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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 3 Sep 2002
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Algeria-Niger-Chad-Sudan

Hi all,
My latest project is due to take place from mid-february to oct/nov 2003. The (not so revolutionary) idea is to drive from Switzerland to South Africa with a friend. The only thing that might be a bit thrilling is that I want to drive a Citroen 2CV, like in the good ol'times. Route would go through Algeria, NIger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya & straight down the coast from there.

I have 3 questions about this route:

1- I've read on several websites & in books (incl Sahara overland) that the Arlit/Agadez area is now unsafe. Does it mean you have 90% chances of being robbed if you travel there coming from Tam? I'm NOT planning to get on an organised tour & just want to cross the area (transit): no visit to the Air is planned on our own. Is this transaharan option now therefore impopular or do I get a chance to find overlanders to travel with from Tam on? I don't want to drive from Tam to Agadez with one car alone.

2- Aparently safety & politics will allow the Lake Tchad route (Nguigmi-N'Djamena) to be used. But, same question, is there a lot of trafic (When I say "a lot" it's " more than one landy in a month"). And can you find petrol on the way (2cv's were never diesel...)?

3- In which countries you need to get a carnet de passage?

Thanks in advance
Séb

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  #2  
Old 3 Sep 2002
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Hi,

I think that driving a Citroen 2CV will not call the attention of robbers.
From what I've read, they are usually after big 4WD, especially toyotas and land rover's.

The problem is putting all the essential material for an expedition like that, in such a small car. Altough this guy - http://www.takla-makane.com/ - as done a lot of travel in 2CV in Mauritania, Algeria and the Gobi desert.

Bellow there are links to pages of other overlanders in 2WD, who did all they way to SA. Maybe you'll find interessting informations:

http://www.webfactory.co.za/africa
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...ann/index.html

Good luck,
José
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  #3  
Old 4 Sep 2002
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All you need:

www.brussels-capetown.com

Good friend doing the same route in a 2CV, leaving in about 4 weeks...

Sam.
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  #4  
Old 4 Sep 2002
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In January this year I travelled from Niamey to Agadez, and then spent about three weeks on camel in the Aire (what a great place !) I did have to go with a guide, and police approval of the route.

My guide was concerned that when sleeping in river beds or in rocky areas, that we ensure that we all slept in close proximity to each other, for safety reasons. He did have a long Tuareg sword at the ready, but in fact we but did not encounter any trouble. While there, and during the days I spent in Agadez, the only trouble I heard of was one hijacked 4WD. In general though, the place was not rife with stories of serious troubles at the time I was there.
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Old 4 Sep 2002
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1) Think as mentioned, you are probably alright from robbery, they want landcruisers mainly. Unless unlucky set of circumstances, should be fine.

2) Fair amount of traffic round lake chad - probably two tourist vehicles a day + local traffic. Locals aren't very friendly, military even less so. Stay out of Massakory, has a bad rep which we validated by getting robbed there. Fairly straight forward through, just take your time, bad piste (not in terms of getting stuck, just lots of major wash outs so opportunity to crash), should plan for at least three days from Niger / Chad border round to Ndjamena.

3) Definitely need a Carnet for Chad / Sudan, Niger it helped, Ethiopia didn't, Kenya (depends on border point - from ethiopia, didn't seem to need one but met people travelling north who had to leave vehicle on Kenyan / Tanzanian border to come to Nairobi to sort Carnet before vehicle allowed in. After Kenya, don't need one but still helps if you do - simplifies process. If you get double indemnity which should be cheap on a 2CV then takes away the risk.

Can get insurance in Nairobi that covers all of East / Southern Africa - police check along the way - probably useless in event of a claim but will get fined by the police on way if you don't have it.
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Old 4 Sep 2002
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This one is for Alistair, who made a reply above.

You say you spent 3 weeks by camel in the Air Region. Do you have any details of whom you fixed it through, costs, any recommendations etc

Simon
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Old 4 Sep 2002
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We're planning to do roughly the same route between Nov 02 and Jan 03 in a less exotic vehicle though: an '89 HJ 61 Landcruiser.

The oddity about it is its auto gearbox: is that enough to keep robbers and hi-jackers away or should I seriously consider going via Egypt? (which seems less fun to me)

Look forward to your feedback!
Camiel
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Old 4 Sep 2002
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Just reread my posting. For clarity's sake: we're not planning to make it to Cape Town until end of April!

We're not stark raving mad... just plain mad I guess.
Camiel
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  #9  
Old 4 Sep 2002
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I'm a big one for statistics. Looking at the number of robberies (of tourist vehicles) versus quantity of people passing through, the chances of you being robbed on this route are somewhere between very small and tiny.

Keep valuable items out of sight, and stay (at least a little) vigilant.

Go for it, it's a great part of the world and the great majority have no serious (human) problems at all.

Sam.

But I do drive a battered, rhd, pink, Land Rover...
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  #10  
Old 5 Sep 2002
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Sam,
Thanks for your comforting statistics!

Perhaps I'll stick a "no airconditioning" sign on the dark-grey paint to make the last few doubters change their mind...

Have to admit that it remained cool enough inside the car in Morocco last month (only just though).

cheers,
Camiel
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