Other giants Algeria, who had a good run at Brazil 2014 opened their campaign with a 2-1 win away in Addis Ababa and host Mali who beat Malawi 2-0 in Bamako, in one of the top-of-the-bill fixtures.
Another heavyweight mouth-watering clash is in prospect in Cameroon where Herve Renard takes his Elephants for battle against the Indomitable Lions who were impressive in their 2-0 mauling of the DRC in Lubumbashi.
Nigeria were shock 2-3 losers to Congo in Calabar and seek a win to keep pace with Bafana but Shakes Mashaba Bafana will be eager to get one long awaited victory over their nemesis. Chipolopolo, who were stretched to a goalless draw by the Mambas in Ndola, face a tough test against Cape Verde in the first international match of the Atlantic Ocean archipelago's new 10,000-seat National Stadium. Ghana, who needed a late strike to salvage a point against the Cranes in Kumasi, play Togo who lost their opener 1-2 against Guinea. The Uganda Cranes are campaigning to end an over 35 year wait to return to the finals and will be buoyed by their impressive 1-1 draw in draw from which they wish to build as they host Guinea at Namboole in Kampala. Record winners Egypt slumped to a 2-0 loss in Dakar and will need a reviving maximum points haul when they host Tunisia in Cairo.
10 September (All times local)