This One Takes The Cake

We have covered a lot of miles on The World by Road and the terrain we have driven is as diverse as the countries we have passed through. Obviously, the road can get pretty bad from time to time and it always leads to the same question: Is this the worst road we have been down? There have been quite a few occasions where the answer to that question is an assertive “YES!” However, on a road trip like this, just when you think you have seen the worst of it, there is always something else lying in wait around the next corner.

The road that was waiting for us just on the other side of the Nigeria-Cameroon border on the way to Mamfe was a beast, and for the time being, it is without a doubt, the worst road we have been down on the expedition. We had been warned about this stretch of road, but the warning did little to prepare us for what we actually encountered. Mud pits, fallen trees, more mud pits, etc. Hopefully there will not be any roads in much worse shape than the road to Mamfe because if they are, they are for the most part impassable. In fact, I can hardly believe that we actually made it through some of the obstacles on the way to Mamfe. I guess that is a testament to the durability or our Toyotas and our driving skills!


Kilometer 26 of the worst road yet


This is the MAIN road from Southern Nigeria into Cameroon!


The current No. 1 was no problem for The Thundra

All this talk of bad roads led us to sit down and reflect upon all the rough stretches of road we have had to navigate during the course of the expedition. The end result of that reflection is a list of the worst roads on The World by Road. So without further adieu, here is The Top Ten Worst Roads On The World by Road. It is funny looking back and remembering what these roads were like at the time… when we went through Poipet on our way to the Ankor temples in Cambodia, that was the worst road any of us had ever been on. Now, that stretch or road barely makes the top ten. Obviously this list is subject to change before we are through with this whole thing, but for the time being…


The Top Ten Worst Roads On The World by Road




1 Ekok to Mamfe, Cameroon 82 km
2 Douentze to Timbuktu, Mali 200 km
3 Beyneu to Aktau, Kazakhstan 327 km
4 Ban Hinboun to Pakxan, Laos 89 km
5 Kaffrine to Tambacounda, Senegal 178 km
6 Renhe to Shimian, China 485 km
7 Anywhere outside of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia * N/A
8 Poipet to Siem Reap, Cambodia 60 km
9 Rubtsovsk to Georgievka, Kazakhstan 325 km
10 Anywhere in Central and Southern Nigeria ** N/A

* Outside of UB, there are very few stretches of paved road in Mongolia. In fact, I would not even really consider most of what we drove in Mongolia to be a road. If you are going anywhere in Mongolia, most likely, it is off road and can get a little bumpy every now and then.

** The road surfaces in Nigeria are pretty good for the most part, however, the drivers there are so reckless and bad, that simply venturing out on the roads in Nigeria is a risk to your health. Nigeria may not have the worst roads in the world, but hands down, they have the worst drivers so we had to include them on the list.