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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



Trans Sahara Routes.

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  #1  
Old 23 Jul 2013
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Post Mauritania, is it safe? My opinion and photos.



Hi everyone.

I found this site very useful when doing research for traveling to Mauritania and getting the visa there. I want to contribute my own experience.

I'm a travel photographer and I am traveling with my wife. After having been in Morocco for 3 months I was a little paranoid to cross into this country which by comparison seemed so dangerous and full of kidnappers and terrorists, in accordance to foreign advisories, at least.

I have a blog post with a relatively detailed account of the trip and images, you can check it out below:

Mauritania, the Most Amazing Place You’ll Probably Never Visit | Mitchell Kanashkevich Travel and Photography Blog

Otherwise, the short story is this. Yes, there is potential threat, but, there is also potential threat in leaving our home - getting hit by a car, getting robbed, raped etc in some of the most "civilized" countries in the world. Every day we live we get closer to dying.

The question is - how big is the risk of something happening in Mauritania? It partly depends on where you go. I went inside, into Adrar, past Chinguetti, as far as Ouadane. It was getting unbearably hot, so, we finally turned back, though, I would have loved to have stayed.

The "bad guys" are supposedly around the borders with Mali and that's pretty far. Depending on what road you take and on your transport, it could be a veeery long time before they can get to you. In theory word does spread quickly, so, staying in one place for a while can present a dangerous situation. You're basically giving those people with bad intentions enough time to get to you. In reality, it's a vast country. The extremists are few and likely far between and unless you have super bad luck, it's unlikely that you'll meet them.

Mauritanians themselves, in general are very far from extremists. They're quite lovely people, the further out you go from (former) tourist attractions, the nicer they get.

So, to put things in perspective - yes, there is a risk, but, it might be as much of a risk as one having a deadly car accident. It's there, but, you don't stop driving because of it.

If you love the desert and have interest in amazing traditions and culture, Mauritania is definitely worth a visit.
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Old 23 Jul 2013
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impressive photography!

Hi,

Just browsed through your blog, and I'm impressed by your photography
Thanks for posting this positive story (I'm heading that way in 6 months time)!

Happy travels,

Gee
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  #3  
Old 24 Jul 2013
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Agree with Mitchel, Mauritanie is fantastic! Unspoilt!
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Old 24 Jul 2013
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Nice post Dude and glad you had a great experience in Mauritania! Given your approach to travel, I'd find it hard to believe that you would have any other experience

I'm now (only slightly) disappointed that I wasn't brave enough to follow you south from Morocco

Safe travels Mate and hope our paths cross again, right after you learn to .

Cheers,
Dale
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Old 24 Jul 2013
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Haha :)

Thanks guys!

Cheers Dale! I know all about that, but, I need to stay serious and sober.
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Old 25 Jul 2013
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Love the blog and the pictures. I'm passing there in November and will give Mauritania another chance, as the last 2 visits, I was just passing through and didn't like it that much, but clearly it's a country that doesn't give up it's secrets easy.
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Old 26 Jul 2013
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Pictures and blog are astonishing!! Thanks a lot for sharing it. Mauritania is on my "to do list" from a while and after seen your photos it's gone in first place!
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Old 4 Aug 2013
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Hello everyone. This is my first post to the website though I have been browsing here before.

I travelled through from Morocco down to Gambia in 2002, down and back in 2004 and down to Burkina Faso going inland to Mali in 2006. Been busy since then but time to head to Senegal again.

Can anyone update me on the physical changes of the route since 2006 (nouadhibou to noakchott took 3.5 days in 2002 and 8 hours in 2006 - any advances on that).

I am thinking that on this route this is your danger zone, too many police blocks in Western Sahara and its a lot more built up between the capital and Senegal border.

Are many people driving over these days? I always just hooked up with someone in the campsite in Dakhla and split petrol money.

Also I see somewhere stating that Mauritanian embassy is in Rabat? Did they move back? Or do I have to freeze my butt of in that campsite in Casablanca.

Love the photos and blog, totally put me off the idea of flying. Flew to Burkina in 2008 and just felt like a cheat.

Anyway will be heading down early September if anyone is on the road.
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Old 4 Aug 2013
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Ha ha! I remember alot of what you write Paul!

All changed. Campsite in Casablanca closed 6 odd years ago (unless a new one open? It used to be camping de L'Oasis from memory?)

Mauri embassy in Rabat, the consulate in Casa closed down a few years back.

Nouadibou to NKT all paved highway now, can be done in 6-7 hours, even less. Can go via the beach still that will take you longer.

W Sahara still desolate for long stretches. And no longer convoy from Dakhla to border, that finished years ago.
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Old 5 Aug 2013
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Mauritania safety

Hi all, like some of you we are still getting to grips with how this machine works. We too are thinking of visiting Mauritania if possible early next year on bikes we would love to hear of any information regarding travel advice for this area. Will go and look at these pics now.
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Old 7 Aug 2013
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Great photos and blog Mitchell so thanks for sharing them
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Old 11 Aug 2013
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was there 6 months ago
only place i could find to camp near rabat was ...called something like...le ocean blue...halfway between cassa and rabat...a bit far off but it will do the job...or if you have your own car or bike, just wait outside the mauri embassy all night in the car...lots of others doing this...you have to start real early to get the visa

as for mauri saftey....i cant say i felt to safe...and security got more lax the more south you went......but we were ok
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