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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 18 Oct 2004
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route between taouz and mhamid?

Hoping for a bit of guidance here! This will be a first time trip to morocco for me, and would like to ask about a piste between these two places in southern morocco? is this a viable route for beginners with very little sand experience? i will be travelling in a disco and probably alone. any info will be a great help. thanks in advance, nick.
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Old 18 Oct 2004
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I have done this route in both directions in april 2003 and may 2004. It's one of the best in Morocco definitely. There is nothing particularly challenging driving-wise except for some small soft dunes about 4 feet high possibly combined with muddy wadis which may increase your stress levels and throw you off course. They go on for 6km or so half way along the route, which is quite a long one for Morocco, incidentally.

Your biggest challenge will be navigation, so you would be well served by getting yourself a GPS, preferably not a handheld with a small screen, if you haven't already got one, and following the waypoints en route.

People who know this route may say that you can drive it un-aided, but I would advise any beginner, if that's what you are, to at least travel with another car, and use either a gps OR hire a guide. You will also need suitable tyres in good condition, and spare water (about 7 litres per person per day including washing/cooking). You can track down a guide or maybe another hopefeully experienced car to travel with at one of the many auberges that line the western edge of the Erg Chebbi near Merzouga.

If you want gps waypoints, they are in Chris Scott's book for this route (at least the section from Merzouga to Tagounite, which means that from Tag to M'Hamid you'll have to drive on the blacktop if you follow the book route).

You can as I'm sure you are aware go all the way to M'Hamid by piste. I'll be doing this and other routes in the area probably in march next.

Incidentally I found that daytime temperatues in apr/may were up to 39 edg C, but nights can be chilly.

Hope this helps, email me if you want,

Andrew.

[This message has been edited by Andrew Baker (edited 18 October 2004).]
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Old 18 Oct 2004
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hello out there,

this is probably the most interesting desert area in morocco. there are a lot of variations and detours possible. with a good map and compass you can find directions fairly easy - as a beginner you do better using gps (i can give you some coordinates - if you need). i did it without compass and coordinates, using only satellite pictures and the sun.
with a motorbike i would strongly recommend some off-road-expierience and company. going in a car you should be fine. the worst stretch is a 6km oued crosing (described above), horrible for motorcycles!
if you go alone, take enough water. there's very little traffic and people in the central parts. make sure to know positions of the nearby villages (which - in fact - are never far away).

good luck to everyone
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Old 18 Oct 2004
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We did the Merzouga - Tagounite stretch in november 2003. It was also our first desert piste.
For navigation we used a compass and Chris's description in his book and had no problems.
You'll find bottled water in Ouzina, Remlia, Tafraoute, Tagounite (Lac Maider) and the military forts. The villages also have a little shop.
The oued crossing is close to Remlia, so you could find help there (like we did).
In general it's all not too hard, but i wouldn't do it alone for a first time...
On driving your disco i can't really help because we were on bicycles. You can see some pictures of the piste on my website.

Cheers,
Rafke

http://users.pandora.be/django
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Old 18 Oct 2004
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sorry, the village at Lac Maider is Tafraoute, not Tagounite...

cheers,
Rafke
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  #6  
Old 20 Oct 2004
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Hi,
I would be interested in getting these coordinates, too. You can send them to sigrun.bocksch@gmx.de
Many thanks,
Magali

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Old 20 Oct 2004
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hello out there,

to spare me the search for old coordinates, i suggest you take a look at a homepage from a spanish guy named nestor. his website is quite good and covers a lot of routes in morocco in detail (coordinates, description, photos). you can find the taouz to tagounite (mhamid) route here. if you prefer an english version, i did it for you - too: here!

good luck to everyone

[This message has been edited by desert soul (edited 20 October 2004).]

[This message has been edited by desert soul (edited 20 October 2004).]
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  #8  
Old 3 Nov 2004
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Thanks everyone for all your replys, they have been great to read, and inspire me.
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