West Africa 2019 – Part 1

High Atlas MountainsWelcome Aboard – join us for a week, or a few months?

The first expedition with our new truck  will be departing in May 2019 when the truck is finished in Poznan. This adventure will follow a familiar path to the 2016 trip – though taking things a bit slower! Check out the video here for a taste.

Leaving Europe we will explore Morocco, winding South from the Mediterranean through the Atlas Mountains, exploring the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Coast.

Troopy – Erg Chigaga 2016

We will be climbing through the high folds of the Atlas mountains, and down through the spectacular gorges cut into them. Spending nights out under the stars in the desert. Making our way across the dunes of Erg Chegaga on the old route of the Paris-Dakar Rally. Staying at a trail-side auberge for some traditional Moroccan off-truck dining and hospitality.

As well as the grand landscapes, we will visit the historic cities of Fez, Casablanca and Marrakech – with time to become immersed in the ancient medinas, and stock up on spices from market stalls for our on-board kitchen. There will even be a visit to a vegan restaurant or two!

To the South we follow the Atlantic coast – literally on the beach for a 30km stretch of wet sand at low tide, between the dry dunes and the roaring ocean. Stopping over at a luxury camp with a swimming pool near a ruined fort, after walking under the cliffs and sea arches at Legzira.

Legzira

Then we head into Western Sahara and the long, empty expanse of desert and sea towards Dakhla. The desert has flattened into a wide plain here, ending as cliffs drop into the Atlantic, cut through by the occasional dry valley filled with dunes.

Time for some thought here – this is one of those places that people hardly inhabit – the few that did traditionally surviving on fish from the sea and herding hardy animals. Now though, there are more people, towns and packaged food brought in by trucks. Wind farms, water desalination plants and mineral extraction supporting the growing population that the desert can’t provide for.

A stopover by a dry salt lake on the way provides a quiet break from the journey before we reach Dakhla Lagoon – a kite-surfer’s paradise of smooth water, sheltered from the Atlantic to the West. Beyond Dakhla the road is even quieter as we head for Mauritania.

Ironically given our choice of name, Overland travel in Africa is sometimes all about borders. Each is an experience of its own, and the crossing from Western Sahara into Mauritania will no doubt be memorable and probably take most of the day. After negotiating the formalities, we’ll head into Nouadhibou to prepare for the next little adventure.Nouadhibou is the end of the line for one of the world’s more extreme railways. Every day 2km long trains of iron ore cross the desert from Zouerat to the coast, also carrying passengers. By all accounts the best way to take the trip is sitting on top of the loaded ore wagons, rather than the passenger coach tagged onto the train. The word ‘comfortable’ has not been used in relation to either option. Keeping the rail line to our North, we will be heading into 400km of desert on sandy tracks to make the crossing to Atar – passing by Mauritania’s answer to Uluru: Ben Amera.

After exploring the Adrar region’s oases, this time we will head back to the coast to explore the Banc d’Arguin National Park on our way to Nouakchott – a last goodbye to the Sahara. If anyone is particularly adventurous, needs a break from the truck, or is keen on extreme trains, the ore-wagons are of course an option! Check out this blog post from the 2016 trip for more on this section of the route.

Crossing into Senegal on the last leg towards Dakar, we’ll stop over in St Louis before heading down the coast to Africa’s most Westerly point and the end of our Poznan-Dakar rally.

Pickup and Dropoff Schedule

The Rolling Vegan Guesthouse will be in the following places where it will be easiest to join or leave:

  • Day 1-8 – UK / South of France / Spain.
  • Day 10 – Nador/Melilla
  • Day 15-17 – Fez
  • Day 21-22 – Casablanca
  • Day 30-31 – Marrakesh
  • Day 34 – Agadir
  • Day 42-44 – Dakhla
  • Day 47 – Nouadhibou
  • Day 51/54 – Atar
  • Day 60 – Nouakchott
  • Day 63 – St Louis
  • Day 65 – Dakar

Cost

Vegan Without Frontiers is run on a not-for-profit basis – your contribution goes directly to paying back the costs of building the truck and running its expeditions, with the surplus being allocated to supported charities. When the truck is eventually sold at the end of its service, the proceeds will also go to those charities.

Your cost will be based on the duration of your stay on-board and consist of 2 elements:

  1. Payment in advance for the on-board accommodation and a donation to supported charities – £85/night.
  2. Local payment covering the cost of food/drink, off-truck accommodation and a donation to supported projects in the places we visit – €250/week.

This covers all your accommodation – your berth on-board the truck and other accommodation when we stop at hotels, guesthouses and other off-truck nights. It includes your meals, with drinks at mealtimes, and use of all the facilities on-board. We aim to spend 2 nights of each week in included off-truck accommodation – subject to the available standard and type of accommodation. Most places we will stay on-board are campgrounds with facilities – but the truck is fully self-contained for those special nights in the wild.

Interested? Contact us now!

Extras:

  1. Travel to and from joining and leaving points is not included – we can provide limited assistance with your planning, or recommend a travel agent to help.
  2. Passports and visas are your responsibility and requirements vary for each country and according to your nationality. We will provide supporting information on request where required for visa applications, but please do your research carefully according to your own circumstances. Visas are one of the main sources of difficulties when travelling overland – we will deal with the formalities at borders you cross with us, but you need to be prepared.
  3. Travel insurance. You must take out comprehensive travel insurance valid for the entirety of your trip.
  4. Upgrades. In some places we will be staying there are options to go for a more luxurious accommodation or restaurant meals – for example when staying at a place where we are camping in the truck which also has hotel accommodation. You are welcome to choose to take a luxury option but at your own expense.
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Vegan Adventure Travel, Expeditions to Africa and Around the World

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