanics seem to be able to handle about anything and any parts can be ordered. Tires are readily available, just expensive. - Jun 2008

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