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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 19 Aug 2018
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New border: Algeria (Tindouf) – Mauritania (Bir Mogrein)

It seems that they've opened up the Tindouf border into Mauritania

https://sudhorizons.dz/en/featured-n...row-in-tindouf

Between Tindouf and Zouerate! This will make things interesting!!!

Last edited by Chris Scott; 6 Sep 2018 at 16:01.
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 2018
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someone should ask for Alg visa and give it as entry point
Leaving Mauri should not be a problem
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  #3  
Old 20 Aug 2018
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News article here showing footage of the border opening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqPg3S76naE
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  #4  
Old 22 Aug 2018
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Well spotted. That should annoy Morocco, especially if it cuts through the PFZ (Tifariti, etc) on its way to Bir Mogrein, as current pistes do.
Hard to think it will be open to tourists.
Tindouf area never was, even in the good years.
Fyi this book describes taking that route in the late 50s in a Ford Zephyr.
Attached Thumbnails
New border: Algeria (Tindouf) – Mauritania (Bir Mogrein)-the-forgotten-path-1.jpg  

New border: Algeria (Tindouf) – Mauritania (Bir Mogrein)-newmanmap.jpg  

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  #5  
Old 23 Sep 2018
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As a response from the Sherif, Morocco plans to open their own crossing to Bir Mogrein.
From Guelta Zemmour, only 90 kms or so away as the bird fly.
https://www.yabiladi.com/articles/de...tre-maroc.html
This should cause an upset, as it cuts across Polisario territory.
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  #6  
Old 2 Nov 2018
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So potentially you could nip out of the bottom of Morocco, short Transit through Mauritania then up into Algeria
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  #7  
Old 2 Nov 2018
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Would make a great road trip but highly unlikely Alg entry/exit will be allowed to tourists.
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Old 3 Nov 2018
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That's the problem indeed!

RR.
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  #9  
Old 3 Nov 2018
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The current apparent pragmatism regarding borders - and I have been party to several conversations this year in Atar and Chinguetti about the Bir Moghrein route - is driven by commercial interest and afforded by a relative thaw in political circles.
Any need DZ sees to promote tourism will be surely be strictly shepherded ( or actually just herded!) along existing corridors that are well known to all for the last couple of generations. This is unlikely imho to change in our lifetimes. Of course for an Algerian definition of "lifetime" one need look no further than the Presidency.
For the more adventurous tourist, laden with fuel and fiches, Mauri' is the playground without rival at present, and Atar and Chinguetti are as good as you need for a base. I met a Swiss guy, brilliant photographer, soloing around the Ourane of Adrar, way beyond Guelb el Richat, in his trusty old Patrol. Because he can. And why not?
Who on earth would want to have the grief of Algerian or Moroccan border guards when there is relative freedom in Mauri. Ok, it's a bit further away, so just be a bit better organised!
Salaam
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  #10  
Old 3 Nov 2018
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I agree RIM is the best (only?) place to BYO and DIY in proper Sahara with 4x4, and the long schlep down WS coast could be greatly eased via Bir Mogrein entry.
But I think all those who did the central Sahara in the good years are a bit spoilt.
I would sooner continue exploring Alg and Niger with agency escorts – were that possible.
To me the topography for cruising the desolate plains and crossing occasional ranges just isn't there as it is in central Sahara.
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  #11  
Old 5 Nov 2018
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Topography is an interesting and relevant back-beat to travel but only one factor of many, imho. As ever I, as with so many others, bow to your greater experience of exploring the region. Yet to mention only Algeria and Niger seems amiss even if they have superior topography to the wilder domains of Mauri'.

Ever since I first began research on the Sahara and this took me to the journals of Heinrich Barth and Gustav Nachtagel with their travels in the 1870's there seems to have been a dearth of Westerners in the ranges of Ennedi and Tibesti. I recollect the Mercedes story, leaving Faya on a Friday and of course Ginge Fullen climbing Emi Koussi the highest peak in the Sahara, but little else.

