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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2011
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Morocco-Mauritania-Algeria

Hi All

My Landy is in Dakhla, Western Sahara.

I need to get it out of Morocco before 27th September.

It's still in pieces:

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I am flying from Cape Town via London on 11th September (I know, not a great date) and still not sure exactly how I'm getting to Dakhla.

I was thinking of heading to Europe, but not through Morocco...

Basically via Northern Mauritania (train to Choum) and then North through Algeria.

Does anyone have any experience/contacts with this route?

I'm on my own for now, so looking for some brave/stupid people to join up for the adventure/suicide mission...

I'll post this in Travellers seeking Travellers too...
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 2011
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... via Northern Mauritania (train to Choum) and then North through Algeria.


Hi David, nice idea but not currently possible (no entry to Alg) and very rarely done, even in the good years - usually the other direction. One of the two parties I know that did it got robbed near Guelb - and that was long before AQIM ever came on the scene.

Ch

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  #3  
Old 19 Aug 2011
moro
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uhhh, quite confusing: your landlover in pieces in Dakhla, want to fly from SA to London and then back to Dakhla (I assume) with a plasdtic bag to collect your landy, then head back south again just to go north, WTF?
ever had a look at a map of africa?
for starters?
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  #4  
Old 19 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moro View Post
uhhh, quite confusing: your landlover in pieces in Dakhla, want to fly from SA to London and then back to Dakhla (I assume) with a plasdtic bag to collect your landy, then head back south again just to go north, WTF?
ever had a look at a map of africa?
for starters?
yes, does sound slightly odd...
I live in Africa and yes, I know very well what the map looks like.

The history is like this:

I rode a motorbike from South Africa up to Nigeria a few years back.
I bought the Land Rover in Nigeria, then put my motorbike on the back of it and drove it down to South Africa.
Then I drove the Land Rover from South Africa along the West Coast, and left it in Morocco in April (I had to fly home for some family issues).
Now I need to get the car OUT of Morocco, and my flight is only back to London.
The reason it is in pieces, is because I rolled it over in Benin in January, and continued with it until Morocco, where I left it with a panel-beater to make it good enough to get into Europe...

The car is currently less than 500km from the Mauritanian border, so I thought it would be quicker to head South and then go up through Algeria and Tunisia.

I have spoken with some Saharawi's who know the route through Mauritania, and I was planning on taking them with - to the camps at Tindouf.

Now that Chris has confirmed it is not possible, and the Algerian visa is going to take too long to get, I'll just rush through Morocco and hopefully make it to Spain before the deadline - and avoid the 10,000 Dirham fine for overstaying the 6 months...

The other option would be to put it on a ship to the Canary Islands (Naviera Armas ferry discontinued earlier this year), but apparently there are ships who can take it from Agadir to Las Palmas, but how costly that will be is unknown.

I may just go touring Eastern Europe instead - in which case I will ask you for a good map of Slovenia!
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  #5  
Old 22 Aug 2011
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Hi David

Yes your main hassle here will be the Algerian visa.
Also the Saharawi camps are located outside of Tindouf and sometimes Polisario will look for an invite if you are planning on staying over with them, but I’m sure they would overlook it as they are usually fairly friendly towards foreigners.

Also I heard recently that Mauri visa is not available on border anymore unless the Saharawi are planning on bringing you in illegally?
I was on one of the main routes from the Saharawi camps to Mauritania and passed a few checkpoints but such may have changed since 2008.

Best of luck.
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  #6  
Old 22 Aug 2011
moro
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another option:
go to customs in Dakhla & ask for an extraordinary extension
it may work
it did work for me in 2009

(when we tried to do the same trick for another vehicle in Agadir, there was no chance at all)

going to camps around tindouf is relatively easy, but I doubt you would be able to continue
why not sell the landy in Mauri?
it can be done relatively hassle free, despite the rumours to the contrary
ach, forget slovenia
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  #7  
Old 29 Aug 2011
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Heading South - initially

So I'm flying from London to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, via Madrid, where I will get both Mauritanian and Moroccan visas in my South African passport (confirmed with both consulates today - Mauritania issue same day).

Then the plan is to leave Morocco, go to Nouadhibou, then try re-enter Morocco with my South African passport and get the car in for another 6 months...

If that fails, maybe I'll head to Dakar and take Grimaldi Lines to South America - no carnet, no visas, no corruption!
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  #8  
Old 15 Sep 2011
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Update

So I made it to Dakhla via the Canaries and Laayoune (Iberia lost my 80kg of luggage, then forwarded it to Laayoune once they found it).

My Landy is going to take at least another 2 weeks to fix, which doesn't give me any time to drive through Morocco.

