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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 29 Sep 2010
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Advice Enroute

Does anyone know how much help and advice there is forthcoming through towns regarding the best routes for tourists through Algeria/Niger/Mali?
Is it critical to have the route thoroughly mapped out prior to departure and not leave anything to chance or to be more flexible? I have a route mapped out already.

Sorry guys - I am new at this and most of you seem to be so experienced and I am wondering if I am doing enough planning for this trip (Tunisia/Algeria/Niger/Mali etc to Ghana) and somewhat out of my depth.

I have the Sahara Overland book which I have read back to back and the Michelin 741 map and one of algeria. what is the best map for Niger and mali? any recommendations as I dont quite follow the map page of the website.

Thanks all for your patience as I strugle through this to get it all to make sense.

If anyone is willing to share their personal email address so I can communicate direct and not clog the blog (ha ha) with the hundred questions I am going to ask in the next month that would be most appreciated.

Vickey
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  #2  
Old 29 Sep 2010
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Hi Vickey,

...or to be more flexible?

In my experience flexibility is best will all forms of adventure travel, while still having at least some plan. That plan almost always gets modified or even falls to pieces. Otherwise it would just be a regular holiday.

not clog the blog (ha ha) with the hundred questions

If you mean this forum I would say ask here so that others like you can benefit.
Many observe here but do not post. I know some travel forums can be scary and smart-arsed with first-timers, but my impression is the HUBB - and this one in particular - have never gone that way, which is a credit to all who post here.

Ch



Ch
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  #3  
Old 29 Sep 2010
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preparations

Hi Vickey,

Like Chris says, some level of planning is good and also a big part of the fun. No need to over-plan but on some thing you do need to go in to more depth, like vehicle insurance requirements, inoculation requirements, visa requirements (take a hell of a lot of passport photo's with you, make em your self, a lot cheaper), carnet or laissez passe (spelling?) You don't want to be caught out on the border of Mali/Niger thinking you can obtain the Niger visa at the border while you actually had to obtain in 1500 km back in Bamako, or worse, 2 countries ago! (believe me, it happens!) Especially visa requirements vary for all nationalities and they change frequently!

We greatly benefited from our preparations in that area, we knew ahead of time the possibilities and impossibilities of tourist visa, transit visa and in some cases multiple country visa in west Africa, which country to apply best, addresses of embassies etc. All up to date info you can get on this forum and on the embassy websites of the various countries.

Preparation on what to see and where to go.... fun to do but not essential, you will definitely change any plan you can think of up front once your on the road.

cheers & bon voyage,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
YouTube - Crossing Africa full version part 1
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  #4  
Old 30 Sep 2010
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hi vickey
the African part of our journey was a little while ago - however if you fancy a read go and visit the diary section of our website and select the country you wish to read about. 2ridetheworld.com : diary

We also have a fully downloadable GPS track log on our index page - bottom right. As I say - its a little while since we did this route - and things change....but it may help a bit.
Having a rough route mapped out is a good idea - but it WILL change - and as Chris says be flexible!!
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Lisa
www.2ridetheworld.com
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  #5  
Old 30 Sep 2010
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Vickey

My experience is that it's surprisingly difficult to get accurate information once you are on the road; you may find things are "interdit" without ever finding out the real reason!

For maps for Mali and Niger, the IGN 1:200000 are ok - available online at ign.fr.

Realistically your route is going to be quite restricted on the Sahara section. Assuming you have a vehicle, your (compulsory) guide in Algeria can be trusted to pick a good route depending on what's currently open, and what time you can afford.
I used Voyages Tanezroufte and found them very flexible - final route agreed the night before departure, but the security situation has deteriorated since t hen (2007).

In Niger, you're basically going to be heading directly for Tahoua I imagine.

D
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  #6  
Old 1 Oct 2010
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Thanks All

I have done a fair bit of planning already on route and have a rough idea of things, and am an experienced adventure/overland traveller, but I guess with not quite understanding some of the technical speak of some I have been a bit intimidated. I will continue to ask questions - some silly by comparison to some of you, so thanks for your advice now and in the future

And getting some serious work done on the trip over the next few weeks so prepare for the onslaught of questions ha ha!
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