Same passport for visiting all of Africa?

So tonight I was catching up with a well-traveled friend who was visiting Melbourne. A few years back they did an overlanding tour in Africa, and was told for the tour that if you had multiple passports, you had to choose just one to use for all of Africa.

Now my understanding is that you must enter and exit a country with the same passport, but outside of that, no country usually cares what you used for another country.

Has anyone seen or heard any evidence for this (ie you have to use one passport for all of Africa) or was it perhaps just a convenient device for the tour company to say so as only to deal with one passport per person?

Answer

An acquaintance of mine has traveled extensively throughout Africa — every country bar Rwanda and Somalia, to be precise — and he did it using six different passports, with no problems. (And before you ask, he’s a diplomat, and you need a lot of passports when traveling to tinpot dictatorships that take weeks to process visa applications…)

In case that’s not enough, I’ll also note that:

  1. There no supranational authority in Africa that could impose that kind of requirement. The African Union is a paper tiger, and not all African countries belong to it anyway.
  2. Even if such a requirement were to be imposed, there’s no way it could possibly be enforced, given that immigration checkpoints at quite a few African borders consist of a bored guy sitting in a hut with a pen and a notebook.

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