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Dakhla

Photo © chuchi1998

Travel Guide Africa Western Sahara Dakhla

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Introduction

Dakhla is a city in Western Sahara under Moroccan control. It is the capital of the Moroccan administrative region Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira. It is built on a narrow peninsula of the Atlantic Coast (Península de Río de Oro) about 535 kilometres south of El Aaiún (Laayoune).

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Sights and Activities

There are windsurfing and quad driving opportunities north of Dakhla. Inquire locally. A kite shop next to the Supratours office at the waterfront is helpful with all the necessary info. You can wind and kitesurf on both the western (ocean) and eastern (lagoon) side of the peninsula.

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Weather

Dakhla has a mild arid climate. Dakhla receives an average of less than 40 mm of precipitation per year. The temperature averages around 18 °C during January, Dakhla's coldest month and around 23 °C during September, its warmest month.

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Getting There

By Plane

Dakhla Airport (IATA: VIL) has almost daily flights from/to Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. There is a regular flight to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria with CanaryFly but it is only seasonal.

By Car

National Route 1, running the length, of the country passes by Dakhla It is also the only major road in the vicinity. Distance from the nearest major city in the north, El Aaiun is 535 kilometres. This road is in good condition but expect long distances between gas stations.

To the south of Dakhla is 440 kilometres of almost uninhabited territory, except for a few tiny fishing villages, until the Mauritanian border and Nouadhibou. Travelling this stretch by car is perfectly possible but requires some planning and careful preparations. There are only two gas stations along the entire route and breakdown could include hours of wait in scoring temperatures.

By Bus

There are a few buses daily from as far away as Casablanca and Marrakech. Buses are run by CTM, Supratours and Satas. There are no regional operators. Supratours and CTM buses run to and from Agadir (approximately 20 hours). Supratours has two buses per day, while CTM has one. Be prepared for countless checkpoints along the way.

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Getting Around

The city centre is small enough to navigate on foot. Should you want to head further out, petits taxis are abound and are metered.

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Sleep

There are plenty of budget hotels clustered around the city centre. Due to military presence, most only have twin rooms and you will pay almost the same price if you are alone. Twin rooms usually cost 60Dh. Prices, as always, are negotiable.

There are a few campsites by the road to the north of Dakhla. Camping Moussafir is a popular spot with overlanders, and is located just south of the first checkpoint out of town.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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This is version 4. Last edited at 10:40 on Aug 10, 15 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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