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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 28 Nov 2002
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Dakhla to Nouakchott Atar Dakhala Jan/Feb 2003

Hi,
4 of us are planning to ride bikes (XR, KLR, XT) down the coast during the last week in January 2003 navigating by GPS and maps and carrying camping kit. We hope to travel through the National Park. Can anybody give us an update on the new road?

We would welcome advice on
 Boarder crossing formalities both from Morocco to Mauritania and return and how long it takes
 Availability of fuel on route especially between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott
 Availability of food and water on route between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott
 Good places to stay
 Good things to see
 Anything to avoid
 How to get bikes on the train from Choum to Nouadhibou
from anyone who has been down there recently

Thanks Pete
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Old 30 Nov 2002
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Hi Pete!

I got back from a trip to RIM in my LR/D110, with XR650R on the back, a week ago. I don't know what the 'new road' is you refer to, let me know & I may be able to answer. We did NDB-Nouakchott-Atar-Choum-NDB.

„h Border crossing: On the way down we followed the old spanish road, this caused us delays and we missed the 3 checkpoints going into NDB! (N21 03.5 W17 01.4 & 2@ N21 01.8 W17 01.8) On the return, from leaving NDB, to being on Moroccan tarmac, having completed all formalities, took us 2 1/2 hours. That was for 2 adults, 2 kids and the 2 vehicles mentioned above. I guess it may take 1/2 an hour longer for 4 vehicles. We drove way past Dakhla before we stopped to camp.

„h Fuel en-route: We had about 600km range on the piste (plus I could go for fuel on my XR if we ran out in the LR), so we didn't look for fuel apart from at proper fuel stations. One exception to this was at Choum, where we filled up from jerries before the 459km drive back to NDB. I think the distance between fuel *stations* on the Dakhla-NDB leg was about 360km. On the NDB-Nouakchott leg it was about 282km to Nouamghar, where Chris Scott mentions petrol in his book (but we didn't look) and a further 145km to Nouakchott. You need the park permits from the park office in NDB (N20 55.0 W17 03.0), they are now regularly checked.

HTH,

Ian
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  #3  
Old 30 Nov 2002
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We have just arrived in Noukchott from Nouadhibou today. We had a GPS route from some guys we met in Dakhla who had just done the route up with a guide. We were in a big group of 6 bikes (2 x KTM LC4, 1 x Honda Dominator, 2 x Super Tenere, 1 x DR350) and travelled with 3 4x4's that we met up with en route through Morocco. Because we had the GPS points and some of us had previous experience with the crossing we opted to not take a guide. If you don't have experience you should definately travel with a guide.

Even though the 4x4's carried most of the luggage we still used around 45l of fuel per bike as most of the way the bikes were working quite hard on the sand ... even at 90km/h the motors were still straining to keep on top of it. We carried all our own water+fuel on the bikes.

„h Boarder crossing formalities both from Morocco to Mauritania - exiting Morocco was OK and took aruond 1 hour, the Mauritanean side took closer to 2-3 hours (there are 3 police/customs stops within the first 10km). We paid 15 Euro to enter Mauritania. Its worth bush caming close to the border on the Morocco side so that you have plenty of time to do the old Spanish road in the morning - its very sandy for a fully loaded bike in places. Also note that the Old Spanish road is mined for the last 10km or so as it approaches Naoudhibou and you must take the newer piste that splits off. It might be worth taking a guide from the border.

„h We only found fuel at Noumghar as we exited the National Park. It was just over double the standard price in Mauritania, and then again in the tiny fishing "villages" in the 20km along the beach just before Naoukchott. Its carried in plastic jerry cans and has all kinds of sediment in the bottom so I wouldn't bargain on it. The same goes for food and water. You should carry at least enough for your planned days + 1 extra incase you are caught by the tide on the beach.

„h Bush camping anywhere is great in the desert. Campgrounds are fairly basic - in Naoudhibou we stayed at Camping Abba (also known as Chez Momo) and in Naoukchott in Bivouac Paris Dakar. Both have hot showers .. at no extra charge!

No experience with the train - sorry.

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Old 1 Dec 2002
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Thanks for the info and good luck on your travels Tifua - PeteA
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