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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 11 Jun 2001
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from the Atlantic route towards Niger

There seem to be several alternative routes from Nouakchott to Bamako, but all (I read, I hear) are not very reliable during the wet season (starting very soon):
-from Kiffa (Mauritania) to Kayes (Mali), described as hell on earth by a motorist (Sahara overland)
-from Nema (Mauritania) to Nara (Mali): maybe impassable during the rainy season (West Africa Roughguide)
-from Ayoun el Atrous (Mauritania) to Nioro (Mali), same problem.

Another alternative seems to be getting into Senegal (Rosso), follow the river Senegal up to Kidira and cross to Kayes (Mali). Again the roughguide says: may prove impassable in the wet season...

We are planning to get near those points at mid-july, about when the rainy season starts. We are going to travel with a land rover series III. I know this is no pure Sahara, but maybe anyone has some useful information about what to expect... Thanks.
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Old 13 Jun 2001
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Hi Juan,
the bottom line is ask the locals when you get there - when it rains dirt tracks turn to mire. IMHO it will be the heat that will give you more problems.

>described as hell on earth by a motorist (Sahara Overland)
Actually that was guy on a motorbike wasn't it? The tall grass and twin ruts where hard work - much easier in a car

>from Nema (Mauritania) to Nara (Mali): maybe impassable during the rainy season (West Africa Roughguide)
I was the source of that update - never did it in the wet - same probs as the route above.

>follow the river Senegal up to Kidira and cross to Kayes (Mali). Again the roughguide says: may prove impassable in the wet season...
Me again - did it on a bike - light jungle and an easy-ish track.

>We are planning to get near those points at mid-july, about when the rainy season starts.
Well then with all the above you can't say you were not warned ;-) I believe Kayes Kita Bamako is a better road than it used to be. Maybe a hand or even a proper winch may be useful in this terrain.

Chris S
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  #3  
Old 13 Jun 2001
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Thanks Chris,

I hope to update your information and contribute a little to the site in my next intervention. July. Inshalla.
Afterwards I will be living in Niamey for at least one year. My email there is:
j.busque@cgiar.org
If I can be of help to anyone around, don't hesitate. African hospitality. Cheers.
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  #4  
Old 29 Jun 2001
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Hi,
Don't know if you've already left but .... We're going to be around there at the same time in some ex-french army Renault trucks. Looks like we're travelling in the same direction, so look out for us if you need any help.
Pete
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