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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

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


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  • 1 Post By Fotodadi
  • 1 Post By Dave The Hat

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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2012
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Rosso...Best way into Senegal

I just got back from a 36 day trip from Lagos, Nigeria to Europe and back.

The trip afforded me the opportunity to see the different cultures, traditions and ways of the people on my route.....in the different countries.

I didnt really have a "fixed" plan and i determined that I will not allow myself get stressed over any situation I come across.

On my return route, I was to go through Senegal into Mali. I had determined that I will pass through the dreaded "ROSSO" border long before hand because I simply could not imagine what would happen that I have not sen before. In my opinion, the worst border I have ever crossed was into Ghana from Togo, the AFLAO border, where I had spent 8 hours doing paper work!

I had determined the night before that the best was was to, as we say in Nigeria "follow who knows the road". I will get one of the "touts" and have him do all the leg work.

From my ride report:

"I want to be at the border as it opens (so as to have enough time should any eventualities arise) so i am out at 630am! Nice cool ride out of Nouakchott to the border and I am the border port gate at 820am! Locate Dauda (also David)! (0022246476883) He is my designated passage agent (or facilitator)! How did I get him? I turned to all the "touts" and asked them, who speaks english...I knew that would help shortlist them...he spoke and I took him on.

Dauda he explains all that I need to pay.

On Mauritanian Side: Ferry cost 5000, passport 1500, custom 4000, tax communal 2000, embarkment with police 2000, police 1500. Total 15500 (Mauri money)!

On Senegalese side 26000cfa, lesse passé 2500, police 3000, tax 3000, custom station 10000, port sortie 5000

I pay and go chat with some of the locals. about 20 minutes later, I am on the ferry on my way to Senegal. All the while I am wondering why people will go through 60km+ of piste tracks plus over 3 hours, risk damage to their bikes as well as hurting themselves just to save less than 70Euro....which EVERYONE pays to use this border!

I had some issues which cost me an extra 10,000cfas to solve on account of my dual nationality status besides which I am confident it would have taken me about 2 hours to cross and be out on the streets in Senegal.

By the way, guys, I can say this about the borders in West Africa. Every southern border in the following countries, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria has, to some degree, officers demanding some money under one pretense or the other. I have spent 2 hours at a border because i refused to pay 1000cfa. Eventually, I did pay.

I have chosen to look at this situations with a different philosophy;
1. When in Rome, do as the Romans....save yourself the hassle, stress and mental torture.
2. Do not compare what happens at some other places to what happens here. Its different and expect the difference.Think of the money as "toll" if it makes you feel better.
3. Take things easy and don't get all worked up over nothing. 3 hours of your life on a piste is worth a lot more than 100Euro to cross Rosso!

Finally, I wish you all the best and if anyone would like to have specifics, I welcome PMs.

Mauritanian Side.....Very organized and orderly.


On board the ferry!


The Senegalese side! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!!


The prize!!!
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  #2  
Old 3 Dec 2012
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Thanks for a very un-biased view on this crossing. It might encourage more people to try this one.

Your comment on 60+ km of piste depends of course where you are going. Last time I was heading for Dakar, so Diama was also closer, which made it a simple choice. Next time I might consider Rosso if going east after the crossing.
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  #3  
Old 21 Oct 2013
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Hi Fotodadi,

You had an easy time at Rosso as you paid far too much money. This is the problem. People handing over money all the time.

I don't wish to cause any offence to you by saying that so please don't take it that way.

You say you paid 15,500 Ougiya Mauri side (approx €37.72 Euros) and 49,500 CFA on Senegal side (approx €75.57 Euros).....so a total of €113.29 Euros.....to cross a border!

On Mauritania side, you should not have to pay any money for customs or police. The commune tax seems to be legitimate as this is receipted.

We paid 7,500CFA for a 16 tonne truck on the ferry, so 5,000CFA for a bike is alot of money. Even 7,500CFA for our truck I was later told was too much, the locals don't pay that much.

On the Senegalese side, there are no fees to be paid except the commune tax (receipted) and the laissez passez (2,500 CFA).....all these other fees are made up.

We did have to pay 1,000CFA to have our passport stamped on Senegal side, but this is a downright bribe.

All these port exits fees, custom station, police etc.....these are all made up costs and going straight into the pockets of the hustlers and authorities.
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  #4  
Old 25 Oct 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave The Hat View Post
Hi Fotodadi,

You had an easy time at Rosso as you paid far too much money. This is the problem. People handing over money all the time.

I don't wish to cause any offence to you by saying that so please don't take it that way.

You say you paid 15,500 Ougiya Mauri side (approx €37.72 Euros) and 49,500 CFA on Senegal side (approx €75.57 Euros).....so a total of €113.29 Euros.....to cross a border!

On Mauritania side, you should not have to pay any money for customs or police. The commune tax seems to be legitimate as this is receipted.

We paid 7,500CFA for a 16 tonne truck on the ferry, so 5,000CFA for a bike is alot of money. Even 7,500CFA for our truck I was later told was too much, the locals don't pay that much.

On the Senegalese side, there are no fees to be paid except the commune tax (receipted) and the laissez passez (2,500 CFA).....all these other fees are made up.

We did have to pay 1,000CFA to have our passport stamped on Senegal side, but this is a downright bribe.

All these port exits fees, custom station, police etc.....these are all made up costs and going straight into the pockets of the hustlers and authorities.
Dave, you are quite right. I chose, pay money or pay time. Something has got to give.

