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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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Old 10 Dec 2002
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Piste route from Nouadhibou to Noakchott

I'm in a VW camper in NOuadhibou trying to make my way to Noakchott or Choum. There seem to be 3 routes heading south and the train details are imprecise at best.
Any advice for a desperate overladden 2wd camper driver?

The piste from Morocco to Nouadhibou was OK only got stuck 3 times........
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Old 10 Dec 2002
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Almost all you need to know its here: http://www.sahara-overland.com/routes/atlantic.html

Good luck
Desert Crocodiles of Mauritania: http://cibio.up.pt/crocodilos/en
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Old 10 Dec 2002
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We went through the park then down the beach from noulanger, leaving again about 40kms from nouachott on the truck route. You will probably get stuck lots of times but its certainly possible. Make sure you have some boards with you of some sort to put under the wheels. Don't let the tyres down excessively. Whilst this does help on the sand, if you let them down to far they will come of the rim or can blow out. Saw a transit van in the parc when we went down marooned whilst one of the occupants went for more wheels as the guide had insisted on the tyre pressure being very low and damaged all the tyres. Take plenty of water and food and see if you can team up with a 4x4. You'll get through, just be prepared to spend some time doing it. Keep your cool and keep it steady. Saw a overland truck take 14 days to go through but then wasn't a particularly good piece of driving. Have fun. Excellent camping out there.
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Old 11 Dec 2002
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There are only two routes going south, the truck route and the "car" route. DO NOT take the truck route, it is really shit. Try to team up with some other 2WD people (even better a 4WD), ask around the other campsites about who is going south.

If the car rteally is too low then take the train, the next one should be on Saturday, the one after that on Monday.

Go to the train station right now and make a reservation. You may have to wait a week or more at this time of year. There is a lot of chaos as the people building the road have absolute priority on getting on first.

If you do attempt the desert take AT LEAST two complete spare wheels and a GOOD pump. Be prepared to let the tyres down and pump them up after short stretches.

If the van is overloaded and underpowered then consider seriously selling your gear. You will be putting the clutch under a lot of stress if you continually get stuck.

Think seriously about what you are about to attempt, the car goes under a lot more stress than you can imagine, it may not make it and it may be better to wait for the train.
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Old 11 Dec 2002
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What you don't say is which generation of VW; the rounded ones have enormous ground clearance and beach buggy suspension, the flying brick rear engined type 25 is virtually indestructible. The newer fwd can get stuck on with only one wheel off the tar when laden. I went dune bashing in Namib/SWAf in a hideously overloaded aircooled type 25 a while back great fun. If you only got stuck 3 times getting to NDB you're a better driver than some 4x4 owners. Go for it! Wait till the tide's out, take some boards and don't go too near the bus. Let us know how you get on.
happy trails
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Old 11 Dec 2002
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I have the square VW - 1980 air cooled engine. Not quite as hardy as its predecessor but a lot more comfy and plush. I have also platted the fuel tank , a big design flaw on this model.

I have met a French couple with a Mercedes van and a 4x4. They have done the route 5 times and will now do it on GPS co-ordinates they have collected. There are three routes with rough distances:
Truck 600km, no idea
2wd 550km - 2 days
4wd 450km - has been done in a day with a 6 am start from Noadibou
The local guides are asking 200EUr for the journey with up to 5 cars!!!

Cheers for the advice
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Old 12 Dec 2002
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Guides aren't great from an driving perspective. Good for navigation but some don't seem to understand driving difficulties (if they had vehicles they probably woundn't be guiding). Our guide kept trying to get an overland truck in our group to drive straight over dunes rather than round them where the other tyre tracks went. hence truck got bogged. Another guide kept getting the tyres lowered so much that three blew out and the transit van they were in was stranded.
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Old 25 Dec 2002
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Gidday Greenbug,

Im wondering how you went on the piste to NKT... Whereabouts are you know?

Meindert - dutch biker you met @ abba / NDB
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