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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 26 Feb 2008
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Trip to Timbuktu starting March 2, 2008

Any information especially about the track Néma - Oualata - Tichit - Atar. Our website: Welfaredaddy
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  #2  
Old 27 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxi View Post
Any information especially about the track Néma - Oualata - Tichit - Atar. Our website: Welfaredaddy
I'm doing a similar route by bike leaving UK on 10th March... we could link up for the more challenging sections?
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  #3  
Old 27 Feb 2008
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I'm doing a similar route by bike leaving UK on 10th March... we could link up for the more challenging sections?
Also following the route in part (on GS), but heading for Senegal. Will be leaving Marrakech March 28th., a little behind the both of you.

Safe & happy travels.

Mike
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  #4  
Old 28 Feb 2008
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RIM section

All,

Looks like I am a bit in front of you. In Ouarzazate, Morocco at the moment on a KTM 640.

Should be in RIM end of next week and then planning on doing Noudhibou to Atar to Tidjika to Tichit to Oualata to Nema. All the points for these are covered in Sahara Overland.

Jose Brito has also previously posted on the HUBB the points from the track Nema to Timbuktu.

Send me a PM if you are interested in joining up for any part of the route.

cheers
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  #5  
Old 2 Mar 2008
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Hi,
Whats your plans for getting from Nema to Timbuktu.

Thanks

Graham
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  #6  
Old 3 Mar 2008
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(atar - chinguetti - tidjikja - oualatat - tichitt - nema - timbuktu)

The Beast of Burden team took this route last month. I'm working on pics and a write-up which should be up on our site on Wednesday.

in the meantime here's some pointers:

* Don't rely on hookups – this year we saw only one other tourist vehicle between Atar and Timbuctu. Security fears have had an impact.

* Between Ching and Tidj there has been a lot of dune movement, even since last year

* Although most route descriptions state there is no distinct piste between Aratane and Oualata, we found good, well-marked tracks the whole way.

* Between Tidj and Nema in general, stick to the piste like glue or your progress will be difficult. The IGN maps are useful to have

* Diesel was available in drums at Tichitt and Oualata. No petrol, but if you have time and money I'm sure something could be arranged.

* Register with the Gendarmarie in Tichitt - they're friendly (ask for a game of petanque!) and perhaps your best chance of help if things go wrong.

* If entering Mali SE of Nema, (via one of the so-called 'smuggler' routes) try and go through all douane and police procedures at the border (Lere) rather than hoping to do this at Timbuctu. In Mali the Douane are entrepreneurs and missing papers will cause you problems or cost you ££.

It's a wonderful route, a real epic, but not to be taken lightly for single vehicles or heavy bikes.

Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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safe Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic View Post
Also following the route in part (on GS), but heading for Senegal. Will be leaving Marrakech March 28th., a little behind the both of you.

Safe & happy travels.

Mike
Hi Mike,
will be in The Gambia to pick my GS up on April 23rd and will be heading slowly back towards Spain..with no particular route in mind..whats your destination after dakar??
Cheers Tom
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  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Hi Tim

Well apart from a departure date from Marra (March 28th), have no strict time plan. Heading down the Atlantic route into Senegal - then into Gambia - and sloooooooowly back up again. Plan to try to see some different parts of Morocco not yet visited on the return leg.
I'll PM you my mobile number ...... perhaps you like to text me when you're down there, with a view to meeting up if timing permits?

Mike

PS Curious to know what your GS is doing in the Gambia!
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  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Tom, Tim, Tom, Tim ...........yet another senior moment!

My apologies TOM!

M.
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  #10  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Hi Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic View Post
Hi Tim

Well apart from a departure date from Marra (March 28th), have no strict time plan. Heading down the Atlantic route into Senegal - then into Gambia - and sloooooooowly back up again. Plan to try to see some different parts of Morocco not yet visited on the return leg.
I'll PM you my mobile number ...... perhaps you like to text me when you're down there, with a view to meeting up if timing permits?

