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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



Trans Sahara Routes.

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  #61  
Old 22 Jan 2020
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Yeh that would be a challenge for sure

I have only ever seen a few trailers in WA, for good reason.
Like this outfit, in Western Sahara, and then again in Bamako
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  #62  
Old 26 Jan 2020
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Algeria - Mauritania via Tindouf

I just stumbled over this trip report, in German, from December 2019
Afrika2019-20

Summary (translation):
1. part: Algerien, West coast, Alger - Oran, Region Taghit and Timimoune, Tindouf, border PK 75
04.12. - 27.12.2019
2. part: Mauretanien, from Mauritanian boarder PK 75 (south Tidouf) nach Atar, to army post Ain Ben Tili, Bir Mogrein, Zouérat, Ben Amira (Choum) and Atar
27.12. to 31.12.2019

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  #63  
Old 26 Jan 2020
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And all without an agency escort in DZ, plus they even dodged the army escort to Tindouf.
Just like it was for all in the 1980s...

Their Acacia Adventure may be a good contact, as nothing much has come of the agencies I've contacted.

They met the Norwegians who got lost and ended up taken to Ain Ben Tili.
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  #64  
Old 26 Jan 2020
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great to read another report on the route.

Getting very tempting for me now, maybe 2021
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  #65  
Old 26 Jan 2020
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Tindouf Border

Recent Tindouf border passage documented via blog...

Afrika2019-20-2Partie
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ww.thegippo.wordpress.com
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  #66  
Old 30 Jan 2020
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Gerbert's article
https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2020/01/30...corte-a3988613
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  #67  
Old 1 Feb 2020
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Land yachts followed this route, more or less, in 1967.
More here:
https://sahara-overland.com/2020/02/...g-sahara-1967/
Attached Thumbnails
New border: Algeria (Tindouf) – Mauritania (Bir Mogrein)-epucmhkx4amdycq.jpg  

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  #68  
Old 10 May 2020
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Hello, everyone. I am relatively new to trans-African travel, and I am interested in traveling from Spain to West Africa via Algeria next year. All of you who have crossed the Algeria-Mauritania border have apparently done so with your own vehicle. As I do not own a vehicle and plan to travel mostly with public transport and hitchhiking, will this be possible for me? Lots of people hitchhike from Morocco to Mauritania, so I would think it would be possible to hitchhike from Algeria to Mauritania. What do you guys think?
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  #69  
Old 10 May 2020
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The problem is to travel in desert Algeria without an escort.
This is usually needed to get your visa, but some get round it.
Then you need to get on a bus to Tindouf without raising alarm.
Then in Tindouf the police normally put foreigners in a hotel for safe keeping.
Foreigners can't just wander around Tindouf, afaik.
It has been a restricted province since the Polisario war, certainly for tourists.

The border crossing itself is 70km away in the desert.
Anything is possible but I can't see hitching being made easy in Alg.
And even less likely a bus service from Tindouf to Zouerate starting up.
So have your ride out of Algeria in to RIM organised in advance.
Or stick to the much easier Atlantic route.

This all assumes borders reopen.
According to published stats, Covid appears to have had a tiny effect in Africa compared to Europe.
In Morocco < 200 dead they say. Similar in Alg.
But we are told this could be the calm before the storm, especially in sub-Sahara.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 10 May 2020 at 13:14.
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  #70  
Old 10 May 2020
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Algerian gendarmes wouldn't know what to do with a european hitchhiker for sure
but they would probably find a way

SARS2 does not spread locally in Africa, at least not in warm and certainly not in dry areas
For some reason this is not reported, 'they' like to spread fear in Africa
Nouakchott 8 cases 1 dead - but a curfew every night and the grand marché closed
crazy
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  #71  
Old 10 May 2020
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Thanks for your input. Although nobody has hitchhiked this route, I'd be willing to give it a try. Another thing to note is that I am a US citizen, whereas most foreigners who travel in this region are Europeans. Would this affect my chances of successfully crossing the border or traveling in Algeria in general?

Last edited by Ccandelario430; 10 May 2020 at 18:30.
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  #72  
Old 10 May 2020
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Algeria is not like most other countries: think Iran, N Korea, parts of Myanmar. Tourists can't roam around unescorted.
So it will depend on whether you need/choose to organise an escort/guide in a car, border to border - no problem wherever you're from (bar Israel), but expensive.

Without one, expect delays in Alg, more because the hats fear for their jobs if you get in trouble or are caught where you ought not be, unescorted.
It will help greatly if you speak French or Arabic to talk your way through.

In RIM no probs: get a visa at Hassi 75.

In my experience Americans have an easier time getting visas (in DC) than Brits.
But that was year ago.
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  #73  
Old 10 May 2020
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This is probably a naive question, but how would the Algerian government know what parts of the country you travel to? I mean, once you're in, you're in, right? I've heard it's really regulated. Can't you just discretely hop on a train or bus and visit just about any city or town you choose? Or are there numerous checkpoints where they ask for your passport? I've been to Morocco and Egypt and have only had to show my passport a couple of times, though I suppose Algeria might be more strict.
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  #74  
Old 10 May 2020
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Once you're in you're in is true but as said, Alg is nothing like those countries.
If it was we'd all be bombing around there like in the good old days.

See https://sahara-overland.com/algeria-3/

The proscribed Grand Sud more or less represents what is not the yellow area of the French map below.

There will be roadside checkpoints checking ID and who will turn a foreigner back without an escort, including (in my experience) checking bus passengers.
Sneak by and subsequent checkpoints will nab you.

And Tindouf area is on another level. No one could get there for half a century, unless in a 'peace convoy' with Polisario aid.

Just last week the Algies held a live ammo army exercise near Tindouf - presumably to remind the Moroccans they mean business.

What Algies really don't want is an American hitchhiker being kidnapped/sold by some renegade troupe of jihadis and spirited over the border into nearby Mali.
See: https://sahara-overland.com/kidnappings

That is why the county has reacted so strongly in suppressing independent tourism. It's a shame, but that's the way it is since 2003 or so.
Attached Thumbnails
New border: Algeria (Tindouf) – Mauritania (Bir Mogrein)-alg-map-france-de.jpg  

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  #75  
Old 10 May 2020
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Well, on the bright side, at least it's not overrun with tourists like Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. The benefit of being strict with regards to tourism means that they should have a purer culture as they haven't resorted to exploiting it for monetary gain.
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