I need your advice. I'm now in West Africa heading slowely to Mauretania. At the begginig of June I intend to cross the Mauritania - Marocco border. I have to questions to ask you:
1. Is the safety good enough on this route (I mean kidnapping, armed attacks on tourist etc), did anyone of you travelled this way recently
2. I know that there is no organized transport between those countries but I've heard about trucks leaving daily from the capital to Agadir for about 70 euros. Is it still actual?
If anyone of you is planning to go the same way in the same time and would like to join me please write trough travellerspoint
Best wishes from Benin and thx in advance for help and advice
I haven't been there, but what I heard these trucks transport the countless refugees going north to seek a better life in Europe. It is quite illegal as most enter Morocco without proper papers, plus some are abandoned in the desert when the truck breaks down or deliberately after the smugglers have got a hold on their money. Think hard whether you want to risk that.
I don't think it's a good idea! evrything is possible in Africa; even i belive Morocco is safe; but the danger could be just few metters after the borders!
don't risk pal; take a flight to Agadir or casablanca! I flew once from south africa ; the flights won't cost too much traveling by plan is one of the cheapest stff in Africa!
flew from Morocco to tunizia and payed 95$
In case you still need info. I travelled through Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal into Gambia, and returned safely, with my husband in our small motor caravan. As long as you keep to the main routes its as safe as anywhere. Police are helpful but be careful of the bribes. You don't always have to pay them. If you want more info let me know.
Route is entirely safe. I went in 2007 from Holland to Gambia with my own transport. No problem at all. People are very friendly and helpful. I haven't been kidnapped. All fine. There is a lot of road blocks so it is quite safe around here.
I co-drove an old ambulance all tghe way from Oxford, UK to Banjul, Gambia in December last year. We crossed from Morocco/Western Sahara to Mauritania and it was all fairly straightforward and safe. Loads of Europeans drive right down to western sahara to windsurf at Dakhla and many do continue on into mauritania.
I would say that it is absolutely fine based on my experience. it took around 4 hours to cross border into mauri but there were 7 of us and our vehicle more than aroused suspicion on a number of occasions (we drove all the way thru morocco with gaffer tape covering any ambulance insignia).
Mauritania is wild and beautiful in a sandy windswept way and not exactly a first-time travel destination but you are already in west africa so it isn't going to completely shock you. nouadibou and nouakchott don't have much going on hahah but camping in parc national banc d'arguin was magical! driving through the desert means taking a good local guide who you can arrange at campsites in either city. they know all about deflating tyres by eye to right pressure, which route to take when to our eyes it is all just empty nothingness.
I am sure I don't need to mention cadeau/presents/'some clothes for my daughter or son etc'/bribes etc as you are in west africa already but the same applies in mauri and morocco at borders, checkpoints etc. we got a speeding ticket in morocco as the police have these speed guns and do use them. be careful.
I found the border between marui and senegal more arduous than morocco to mauri as the senegalese officials were slow, greedy and gave us a lot of shit. we didn't give them the huge amount of money they asked for so they just sat there until we eventually broke them down! be careful but again I am sure you are familiar with this sort of thing.
From re-reading your post it seems you are not driving am i right? if you are 'backpacking' I would suggest you try to find a lift with europeans from a campsite in nouadihbou who are driving across the border to morocco. i wouldn't know about the chances of a lift with a local truck driver but would guess that you would get a lot of hassle at the border travelling this way as it must be pretty uncommon. western tourists in shitty old cars are very much the norm because of the various rally groups like plymouth-dakar and the spin-offs of this, like me and my mates. stick with cadging a lift from other westerners in my opinion.
also, finally mauritanian currency is worthless outside the country so use up whatever you have or you will change it for 50% or less of its value elsewhere. we changed some in gambia for 35% of value! it was found insde the pages of someones book and was about £40 worth! whoops.
have fun and if you have any questions please PM me. I would also like to know how you get on!
p.s. thankfully my next trip is a sleepy slow mooch through sri lanka. west africa is fun but tiring!
I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for your advice and replies to my post. I have returned safely home and I can say now myself that travelling trough Western Sahara from Mauritania is absolutely safe. I did it on board of a Morrocan fruit truck, it's long, it's hard but it is not dangerous in any way. From Mauritania - Nouakchott to Agadir 2,5 days and 2 nights - 70 euros. Ask near the Morrocan Mosque in Nouakchott.
Safe travel to all of you