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Old 01-30-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
Louisdut OP
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Any Advice? Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal & Gambia

Hi!

I've ridden in Morocco before but looking to do a bit more and a possible ride from the UK through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal & Gambia.

Do you know if visa's carnets are needed for any of the countries?

Which borders have you used? What were they like? Were there places to buy insurance?

Any advice on routes? Places to see/avoid?

Please keep it simple as I am not the most experienced traveller, but there's only one way to get the experience.

Cheers,

Louis
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:25 PM   #2
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About the visa's and other paperwork, vaccinations that are required, our department of foreign affairs has all the info for every country on their website. May be the same in the UK?
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbert
About the visa's and other paperwork, vaccinations that are required, our department of foreign affairs has all the info for every country on their website. May be the same in the UK?
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-...ving-overseas/

Cheers

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Old 01-30-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Cool2 Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal & Gambia

Western Sahara, No Go
Mauritania, Also no go
Senegal, Ditto
Gambia, Maybe

Beware the evil that lurks behind every sandune! AQ got several million Euros for two Austrians & now they have to Canadians, want to try for a trivecta?

Bon Chance!

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Old 01-30-2009, 11:00 PM   #5
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Hi,

Western Sahara : depend of what part you speaking of, the Moroco part of WS is almost secured

Mauritania : travel with other vehicules and a guide (not alone) is the better thing to do, but you have to know it can be dangerous place (mines in the desert, no institutional help if you're have an accident, and criminality). And it's getting worse since the army took the power 1.5 years ago (2 years ago 3 frenchs tourists were killed in east Mauritania).

Senegal : no real problems exept criminality like in every country, specially where you find some poor people with no social programms.

For mauritania you have a Map of area to go and NOT to go (red area) :



For the legal procedures you'll find them on your internet consulate as said before in the thread. Ah yes, if can go to Moroco to Mauritinia with a simple and easy to obtain visa, going to Mauritania to Moroco is sometimes more complicated (it was in 1996)
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:28 AM   #6
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don't believe all the crap your hearing about all the bogy men behind every dune and landmines allover the place you'll end up staying at home stamp collecting and you know what happened to the bloke who cut his tongue on a stamp...




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Old 01-31-2009, 02:40 AM   #7
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nice fella in nouabodu (spell) hotel manager sorted some beer



local builders





do not camp in the mine fields!!!!



remember to look behind the dunes for the baddies



he might set his cow on you






watch out for the WILD dog's




and remember to suffer as much as possible



traffic is horrendous in the rush 5min's



roads are in excellent condtion and very safe








get's a bit warm sometimes



head for the shade


and watch the world go by





apparently dirt bikes are a very popular form of transport



some of the locals were in a bit of a hurry,anyone would think there was a race on!!!









rush 5min's again

you get the feeling your being watched

i wish they would open a branch near me



and as for the locals who go out of there way to help a weary traveler










olhins are great..........in europe



i was happy to see the OE shock



no expence is spared when it come to health and safety



the BMW system 5 helmet is crap.





introducing the buzz motorcycle range
to Senegal and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


just go mate you'll love it

loz
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:51 AM   #8
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kneeslider
Western Sahara, No Go
Mauritania, Also no go
Senegal, Ditto
Gambia, Maybe

Beware the evil that lurks behind every sandune! AQ got several million Euros for two Austrians & now they have to Canadians, want to try for a trivecta?

Bon Chance!

Danger does not lurk behind every dune. The Austrians were taken in northeastern Mali, the Canadians in Niger, not in Mauritania, Senegal or Gambia. There's a vast no-go zone in the Sahara that overlaps parts of Mauritania, Algeria, Mali and Niger. The dodgy areas are well known, and you'll be warned plenty where not to go. Seek local advice along the way, and you'll be fine.

I don't know anything about Western Sahara, but most of Mauritania is fine. Senegal is fine all over and so is The Gambia.

Petty crime is the worst that'll happen, so stay in places where you can park your bike in enclosures, and keep your valuables safe.

Your biggest danger is still your motorcycle. ATTGATT, even when it's hot enough to roast you.

Insurance: Any AXA office can sell you a brown card, which covers Senegal, Gambia, Mali and maybe other countries. AXA has offices in all the major West African towns.

Carnet: Rules keep changing, and aren't evenly enforced. Sometimes your vehicle can enter if they write it into you visa/passport, sometimes they want a carnet. With a carnet, it's always fine.

Senegal: Dakar is magical, with great nightlife. Don't be afraid to get out there. It's little daunting at first (a lot of very persistent street vendors), but worth the effort. St. Louis is lovely too. Great jazz.

