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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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Old 27 Nov 2004
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Atlantic Route Update

This is an update on the route, some of which I drove myself, some of it is from others I met.

Morocco: Fuel in Ceuta is now 60 euro cents, which makes it the same price as anywhere else in northern Morocco. There are now a huge amount of radar detectors in Morocco, north and south. The longest stretch without fuel is still 200km between Boujdour and Dakhla although there is a station under construction.

Mauritania. The border post is still the same, but they said that they are moving to the new post before Janurary but dont bet on this. It is easier to ask tourists driving north if it has moved or not.

When you leave the Mauri border the piste divides after a few hundered meters. Take the left piste, it is much easier than taking the old spanish road into Nouadhibou. After a few hundred meters there are some ruined stone huts to your right. Stay left and follow the track (easy to follow). After 9km easy piste you cross the train track around KM post 46. There is an old schack here. From here you can see the new tarred road. Turn right to Nouadhibou, tar all the way, left to Nouakchott. After 11km there is the new junction to turn north to Dakhla. This as I said is supposed to open in a few weeks. Using this as KM 0 the road to Nouakchott is as follows.

KM 0 Junction

KM 10 end of tar, small section of piste.

KM 12 2km section of tar, then piste. The piste has been pushed free by a bulldozer and is no real problem in a 2WD. You should still take some kind of "sand ladders". Take care on a bike as some of the sand passages are deep.

KM 42 small camp, the piste turns south to Nouakchott and crosses the road works for the new road several times. follow the telegraph poles for the first bit the the general piste. Tyre repairs.

KM 62-80 Lot of sand with deep ruts from truck tyres. Look for your own passage to the left or right.

KM 80 Tar for next 240 km

KM 138 small camp

KM 207 small village. Tyre repairs.

KM 282 camp

KM 320 construction camp end of tar section. From here there is a good piste, impossible to lose the way. There can be a lot of washboard but it is pushed clear every so often with a bulldozer. There are one or two very small spots with sand, again be careful on a bike. No problems with a 2WD.

KM 332 small village with restaurant, at the exit there is a police checkpoint.

KM 350 camp, restaurant, tyre repairs.

KM 406 construction camp

KM 411 tarred section all the way to Nouakchott.

KM 435 gendarmerie checkpoint

KM 438 police.

Note that when I say "tyre repairs" it was when I saw a sign saying this, I havent actually looked to see if they can actually fix tryes or not. I didnt see anywhere which sold fuel, but maybe the construction sites can help.

At no point does the new road enter the National Park so you dont have to pay anything for it no matter what you are told.

In Nouakchott the Auberge du Sahara is probably the best place to stay, very clean, and friendly, hot showers etc. French-Algerian management. Its on the road into Nouakchott from Nouadhibou on the left between the first and second (or second and third) round about.

In Rosso there is a new building and they seem to have found a system, which goes like this. On the right as you enter the compound is the ticket office. Bike 500-1000 UM, car 3000, van 4500. In the building on the left go up the spiral staircase to the first floor, turn right, second door is to get the car stamped out of the passport, 1000 UM. Go down stairs, to immigration get exit stamp (free) and pay 500 UM for the slip for the vehicle from the police.

Senegal: In Rosso for the convoy take a passavant from the customs on the right, and drive 1 Km to the brigade de douane. Convoy is 60,000 CFA (90 Euro) plus 90,000 CFA for each customs official. Each official can accompany two cars so it means

1 car 150,000
2 cars 150,000
3 cars 240,000
4 cars 240,000
5 cars 330,000
6 cars 330,000
7 cars 420,000 etc etc etc

It may be possible to bargain with a lot of cars. People who have travelled via Diama have told me they have paid a lot more.

Gambia: nothing new but they tend to spend hours searching cars for drugs so be careful.


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Old 27 Nov 2004
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Great update Kevin, thanks

Chris S
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