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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 30 Nov 2004
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Air-Tenere trips on short notice?

My wife and I have traveled fairly widely in Central Asia and SE Asia but are total newbies to the Sahara. We'll be in Niger in early December for around 12 days and are going to pop up to Agadez. My question is, how difficult is it to arrange a short (5-8 day) tour of the Air/western Tenere on very short notice? I have already written to Dunes Voyages, Celine/Akly, and a few other reputedly solid outfits for price quotes. Dunes Voyages was the cheapest -- actually, the only one we could possibly afford as a bespoke trip for the two of us. Of course, we would prefer to go to Agadez and see if it's possible to join up with another group for reasons of cost and security. Are we deluded? Should we confirm with Dunes Voyages now? Or is it feasible to wait til we get to Agadez to compare prices and seek to join up with other travelers? I'm not sure whether tourism in the region has slowed due to the sporadic earlier attacks. Also, I'm assuming we're not taking undue risks (granting there are always risks) if we head out on an expedition arranged just for us, i.e. in only one vehicle. Given the time frame the itinerary would of course stick to the better-traveled destinations: Chiriet, Arakao, Timia, etc.

Thanks a lot for any insights.
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Old 30 Nov 2004
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I think its a great idea - I have something similar in mind and feel confident it can be done in Agadez without too much hassle.

"...and see if it's possible to join up with another group for reasons of cost and security. Are we deluded?"

Finding a like-minded group in Agadez at the same time is unlikely (unless you find some people here).
As for security, groups of cars have been robbed so there is no safety in numbers and if anything you may be less conspicuous in one car.
But for safety I am not sure they will allow one vehicle... maybe they do on the west side.

"Or is it feasible to wait til we get to Agadez to compare prices and seek to join up with other travelers?"

If you have a good quote go for it tho I would have thought Dunes are not the cheapest (although the best known). Are you sure all costs have been included?
I imagine DIY on the spot can be done but may waste time - there are always cars and drivers available and west Tenere is no so far.

"Also, I'm assuming we're not taking undue risks (granting there are always risks) "

No more than parts of Central Asia or West Norwood I imagine. The worse that has happened to date is that you all get robbed blind - so leave the gold Rolex under the bed.

Chris S
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