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Nouakchott | Route de l'espoir | Nouadhibou | Banc d'Arguin | Oualata | Ouadane | Chinguetti | Chinguetti-Tidjikja | Moudjeria | Rachid | Tidjikja | Taoujafet
From Chinguetti to Tidjikja in the Mauritanian Sahara, is around 400 km through the desert along various types of piste.  It takes most people around four full days of driving, allowing time for sightseeing.  Alternatively you can go via Nouakchott on perfectly good roads, a total of more than 1100 km in no more than two days if all you want is to get from A to B...but where is the fun in that?

We were advised that we should not travel alone as there were very few others on this route, so a breakdown could end in tears.  Of course, like most advice from guide books, this is absolute rubbish; we met at least one other group of vehicles every day, including one German vehicle all on its own.  As we were carrying (as advised) enough food and water for several weeks, it would have been no great hardship to wait a day or so for rescue.  Another thing they forget to mention is that, although you do drink a lot in the desert (upwards of 5 litres daily), this does not apply if you spend the whole day sitting in an air-conditioned Landcruiser!

Being a cautious soul, I took the advice anyway and teamed up with two other vehicles, a Mauritanian Hilux carrying a Hungarian couple and a dizzy Swiss girl and a hopelessly underpowered, Belgian VW Synchro, with Mike (ex Belgian army and equipped for every eventuality) and his current travelling companion, an adventurous, elderly English lady who was backpacking around Africa!  As it turned out, we never needed their help (although Mike's compressor was a marvellous timesaver) and they only needed ours once or twice, but it was reassuring and certainly more enjoyable to have their company.

Return to Sahara Itinerary 2008

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Jeremy Harrison 2005-2020