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

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Old 26 May 2004
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From Bamako to Nouackchott to Agadir

Hello dudes

We just drove back from Bamako to Nouackchott and further on to Morocco in a Toyota BJ 75 and that went, unexpectedly, very straightforward. We took the Bamako – Nioro road and that went from a nice sealed road (up to Metanbougou) to a good wide fast ‘piste’ (up to Diema) and further 100 km over a bad track up to Nioro (no probs with a 4WD, possible in a 2WD with enough ground clearance). From Nioro on they’re working on a brand new sealed road straight up to Ayoun el Atrous in Mauretania. (borderformalities are done here or further on in Tintane or even in Kiffa, depends on if the officials feel like, especially on a friday, their holy day!) Only the first 20 km are still under construction, the rest is finished. From Ayoun you easily drive in two days to the Mauretanian capital, tarmac all the way. The big surprise came in Nouackchott when we heard the new road to Nouadhibou and the border is developping very well. You can now just take the road out of Nouack (3 km direction beach, last roundabout to the right direction north) and off you go. The first 160 km are allmost finished, after that you follow the pretty good ‘piste’ a long the ‘under construction’ mainroad. Some parts are allready sealed. Just a few km a long this 425 km long road you’ll encounter patches of soft sand. 2WD’s can take these with the power on. Once you get to the railway you follow it 50 km west and there you’ll find a huge ‘DAKHLA’ sign to the right, cross the railway and you’ll go straight towards the border. The only thing by following this sealed road is that you miss the Mauretanian borderposts (they’ll should be replaced in the near future). Now, you reach the posts by turning left at the end of the sealed road (there is a little white building) down a little road which brings you to the ‘Old Spanish’ road 50 meters further. Follow the Spanish road for about 8 km to the border posts. Return the same way to the junction and turn again left, this brings you straight to the first Moroccan checkpoint and further on to Fort Gerguerat.
We did Bamako (Mali) – Agadir (Morocco) in 6 days with one extra day in Nouackchott. 3 days to Nouackchott and 3 days to Agadir.
Never thought that would be possible..

More info about roads, borders, etc. in West Africa check the ‘roadbook’ at: www.noplanb.be
(only in 'dutch' though)

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Old 26 May 2004
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Thanks for your news Tim, very helpful.


Author of Sahara Overland and the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, among other things

http://www.sahara-overland.com and http://www.adventure-motorcycling.com
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Old 2 Jun 2004
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What percentage is now sealed and useable the, from NKT to Morocco?

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Old 8 Jun 2004
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Well Sam

what can I say? It took me some days calculating but I came to 39.954786213587945% sealed road. No serious now, I think it will be around 35 and 40 %. Right now, there will be even more sealed patches. There is only maybe 5 km of soft sand, the rest is really good piste.


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Old 9 Jun 2004
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In answer to Sam's questions - according to the reports following (and links from their website), it "should" be tarmac all the way by October.

I did the Atlantic route in 2001, the road from Layoune to Dakar and then the border was - shall we say - without much distraction (???). Joy, there's now a few hundred km more of a similar road !!

It will mean a quick access to West Africa, just need to take copious amounts of Red Bull or the like to keep awake !


Morocco-Mauritania road to be ready in time, contractors
Mauritania-Morocco, Economics, 2/28/2004

The US$ 24 million road to link Morocco to Mauritania will be ready in time, said Thursday chief of "Arab Contractors," Ibrahim Mahlab, whose company is taking part in the project.

Mahlab told the press the section his company is in charge of will be completed in four months, as 70% has been done, in accordance with international standards.

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