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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 11 Dec 2001
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Sahara for first-timer

My girlfriend and I have just a few hundred miles of offroad experience. The plan is to get some training in Morocco, ride through all the pistes (M1-M6) listed in the book, come back to France and then head for the Big Trip across the Sahara: Tunisia, Hassi Messaoud, HbG, Djanet, Tamanrasset, Arlit, Agadez...

Does it sound sensible or do you - the Sahara veterans - think that we are going to bite more than we can chew? How does Morocco compare with southern Algeria, is it another order of magnitude? What would be a good preparation then?

We would really love to see the Hoggar and the Tassili instead of following the Atlantic route.
Pierre Saslawsky
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Old 11 Dec 2001
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Hi Pierresas
I have just driven most of Chris Scott's pistes in Morocco (late November 01) and some were definitely more demanding than those in Southern Algeria.
Wadi Ziz, SW of Taous, was a sea of flood debris, soft sand, holes, ruts, rocks and boulders. Wonderful fun!
In a nutshell, Morocco offers as much variety of driving skills as you will need - its just the quantity that differs.
The Hoggar - Tassili route is much more scenic than the Atlantic route, but both offer interest and variety.
I shall be putting up some detailed notes on Morocco on my website in a week or two when the dust has settled. Keep in contact...
Bon Route


Kitmax - Traveller
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homepage <A HREF="http://www.kitmax.com
" TARGET=_blank>http://www.kitmax.com
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Old 12 Dec 2001
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I recommend Morocco as a first trip more because it is psychologically and techicnally easier than Algeria and cheaper to get to, although as Kitmax found, floods off the Atlas can make pistes challenging - rarely a problem in Alg.
For Maroc no visa, less culture shock (also more hassle), short piste distances, easier to get home. But going straight into Tunisia and Algeria wont freak you out too much - Tunisia is an easy intro. Algerians are at least as friendly as the Moroccans and no hassle at all. You can drive to Djanet all the way on tarmac (1500km), exploring off road if you like, meet others in town and do the piste to Tam and then on Niger, again with others.
Jump in the deep end - it will be a great adventure.
Morocco is great but it is not the real Sahara - and the Atlantic Route is relatively unsatisfying

Chris S
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