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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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Atlantic Route – without reinventing the wheel…


Hi guys,

We plan on doing the Atlantic route down to Gambia where we’ll leave the car with Stukka Camping taking around 2 weeks. I’m reckoning on about 2500 kms from the port in Morocco to Nouadhibou. But rather than bore the wife to death with driving everyday can anyone recommend worthy stopping points, villages, beaches even cities ?

I then recon on around 600kms for Mauritania, which I plan on doing in a long day taking the Barge at Diama. It would be nice to stop off in Senegal but have just been told (August ’10) I’ll need a carnet or police escort as I’m driving a old Toyota 4x4.

So I guess we’ll enjoy our time in Gambia and maybe visit Senegal without vehicle.

Many thanks for any comments / input especially on KM’s and places to see do….

Cheers
Matt
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  #2  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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hello
There is not much to see in the western sahara. there is a campsite south of laayoune (belgian owner??........i'm not sure). weird and crazy place in the middle of nowhere. you can also go to dakhla where it is full of old land rovers (that is what they told me, we haven't been to dakhla itself).
then mauritanie.....the desert is more interesting.....less flat, more dunes!
good hotels with safe parking in NDB and NKT. between NDB and NKT is park banc d'arguin. i heard it is wonderfull but we drove with a low car so it was not possible for us, so haven't seen it by myself. there are some nice fishing villages at the coast. there should also be some shipwrecks. i wouldn't go all the way from NDB to senegal in one day. big chance of reaching the border late and riding senegal in the dark. I would go from NKT to lac rose in senegal and from there to gambia.
hope it helps.
brend
ps. when you are driving through the western sahara the road will be close to the coast line for a while and between the road and the cliff one time you will see some fences in a circle. stop there! it is a hole in the cliff.
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  #3  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Matt, no idea what you and the wife are interested in, art, culture, sociology, nature but here are some ideas.

Morocco north of Agadir is well documented, plenty of books etc on it. I tend to drive along the coast, usually make a stop in Essaouira for a day or two as its a fairly relaxed place.

South of Agadir there is a nice road via Sidi Ifni, an old Spanish town with a very diferent atmosphere to the rest of the area, Spa baths about 15-20km from Guelmin which is also interesting. If you continue along the coast the Oueds you cross are interesting especially from a nature point of view. Plenty of shipwrecks along the coast, some are accessible. The campsite Brend mentioned is about 45km north of Laayoune If you decide to go inland Smara is interesting, plenty of soldiers and Saharawi refugees.

Try to get to the Morocco-RIM border after midday as the queues in the morning are big. Nouakchott is worth a few hours, and NKT to St Louis can be done in a day via Diama. St Louis definitely worth a visit for a couple of days, Touba interesting for its religous standing, Sine Saloum delta interesting culturally and for nature.

No matter what way you go you will do a couple of big driving days in south Morocco and Mauritania, if you have a comfortable car its no big deal. Stick to the speed limits, cops with radar guns are everywhere in Morocco.
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  #4  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Thanks for the feed back; it’s the first time Anne-Marie and I will travel together in the LC, in the past she’s always joined me en-route. Her idea of a holiday isn’t everyday driving. Hence the question of POI’s – we’re fairly easy and are happy to see what’s happening locally, especially local markets and nature.

In the past we’ve travelled on the Africa Twin so 400 kms was just OK I’m hoping the LC Troopie will happily eat up the km’s.

I appreciate the route has been talked to death with an incredible mix of reviews… especially corruption….. and I don’t fancy driving 4500 kms just to be disappointed.

The owners of Sutuka camping have just informed me of the following:

“we are returned from germany the 15 of august.
there is a new regulation in senegal. you need a carnet de passages for your car if it older then 5 years. if not-the customs give you a escort up to the gambian border ( ca. 220 euro)
no more visas on the mauretanian border!!!!!!!!!”



Daaarnn did they also get stitched up or is this now the case….

Cheers
Matt
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  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2010
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Ksar Tafnidilt is a nice place to spend the night, camping 40 Dh per person lots of hot water in the evening and the food is very good although a little expensive for Morocco, but you don't have to eat there.

