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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 21 Mar 2007
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Whats the longest fuel gap on the atlantic route?

I am planning to drive the atlantic ending in Bamako nad just wondered if anyone has up to date info on the gasoline situation on the atlantic route. Whats the longest distance between fuel stops on that route? Otherwise I will just have to risk it and take extra. By the way, whats the smallest bikes anyones taken down that route?

Last edited by Treeclimber; 21 Mar 2007 at 01:06. Reason: I spelled the word fuel, "fual"
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  #2  
Old 21 Mar 2007
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The longest fuel Gap from Norway to Dakar is in :


Spain !!!. N4 road N323, from Jaen to Granada there are 125 km of no petrol stations during the Night , and Its not uncommon for overlanders to run out of petrol just there . he he .


Definitely is not Nouadibou->Nouachott. you can buy diesel in at least 12 different places on the road , and of course petrol wherever you see a yellow plastic drum .

Other than that , from Ceuta to Guerguerat there are petrol stations every 50-80 km , being the longest strech "Bir Guendiz" (that lovely petrol station with haimas , restorant , the white unimog and cats) to ->Nouadibou ( less than 200 km ) . God forbids you if you run out of petrol in the no-mans-land.

Have a nice day
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  #3  
Old 21 Mar 2007
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I agree there's fuel stations all the way down the atlantic route but the problem is that they don't always have fuel.
The furthest I had to go was around 220 miles (after leaving Layoune) before I found a place with fuel.
Not a problem on four wheels but on a bike, unless you had a huge fuel tank, you'd probably be starting to worry.

Just to start the ball rolling on the smallest bike, I was on a 600cc Honda
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  #4  
Old 21 Mar 2007
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Fuel on The Atlantic Route

I'm with backofbeyond on this one. I did the Atlantic Route last November and I would not be comfortable with a fuel range of less than about 250 miles absolute minimum.

Assuming that you are on a motorbike, which I think you refer to, you will need petrol which is not the main fuel in the Western Sahara. There will be fuel stations that have run out of petrol (they do so regularly and it can be days before they are replenished).

In Mauritania, if you are taking the road from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott then it is about 450km without fuel stations. Yes, there are rogues selling stuff at the side of the road in 'bidons', but from what I've heard it's pot luck if you get petrol, or petrol and water, or petrol and diesel (this isn't Europe!!) and it's expensive. I personally would not chance it, but there again I am cautious by nature. Only you know if you are a 'wing it and see what happens' person or not.

As for what is the smallest bike that has done the route, well some guys did the Western Sahara on Honda C90 mopeds, but I think they did have a support vehicle (I may be wrong though). They have a website at Scooters in the Sahara

Have fun.
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  #5  
Old 21 Mar 2007
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Cool small bikes

Hopefully at this link you will see photographs I took at Nouakshot on the 06 Dakar, a pair of French plated mopeds at 49cc Kingston & District Motor Cycle Club (http://www.kdmcc.com/)
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Old 21 Mar 2007
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The longest without fuel stations selling petrol is between here, N20 56.920 W17 02.190 at the roundabout at the edge of Nouadhibou (2 seperate fuel stations)......... and here, a few hundred metres North of the Auberge Sahara in Nouakchott N18 06.160 W15 59.823 It's 450kms. This was the situation in January 2007.
Andy.
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Old 21 Mar 2007
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Some people have already commented about the stretches and why you might choose to pick up your fuel at a pump.
Also, when filling up, ask the pompiste how far the next station is and whether they run out of gas. Pompistes are good sources of information.
Alos, one note of caution, don't rely on the bidons between Noubadibou and Nouachaott..only one out of four places I stopped had fuel, and the quality was questionable.
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Old 21 Mar 2007
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Thanks for the info, I have been trying to see how feasable it would be to take my kymco styrker down there. Its a 125, I can get a good a little under 300 miles on a full tank. I think I will take some spare alone just in case. I hope to try and sell the bike in Bamako, any idea how much a small bike in that catagory would go for?
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  #9  
Old 23 Mar 2007
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Gasoline can be a problem on the Route d'Espoir where locals buy up stocks and smuggle them into Mali. I travelled 430 kms from NKT till I found a guy with stocks - close to the border.

