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

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  #1  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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Nouadhibou/Nouakchott & Atar/Tidjikja

I am considering a trip from Lisbon to Timbuktu at the end of the year.
Among other doubts and questions I have this 2.

Is there Tarmac all the way from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott?

The piste Atar –Tidjikja is it doable the other way around?
From Tidjikja to Atar?
Is it easy to find guides or other travellers in Tidjikja ready to do it from south to north?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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Hi,

Why go to Nouadhibou?

There's tarmac all the way from the border to Nouackchott.

I think the piste Atar - Tidjikja can bem made both ways. Have done it in the "classic" way, i.e. north to south, and cant see why not. There is no need for a guide if you have a GPS unit and some info, but you can find guides. In fact every local will claim to be a guide even if he has never done the piste himself ;-)
In the winter it will be easier to find other travellers going your way.
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  #3  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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Just to add that i'm doing it on a BMW650gs and without to much sand experience...
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  #4  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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I've also done Atar-Tidijka the traditional north-south route. I can't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to do this from Tidijka towards Atar, although I suspect there will be less travellers going this way, so it may be harder to find someone to accompany you. In Atar you should be able to find someone in Auberge Bab Sahara who is heading to Tidijka if you hang around long enough.

Agree: on the point about not needing a guide provided you are travelling with someone else and have a GPS.

I would suggest that you get some sand practice first on the easier piste from NDB to Atar / Choum before you attempt this piste, as this piste will otherwise be very hard work for a first time sand rider carrying extra fuel.

cheers
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  #5  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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Tidjika - Atar

When we did this route north - south, there were about 6 car coming from the opposite way! They were doing well. There is only one long sloping dune (south north) which might be a bit tough but not more than that! Guide not needed but would not recommend to do it all by your self !

Cheers,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #6  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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I've driven this in both directions, and as already said, things balance out to about the same difficulty level – it's just tricky in different places!

If you go North, heading directly through the dunes and along the wadi to the ancient minaret at Chinguetti makes for a genuinely soulful Saharan arrival - at least until the cheche sellers get their claws in.

More fun than Atar and there is normally fuel.

Just as Matt says, if you're carrying your own logistics and are not practised in sand, you will struggle.
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  #7  
Old 6 Jul 2007
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8340SU View Post
Just to add that i'm doing it on a BMW650gs and without to much sand experience...
I'm sorry to say so, but I don't think that these are the best premises. The "problem" with Tidjikja-Atar is the mix of rocky terrain and soft sand. Because of the rocky sections, you can't lower tire pressure to an adequate sand level. This makes the sandy sections more difficult than usually. In a German forum I postet some pictures: Das Motorrad-Reise-Forum :: Thema anzeigen - Routen mit dem Motorrad möglich?
(scroll down a little bit to "Tidjikja - Atar")


Here's another picture of the rocky/sandy mix:

You come flying over a little dune an suddenly find yourself "on the rocks"

Cheers
Theo
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  #8  
Old 15 Jul 2007
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Mauritania -> Timbucto

Hi,

possibly going some of the same way.. this is my plan so far ...

I'm hopefully going Paris -> Dakar September to November 17th, and then

I am hoping to be helping a cycle trip out again (last time drove the suport truck) and it is all tarmac apart from about 60km in senegal and the short few km between morroco and mauritania.

After that i hope that i will be sand confident and ready for Dakar -> Timbuctoo -> Algeria- Cairo leaving dakar a day or so after November 17th

BMW F650 GS Dakar.

Andrew
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  #9  
Old 21 Jul 2007
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Hi,

>you can't lower tire pressure to an adequate sand level.

From the perspective of a motor bike pilot this is correct, you will have to drive faster in sand, with higher tyre preassure.

On a 4x4 it is different, rocky ground does not require high tyre pressure. Tyres even becom more vulnerable to cuts using higher preasure ( try out with an inflated baloon and a knife). It is possible to drive with lower pressure on rocky ground, provided that you drive slowly ( < 30 km/h), and have tyres matching the car weight. Pass over steps very slowly. Use tyres with high sidewalls and don't go below about 1.2 bar for mixed terain. The pressure is only a rough figure, it depends on the tyre size and load on the axle.
255/85 R16 with a 4x4 of about 2.7to max is a good match - the lighter, the better.
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  #10  
Old 3 Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akentigernfox View Post
Hi,

possibly going some of the same way.. this is my plan so far ...

I'm hopefully going Paris -> Dakar September to November 17th,
(...)
After that i hope that i will be sand confident and ready for Dakar -> Timbuctoo -> Algeria- Cairo leaving dakar a day or so after November 17th

BMW F650 GS Dakar.

Andrew
Check my new post...
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-741-map-28570

Don't have a departure date,
but keep in touch.
...Timbuctu is in our way
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