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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 7 Jul 2010
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Crossing the sahara with children

Hello,
has anyone ever crossed the sahara, morrocco to egypt with children, on their own? We are two families who plan on doing a 4x4 trip, in two seperate vehicles, with four children under the ages of 10. Any advice or thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you,
karen
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  #2  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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I think you'll find that the obvious routing is impossible (borders long closed between Morocco and Algeria), therefore less direct routes are necessary. These are complicated and far from easy, so if you've got an actual plan (Niger to Algeria....? Chad and Sudan....? C.A.R.....?) you might want to state it here--feedback will certainly follow.

Basically, though, I'd start by asking why you want to take this trip, and why you want your kids to make the journey with you. What are you hoping they (and you) will gain? This, along with a proposed route, will make it possible to answer your questions.

Do I sound dubious? I am dubious. It's a character flaw.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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When I rode across the Sahara back in '78 I met up and travelled with a group of Germans in a zebra painted Renault R4 van for a couple of days.

They were a couple and a single lady with her 4 year old daughter. The 4 year old seemed to be having a great time of the journey.
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  #4  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Hi folks
Everything depends of your children.
I trevel all the time with my family: wife and now 8 year son in Defender
He was 3 when we were in Maroco, we drove all Europe, 3 years ago Syria and Jordan, 2 years ago Tunesia and Libia, this year Iran.
Every year we spend about 30 000km in car during travel.
My son don't have even DVD in car.
So as I said first.

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Bartosz
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  #5  
Old 7 Jul 2010
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Here's a story of a month long trip to Algeria with my 2 kids (then 7 and 5).

Sahara with Series 2A Land Rover

Prior to that trip we went to the desert in Maroc for 3 weeks (kids then 5 and 3). They loved it all.

Gerbert vd AA has also done trips with youngsters - one to Libya which he has written about on this forum. You seldom hear of any disasters.

On our trips we kept the driving down to 3 hours per day and camped wild a lot of the time which was a highlight for the kids. A key thing in our case was to explain to them what the day entailed - how many hours of driving, what time we'd camp and so on. In other words letting them in on the planning.
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Old 7 Jul 2010
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I'd second what Richard said.

I took my three out to Morocco about 12 years ago at the time aged 8, 5, and 18 months. It included driving both ways through France and Spain. They had a fantastic time.

Like Richard say's just make sure they know what's happening......nothing worse that "are we nearly there yet" 100 times a day when there isn't really a "there"!
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Old 7 Jul 2010
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Hi,
there are no problems if parents are aware of specific sahara conditions. I have spent two months last year on the trip through Europe, Morocco, Western Sahara and back with my wifa and 6 years old son. It was long trip for him but everything was OK. However, Morocco is quite civilized even near Algeria border.
When you stay in dry Saharan climat is OK, only too much sun and dehydration might be the problem and small children sometimes must be forced to drink adequate amount of water. Much more denger is to travel further to the south where is a risk of malaria, yellow fever and typhoid. Trouble is that children under five years of age may not take certain drugs and vaccines.
The border between Morocco and Algeria is closed so it is necessary to make a big loop to the south to get to Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia and finally Egypt (in these countries no special vaccinations are necessary).
Summarising, if you are experienced travelers, have a well prepared car and good adequate equipment for particular region you are going to, you may go. If one of you has a medical education and you can take with you some special medical stuff it is a big advantage.

Piotr
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Last edited by Piotr; 9 Jul 2010 at 07:59.
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Hi,

I totaly agree with Piotr, I have travelled few times in Sahara (Egypt,Libya,Algeria,Niger) with my daughters (between 5 an 10 years old) without any problem.
Be careful with water and mosquitos.
Robert
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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My kids liked it a lot in Libya, as long as we did not drive too much. Have a look at YouTube - gvdaa's Channel
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Spent 6 months last year travelling from the UK to Namibia with our three children aged 8-12 and we all had a great time. Border crossings and check points were a breeze with kids on board. Their smiles and waving always got us through. We did consider a 'rent-a-kid' scheme hiring them out to other travellers as it was so easy... On the Morocco/Mauritania border the Mauritanian chief of police was genuinely pleased to see kids and invited us in for a cup of tea and gave the kids a game as a present. I wouldn't hesitate to bring kids to Africa again. I'm sure they learnt more by travelling than what they would have learnt at school.
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Old 9 Jul 2010
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Interesting selection of replies. But the original question concerned "[crossing] the sahara, morrocco to egypt with children." The question being answered here is more like "What's it like traveling in the desert with children?" That's perfectly fine, but I remain dubious about the prospect of taking young children from Morocco to Egypt. Seems to me that none of the routes available are particularly suited to small kids, no matter how they're managed.
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Old 9 Jul 2010
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Attempting to cross the Sahara is strictly for adults.
Esp.at this time.
I'd like to take the kids to Algeria, but then they would have to fly in and out of Djanet, like Richard did.
I've taken the kids to Morocco and Tunisia. They loved it.
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Old 9 Jul 2010
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Good thread.

I'm thinking of taking two of my boys (7 - 8) with me next year to Morocco, I have only been by myself so far and they are very keen to come along.

When taking children into Morocco, as a lone parent (the wife will stay at home with the other children) is there any problems at the border? or any extra paperwork needed?

I seem to have it in my mind that a lone parent may need a letter of permission off the other parent or something of the like to enter Morocco?
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  #14  
Old 11 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twenty4seven View Post
Good thread.

I'm thinking of taking two of my boys (7 - 8) with me next year to Morocco, I have only been by myself so far and they are very keen to come along.

When taking children into Morocco, as a lone parent (the wife will stay at home with the other children) is there any problems at the border? or any extra paperwork needed?

I seem to have it in my mind that a lone parent may need a letter of permission off the other parent or something of the like to enter Morocco?
I took my 12yo son with me on a motorcycle into and through Morocco in 2007, no probs at all, no letter from other half required and nothing seems to have changed. You will only have probs if you forget to take the sprogs passports
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Old 13 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregrb41 View Post
I took my 12yo son with me on a motorcycle into and through Morocco in 2007, no probs at all, no letter from other half required and nothing seems to have changed. You will only have probs if you forget to take the sprogs passports

Thanks.
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