I also visited the Douane, who went through the laws with me, and the bottom line is that my vehicle has to leave morocco on or before the 27 September and cannot re-enter until 2012. It doesn't matter who is driving, what passport they have, it is for the vehicle only.

So, now that I have 3 month multiple entry visa for Mauritania, I will be heading to Nouadhibou and will have to spend the rest of the year playing around the desert, before I can head North again.

I have no carnet, and the car is a 1996, so no entering Senegal either...

I have met some polisario, and it is possible to head through Northern Mauritania and cross the border with Algeria. There is no border post, and as long as I have some Polisario in the vehicle, I will make it through.

So I might just do that - but would love it if some other crazy/stupid people would like to do it with me?

Any takers?

I'm happy to support some bikers - take your panniers and water and fuel?

Anyone?

I don't want to have to resort to going to fetch Gadaffi and take him to Tindouf to organize a proper revolution and future for Western Sahara?
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  #9  
Old 15 Sep 2011
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Why don't you head for Mali, a very pleasant place to spend a few months.
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  #10  
Old 16 Sep 2011
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I can see it may be possible to get into the Polisario region of far west Algeria around Tindouf (Tafraiti?) from north Mori. But I dont know anyone who has ever done this and in a foreign vehicle it is not without risks.
Not all Polisario you meet may be friendly and it might be wise to steer clear of any Alg army, etc. Tindouf region is a closed zone, a bit like a reservation and regular tourists certainly dont manage to get there from mainland Algeria along the Bechar road. (Humanitarian convoys have got there this way in the 90s with special permits).
So you will need a good story once you get east to 'mainland Algeria' - first main checkpoint outside Tindouf I suspect on the road to Bechar. No escort, no invite and maybe no visa. It is possible that your Polisario friends do not appreciate all this.
Chances are, after some huffing and puffing you will get escorted up to Oran to be expelled, but that may be convenient for you.

Of course if you are planning to just visit the Polisario in Alg, head back into Mori and carry on wherever, ignore all the above.

As donncha suggests, avoiding Senegal by heading directly from Mori to Mali is a more conventional way of doing it.

Ch
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  #11  
Old 16 Sep 2011
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Would he be turned back even with a proper Algerian visa in his passport, coming in over Tindouf? Need for an authorized guide? Special permit to visit Tindouf region? How does the aid reach Tindouf - by air only?
If nobody has tried it, how do we know it doesn't work? Many questions - any answers?
Bottom line, if you have three months to play around, go for it! And write us a report.
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  #12  
Old 16 Sep 2011
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When I was in Laayoune, I saw a UN plane which was going to Smara.
I believe there are also planes that fly "family reunions" into Tindouf from Dakhla...

Chris, thanks for that advice.
I would love to be escorted out of Algeria once I am found without a guide and visa!

I will keep the HUBB updated - hopefully personally and not via news reports of abductions...

The Polisario I would only take as far as Tindouf - for the sole reason of helping me get out of Mauritania and into Algeria.

A friend of mine just had the same problem with his car and the 6 months rule - basically he had to pay 150 euro fine for being 5 days over, and cannot return until 2012. So he is now stuck in Nouadhibou.
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  #13  
Old 16 Sep 2011
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Algerian reaction

I like David's brave idea but my biggest concern would be Algerian long-term reaction after crossing the border somehow illegally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Chances are, after some huffing and puffing you will get escorted up to Oran to be expelled, but that may be convenient for you.
I presume that after beeing expelled one might not be able to enter Algeria legally anymore.

Regards,
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  #14  
Old 16 Sep 2011
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It is hard to call what Algeria would do with an arrival from the south west. As others have pointed out, there is no recent parallel case to draw on. But arrival without any visa would definitely be a serious case because the authorities in the south wouldn't be able to decide on an outcome themselves. In other words, you'd be sent up the chain to the north wondering all the while how things would pan out.

With a visa, I think anything could happen - it depends on the day. Either way, its unlikely that a new access point would open up though because I'm sure the second party to go through would be given tough treatment - so as to close down the idea. The trouble with Tindouf is that it is such a sensitive political issue. The whole concept of a border there is very sensitive. And not wanting to stray too much into speculation, the Algerians very likely have some fancy military kit there. A military bloke is probably going to ask what a tourist was doing there and it will take time for the answer to be relayed to his satisfaction. With no visa, the military man will be thinking the worst. Having been caught up in cross-border issues once before (Algeria-Niger in the Northern Tenere) with the military deciding what comes next for 10 days, I don't fancy it. They were 10 very long days. I wouldn't knowingly do that again.
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