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

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Old 29 Oct 2004
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cologne, Germany
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Carnet de Passages - how important is it?

How important is it obtaining a “Carnet de Passages” before leaving UK, or is it possible to obtain it along the Atlantic route from the countries I’m passing thought. (Morocco - Mauritania - Mali- Burkina Faso – Ghana – Togo – Benin - Nigeria)

I’m presently living in Cologne (Germany) and a member of ADAC (equivalent to AA or RAC). I intend to abandon the car in Nigeria and fly back. The Peugeot 505 valued at £800 which I’m driving down is presently registered in my name in UK, The Lady I spoke to at ADAC informed me they only issue “Carnet de Passages” to German registered cars.

Otherwise, those the car need to have a valid road tax disc and MOT to apply for a Carnet de Passages in UK as both ran out end of last month (September). And do the UK (AA or RAC) or German (ADAC) require prove of a return journey with the car before a refund of the Carnet de Passage.

HELP !! Any advice Please. Thanks
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Old 30 Oct 2004
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 734
Hi Tunde
You will are able to drive through MOST of West Africa without a Carnet - for Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria etc.
They issue you with a Laisser Passe (letter of passing) at the boder normally for a small fee - the only thing you have to really do is have some local insurance for the vehicle.
A 'Carte Brune' is best to get which covers you for travel within 10 West African countries- you can get one in most countries there. Some people dont bother getting insurance - but then every time you get stoped and asked for insurance it is a problem - I met some German guys in a peugeuot van in Bamako that got fined lots of money for having no insurance....
If your car is a right hand drive then you may have a little trouble getting it into Ghana with no Carnet - they are quite fussy at the border - you may get refused entry- persevere - it is worth it.
As a general rule now They will not let vehicles older then 5 years into Dakar - sometimes even with a Carnet ! - they are looking for Backsheesh here - best to avoid if possible.
Again if you want to dump your car it may give you problems when leaving by air - if the car is stamped in your passport, better to try and sell it - the buyer will always know someone who can get the car 'removed' from your passport for some backsheesh.
There are always lots of European guys (mainly French) who take cars down to sell them through West Africa - Mauritania especially.
If this is your first time heading down the Atlantic route try and hook up with someone who has done it before - in Morocco maybe- as in a car you have to be a little more careful through the National Park.

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