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  #1  
Old 22 Oct 2008
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Is Nema to Tombouctou viable from a security point of view

Hello again all

Is Nema to Tombouctou viable from a security point of view?

I know from other threads that some of you have taken this route in recent years. U might even be planning it in the near future.

What is the collective opinion about doing it this year.

I have heared that this is 'bandit country' but I don't know this area, always having gone south to Bamako in the past.

Thanks in advance

John
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  #2  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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Hello

I am hoping to do this exact route in a few weeks time (Mid Nov 08) I don't believe that there is a huge risk, however vigilance is imperative. I am currently en-route, in Fez, and I would be interested in joining fellow like minded travellers.

My planned route is from Nouahidibou, Atar, Chinguetti, Tidjikdga, Nema, Tomboctou.

If anyone has any advice on this route it would be greatly apreciated.

Many thanks

Tom.
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  #3  
Old 25 Oct 2008
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Hi Tom

I,m currently in Rabat getting visas etc then heading south. How are you travelling? I,m using buses etc so if youare driving and have a spare seat and would like help with expenses let me know - especially into Mauri and on to Atar. I dont know about the direct route to Timbuctou - I had assumed that was out and that Id go via Bamako - but could change mind if this is a reasonable option.

Cheers Joe

joe@joeluke.plus.com
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  #4  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Cant be of any help Im afraid, but would be really interested in what you eventually decide on doing and why.

Keep us up to date, thanks.
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  #5  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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I've waited a few days before posting to see what others would come up with regarding this route as I'm hoping to be in the Nema area, en route to Tombouctou (and maybe the Festival au Desert), around the new year. I've not been in the area before so it's questions rather than answers.

I'm solo on a bike so my safety margins are pretty small and it's therefore unlikely that I'll attempt it without latching on to others. If there is a security problem a small convoy may well attract more attention than a few solo travellers and we could find ourselves just swapping the usual safety hazzards for a security ones.

Concerning the route from Nema, this is what I kept from a previous post by Jose Britto from a trip about three years ago.

Km N E Description
0 16 36.667 -7 16.763 Exit of Nema. Leave paved road to a fast piste heading south over a reg alternated with sandy areas
21 16 26.800 -7 19.800 Pre-paved road over floodplain
27 16 24.100 -7 20.500 Piste turns E/SE
76 16 16.500 -6 59.100 Bangou village. Piste is now sandier and heads SE
96 16 9.300 -6 52.100 Exit of small village and Kir wells
112 16 4.000 -6 45.700 Exit of Kataouane village
130 16 2.100 -6 36.700 Gneiba el Mazroufa village at right but keep E
143 16 2.400 -6 30.600 Piste progressively harder turns SE. Police checkpoint within 1km
157 15 58.800 -6 24.600 Hard piste
171 15 54.200 -6 18.500 Top of hill. Keep E/SE in sandy piste
194 15 53.700 -6 6.200 Top of hill. Piste still sandy
216 15 51.100 -5 55.400 Exit of Bassikounou. Turn right to firm sandy piste heading SE
237 15 43.300 -5 47.200 Piste sandy but firm heading SE
252 15 37.300 -5 44.200 Exit of Koussana village
266 15 30.700 -5 35.000 Exit of Medala village
284 15 33.100 -5 31.300 Fassale village. If exit formalities from Mauritania were not fulfilled in Nema, there are police and douane checkpoints in the village
296 15 31.360 -5 29.650 Exit of Douamkara village. Piste heads NE over floodplain
305 15 33.030 -5 24.410 Mali border post after Faita village
322 15 35.700 -5 17.300 Alfess well at left
337 15 39.200 -5 10.400 Exit of Boundoubadi village. Hard and fast piste
360 15 43.600 -4 59.000 Small village. Well at left
309 15 42.600 -4 54.600 Lere. Douane and police checkpoint
427 15 44.600 -4 32.200 Passage through dam wall
443 15 46.950 -4 25.320 Passage through dam wall
450 15 48.230 -4 21.980 Passage through dam wall
461 15 50.940 -4 17.530 Passage through dam wall
482 15 54.360 -4 8.380 Passage through dam wall
498 15 55.500 -4 0.000 Exit of Niafunke. Fast piste
509 15 57.700 -3 55.430 Passage through dam wall
543 16 8.000 -3 45.200 After crossing the river turn left at Douane checkpoint and follow pre-paved road
667 16 46.520 -3 0.730 Tombouctou


The above coordinates are as follows:

1st column: km
2nd column: latitude degrees
3rd column: latitude minutes
4th column: longitude degress
5th column: longitude minutes
6th column: description of waypoint

If anyone else has further / similar info or took a different route it would be much appreciated.
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  #6  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Thanks for the co-ords - very useful

We (2 Troupies) will be in Mauretania about the end of Dec - heading for the Festival.

