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!

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 26 Mar 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lisbon
Posts: 55
Lisboa / Timbuktu

Back in February 2006 I posted a thread call “questions LISBON / TIMBOUCTU”, it was the first one and the beginning of an adventure.
I’ve made a 10 week solo trip on a motorcycle from Lisbon to Timbuktu and back. If someone needs some info I’ll be glad to share it with you.
My trip was something like this:
In Morocco, I did some pistes on the beach near Tantan.
In Western Sahara I did the M12 and M13 (from Chris Scott’s Sahara Overland).
In Mauritania I went to Atar, Ouadane, Chinguetti (R3, R9, R4), then south to Tidjikja (the R10 piste), and then I went further south to Kiffa, also by piste. From Nema I went up to visit Oualata and then came back and went to Timbuktu in Mali, on a 600km piste.
Mali: From Timbuktu to Mopti, Dogon Country, Douentza, Djenne, then to Bamako by piste near the Niger. I crossed the border to Guinea, where I did a 2 week (almost all off-road) round trip, from Kankan, to Nzérékoré, Conakry, Boke, Labé, and Kindia. Then I went back from Bamako via Kayes, Nioro, and Back to RIM, and all the way north to Lisbon.

It was a wonderful trip, a dream come true.

I would like to express my gratitude to all people that answer my questions in this forum when I was preparing this trip.

Reply With Quote
Old 26 Mar 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 41
I'm interested...

Especially in the Atar - Tidjikja part. I wanna travel to Timbuktu as well, but I'm not sure what the best route would be. How much time did it take you? From Atar to Tidjikja and from Tidjikja to Timbuktu?
And how did you get in Atar?

Last edited by Zoltar14; 26 Mar 2008 at 00:15. Reason: forgot last question
Reply With Quote
Old 26 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: from Portugal, now living in Germany
Posts: 108
Here is the link to the portuguese forum were Paulo has been posting his trip report.
If you can't read Portuguese at least enjoy the very nice pictures:


I have been building a Word document with the posts that I can share with anyone that asks it.

I've been to Morocco on three occasions by motorcycle and a trip further south is always boiling in my head.

Best Regards,
Luís CaBRita
Lisboa - Guine Bissau, Fev2011
Panoramio - Photos by LMCabrita > Lisboa Bissau Fev2011
Reply With Quote
Old 27 Mar 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lisbon
Posts: 55
Originally Posted by Zoltar14 View Post
Especially in the Atar - Tidjikja part. I wanna travel to Timbuktu as well, but I'm not sure what the best route would be. How much time did it take you? From Atar to Tidjikja and from Tidjikja to Timbuktu?
And how did you get in Atar?
Atar to Tidjikja
5 days, but we took it slowly. I did it with two 4X4, some folks I met in Atar.With my sand riding experience it would be impossible alone. It's a very remote track.

From Tidjikja it took me 3 days to get to Kiffa. Then it's tarmac all the way to Nema (about 500km). It would be a shame not to visit Oualata (100km north of Nema). From Oualata it took me 4 days in a not so difficult piste all the way to Timbuktu. Check this link.


I got to Atar using the tarmac road from NKT, I went there for the visas.


Last edited by 8340SU; 27 Mar 2008 at 02:09. Reason: more info
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Apr 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Innsbruck, AUSTRIA
Posts: 22

hi paolo!

nice pics on your portuguese forum!

have you got any gps tracks from the route nema-timbouctou and timbouctou-bamako (Timbuktu to Mopti, Dogon Country, Douentza, Djenne, then to Bamako by piste near the Niger)

we are planning this trip starting in 3 weeks...
we will also try to give live-reports on our homepage:
www.longwayhome.at or - Home

i´ve also some other questions specially for the area between nouadhibou to timbuktu:
what´s about the availability of internet cafees in those countries?
what´s about the coverage of mobilephones?

real adventurers camp and cook. is it easy to find shops to buy water, meals, fruits...?

www.longwayhome.at - life´s too short to sit @ home
Reply With Quote
Old 5 Apr 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lisbon
Posts: 55
Thanks duffyduck!

The gps tracks from nema to timbuktu are in this link:


Some notes on this track:

It’s easy to get a bit lost getting out of small villages, for instance outside Kataouane and Bassikounou.

At km21 there is a checkpoint where the police tells you to go left (East) if you ask the way to Bassikounou: it’s the direct route to Bangou village.

Before Bassikounou the track goes southern than the wp’s (I missed the km194), but it’s a clear piste all the way.

Before Koussana village the piste goes East and you don’t go to Medala, instead you go straight to Fassale Village, where there is a Police and Douane stations.

It’s a very long piste, (4 days on a motorcycle) not difficult but a remote one. You don’t see many people.

I didn’t record the tracks that I used. I just uploaded the places where I camped. If you want I can look for them and post it here.

I didn’t check all the time for internet cafes. But there are in most bigger villages. Ndb NKT, Atar, Timbuktu, they all have but in Nema for instance I didn’t find: there was one place but nobody was there at the time.
On main roads (tarmac) as well as at villages there is cell phone coverage.
Water, fruits, bread and can food are available at almost every village. (Maybe it’s a better solution to take katadin micropur tablets with you and use it on tap water instead of buying 1,5L bottled water all the way through your trip.)

Reply With Quote

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
Gao to Timbuktu Tunde Sahara Travel Forum 1 10 Feb 2008 19:09
Rio de Janeiro > Lisboa msi999 Trip Transport 1 12 Jan 2008 22:54
To and from Timbuktu JSerpa Sahara Travel Forum 14 24 Mar 2006 22:09
uk to timbuktu chrisue sub-Saharan Africa 1 2 Jul 2005 18:30
Portugal - Lisboa - excellent bike service place Margus Repair Shops, Europe 0 31 Aug 2004 00:07


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

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

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

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


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 06:32.