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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Trans Sahara Routes.

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  #1  
Old 18 May 2004
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Easy way through Sahara?

Hi everyone!

I need some advise about the most easy way to cross Sahara. Is it through Marocco-Mauretania-Senegal-Mali or is it just as bad if I choose to go through Algeria and Niger. Anyone have any experiences? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 19 May 2004
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well I would say the easiest way is by AirFrance first class cabin from Paris.

what method of transpo do you have in mind? walking, bicycling, motorbike, sedan, land rover, pogo stick?
help us out a bit
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  #3  
Old 19 May 2004
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Ha-ha, sorry. We are travelling by motorcycle. BMW Adventure. We are entering and leaving Africa through Ceuta and would like to make a roundtrip. Not down the westcoast and back the same again.
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  #4  
Old 19 May 2004
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If you are in and out through Morocco, then your 'round trip' options are very limited.

There is no crossing from Morocco-Algeria.

You will not be able to avoid going down and then back up through Mauritania - although once in Mauritania you can do Atlantic route one way, and train-line the other - so different!

Why don't you look into shipping out of Banjul, and then making your loop out through Mali before returning to the Gambia and flying back.

The only other option (which is the best one - other factors aside) is down through Morocco, and up through Algeria and Tunisia.

Sam.
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  #5  
Old 2 Jul 2004
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Sam, What is the "train-line" you mentioned? Is it some sort of autotrain? Do you have additional info or a link?

Thanks,

Jim
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  #6  
Old 2 Jul 2004
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No great secret, it's the Nouadhibou-Choum iron ore train. You can put your car/bike on it if you wish to.

Further to my last post though, the tarmac Morrocco-Nouakchott is proceeding at speed, so depending on when you want to go, it may be complete - the end of an era!

Sam.
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  #7  
Old 19 Aug 2009
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I'm just as lost as you.....

Hi there, my name is Alex and i'm new to this website/forum...signed up to get some info for making the same trip (but next year-2010)....
My girlfriend and I are planning to do the same tour on our 1200adv and are looking for all the info possible on raods, tyres to fit, extra fuel to carry, dangers, accomodation/camping and so on...have you had any luck!? I would much appreciate any kind of info you could pass on...!

Cheers
Alex & Caroline
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  #8  
Old 19 Aug 2009
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It's all here Alex; the ride down the west side is 99% tarmac all the way to Dakar and will be a doddle on a big BM two up - in winter people do it all the time these days and if you take it easy one rear road tyre will last there and back.
Sticking to the highway it's unlikely you'll need extra fuel on an 1200adv.

Ch
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  #9  
Old 19 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
It's all here Alex; the ride down the west side is 99% tarmac all the way to Dakar and will be a doddle on a big BM two up - in winter people do it all the time these days
Executive summary: all the information you seek (and far, far more) is available using the search function.

Also recommended: various books by the very same Chris Scott.

Safe travels.

Mark
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  #10  
Old 31 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford View Post
If you are in and out through Morocco, then your 'round trip' options are very limited.

There is no crossing from Morocco-Algeria.

You will not be able to avoid going down and then back up through Mauritania - although once in Mauritania you can do Atlantic route one way, and train-line the other - so different!

Why don't you look into shipping out of Banjul, and then making your loop out through Mali before returning to the Gambia and flying back.

The only other option (which is the best one - other factors aside) is down through Morocco, and up through Algeria and Tunisia.

Sam.

Sam (if you still registered as am aware thread is old..) or Chris (cracking books by the eay, just ordered Sahara Book!)

Am planning a 2 month trip over Dec / Jan for 8 weeks, entering Morocco from Spain, down through Mauritania, into Senegal. Hoping to do a loop back up to Tunisia and was hoping to head toward Timbuktu, and cross into Algeria from Mali (road north of Gao, map says 'Bordj Mokhtar' - map shows a pink road which I think means improved). Then across to Tamanghassat and up to Tunisia. Is this possible to cross into Algeria at this point ?

I would rather not do the extended route via Niger as only have 8 weeks and dont want to be chasing all the time. If what am suggesting is not do'able, what loop route might you suggest ie. dont want to go there and back in a straight line.

Thanks in advance.
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  #11  
Old 31 Aug 2009
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It would be a good loop D-XT, but maybe not alone - safety and escort prices-wise.

map shows a pink road which I think means improved

it's a rough, washed-out, sandy track up to tessalit, but not done south of tessalit for years. other have done it recently.

Bordj (BBM) is a regular way into Alg. Nice open run from BBM to Tam.
Will be crossing that area in Feb.

I would not hang about in north mali these days - go with others or take a local escort. niger may be less unsafe, but its another visa.

Ch
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  #12  
Old 1 Sep 2009
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Thanks Chris.

Actually got a note off 'Endurorally' as follows :

check out the British Foreign Office travel advice, your route looks like it goes through the centre of the region where they will chop your head off after kidnapping you. It could be very dangerous...

Didnt sound too encouraging.

Think given just my brother and I on a 'first adventure' on bikes, will steer away from it then. Hopefully once your bok arrives in couple days can get a route planned that is only in Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Gambia (and possibly Burkino). Just trying to find a 6 to 8 week route with a good mix of riding and atmosphere.

Thanks again.
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  #13  
Old 1 Sep 2009
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Hopefully things are turning around in north Mali:

Algeria helps Mali combat al-Qaeda threat (Magharebia.com)

Ch
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