There is a natural fixation for Western overlanders and 4x4 raiders to think only in terms of what is directly reachable from the coast of the Maghreb, and naturally, Tchad is somewhat distant. I suppose the other limiting factor is that whilst we are slaves to the machine of Mammon, with spouses, sprogs, mortgages, and elderly parents, such epics as achieved by our 19th Century heroes, plus more latterly Thesiger and the intrepid Fullen can only illuminate our dreams.

Africa is being carved up once again, especially by the Chinese, for all the natural resources. So long as there is also not the concomitant development there will be security vacuums and pockets of terrorism. The desert is almost impossible to police. Governments awash with mineral profits do not need tourists presenting themselves as targets. We dream.....

My perspective is now different; I go to work in Africa, to settle, and eventually retire there. For most others, the Sahara is a place to visit as it has been for me for a decade. Why? Most folk are just visitors, they may be especially adventurous, as with your crossing of the Djouf - a rivetting read on the S-Files if ever there was one! - , but they go home. Often adding nothing. It is a great indulgence and sometimes insulting. As became the case with the Paris-Dakar.

I think many Africans see Western tourists as just another aspect of colonialism - and that in turn is not simply Europeans but many others from the Beni Hilal and Beni Hassan to the Chinese and Brazilians today.

The Bir Moghrein route may live with me for the rest of my days passing as it does through the Adrar, where I am buying a home. Who knows, perhaps we shall see a resolution of the Western Sahara impasse with perhaps a degree of autonomy and self-determination and consequential peace and prosperity, plus yet another border crossing into Mauri' - in my lifetime, and yours Chris! Insha'Allah.
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  #12  
Old 29 Nov 2018
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Probably more a reference document for most, unless you are interested in the Machiavellian machinations that eventually evidence on the ground. I mean the ground where Chris has recently trod, and others may choose to visit. I'll be living there, insha'Allah.

https://httpsahel-elite.com/2018/11/...across-africa/
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  #13  
Old 29 Nov 2018
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What has Algeria to offer Mauretania, except for oil, corruption and instability?
Nothing, really.
OTOH, there are 150 Moroccan trucks racing down to Nouakchott and beyond every single day now. They make up a lot of the traffic on the Route de Noadibou.

Algeria has been using the Polisario for decades to exert some influence in the Western Sahara. Now they are falling behind as Morocco is extending its power through AU membership, banking, trade, investing all over Africa. Something will change in the not so distant future - look at Ethiopia/Eritrea - although it may not be as peaceful.
The author is mistaken when he is suggesting that Algeria would assume responsibility for north African security - the Algerians have refused to act beyond their borders since independence, and they still do. When asked to cooperate in resolving the Mali crisis, they refused to come to talks or collaborate in any way where every other country and political entity in the region was present. From the Security Council.
http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc...=%20S/2018/581
page 4:
"5. In addition to its visits to Mali, the Panel also visited Belgium, Burkina Faso,
France, Mauritania, the Netherlands and the Niger. Visits proposed by the Panel to
Algeria in April and June were not accommodated."

Last edited by priffe; 29 Nov 2018 at 22:08.
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  #14  
Old 29 Nov 2018
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That's a marvellous move, Bud, Atar has much to offer. I realized you can use it as a base and make excursions for many months going on new tracks every day, just in the vicinity.
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Old 30 Nov 2018
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I have been offered, and accepted, a post as National Director of an NGO focussed upon durable development. Initially, this will be largely based in NKC with increasing visits to projects "en brousse". Eventually, I hope to back off from day-to-day work, continue with some project visiting, proposal and report writing, but retire to Chinguetti, where I am buying my home. Atar is merely a place to go for stuff not available in Chinguetti, I have never really fallen for the place. Doubtless, I shall have an increasing amount of time for exploratory forays on the pistes of the Adrar, and there shall be zrig, dates, and tea awaiting you should you be passing I am also in no doubt that should you simply ask for the Englishman, I will be found!
Zoubir el Inglizi
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