Mike

PS Curious to know what your GS is doing in the Gambia!
Yeah i know..its a bit of an odd place to rest my Gs..but the story goes like this..Was on the portsmouth/bilbao ferry last november and met Orrin a south african lad on a honda XL600...headed for his home country....And..after helping him with his final preparations at my house in spain...waved him goodbye and wished him well...but like things work out sometimes...coz we were in touch by text...decided off the cuff a couple of weeks later to go meet him in Marakesh and ride along with him for a bit..anyway yeah we had a cracking time...and split up in northen Senegal..me heading the Gambia and him heading to Timbuktu...My problem was that i needed to be in the UK for xmas to meet up with my daughter and at that time i had only 2 weeks remaining so..rather than rushing straight back up through the Western sahara..basically backtracking..id put the bike there in storage and return when i had more time to enjoy the return journey...yeah thats about it really...have a safe trip Mike..and if you need any info on the atlantic trip just let me know mate....
Cheers Tom
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  #11  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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and if you need any info on the atlantic trip just let me know mate....
Cheers Tom
My curiosity is satisfied! Hope you have a safe and enjoyable ride back Tom ....... who knows might bump into you on the road.

Thanks Mike

BTW ..... any tips to pass on regarding smooth and painless border crossings? specifically the extraction of 'cadeaux' by officials!
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  #12  
Old 17 Mar 2008
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Hi Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic View Post
My curiosity is satisfied! Hope you have a safe and enjoyable ride back Tom ....... who knows might bump into you on the road.

Thanks Mike

BTW ..... any tips to pass on regarding smooth and painless border crossings? specifically the extraction of 'cadeaux' by officials!
Yeah Mike i have a few tips...especially regarding the crossings in and out of Mauritania..just need to dig out my diary ok..will get back to you later in the week mate..
cheers Tom
P.S. best stock up on five and ten euro notes and multiple copies of your passport!!
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  #13  
Old 18 Mar 2008
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Position Nouakchott

Hi everybody,
After exchanging a broken gearbox in Southern Spain Yuri and I are in Nouakchott. Teaming up is going to be really hard, since Internet not easily available and there are hardly any foreigners in Mauritania at the moment. Yesterday I checked the beach at the Capital and counted 5 tourists....

From the guide Sahara Overland we tried to travel route R2 along the railway to Choum Atar. Locals strongly recommended us not to travel alone with a single and old Lada vehicle. We followed their advise, needless to say.

We are heading from NKC to Kifa, Ayoun, Nema and Timbuktu.
Good luck to all of you!
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  #14  
Old 18 Mar 2008
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Maxi,

It is a pity you didnt do the Nouadhibou - Atar piste as although it it is not scenically stunning, it is still a nice ride. I did the piste a few days ago, and noticed that it was a bit sandier than last time I crossed it. Recent sand storms have also blown over a lot of the tracks in the barkane fields, particularly around 150kms before Choum, but navigation via the railway tracks is still very easy.

I am in Atar at the moment. There are still quite a few tourists in RIM at the moment, although the charter flights from France are due to close down at the end of the month for the summer break.

The heroes legends rally is also crossing mauritania at the moment, so you will find a lot of motorbikes around for the next couple of days!

Good luck with the rest of your trip
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  #15  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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Hi Mike(mystic)

The Mauritanian border is the worst..both with western sahara and senegal...like i say you`ll need 5 and 10 euro notes..you pay 10 euros to all,customs..border guards and police..its possible to negotiate if you speak good french..otherwise..its best to just be patient and pay up..we waited 3.5 hours at the border entering mauritania near nouadihibou..all ok just watch the soft sand in no mans land between the customs posts..youlll easily get stuck if you follow the normal route its terrible..there are other routes through but be carefull coz apparently it was mined and a cyclist got blown up taking a short cut..Well thats the story...i just followed a local car through and was ok....Now then..as to entering Senegal..I advise you to avoid the Rosso border at all costs..there are police marching around doing their best to screw any foreigners they find out of as much as possible..and i know i spent half a day being intimidated and marched around by a young buck policeman in dark shades..its not pleasant at Rossi mate... i would have like to have met that cop out on the dirt i tell you..but anyway..the other border is near to Rosso ..but not as near as the map says..it looks like 60 km or so on the map but its more like 160 km..its dirt track but ok..an old railway track way i think...The track to the St Louis crossing starts just as you aproach Rosso..just after the first petrol station..and bfore you get into the village of Rosso proper..maybe a few hundred yards from the gas station..theres something like a small army garrison on the corner where the track starts..its on your right and just a dirt track no sign...get the Gps cordinates from someone if you have one....avoid Rosso at all costs..the rest is quite easy good luck mate ..safe riding ok Tom
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