Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 15 Apr 2002
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2
Bike trip from Paris to Dakar in May

Hi there!
I am planning a trip to Dakar by bike with a friend of mine!
Any infos on bike choice (for the time being Africa Twin & Super Ténéré), itinerary choice, infos on Southern Sahara border with Morocco & Mauritania, trip tips and security matters would be more than welcome!
Also any plans to meet you guys down there would be appreciated!
We are planning to : go down to Sète (southern france) by road, take the ferryboat to Tanger with the bikes, go down to Morocco, Southern Sahara via the coast side, central Mauritania & Nouakchott, then to Dakar by the beaches.
What do you think?
I look forward to your comments!
Thanks guys
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Apr 2002
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Lindfield, West Sussex, England
Posts: 92
If you are going to travel along the beaches this is how you can find out the times of Mean Low Water (MLW) and Mean High Water (MHW) before you travel.

You will need access to the “Admiralty Tide Tables Volume 2 NP202 - Europe (excluding United Kingdom and Ireland), Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean” published annually by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. Your local library should be able to locate a copy and get it temporarily transferred to them. Failing that, try local yacht clubs or ships chandlers.

First of all make sure you are using the correct year. Then look up the tide information for the nearest Standard Port, in this case “Senegal - Dakar” for the dates you are interested in. Now find the time differences for Nouakchott which is a Secondary Port.

All you have to do is add the time difference shown for Nouakchott to the times listed for Dakar. The sequence listing is MHW, MLW, MHW and MLW. Currently (2002) there isn't a difference quoted for Mean Low Water (MLW). Not to worry, it will be similar to Mean High Water (MHW).

It looks a bit daunting, but bear in mind that most of the information is about the height of the tides, which you don't need to worry about.

To get the MHW at Nouamghar, add a little bit more - say 30 minutes.

Finally, bear in mind that all times are quoted as local times, not GMT. Also note that these are predictions based upon average barometric pressures. This means that if the atmospheric pressure is significantly different in the 48 hours preceding any given day, then the tide can be early or late. Also, very strong on-shore winds can keep the tide higher than predicted.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Apr 2002
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 249
Dont know too much about newer "big bikes" but on your route there are far more Yamaha spares etc than Honda. There are no security problems en route other than the usual stuff.

If you want some good advice then get your arse on the bike and get to St Louis for the Jazz Festival in May. If you need a cold or whisky in south Morocco or Mauritania look out for a German registered Mercedes 508 with bald tyres and dodgy brakes. Its orange but may be resprayed white by the time you see it.

Reply With Quote
Old 18 Apr 2002
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Porto, Portugal
Posts: 258
The Ceuta border its easier then Tanger. Maybe you could consider driving through Spain until Algeciras and take the boat there, additionally it should be cheaper. Fuel in Ceuta is also tax-free.

Details of border crossing between Morocco and Mauritania and details on the Atlantic route can be found in: http://www.sahara-overland.com/routes/atlantic.html

Details on the border crossing between Mauritania and Senegal can be found in: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000331.html

Additionally I would recommend the use of the book “Mauritanie au GPS” (http://www.takla-makane.com/), which is very useful for the piste between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott

Good luck,
Desert Crocodiles of Mauritania: http://cibio.up.pt/crocodilos/en
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Apr 2002
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5
An even easier way to get tide times is to go to my website!

Its not yet finished, but you can get tide times on it, have a look at http://www.mcblat.co.uk/tidesnowbeta/

Tom MC
Reply With Quote
Old 5 May 2002
GWJ GWJ is offline
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 281
infos on Southern Sahara border with Morocco & Mauritania.

Personal account of 17 may 2002:

Its as easy as it gets: Get up there, exit morocco (all free). After a few kms first mori control. They just write down vehicle details. 100 meters down the road the 'real' checkpoint. At first wooden shack i bought my visa for 550 dirhams. No copies of documents nor fotos required.

Past the tent in the small building they register your vehicle importation in your passport for 100 dirhams. (2000 oogs)

Thats all until you exit to senegal at ndiama (avoid rosso at all cost!).

and i hate these french keyboards! (currently waiting in brussels for my bike to come down from dakar)
Reply With Quote
Old 5 May 2002
GWJ GWJ is offline
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 281

just check the tides with the local fishermen along the route.

also at nouamghar the police gave us some hassle to stay for the night in their 'secure campsite' (while pointing to a littered piece of land surrounded by some scrap metal) because the tides were high at time of arrival and they claimed it was too dangerous to drive on AND illegal to camp out in the desert. So we had a laugh and drove on for a fabulous night in the desert with the local fishermen.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:18.