Dave
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Old 24 Mar 2007
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HI !

gasoline is absolutely available everywhere in Africa. Just don't expect a pump for it . But whenebver you see those palm-oil (yellow) plastic drums is that they are selling petrol for you


also , you can buy petrol in one of those wine/campari brown bottles in every village.

I admit that It took me a few trips to realise that these people were actually selling petrol , but now ... I ll never -ever- worry again about petrol . And being filling up the bike all the way down to Cameroon with petrol bought by the bottle from street stalls , and no problems / contamination etc.. at- all .


Whenver you see a moped , (and there are heaps of those everywhere ) means that some dude is selling petrol , probbably less than 100 m away.


Have a nice day
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Old 24 Mar 2007
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also... let me explain what all this Myth about that fuel bought from the street sellers is dodgy / mixed // bad quality

It is absolutely false. There are very few chings CHEAPER than petrol that you can mix with petrol

1 obviously water is so obvious (It doesn mix , so you see it clearly at the bottom of the bottle )
2 Engine oil ? It is at least as expensive as Petrol so It makes no sense

3 Vegetable oil ? more expensive

This leaves us just with ethanol , and methanol which are definitely not widely available there , and still will be more expensive than petrol

some people speak about USED motor oil . No way . Just drop a few ccs a litre and the whole thing will turn dark .


What about other solid contaminants ? NO. street gas seller take pride on the quality /purity of their stuff . They filter it several times , and they are proud of the clearness of their product. Even in sandy environments (Zinder ?) they take good care of avoiding pouring the last ccs so you dont get any dirt on the fuel .

Also , a broken engine is much more serious for those people than for us. a Burn piston can mean finacial ruin for them . Do you really think that these people are selling dangerous fuel ? They would be killed (by locals) if they do.

ok .. some poeple insist that they may have 1 bottle of dodgy petrol and 5 bottles of good one (for locals ), and they will give you the bad one *(as they expect never to see you again ) . What I do is just pick one random bottle and insist to buy that very same one . And obviously buy from a seller that you see (beforehand) selling to locals.


On the other hand , we pretend to think that petrol from petrol sstations is better !. NO WAY !. their underground tanks may be (will be) rusty , wet , damp , and you have no way to check the purity of it (as It goes trhought the nozzle to your gas tank) . Even the staff can't tell for sure the ammount of water./ dirt / dead bugs ,etc.in the petrol .
I was horrified once when I ask the pump attendant to sell me just a litre -for the coleman stove- and saw what the color / clearness of the fuel was . Bits , dirt , water , and something Id say was rust flakes from the tank .. all in one litre .

Since then (and I spend most of the year in West/'Central Africa ) I stick to street sellers.


Have a nice day
Javier
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  #12  
Old 24 Mar 2007
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dodgy fuel

I agree with Javier Carrion in principle, as street vendors are unlikely to gain by selling dodgy petrol. Having bought fuel this way a number of times in both West and East Africa it has generally been fine.

I have however bought dodgy black market fuel in Tdijika in RIM, which did an incredibly effective job at completely gumming up the carburetor.

Therefore you take your chances..........

Last edited by Matt Roach; 24 Mar 2007 at 11:24.
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  #13  
Old 24 Mar 2007
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Totally agree with Javier, although I never had to buy petrol (travelling with a diesel 4wd). You see those sellers everywhere where you find mopeds.

Matt
That's probaply why you bought dodgy petrol in mauritania, there are hardly any mopeds! The only places you'll find petrol are along the coastline because the fishermans use small petrol-engines on their piroques.

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  #14  
Old 2 Apr 2007
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Petrol costs

Hi,
I was wondering whether anyone could give me an indication of petrol prices from Maroc down to Senegal as well as Mali?

Cheers Lotty
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  #15  
Old 2 Apr 2007
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rougly the same as in Europe. May be a bit cheaper , but don't expect fantastic prices.

In western Sahara , after Tarfaya there is an area in which petrol and diesel are subsidized . But not as much as used to be

Also , in Ceuta (which is a Spanish town in Africa ) youll get petrol at around 70 Euro-cents a litre

Id count on a estimate of 90-100 Euro-Cents a liter from Europe to Dakar

Javier
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