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Old 17 Feb 2008
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I am planning to try to travel to Taoudenni late October/early November '08 by camel-caravan as described in the book. I read somewhere that the route is now closed to tourists beyond Araouane. Does anyone have information pertaining to this? Also if my plans turn out to be impossible what should I do to kill 7 weeeks? Perhaps in such case I should head to Niger and try for the Bilma route? Thank you.

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Old 17 Feb 2008
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I was in Arouane 3 weeks ago by car. There is no military on the road from Timbouctou or in Arouane, and no real piste to follow north, so I dont see how they can prevent you from going. But I never travelled north of Arouane so I can not say for sure.....
Here's an e-mailadress to a very nice and helpful tour organizer in Timbouctou that you might contact for information, he's from Arouane. moussa_nomade@yahoo.fr

If you write him greet from Marcus and Shifteh.

Good luck
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Old 27 Feb 2008
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Where did you read..........

..........that the route is closed? I travelled by camel from Timbuktu to Taoudenni and back in November 2007, and it was not closed then, but had not heard that it had been closed since then. (A visit to the Chief of Police in Timbuctu did not hint at a suggestion that the route is closed.) Another area to go to could be Lac Faguibine to the west of Timbuktu which could be worth 2 weeks or more by camel -but I have not been that way yet.

I also travelled from Bilma to Agadez in January 2006, but I understand that due to the Tuareg rebellion, that it was very unlikely that it would have been possible to travel that way in the period oct 07-jan 08. (I hope the troubles are sorted out and that travellers can go that way soon.)
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Old 21 Mar 2008
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Taoudenni To Tassalit by camel

Thank you for the information. I that forgot I had posted - I appologise. I was also wondering if anyone knew the possibility of traveling from Taoudenni to the Essouk festival via Tessalit with camels and guide. Thank you again.
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Old 23 Mar 2008
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I have not been by camel to Tessalit

If you plan to start your trip in Tombouctou, you can probably find a guide who will take you, as long as you agree on the price. Many of the guides know the desert very well, and as long as it is clear to them what you want to do, and you arrange a contract, then it may be possible. I doubt that you will be able to make arrangements to START in Taoudenni though.

I recommend that if you want to find a guide, that you ask for Hamada at the Hotel Bouctou in Tombouctou. (He lives nearby.) Hamada is not a desert guide, but knows of guides who can take you to the desert, and speaks English and French as well as the local languages. Your guide is unlikely to be able to speak English -but may (or may not) know a little French.

The only way to really find out, is to go to Tombouctou and try, but nothing is certain and there is always risk.........

good luck

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Old 27 Mar 2008
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Thank you both for the information and contacts. i look forward to the adventure.
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