N28 32.759 W10 59.583 leave the road at N28 31.984 W10 56.540

I really liked Laayoune as well, very modern well worth a walk around the main road for a couple of hours, stop in a cafe maybe and watch the world go by.
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  #6  
Old 3 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodwoodweirdo View Post
The owners of Sutuka camping have just informed me of the following:

“we are returned from germany the 15 of august.
there is a new regulation in senegal. you need a carnet de passages for your car if it older then 5 years. if not-the customs give you a escort up to the gambian border ( ca. 220 euro)
no more visas on the mauretanian border!!!!!!!!!”



Daaarnn did they also get stitched up or is this now the case….
Hold on , is this really the case? I thought they used to require a carnet, but the rules were laxed recently, and they would now give you a temporary permit for ~100 euro. Any idea if these people went through Rosso or Diama? This is really important to me since I too plan to enter in an old Toyota soon, and my plan is to drive through Senegal and eventually into Mali.

And with "no more visas", you/he refers to Mauritanian visas? Since as far as I know, Senegal does not require visa for most EU countries?
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  #7  
Old 3 Sep 2010
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sorry I know nothing more than what was written in the mail, they have lived several years in Gambia and can only guess, made the trip to Europe many times.

Good luck and please share any information you might find

Kind regards
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  #8  
Old 4 Sep 2010
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Heading south, and starting in Morocco:

Asilah beaches
Moulay Bousselham lagoon
El Jadida
Beaches: Sidi Bouzid and Sidi Moussa
Oualidia: sea food paradise, specciallly oysters; the laggon is beautiful
N and S Safi: several beaches, Sidi Bouchta, Lalla Fatma, Sidi Bouzid and Souira Kedima

Essaouira: its port and medina
DIABAT
SIDI LAOUKI
CAP TAFELNEY
PONT IMESSOUANE
CAP RHIR

several beaches north of Agadir

South of Agadir:
Takat
Tifnite
Souss Massa
Sidi Moussa d'Aglou
Gourizim
Mirleft
Legzira Beach (10 kms north of Ifni): natural rock archs in the beach

Ifni: stay at H. Suerte Loca.

Plage Blanche (4x4 driving but not alone)

Tafnidilt (the aubergue/hotel is exensive, but worths a visit)

TanTan plage (El Ouatia)

Foum Chebika (don't miss this)
Reserve naturell du Naila

one km before Akhfenir, there's a natural hole in the rocks and the sea comes in through it. Knoown as well as the gouffre de Akhfenir.

Tarfaya and it's famous "monument" to Antoine de Saint Exupery

you can drive aprox. 80 kms by the beach from some kms south of Tarfaya and get to El Marsa (Laayoune plage); you can do it even if ypu travel alone.

Dakhla, it's bay and lagoon: a paradise it self. You can finde a place to camp nearby.
Ask for the " white dune"; another paradise you won't ever forget
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  #9  
Old 5 Sep 2010
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Question Plage Blanche (4x4 driving but not alone) ?

Why not alone: due to security or reglementation?
I've done it in 2000 alone and withour any problem.

RR.
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  #10  
Old 5 Sep 2010
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Ok, if you did it your own alone once... no problem; I thought it is no easy to get out there by Aoreora as there is many sand in some spots (sorry , my english is not good enough) .
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  #11  
Old 29 Sep 2010
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Regarding the carnet - it is NO LONGER accepted by the Senegalese. That does not prevent you from going to Senegal with an older car. However it is a hassle, the customs guys at the border will issue you with a 24hour -pass avant - that will get you to Dakar where you need to renew it.

I did this 6 weeks ago with an old Nissan Patrol, 1995, I did it in Rosso with the "help" of one of the ubiquitous "helpers" who went by the name Manga.
It is rather hard to find the office in Dakar, again I would seek a local "helper" as the office is on the place d´independence on the 4th floor in an unmarked office.

Good luck, it is worth it if you get a in St Louis and catch a concert in Dakar.
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  #12  
Old 30 Sep 2010
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carnet for 5 year cars in senegal

does this latest stitch up on the senegal border apply to motocycles over 5 years a old also apply
i rode thru rosso in nov09 never again i would rather drive thru mali and approach senegal thru kidiri in east senegal i think diemma will just get as bad as rosso i feel sorry for the sahara in st louis they must be seeing their bussiness dry up Why dosent the travel guides kick up a stink
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