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

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  #1  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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Need advice planing my 2012 Morocco holiday

Hello all

I'm going to visit Morocco on my Holidays, for 2 weeks, driving my land Rover series 3, and would like to do as much off-road as possible. The plan is to go slow (Couldn't go fast even if I wanted anyway ) camping along the way, if possible in camping parks, but don't mind a couple of nights in the wild.

I've based myself on Chris Scott's book, and these are the tracks :

1) M01 Sid Ifni -> Plague Blanch -> Tan Tan
2)MW3 Tan Tan -> Assa
3)MA2 Assa - > Ait Herbil -> Tafraoute
4)MA3 Tafraoute -> Akka
5)MS8 Akka -> Tata -> Tagounite
6)MS6 Tagounite -> erg chebbi -> Rissani

What do you think ? Are these tracks a good choice or too difficult ?

My initial plan is to leave on the 21/4 should be nice and warm without being
baking hot.

I'm also looking to get another car to go together, if anyone wants to join me that would be good.

Tito
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  #2  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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Morocco GS Knowledgebase - ::. UKGSer.com .:: is the place for morocco information
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  #3  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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Thanks for the link, I'll check carefully.

Any thoughts about the tracks I mentioned ?
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  #4  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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Looks like a nice tour. If you had time, you could run over Nekob to Tinerhir piste, in my mind one of the best in the country.

Beware the tide at the beach - but then you'll know that!

Beaware of possible aggressive touts at Rissani - the only place we experienced hassle in Maroc - just keep smiling!

The run up the Algerian border gives you a great prespective on remoter parts of the Sahara farther east in Algeria and Libya and may whet your appetite for another tour!
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  #5  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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Quote:
1) M01 Sid Ifni -> Plague Blanch -> Tan Tan
2)MW3 Tan Tan -> Assa
3)MA2 Assa - > Ait Herbil -> Tafraoute
4)MA3 Tafraoute -> Akka
5)MS8 Akka -> Tata -> Tagounite
6)MS6 Tagounite -> erg chebbi -> Rissani
I've done

MO1, very nice driving along the beach, recommended. Very nice place to camp is N28 32.759 W10 59.583 Ksar Tafnidilt, not expensive.

MA3, stunning route well worth doing, all the routes I have done in the Anti Atlas are nice and far less touristy than the a lot of Morocco.

MS8, quieter and more remote feeling than MS6, you maybe able to travel along the piste from Migourdane if you're lucky, more chance travelling East to West though as there is (was when I was there) an Army check point around Migourdane who may stop you.

MS6, fantastic, must be done route in my opinion.

Overall, I think you have chosen a very nice part of Morocco to explore. I will be there around that time so we may bump into each other.

Have fun

I have some pictures Here of some of those routes if you're interested.
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  #6  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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Thank you all for your input, I've read about the tide beach, does the beach disappear completely with high tide ? or do we have some margin for error ?

Reggwensie you are talking about mh4 route ? I'm going to give these part of Morocco a miss this time, but if all goes well I'll be back many times , and this route , together with the todra gorge will be definitely on my list.

Twenty4seven, I've seen your pics, really nice, makes me want to go right now! what time of the year did you went ?

MA3 is it very rocky/bumpy ?

About MS8 I'll try my luck in going west to east. Does this track cross the Iriki lake ? I also want to visit Erg Chegaga, and possibly camp there for 1 night. Judging by your pic you camped in the wild, any problems ?

These routes, would they be suitable for a single vehicle ? ie, if something goes really bad, I can expect a car to pass in a few days (3 to 5 ) ? Because at the moment I don't have any company.

Tito
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  #7  
Old 4 Jan 2012
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Morocco in April

Hi Tito,

The pistes will have been well driven at the start of April (Semana Santa - Holy Week) with loads of French and Spanish 4x4's so it should be easy to find your way.

If it's been dry, you'll find a well-defined piste across Lac Iriki to Erg Chegagga and if it's wet you need to stick to the rocky piste to the north. It's bumpy as hell and you'll feel every one in a Series 111. You DO NOT want to get stuck in the Lake if you're travelling solo!

There's an easy track to follow through the dunes, just drop tyres to 1bar. Camping in the dunes is fine, just make sure you're well off the piste if you don't want company.

There's usually frequent traffic on the main piste, but I'd not want to be hanging around for 3-5 days waiting for help. I've known it reach 47deg C here in April.

