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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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  #1  
Old 23 Jan 2011
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What now?

Hey guys,

Being a westerner and never in Africa before, I am very naive. I thought that my Mastercard would work everywhere. Well, not in Mauritania it doesnt. Anyone knows a way to send money to myself here online. I dont even have enough money to go back to Morocco now.

Cheers,
Zoltan
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  #2  
Old 23 Jan 2011
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Look for a bank with a Western Union sign in it, you can normally wire money to the bank and get it out that way. I've checked on the WU site and there are a bunch in Nouakchott but probably all over the place.
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  #3  
Old 23 Jan 2011
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There was a bank swhere downtown Nouakchott (green logo if I'm right, cannot remember which French bank...) and they just fixed the brand new ATM machines 3 years ago. They said they'd start operating soon... well, maybe in African terms.

Alternatively, wait a couple of days for the Budapest-Bamako crowd (2 more days I think), they usually stay at the campsite by the beach (Sabha) and around. I know the organizers so if you ask someone at home to send money to their HU account I can ask them to give you the same amount in Euros.

PM me if you think so.
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  #4  
Old 23 Jan 2011
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I have had luck with VISA in WA but not much with Master Card.
In Burkina some banks even had big MC signs but the stopped taking it years ago.
Western Union is too darn expensive but the best way if you're on empty.
Lots of internet caf├ęs in Nkt now so you could have cash the same or next day.
PS - lots of faulty info in Lonely Planet guides about which cards are accepted, don't rely on it!
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  #5  
Old 23 Jan 2011
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Better not to count on ATM's from Layoone to Bamako on the Atlantic Route.
(Layoone I've paid with card in a hotel in 2007 - I remember so.)


g.
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  #6  
Old 24 Jan 2011
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banks in Mauritnaia

in Nouakchott, go to BNP Paribas, ask at any of the hotel/overland camps for this. in the centre, easy to get to etc - it's the green sign with white logo as described before.

our lastest west africa guide said we could get money here and was the only place in Mauritania

i was getting money from here every day to stock up with. And you card should work there

i did get money from also

there is one in Nouadhibou now, you can also try if you are there
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  #7  
Old 24 Jan 2011
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Thanks for the replies. I tried all the banks in NKT, they only work with Visa... on the upside there seems to be a lot of Visa atms around for anyone interested. I asked in all the banks and heard the same answer, Mastercard or Maestro is not accepted in the whole of Mauritania.

I couldnt wire money to myself online to Western Union, probably because they wanted USD instead of euros as a payment. In the end my father managed to change some money to USD and send it to me... cost an arm and leg but thats for being stupid and coming here without cash.

I am waiting for the Budapest-Bamako crowd alright, curious to see if they will have any problem on the Morocco-Mauri border. Should be a great craic when they get here Also, I will try to mix in with them and get into Senegal without a carnet, we shall see if it works.

Thanks again.
Zoltan
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  #8  
Old 24 Jan 2011
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but trying to cross a border without the correct paperwork by sneaking in with people that do have the correct paperwork may get the legitimate people in a lot of trouble............
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  #9  
Old 24 Jan 2011
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"curious to see if they will have any problem on the Morocco-Mauri border"
Don't think so.

They're at the beach in Banc d'Arguin national park I guess arriving to Nouakchott tomorrow quite early.
Usually no problems at the border - especially when everything's greased beforehand...

Being in Africa it's always easier to cross a border with a bigger crowd (~ 400 people). Ask for hints around the caravan (office) - probably in Sabha.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 24 Jan 2011
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Hihi nice story...dont forget they hardly sell petrol in mauretanie most of the stations onely have diesel...just in case you dont know...Border Marocco/Mauretania to Nouakchott ist a big distance LG, Tobi Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3
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  #11  
Old 27 Jan 2011
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Yeah, I knew about the petrol situation and I have a 10l jerrican with me. I avoided Senegal, came through Aioun in the end. The road was very bad in places, especially between Kiffa and Aioun but doable... even on a Suzuki Gs500. Now I am trying to sell the bike and my laptop or anything else that I can sell. Mastercard doesn't work in Mali either of course, and the prices here are crazy. Anyways, it's still a nice country... I just have to get money fast to enjoy it.
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  #12  
Old 27 Jan 2011
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Hi,

Well be carefull...dont sell the bike if its on carned or written in your passport, otherwise you cant leave the country again without it.

Have fun, Tobi
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  #13  
Old 27 Jan 2011
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I have a laissez passer, not a carnet. I know that in theory I can't sell the bike, not sure what the consequences would be if I did. It's not written in my passport but it was recorded by the douane that I imported it. I might get caught out and have to pay a customs fee in the end who knows... there is only one way to find out I guess. Or is it easier and better to sell in Burkina?
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  #14  
Old 27 Jan 2011
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"dont sell the bike if its on carned or written in your passport, otherwise you cant leave the country again without it."

Hm... I sold a car in Bamako 4 years ago and had some problems at the airport when leaving as they stamped the car details into my passport when entering. They stopped me at the very last checkpoint right before boarding.
I had to talk a bit and the plane was half an hour late for this but managed to leave when I made the guy understand that I'm not willing to pay him a penny (he was clearly after money)

I know 2 guys who sold their bikes in Ghana. I can ask them for the price if you're interested.

I might also help you with making the stamp "disappear" from your passport, you need to pay a fee though.
I have 2 friends living in Bamako and they have the right contacts I suppose...

Safe ride!
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  #15  
Old 28 Jan 2011
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On my first trip to the region we decided to sell my old Peugeot in Nouakchott. Buyer was the chief of police, name 'Baba'.
NO PROBLEM!!!! he reassured us when I pointed out the little tag in my passport. What could possibly go wrong?
So I gave him my passport, and then I didn't see it for three days (Soon!!! Baba said when I called him). Couldn't go out on the town, as the police were giving me a hard time without passport.
Finally I got it back and there were some new stamps and a lot of handwriting in it.
NO PROBLEM! Baba repeated as we continued with the Landcruiser towards Mali.
But at the border exit, customs guy jumped on me shouting when he checked the passport. Took 10000 CFA to calm him down iirc.
No you cannot sell it legally, but you can - if you're prepared to pay your way out of it.
Much easier in Mali or Burkina where the laissez-passer is not written into the passport.
What do people do when they have an accident and the car is trash? Pay a fine? Jailtime?

ps - I suggest sell the laptop
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