Illustrating the challenges of travel to West Africa, just finding out if a visa exists is proving quite the challenge.
I have seen references to a Visa des Pays de l’Entente Visa Touristique Entente that in one visa covers entry to Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, and Niger.
The most recent Lonely Planet West Africa guide mentions it without specific advice on how to obtain it. There are sporadic online references that go back to 2001, while French travel forums in translation have the snark of English forums in an existential French way.
From what I can find, if it still exists as publicized in the past:
- You can only apply for it when already in one of the member countries
- You apply for it at some immigration authority of the country you are in, not an embassy of the other countries
- Niger may or may not still be in; getting a Niger visa directly is not easy
The most recent report I found with details is on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree from 2013 on getting it in Burkina Faso, and conflicting updates as late as last year, which will work perfectly with my schedule. The issue I will have is if I can verify that it still exists so that I can budget the 48 hours there, and not bother with getting a Cote d’Ivoire e-visa in advance. And it if still has Niger I will re-do my whole trip to try to get there!