Happy trails,

Jojo
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  #8  
Old 4 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Thank you all for your input, I've read about the tide beach, does the beach disappear completely with high tide ? or do we have some margin for error ?

Reggwensie you are talking about mh4 route ? I'm going to give these part of Morocco a miss this time, but if all goes well I'll be back many times , and this route , together with the todra gorge will be definitely on my list.

Twenty4seven, I've seen your pics, really nice, makes me want to go right now! what time of the year did you went ?

MA3 is it very rocky/bumpy ?

About MS8 I'll try my luck in going west to east. Does this track cross the Iriki lake ? I also want to visit Erg Chegaga, and possibly camp there for 1 night. Judging by your pic you camped in the wild, any problems ?

These routes, would they be suitable for a single vehicle ? ie, if something goes really bad, I can expect a car to pass in a few days (3 to 5 ) ? Because at the moment I don't have any company.

Tito
Hello Tito

I never stayed on the beach long enough to see the high tide, but it looked to me as though there was plenty of sand above the high water mark, although it also looked very soft.

That trip was between mid April to mid May and it has very hot in the desert, so much so that a trip to the Anti Atlas for a few days was almost needed. I like going late March / April now if I can.

MA3, I cannot remember MA3 as a bumpy or rocky piste.

MS8, yes it does cross the Lac Iriki at a couple of points, it was not a problem, although on my trips it's always been dry.

I have never driven into or very close even to Erg Chegaga, it's something I would like to do as well, there seems to be a few tracks shown on Olaf map.

I cannot imagine having any problems wild camping on your routes, also I cannot imagine you will be far away from a local if you had a problem needing help.

My rough route is Here for info. (zoomable)
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  #9  
Old 5 Jan 2012
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Thanks for your help, it all looks good except maybe the dates ?

47ºC is too much for me, I'm used to 30s during the summer here in Portugal, that's not a problem, but 40s .

Should I advance a couple of weeks ? I'm not very keen on going during Easter, but if need be.

Your thoughts ?

Tito
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  #10  
Old 5 Jan 2012
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Desert in April

Hi Tito,

We did get 47degC hauling two heavy 1150GS's through the sand of the Oued Rheris on one trip in 2005. Most of the time it's mid 30s but you need to be prepared for extremes. I've known snow at Imilchil in the Atlas in May and 25degC in March.

Happy trails,

Jojo
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  #11  
Old 5 Jan 2012
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Ah, that's better, you got me worried there, I've looked on this website weather forecast Morocco - Overview - WeatherOnline , and comparing the history for a few years it looked to me that the average is around low 30s, which I'm used to and I know the car can handle ok ( August in Alentejo ( our own little desert ) can reach low 40s ) .

I'll take plenty of water and nice awning for shade during stops.

Tito
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  #12  
Old 20 Feb 2012
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Exclamation Careful entry and exit of Plage Blanche

The Streams have had a lot of water over the past 2 years, I did Plage Blanche 3 years ago and it was easy to get in and out, entrance near Sidi Ifni a little narrow but fine, I just spoke to a local French guy in Mirleft, he said do not attempt that now (I'm on a Toyota Hiace 4x4) cause the Streams washed away a lot of soil, the entrance and exit have become real difficult, changing with every tide. May the entrance is easy, but impossible to get out... so you have to make it back to the other end of the beach before the tide comes in. Be aware of that. Ask directions for Dan the quad guy in Mirleft and get his advice. He knows that part of Morocco by heart and my have some options for you.

Safe travels!

Samy
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  #13  
Old 21 Feb 2012
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Samyonboard, thank you for you advise, i'm sad to read that the beach is difficult, I'm (was) really looking to do it, but since I'm travelling solo I cannot take so much risk.

What entrance do you say is still possible, the north one closer to Sid-ifni or the one closer to Tan-Tan ?

What you think about getting a local guide with their own 4x4 ?

Tito
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  #14  
Old 22 Feb 2012
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Samy , do you have any sort of contact for the French expert ? It would be nice to have some sort of plan before I arrive.
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  #15  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Hello to all

the big adventure ( for me ) is getting close, about the beach I'm taking a ground anchor with me, I will keep moving no matter what, even if I've to drag the land rover 30 mt at a time

Now I'm having difficulty in finding a place to stay in Assa and Tata, tried to e-mail the Nidorass Hotel, but so far no reply, and the reply I got from Dar Infiane in Tata was expensive, about € 130 half-pension.

Any advices ?

Tito
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