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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 26 Apr 2007
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Best Senegal Vehicle for Sahara and Sub Sahara

What is the best vehicle to purchase locally (Senegal) for a tour of Saharan and Sub Saharan Africa? I have reviewed the Toyota Landcruiser L73, but been warned off of the steering system. Is there a perfect vehicle that combines:
  1. Diesel fuel,
  2. Good parts availability and a vehicle familiar to African mechanics,
  3. Manual transmission,
  4. Good basic vehicle (tough with no frills)
  5. Mechanical reliability
  6. Economy (both vehicle cost and fuel economy).
In short, what's the best car/truck?
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  #2  
Old 26 Apr 2007
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Alex,

There's nothing particularly wrong with Landcruiser LJ73. One obvious drawback is the lack of load space.

You can't go wrong with Landcruiser HZJ75 4.2 turbo diesel, HDJ80 4.2 turbo diesel or Landcruiser HJ60.
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  #3  
Old 4 May 2007
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Land Rover 200TDi or 300TDi.
Lots of them out there and the local mechanics can work on them.
They machined a new Thermostat housing for me me while I was out there earlier this year.

Don't forget if the vehicle is over 5 years old you will need a carnet for Senegal.

Also you should take a certain amount of spares anyway. It will save you time and money if something does break.

Chalky

Travelling with our Camel Trophy | One Life, Live It
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  #4  
Old 4 May 2007
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Toyota Lancruiser...pick up/troop carrier hands down...its all i saw in Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Algeria etc...
The Peace Corps office next to the Grand Mosque auctions off the old landcruisers every 3 years of service...you may be able to score a well maintained vehicle there...ask for Joe and the front gate, he's their mechanic and does their service...

edde
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  #5  
Old 4 May 2007
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don't get complicated

If it's in good mechanical condition then it will do the job perfectly.

Don't plan on the inevitibility of breaking down. It's not a trip necessity!

Sam.
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  #6  
Old 5 May 2007
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Thanks and Update

Thanks for everyone's input. I can't believe how diligent the posters to this chat site are.

I got pinched for time and was able to justify (barely and it really is only a rationalization) purchasing a new Hilux. I'll need it eventually for some commercial endeavors and the price was rather reasonable by European standards. If worst comes to worst, I think I'll be able to resell it reasonably.

I'm making a very preliminary expedition to Mali next week. I expect this to be largely road driving, but perhaps a few desert pistes as well. I'm planning on packing the following:
1. Fuel jerry can (20L?)
2. Metric tools
3. Filters and belts
4. Lubricant
5. 1 extra tire/wheel
I think this is a fairly tame expedition, but I was wondering if anybody had any other necessities they could think of.

By the way, the price of the truck including tax here in Senegal was comparable to the prices quoted in France and Belgium. The insurance is very reasonable by U.S. standards and the cost of the carte brune was negligible. I don't think Mali will require any "extra" costs for the vehicle.

All in all, I'm very happy with my decision to buy, register and insure locally.
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  #7  
Old 5 May 2007
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I should think a spare set of shock absorbers for the road between Kaolack & Tamba - it's horrendous!

You should seriously allow 5hrs+ for that bit of route & don't attempt to do it in the dark; I've been on piste better than that 'road'

Kira
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