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Just back from Chad today - we did a science trip north of N'Djamena to Chicha on the western edge of the Djourab - some 100 km from Faya.
I spent some time speaking to a guide called Hessein about routes into Chad. The Libya-Zour-Faya piste is avoided by Chadians because of the multiple risks, including lots of ordinance. If having to use this piste, they tend to cut into the far NE corner of Niger instead of sticking to the main piste north into Libya.
The prefered piste from Libya to Chad goes from Kufra to Faya, about 1000 kms worth. Hessein mentioned that this piste is far safer and has been used by tourists before on excursions from Libya (he mentioned an Italian tour operator).
Gerbert van der Aa describes the Zour - Faya piste in sahara-overland.com S files. He mentioned lots of ordinance on the piste and having seen the quantity of stuff lying around the edge of the Djourab, that piste up north must be something to behold, making Gerbert's achievements even more extraordinary than I have considered them for the past few years.
I certainly wouldn't go into Chad from the NW. But I was tempted by what I heard about the Kufra piste.
I thank you very much for your info. I do not know anything about the Kufra to Faya route so I am going to look a bit into it to see if it is an alternative.
I wonder if there is any more info on this route out there!
On something else on your post: I trully do not understand your last sentence - "I certainly wouldn't go into Chad from the NW. But I was tempted by what I heard about the Kufra piste." Do you mean NE? If yes, why wouldn't you go into Chad from there? If you do mean NW, is what you heard from the Kufra piste (which I assume is NE) that bad that you are now tempted to go NW (which I assume is the Al Qatrun - Zour - Faya route)
I also wonder if there is any more info out there on the Algiers to Niger to Chad route or on the Marlboro route.
Again, thx to you, Richard, and to all others with add'l info (in advance.)
If you want to see some pictures - including unpexploded amunition - we took on our trip through North-Chad in 1999 (Wour-Faya) look at www.homepages.hetnet.nl/~torfinn Click on Africa and then on north-Chad. I think now this route is too dangerous, because of new mines (although with a good local Tubu guide, with good connections to the rebels that are controlling parts of this area, it should be possible).
[This message has been edited by gvdaa (edited 18 March 2005).]
"I certainly wouldn't go into Chad from the NW. But I was tempted by what I heard about the Kufra piste." Do you mean NE? If yes, why wouldn't you go into Chad from there? If you do mean NW, is what you heard from the Kufra piste (which I assume is NE) that bad that you are now tempted to go NW (which I assume is the Al Qatrun - Zour - Faya route)"
Quick clarification on what I meant by the NW and NE.
By NW I meant the piste from Al Gatran in Libya through Zouar to Faya.
By NE I meant the Kufra to Faya piste.
So I wouldn't do the Al Gatran-Zouar-Faya route at the moment, its too hot - too much military gear lying about, too many mines, too many rebels.
But the Kufra-Faya piste sounds OK - several lorries a week in winter months go through. Hessien's son runs a LC from Faya to Kufra and back. UN lorries have been using the Kufra piste to get stuff to Abeche and Dafur.
Meanwhile I don't know how Gerbert drove those 190s through the Djourab...
I would love to have seen the look on people's faces at Kouba when the 190s came out of the desert!
We had a guide, Haliki Kodimi. But we were shovelling a lot in the Djurab, maybe twenty times a day, or so. And we had a very long cord, to pull each other. After Kouba everything was fine.
Did you see our Landcruiser at the Novotel? We will probably collect it in october and do a trip through the north of Chad (and maybe from there to Libya - if we get transitvisa in Ndjamena (as some french did lately).
[This message has been edited by gvdaa (edited 18 March 2005).]
I thank you very much for the info. I am just about to give up on the Al Qatrun to Zouar to Faya route. As far as the NE route, I was under the impression that this piste was closed. I think I read somewhere, may be even here on this forum or on Sahara-Overland, that there were heavy fines to be paid both on the Libyan side and on the Chadian side, for going this way. I will keep on looking at this alternative so any info out there on it is greatly appreciated.
In addition, any info on the Algerian to Niger route or on the Marlboro piste from Libya to Niger and then down to Chad is gratly appreciated.
I also want to express my admiration for what you guys did! The more I read about it and the more pixs I see of it, the more I realize what a great did you guys managed to pull thru! Admirable!
To everyone else out there, I am still looking for more fresh info on the Al Khofra, Libya to Faya, Chad route, on the Marlboro route (Al Katrun & Tajarhi, Libya to Madama, Bilma, & Agadez, Niger), and on the Algeria to Niger to Chad route.
BRgds to all,
[This message has been edited by JSerpa (edited 18 March 2005).]
I agree with Chris, your best bet would be to do the Marlboro route and then head to Zinder and Lac Chad. This would be less risky, but certainly less scenically interesting.
By the way, Mohammed Tager of the Wadi Alhikma agency at Al Katrun (runs a camping ground in the old Italian fort in a small hill opposite to the police headquarters) arranges guides in your car (800LD) or in another car (1200LD) to Chad. He also organizes the paperwork efficiently for leaving Libya (passports: 10LD / car: 5LD).
You could use his help to pass directly from Libya to Chad.
I thank you very much for your advice. Indeed it looks like Algeria is not such a hot choice these days. & by the way, I would very much like to congratulate you on such a great site. The information that I have been able to pick up here has been absolutely great. I am now looking forward to receiving your book (already ordered!)
I read your stuff on the site re. the Marlboro route. Again, great info, great help. It looks like this is now my strongest choice. By the way, I was hoping that I would be able to contact you soon. In addition to our interest in the Sahara, we have something else in common â€“ we are both from Portugal (Estoril, and prior to that, Mozambique). I am planning to be back in Portugal by next July. I would like to talk to you then about all this. I suggest that we stay in touch. If that is OK with you, pls send me a message directly to my e-mail address.
To everyone else, if there is any addâ€™l recent info on the Marlboro route, pls do let it be me known (either here on this thread or on the thread Recent info on the Marlboro route.)
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