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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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  #1  
Old 27 Oct 2005
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Tanger-Dakar by Vespa... Itinerary?

Hi, I am looking into the possabilities of travelling from Tanger, Marocco to Dakar, Senegal on a two stroke 200 cc Vespa with 10" wheels. I've done a bit of research and found that technically this is very much possible, but could I do it in 3 weeks? I have no problems with long days, 6-10 hours, and more on occation...

I'd like to tour Africa bit by bit, and figured starting out in Marocco would be a nice test run. Time is an issue for me, hence I cannot travel continuosly for more than 3-5 weeks before having to return home. It is therefore important that the beginning and end of each leg i do allows for both me and my scooter being shipped out quite easily. Also, for the same reasons, it is important to me that I wouldn't have to cover the same ground on different legs. Also, I don't know why, but it is important to me that each leg is connected. In other words, the next time I return to Africa, I would want to ship my scooter in and continue exactly where I left off (preferably by air).

My main objective is to get from Marocco to South Africa. Having said that, there are a few things I would like to have on my Itinerary, one of them is the Atlas Mountains. This is not really a must as returning to Morocco for the Atlas Mountains could be done in the spare of the moment.

Now, knowing my objectives, do any of you have any comments on my leg from Marocco to Dakar? Can it be done in 3 weeks or should I divide the leg in two? If the latter, where should the first leg end? Also, any suggestions for my itinerary, knowing I only have 3 weeks and that I'd like to squuese in the Atlases if possible? Any suggestions as for where to cross the borders?

Actually, I'll probably have close to 4 weeks, but I'd like to plan for three, just in case. If I have more, then I might slow things down or decide to go further.

A friend told me to calculate 200 km travel distance per day in North Africa. If it is indeed only 3000 km from Tanger to Dakar, then this would imply 15 days. Any comments?

Any comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I know that in most peoples opinion, Africa should not be rushed but taken in slowly. Well, we are all different. Lingering in one place more than absoluteley necessary makes worms crawl up my butt and eating me from the inside out. I am cursed and have to keep moving...

I am also looking into a trip from Cape Town to Mombasa (different thread). I can't decide which one to do first, but I think Morocco to SA.
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Old 28 Oct 2005
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Everything is possible, but:
1. decide what you realy want
2. buy serios bike and leave vespa for town
3. for itinerery consult the map

milan
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  #3  
Old 28 Oct 2005
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Tanger - Dakar, that's all asfalt road (except about 900 m on the Maroc/Mauritanian border). So no problem to do it with your Vespa as long as you organise it well.

Good luck,
Hans KLopper
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  #4  
Old 28 Oct 2005
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there was a guy on here a few months ago, here is a link to his trip blog.
http://africanmoped.over-blog.com/
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  #5  
Old 29 Oct 2005
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Yeah!!!! That's me!!!

No problem on a vespa for sure, moped was "enough", and keep in mind that some people do it on a bicycle!

I could cover around 200 km maximum on a nice road (full day driving, no idea how many hours...but a lot!) but that was quiet tiring for sure. Anyway, still nice being welcomed thanks to the tiny bike. People really liked it!

For your quesion, 3 weeks is short for such a distance, it took me at least twice more for the same strech, including south morrocoo on truck... Of course it will depends on your speed. Western sahara is pretty flat and boring at slow speed... but nice for experience! straight straight straight !!!

If you can focus a little bit more, I'll be glad to help you!
vince
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Old 29 Oct 2005
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chez_vince RESPECT!

I've read your blog, GREAT!!! Ones wheels are an important part of the adventure, and I applaud your choice.

My scooter is a 200 cc and is much faster than your moped. Still, 200 km a day seems right. If I only averaged 33 km/h, took a 10 min brake every hour and a one hour brake mid-day, I would be able to travel 200 km's a day...

I'll probably ask a lot more detailed questions in due time, but right now I am in the general planning face.

There are some direct questions I would like to have answered.

1) How much travel time did it take you to get from Dakar to Tanger?

2) What is the distance you travelled from Dakar to Tanger?

And a direct question to everybody else:

3) How long in kilometers/miles is the fastest route from Tanger to Dakar? Is it really only 3000?

4) How much time would it take to travel this route, not stopping over for anything but sleep, rest, food, shit and shine?

If I knew the answer to these questions, then I would better be able to know wheter I should make my first leg shorter, or if I indeed would have more time to cram in some stay overs and excurtions, or if I could make my leg longer.

To me, 3000 kilometers, if that is indeed the distance, in two weeks time, on mostly paved roads, seem like more than adequate time. Yet I wouldn't know as I have never done something like this before, nor do I know if the distance I talk of here is factual. Nor do I know how many extra days I need to put in due to border crossings and related paperwork, etc (hours or days?).

Agian, I greatly appreciate any input of any kind.

[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 29 October 2005).]
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Old 29 Oct 2005
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I've done Tangier - St Louis (almost Dakar) and if your scooter can do 55mph (85 kmh) which I seem to remember you saying it can, you could do 300-400 kms a day easy.

Good luck crazy fella
Simon
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Old 30 Oct 2005
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I was doing avg of 140km per day on mountain bike this summer. Theres not much to do apart from ride, so you'll easily get 300kms done per day.
Also leave yourself enough time to enjoy st.louis. Great to endulge after the dessert.
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Old 30 Oct 2005
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Hye Wheelie,

To answer your questions:

1) How much travel time did it take you to get from Dakar to Tanger?

- about 6 weeks

2) What is the distance you travelled from Dakar to Tanger?

- according to my map, around 2900 km on my wheels plus 1200 on a truck


3) How long in kilometers/miles is the fastest route from Tanger to Dakar? Is it really only 3000?

-I think it'a little more...

4) How much time would it take to travel this route, not stopping over for anything but sleep, rest, food, shit and shine?

- depends on your bike and you. but riding is tiring there, quiet boring in western sahara, but of course nothing else to do. depends on break downs as well!

Anyway, there's not problem , you'll do it if you really want to, and you'll still have the possiblity in last resort to get a lift in a truck - very easy.

If you camel is faster than mine, (and probably more comfortable!) you'll be eable to ride much more than 200km a day. Some brits on honda mate 80cc did 400km in a single days

good luck
vince

http://africanmoped.over-blog.com
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