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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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  #1  
Old 3 Oct 2006
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morocco to senegal

HI PEOPLE, me and my husband want to travel from spain to dakar with our 27 years old volkswagen van in january 2007.We want to drive the atlantic coast street trying to avoid the sandy parts/pistes that obviously our van cannot effort. We need uptodate news about:
- is the road in the nomanland between the marocco to mau still a sand piste or has it been paved recently?? Is it ok to drive for a normal old vw van?
- information about insurance for the van. we have a spanish number plate and our insurance told us that morocco will be coverd by the insurance. What about mauri and senegal?? Can we make a temporary car insurance at the borders? Where and how much?? Is this related with the carte grise?? (actually what is it??)
- carnet the passage, i went through all the 72 pages of this forum and i know there is a lot about it. But i'm a bit confused about the carnet the passage and the laisser paisser. I understand that the laiseer paisser you can get directly at the border paying some money and having your passport stamped( If so how much does it cost??) and is it just needed for mauri to senegal??
- is the Rosso border still not allowing more that 5 years old cars going through?
thanks to all of you can give me really up to date infos. Hugs barbara
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  #2  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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hi there
as at may this year no mans land was still rough ground. it is possible to avoid the sandy bits but you might benefit from using a guide if you aren't sure. basically as you cross the border keep well to the left, this area is firm and stony. lots of 2wd cars cross here with no problems, but lots that don't know what they are doing get stuck, although there are lots of people willing to tow you out for a small fee (or large one!)
yes you can buy insurance at the border. I can't remember how much it cost so can't have been too horrific!
we didn't have carnets for senegal. I would reccomend crossing at the barage rather than Rosso, it is a lot less hassle (I have done both) especially if you have to sort out carnet issues. Although the route to it is a track you will have no problems in your VW. We used a laissez passer, it cost 80euros and a coat for 2 landcruisers. we had no problems with it. On the way back it was vastly cheaper (from Gambia) but we met a german guy heading south who had been sent back to the border because of a problem with his laissez passer. he had done this trip mant times and this was the first time he had a problem. we couldn't establish what the problem was as none of us spoke french well enough but I think it was because the customs guy had written the details in his passport in free hand rather than filling out the stamped template. you take your chances I guess. we hit the border quite late, about 22:00, don't know if that helped us or not but it was actually one of the quickest and easiest borders to cross, the toughest being Gibraltar to Spain!
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Old 4 Oct 2006
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where is the barage?

Thanks a lot Moggy, we are starting to believe that maybe we can really make it with our old van.Can you please clear me a few things?
Where is the barage?
Did you get the laisser passer at the border? or somewhere else?
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Old 5 Oct 2006
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I was worried about finding the barrage because the directions were quite vague, but thats because it's easy!
Take the last right before the rosso ferry. when you miss it (because you will!) drive round the hawkers and turn round at the garage opposite the ferry terminal and go back less than 100 metres, now it is the first on your left! the track follows the river and you criss cross around to find the best route. you will come to an industrial building after a while, go to the right of it, although if you get it wrong guards will call you back and point you in the right direction. eventually (after about 60km) you reach a T junction. turn left. this rd is dreadful. really bad corrugations, but don't be tempted to whizz along here as there are also bad washouts. my mate bent a wheel here, which takes some doing on a landcruiser (make sure you use steel wheels so you can hammer them back into shape again, and a 2kg lump hammer) all in all it is about 80km and will take 3-4 hours (although we did it at night which slowed us down a bit)

yu will go through border formalities and pay a fee to cross the barage. it seems expensive for what it is, but is cheaper than the ferry. once you have crossed the barrier, if memory serves me correctly (and don't quote me on this!!) you go to the police in a hut on the right. then you go to the customs guy in a hut on the left, it is here that you negotiate for the lassez passer.

one final thing, watch out for the police in St Louis, they are the original bastards!! we were stopped at least 5 times to check we had fire extinguishers and warning triangles, also because we had taped over our windows, for having a non operationg headlight, an alleged paperwork infringement and alledgedly going the wrong way up a one way street (like all the locals did, and there were no signs!!). It is a shame because I have visited st louis before and it is lovely and I wanted to show it to my friends, but in the end we couldn't get out quick enough. we only paid one bribe, to a copper who clearly enjoyed his violence!! with the others we just toughed it out, spoke minimal french and played dumb.
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  #5  
Old 9 Oct 2006
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Hi,

I would like to add some remarks to your posts.

There are two main roads between Mauritanien and Senegal for vehicles crossing the border on Senegal River: Rosso and Diama.

Rosso is famous for it's bribe, hasseles and fatigue. Maybe these concern only Europeans who follow dirty rules of locals. Try to be independent and fight for your rights, if you can!

Diama would be similar, however, is smaller and more quite. 10 EUR is the main key for entering Senegal.

If you wish to enter shortcut GPS points to Diama from N1 road from NKT-Rosso road omimiting Rosso, please let me know on my e-mail.

Danek
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  #6  
Old 9 Oct 2006
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traveller

Hi Barbara
There is a track to Ker Massene just north of Tiguent on the NKT-Rosso road (Perhaps this is GPS position that Danek is offering you). This track is passable by 2wd although a bit rutted and rough in places.It is an amazing track through an area teeming with Birds and wildlife .When you reach Ker the Kids in the village will direct you towards the barrage. The Mauri officials are good guys. But watch out for the corrupt copper in the hut on the right in Senegal,he will try and sting you for as much as he can get.However the whole process is much easier and more relaxed than the melee for the ferry at Rosso. Try camp Zebrabar in St Louis,the cold is great and watching the sunset from the campsite watchtower is a Kodak moment.

Regards
Dave
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  #7  
Old 10 Oct 2006
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thanks a lot to all of you . i'm not sure about using tracks... our car is really very old.
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  #8  
Old 11 Oct 2006
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In the piste that follows the digue I know a few travellers who have encountered the same soldier brandishing a small jerrican and claiming to have run out of diesel as we did.
According to some of Menata's regulars he's been running that scam for quite a while.
We don't carry jerricans (260l tanks) so he got nowt from us.

Barbara, you will be surprised by the capabilities of your combi. The high ground grearance, independant suspension and rear motor make it one of the best 2WD vehicles for piste and sand driving. Pack some sturdy planks, a good shovel and a decent compressor and you could easily do the Banc D'Arguin (IMHO it's madness to miss it)

If yours is the 1600 see if you can fit some air scoops on the cooling air inlets on each side. I've seen them on a few in ZA and the owners say it helps cooling.
Have fun
Luke
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