Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 6 Dec 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: County Clare, Ireland
Posts: 27
Gibraltar to Timbukto - How?

Hi All,
Proposing a trip beginning from Paris and ending in Dakar. We don't necessarily wish or need to follow the Dakar rally route because we also want to go to Timbukto in Mali on route and so the preferred route will be Paris, Gibraltar, Timbukto, Dakar.

Looking on maps it would appear that there are roads of sorts between Timbukto and Dakar but from Gibraltar to Timbukto there is little or nothing - except desert and lots of it!


My questions...
  1. Are there tracks from north Africa southward through the sahara to Timbukto and if so how easy is it to navigate?
  2. Are there points on route where fuel/food can be got?
  3. How many days roughly for this leg of the trip (I know it depends on so many factors but if someone could relate their experience)
  4. I won't open the "what bike" debate except to say that it is going to be purchased for about £1,000 (€1,200) ($1,500) and worked on before the trip, but i'm erring towards a Suzuki DR350/400 or Yamaha XT600...thoughts?
  5. Any other advice?
__________________
Your Life is Now!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 7 Dec 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: holland
Posts: 124
hello
I think that what you got in mind is not so easy. The easiest route will be the atlantic route till Nouackchott and then take the road to the east to ayoun el atrous. From there to Bamako and then drive up to timbuctu (Djenne, mopti and dogon are really worth to visit). Then from timbuctu back to bamako and then heading west to Kayes and then further west to Dakar.
Roads directly from Maroc to Mali are not possible. There is a road from Nema (Mauritania) directly going east to timbuctu but not possible alone and because of the safety aspect not wise to do right now. When you want some more off-road you can drive from nouadibhou to choum, chingueti and tidjika. But not easy to drive and need more people (don't know about safety overthere). have never driven the last route myself so can't give you more information about that. Also not about your motorcycle choice.
And I would say mali is more beautifull and more to see then in senegal and you got less border hassle.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 7 Dec 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 997
Hi Declan

If you're crossing the Med at Gib (prob Algeciras if you're using commercial ferries) you'll be heading south taking the "atlantic route". That's shorthand for riding through Morocco and eventually following the only tarmac road that'll get you to the Western Sahara / Mauritania border. My first suggestion is to search here for "atlantic route" There's a lot of info on hotels / fuel etc that'll answer many of your questions. If you've got an hour or two to waste you can follow the road south on Google Earth and get an idea of what it's like.

It's about five days from the Med to the Mauri border if you don't hang around much for sightseeing. The area from around Tan Tan south is politically sensitive and although there are other roads that you can see on maps they're pretty much off limits at the moment. The route that hugs the coast is the one you'll be on.

The first time I overnighted in the desert is the first time I really wished I had a reliable bike rather than a cheap one. Bear that in mind when it comes to choosing a bike. Fuel and water are available - about 250 miles is about the furthest you'll go between filling stations but having a 251 mile range leaves you with a problem when you arrive and they're out of fuel for the next week.

After Nouakchott the usual route is along the "route d'espoir", a 1500 mile road that ends at Nema. On a map Nema doesn't look that far from Tim - a bit of off road and you'll be there! If you're on your own and it's your first time in the region, don't do it. Go via Bamako and along the road that follows the Niger river, via Segou, Mopti etc. There have been a number of reports here recently saying that due to security concerns there are a lot of checkpoints along the route d'espoir. Find those and have a look through. Security is becoming a serious issue.




The Atlantic route is 1000+ miles of this



This is when you really need the bike to start the next morning



You'll have a few hundred miles of this on the way back from Bamako to Dakar (this is near Kayes)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 7 Dec 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: County Clare, Ireland
Posts: 27
Thanks Brend and backofbeyond,
Lots of good information from both of you and thanks for the great pics backofbeyond.
I need to go back to studying my maps and researching the security issues in Marautania. i'll post again soon...
Declan
__________________
Your Life is Now!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
UK to Gibraltar Mountainviking Travellers Seeking Travellers 7 2 Feb 2011 09:18
Importing UK (or Gibraltar) registered car to Morocco 4x4Sahara Morocco 10 25 Aug 2010 12:22
Riding from Northcape to Gibraltar Dean Kent Europe 12 28 May 2008 11:26
neme-timbukto chrisue sub-Saharan Africa 4 27 Sep 2006 12:56
Gibraltar mechanic? Sime66 Repair Shops, Europe 2 16 May 2005 23:58

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:54.