However some corrections. Space on the ferry, which is actually operated by some Lebanese chaps is based on how much space one takes. My bike had the full space that a "small" sized car would take so go figure.

And if its such a bother, the money one pays, (even if you say its into some guy's pocket) consider that you don't pay any other money till you get out ouf Senegal.

How much are the tolls through Europe again?

BTW, why did you pass Rosso?
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  #5  
Old 25 Oct 2013
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Hi Fotodadi

We have passed through Rosso a number of times, usually because the road to Diama is too wet to get through (august/september)....the road to Diama is very difficult in the wet not alot of fun so Rosso is our only option.

Your point about the bike based on size....our truck is 12 meters long, and we paid 7,500CFA (which we are told is too much, the local trucks pay less).....so I can not believe that a motor bike on the ferry costs 5,000 CFA.

My problem is not with paying money. If it is official and I get a receipt, then I will pay the money. But this is blatant stone faced lets screw people out of money (Africans and overlanders alike)...it is a mafia racket at Rosso, and has gotten worse over the years due to people continually paying money. And the fact that they intimidate you to pay the money if you question what you are paying for is what angers me the most.

I know that even if the money is officially receipted, it will often go astray regardless. Very true. I am not naive to this fact.

Yes, pay huge amounts of money on European road tolls, very true, but this discussion is not about road tolls. I will happily pay road tolls. This is about screwing people out of money at a border crossing for non existant fees.

BTW Fototadi, I mean no offence by what I write, I am simply making a point
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  #6  
Old 28 Oct 2013
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Lets agree to disagree, Dave!
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  #7  
Old 9 Aug 2014
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Rosso

Today it's not different. We crossed with the Rosso ferry although we were determined to pass by Diama. The officer at the last checkpoint in Mauritania said the road to Diama was not practicable (which was not true) and announced us immediately to his pal in Rosso who almost forced us into the Rosso "trap", in which we were plundered with all kinds of fees and a far to expensive insurance. We learned quickly, so on the senegalese side we shook of all schleppers and found our way through all by ourselves very quickly and only paying for a "laisser passer" for the car 5000 and local tax 1500FCFA. Biometric visas were issued for free after presenting the prepaid documents. Determined refusal to pay any additional fees (20.000, 3000, etc) was immediately accepted.
Lesson: go early to the border, try to find your way through by yourself, stay friendly, ask for receipts and insist on going to the insurance office yourself (instead of getting handed out the document by some of the guys in the street) in order to verify the price. Not easy, but I had the feeling the senegalese officers respected our attitude a lot.
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  #8  
Old 9 Aug 2014
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Thanks Milou, that is the approach I have taken at the Spain/Morocco border in the past.This is useful information as iI'll be going down to Dakar in late October. I was thinking of going down to Diama but it seems they may not let me, even if the road has dried out by then.

Where did you get your prepaid visa documents for Senegal as the London Enbassy will not issue them and the website is not working. I was recommended by the London embassy to try and get these documents in Nouakchott. I'd prefer to have them before arriving at Rosso.
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Old 2 Oct 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lad View Post
Thanks Milou, that is the approach I have taken at the Spain/Morocco border in the past.This is useful information as iI'll be going down to Dakar in late October. I was thinking of going down to Diama but it seems they may not let me, even if the road has dried out by then.

Where did you get your prepaid visa documents for Senegal as the London Enbassy will not issue them and the website is not working. I was recommended by the London embassy to try and get these documents in Nouakchott. I'd prefer to have them before arriving at Rosso.
Bit of a late reply, but as of today 02-10-14 you can NOT collect biometric visa in Nouakchott.

I've done the first bit online, got the receipt in hand, need to collect at Rosso. I'm trying to find out if I can change the date of the Visa there or not.
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  #10  
Old 2 Oct 2014
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Visa to Senegal

Oli hi, I was relying on getting the visa in Nouakchott based on the info from the man at the Senegal embassy in London and I'm leaving UK in a couple of weeks.

Can you please post the link to the website for the on-line part as I've not got one to work yet. Even the man at the London embasy said it was unreliable but it seems some folk get it to work. Thanks for the info.
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Old 2 Oct 2014
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On-visa link Senegal.

OK, have found this link directly to Senegal in English which seems to be working:-

Online Visa Application | Visa Sénégal

Oli, is this the one you used? Anyone know the turnaround time with this system?
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Old 5 Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by Jim Lad View Post
OK, have found this link directly to Senegal in English which seems to be working:-

Online Visa Application | Visa Sénégal

Oli, is this the one you used? Anyone know the turnaround time with this system?
Again, sorry for the late reply!

Here's the link we used: SENEGAL - PAIEMENT VISA

We did not upload any supporting documents, this was all done at Rosso. It's a hellhole but the only border that is open at the moment.

We only had ONE email - The confirmation of receipt of payment. You don't always get a second one, don't worry, we didn't need it.

You could get your visa for Senegal in Madrid? They have the biometric Machinery there...
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Old 5 Oct 2014
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Senegal Visa Website

Thanks Oli, that link took me to the same website as the one I posted. Being at home I could upload the documents and have got a certificate back almost immediatly. This certificate confirms I have paid for the visa. The website times out if you have any delay, so it is worth having photos of your passport, travel insurance, etc. ready to upload when asked by the website.

Interesting option to get the full biometric visa done in Madrid. Has anyone had any experience of getting a Senegal Visa in Madrid? It seems like it may be a better option than Rosso!
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