Gambia: Roads are crap (just remnants of asphalt between the deep potholes) and not much to see if you're not into bird watching.

Mali: I know this wasn't on your list, but Mali's got much more to offer than Gambia or Senegal. It's only dodgy in the remote northeast, the rest is fine. Ride up to Timbuktu. The town's not much, but the ride up is amazing, and if you time it right, the Festival au Desert is a magical music festival in the desert. Visit Djenne, an ancient town with mud buildings, and I mean buildings, not huts. Some are three storeys high. It's home to the world's largest mud building (a mosque) and you can sleep on the roof of a mud guesthouse. Go trekking among the primitive Dogon people along the Bandiagara escarpment. It's like a living museum of ancient civilizations. You need a guide though. Ask for Mr. Goldfish. He's a treasure, and well respected in the area.

Relax, have fun, and don't be afraid to mix with the locals. You'll know which ones are genuine, and who's just trying to get a buck.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:53 AM   #10
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If you want peace of mind, there are a few operations in Europe that run trips down to West Africa in convoys of trucks and bikes.

The lighter the better in sand, and with one of these operations you can have them carry your gear, water and fuel, and you can just ride.

I don't remember the names of the operations, but Google should find them.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOZ
don't believe all the crap your hearing about all the bogy men behind every dune and landmines allover the place you'll end up staying at home stamp collecting and you know what happened to the bloke who cut his tongue on a stamp...




Nice one Loz, thanks for the funny short version of your RR
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOZ
don't believe all the crap your hearing about all the bogy men behind every dune and landmines allover the place you'll end up staying at home stamp collecting and you know what happened to the bloke who cut his tongue on a stamp...
That looked a great trip Cheers for posting pic,s

I'll start planning then

Cheers

Louis
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExit?NoProblem
Danger does not lurk behind every dune. The Austrians were taken in northeastern Mali, the Canadians in Niger, not in Mauritania, Senegal or Gambia. There's a vast no-go zone in the Sahara that overlaps parts of Mauritania, Algeria, Mali and Niger. The dodgy areas are well known, and you'll be warned plenty where not to go. Seek local advice along the way, and you'll be fine.

I don't know anything about Western Sahara, but most of Mauritania is fine. Senegal is fine all over and so is The Gambia.

Petty crime is the worst that'll happen, so stay in places where you can park your bike in enclosures, and keep your valuables safe.

Your biggest danger is still your motorcycle. ATTGATT, even when it's hot enough to roast you.

Insurance: Any AXA office can sell you a brown card, which covers Senegal, Gambia, Mali and maybe other countries. AXA has offices in all the major West African towns.

Carnet: Rules keep changing, and aren't evenly enforced. Sometimes your vehicle can enter if they write it into you visa/passport, sometimes they want a carnet. With a carnet, it's always fine.

Senegal: Dakar is magical, with great nightlife. Don't be afraid to get out there. It's little daunting at first (a lot of very persistent street vendors), but worth the effort. St. Louis is lovely too. Great jazz.

Gambia: Roads are crap (just remnants of asphalt between the deep potholes) and not much to see if you're not into bird watching.

Mali: I know this wasn't on your list, but Mali's got much more to offer than Gambia or Senegal. It's only dodgy in the remote northeast, the rest is fine. Ride up to Timbuktu. The town's not much, but the ride up is amazing, and if you time it right, the Festival au Desert is a magical music festival in the desert. Visit Djenne, an ancient town with mud buildings, and I mean buildings, not huts. Some are three storeys high. It's home to the world's largest mud building (a mosque) and you can sleep on the roof of a mud guesthouse. Go trekking among the primitive Dogon people along the Bandiagara escarpment. It's like a living museum of ancient civilizations. You need a guide though. Ask for Mr. Goldfish. He's a treasure, and well respected in the area.

Relax, have fun, and don't be afraid to mix with the locals. You'll know which ones are genuine, and who's just trying to get a buck.
Big thank's for the info

Cheer

Louis
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
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Eek Safe in the Sand

Good to hear all is safe & good to go! Thanks for he update on the Magreb!

Oh, it has been reported that the Canadians have been moved to Mali & Mauratania & have been split up & most likely being moved every few days!

Try to learn a little Arabic & Berber before going.

Bon voyage!

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Old 02-01-2009, 06:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisdut
That looked a great trip Cheers for posting pic,s

I'll start planning then

Cheers

Louis
sorry about that mate,i've only just found out how to post picc's and went a bit mad

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