Day 54… Thursday 25th May
Went back to the Republic of Congo embassy and applied for a visa through a tiny window hatch handing over documents (letter of purpose, itinerary, passport copies and photos, return flight etc.) The helpful lady advised us to come back at 5.30pm to collect the visas. Went back at that time to be told that the person who signs off the visas was still in a meeting. Sat waiting in the shade dripping in sweat. Another very humid day – I don’t think I will ever get use to this heat. The chap arrived about an hour later and told us that 15 days was not enough time to drive through the country and we would need to apply for a 1 month visa at extra cost. However, they were able to issue the visa that day. I was excepting them to say come back on Monday so it was good to get them issued on the same day despite the extra cost involved.
Given the lack of real paperwork required for some of these embassies and how they are really there to collect funds I would instead suggest replacing all of these expensive embassies with a bank of ATM style machines where you can select your language, scan you passport and anything else required, it takes your picture, and then you either use a card or feed it cash to pay. Then plop, a minute later it issues you a visa. It would certainly be more efficient and cheaper… or even better, do it all online as some of the more forward thinking countries are doing!