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

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  #1  
Old 15 Nov 2007
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Nema to Timbuktu

Hi, we're taking part in the Plymouth to Timbuktu challenge at christmas, though it does not go to Timbuktu and actually finishes at Bamako we are intending to go to Timbuktu first then onto Bamako.

Has anyone done or has knowledge of the route from Nema to Timbuktu and onto Bamako who could give us some advise on the route and likely duration

thanks for any help

Chris & Brian
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  #2  
Old 19 Nov 2007
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Think twice

If U are a typical plymouth-banjul participant in a vehicle, thats barely roadworthy and U have no desert driving experience, than Nema -Timbuctu (Tombouctou) as the crow flies, is suicidal as far as U are concerned and very risky as far as local banditry is concerned.
My humble advice: at least 2 4whellers with proper recovery equipment, fuel and water for 300 miles (in sand U need to double those figures) and at least one on the team, who is familiar with desert driving.
If U take the long way around via Nampale-Nere-Goundam U still need vehicels with proper ground clearance.

Hope this helps and I am NOT trying to scare U off. Check the hubb for posts and gps waypoints.
Bon voyage.
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  #3  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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on the plus side...

Clearly heading off on the track less travelled in a single ropey MOT failure is always going to involve running some pretty long odds, and the info on the HUBB about that direct route (which is also covered in another thread - search nema), suggests that it should probably be left to those who are going to undertake some serious prep. Which, if you are a true Banger Racer you probably won't be
On the plus side, perhaps the best thing about the banger rally is the snub to big bucks desert travel snobbery and simply relying on friends and the law of averages. Which, as anyone who runs bangers on a daily basis will know, means that it is always good to have more than one. I assmue therefore that you won't be travelling on your own (at least try not to), and that one of the other routes should be do-able with a group of bangers and some dirty hard work. I've read a few personal websites and blogs from groups detouring from the official route to go via Tombouctou in Transit Vans, VW Passats, Volvo Estates, Vauxhaul Fronteras and other cube dodgers, with reasonable success rates (find the links on the official website). Clearly some don't make it, cracked sumps and blown engines are two I read, but if there are four or five other vehicles in your group you won't end up walking. You will probably have no trouble finding people who want to have a bash. If you are in a regular car a sump guard is probably worth the effort, although most make it without I have read of tree stumps, rocks and crushed rads from nose diving all finishing off bangers. Nothing fancy, just a good stong bar from chassis to below the rad and some 8mm ali chequer to cover the vulnerable bits. I've also beefed the springs a little bit and gone for max tyre size.

What are you taking and when are you heading out?
We are leaving Uk 14th Dec taking our old Merc 300D and will be going via Tombouctou then selling it in either Bamko or Ouaga.


Good luck mate, just have fun.

James.

Last edited by ManxScamp; 20 Nov 2007 at 21:17.
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  #4  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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We're travelling in a 1999 landrover 130 defender td5 with high mileage (+200k) so hopefully will be more than adequate for the job, a few others from the group are looking to join us.

Should hit Kiffa around the 10th Jan 08, looking to do the Nema-Nampala-Niafounke-Goundam-Timbuktu-Mopti-Bamako route, so any experience of this regard time,stopover locations and problems would be great.

thanks

Chris
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  #5  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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Hi, I'm thinking about this route in early December. Is anyone going to be in that area then?
Thx,
Cam J
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  #6  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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I'm going to be in this area around the new year period but, being solo on a motorcycle, probably looking for help rather than being able to offer it. Look out for me on a yellow CCM (a 600 single if you're not up on obscure bike makes)
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  #7  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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I too am on a bike but will be ahead of you. We are in Rabat right now getting visas. Where are you now?
Cams.
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  #8  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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Still in the UK for another couple of weeks - leaving early Dec.
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  #9  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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?

Now I'm confused Chris, you're taking a Td5 130 defender on the Plymouth Bamko Banger Rally, the same rally where you give the vehicle away at the end and they auction it? Lucky you, how generous. As for getting to Tombouctou, so long as the Landy is good the most likely problem / danger you're going to face is frying it pulling others through!

Mr Backofbeyond, sounds like we may be in that area around the same dates, if you see us (Merc E Class with distinctive Manx Man Number Plates) give us a wave we'd be happy to carry some kit for you if we're heading the same way.

TTFN James.
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  #10  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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now I get it

Just had a quick peek at the official Plym website, discovered that your defender is a corperate donation, bravo again, you jammie gits!

Also discovered that five of the first group made it to Tombouctou this year, a Transit Van, a Citroen BX, a Merc 124 (E class), a nissan sunny and a pug 405. And you appear to be in a rather 4x4 heavy group so I'd say you'll be fine in what looks like a decent defender. Some of them have their own websites which are linked from the main site so you should be able to contact them and find out which way they went.

Have Fun!

Last edited by ManxScamp; 22 Nov 2007 at 20:32.
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  #11  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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Those that did it last year went to Timbuctu from Bamako, no one went to Timbuctu first and then Bamako, just want to know likely travel time as flights back home booked so need to be in Bamako by a certain time.

Yea was pretty lucky that the company i work for offered the landy to me for £100, I was just expecting a few quid in sponsor money!

Chris
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  #12  
Old 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Riga, Latvia
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nema to timbuctou

did it thru Nera - Sokolo - Lere last year in StrangeRover and Mitsubishit, bought just week before for 500 and 700, petrol, automatic both, had a laugh, wanted to go thru Nampala, but got bit lost and entered mali at different place No GPS gizmos, just old school maps and some brandy

you will be well OK in a defender, last year we also met 5 - 6 cars group from Plymouth-Timuctou, lots of 2x4's, one 4x4, they also just laughed

some pictures and useless Latvian language texts here:
Brauciens uz Timbuktu - Kakao.lv
Brauciens uz Timbuktu, 2. daïa - Kakao.lv
Brauciens uz Timbuktu, 3. daïa - Kakao.lv

have fun, I really miss all that dust, have been in Western Africa 3 years in a row now, need some brake now
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  #13  
Old 5 Dec 2007
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Hi
we'll be leaving Timbuktu for Oualata 19th December, undecided as yet to which route we take, probably Niafounke Nampala Nema. Will eventually go beyound Oulata to Tichitt; though we have to be in Ségou on 31st!!!
4wheeling 1HZ105 Toyota
cheers
Bart
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