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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 15 Apr 2002
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Location: Paris, France
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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
alex
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  #2  
Old 15 Apr 2002
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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.
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  #3  
Old 18 Apr 2002
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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.

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  #4  
Old 18 Apr 2002
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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,
José
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  #5  
Old 28 Apr 2002
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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
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  #6  
Old 5 May 2002
GWJ GWJ is offline
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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)
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  #7  
Old 5 May 2002
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forgot:

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.
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