We plan to go via Atar - Tidjikja and then Nema via Chris Scott's R11.

We might have had enough of desert crossings by then so there remains the option of going to Bamako for refuelling and restocking of provisions.

One problem with the Nema - Tombouctou route is that we would have to purchase supplies (food / fuel etc) in Mauretania. As we are thinking of going on to Gao via the north shore of the Niger after the festival, we might prefer to reprovision in Bamako.

Either way you would be welcome to travel with us - we might be able to easy your burden somewhat re fuel and gear etc.

cheers

john
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  #7  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
I

If anyone else has further / similar info or took a different route it would be much appreciated.

The most useful waypoints to note are for the villages enroute. On the ground you will find a multitude of tracks and you can get there any number of different ways. Trying to tick off a waypoint list could start to work against you. Ask directions - everyone recognises the name of the next village and knows where it is.

In terms of security, well it is border country. Sometimes you sniff that tensions are a little higher than elsewhere - it's unusual in Mauri/Mali to see children running away from the sound of an engine for instance. But, 3 times crossing this area we have not had any problems or dramas.
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Thank you Richard

I am aware that your company does this trip occasionally.

I was hoping you might respond

Where do you reprovision for your bikers when doing this route?

What is Nema like for supplies?

Cheers

John
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2008
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Hi John, there is a decent market, diesel, petrol, welders and a bank in Nema. Heading village-to-village in Mali you can pick up water, fuel, basic groceries and fresh veg without too much problem.
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  #10  
Old 8 Nov 2008
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Hi

I made this route about a year ago (when the french couple was murdered – I was in Bassikounou - and the Dakar rally was cancelled) and I did not have any problems concerning security. I used exacly those waypoints as a reference.
I was solo on a bmw 650gs and no problems at all. It took me 4 days.

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.

It’s not a very sandy piste. I took 15 liters extra fuel and 12 liters of water. Once you get to Mali you can buy ‘essence’ in every little vilage (1 liter bottles).

The gps reading was:
654kms
total time: 24h
stop time: 8h30
mov. av.:42km/h
av: 27km/h

Hope this helps.

Here
you can have an idea of the journey. Sorry it’s in portuguese!!


Cheers
Paulo
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  #11  
Old 9 Nov 2008
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Hi, to those that have done it, did you see any bush taxis on the route? I'll probably head from Nema to Bamako, as there's definitely buses along that roas, but it may save me a lot of time if I can go a more direct route.

Cheers

Joe
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  #12  
Old 17 Nov 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe without Landy View Post
Hi, to those that have done it, did you see any bush taxis on the route? I'll probably head from Nema to Bamako, as there's definitely buses along that roas, but it may save me a lot of time if I can go a more direct route.

Cheers

Joe
Joe
If you are looking for lifts to Bamako, consider getting to and heading south from Ayoun El Atrous. Nema is a 'dead end' -
Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I do not believe there is a road from Nema to Bamako-

You should be able to thumb lifts on the new tarmac road to Bamako or pay your way there- Loads of trucks and some buses.
From Bamako to Mopti where you can hop onto a pinasse on the Niger to the harbour of Korioume then about 15 Kms by road to Tombouctou.
OR
by road from Bamako to Douentza and try to hitch a lift at the entrance of the piste to the sandy beach where the flat boat ferry operates from accross a short Niger crossing to Korioume which is at N16.66276 W3.02430.
You will find a lot of overlanders with 4x4's and other means at the Camp Chez Jerome in Douentza (N15.00890 W2.94594)
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  #13  
Old 20 Dec 2008
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Tuareg rebels kill 14 soldiers in Mali attack

Bad news in this area -

Tuareg rebels kill 14 soldiers in Mali attack - The Irish Times - Sat, Dec 20, 2008
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  #14  
Old 20 Dec 2008
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Seems a bit of a long or daring reach for Tuareg rebels, to me.

Ch
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  #15  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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alternative routes to this one?

We're currently in Nouakchott, probably heading to mali tomorrow. Originally we were thinking about taking the nema tombouctou piste, but a mechanic here strongly advised us not to take the route

he recommended nema or ayoun, nioro, nara tombouctou as an alternative route that's supposed to be safe

any thoughts on that?
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