Page 20 of AfricaBound Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Senegal » Cape Verde Peninsula » Dakar October 30th 2007

It took us two full days of driving on a cramped truck, in the heat, over a road that has so many pot holes, we averaged in some sections 20-30km/hour to get here, but once we got to the national park, it was totally worth it. We saw our first big african animal, the Hippo. We spent 2 nights here, so we were able to relax and enjoy the park. In the morning, we went for a nice relaxing boat ride along the river to spot Hippos, which are apparently one of the more dangerous animals in Africa. During the boat ride we spotted 3 hippos in the water ahead of us; so the boat operator turned off the motor and we drifted quitely towards the hippos, hoping to get closer to them, but as we ... read more
Niokolo Koba 1
Niokolo Koba 2
Niokolo Koba 3

Africa » Senegal » Saint-Louis Region » Saint-Louis October 26th 2007

As a result of skipping an extra day in Nouakchott, we had a bonus day added to our itinerary. So we had the opportunity to take one day longer to get to Dakar and we chose to stay in Zebrabar national park just outside St Louis. Here we had a really relaxing time in the beautiful setting. We took an afternoon boat trip along the river and stopped on a sand spit where you could see St Louis off in the distance. There were literally thousands of crabs scurrying across the sand which made us all smile.... read more
Zebrabar 1
Zebrabar 2
Zebrabar 3

Africa » Senegal » Saint-Louis Region » Saint-Louis October 25th 2007

Crossing the border from Mauritania to Senegal was an adventure in itself. Quoting directly from my journal... ' yet another Police/Military check point along the way to get to the border of Senegal, we've decided that the border crossing at Rosso is probably going to be pretty tough and take upwards of 6-8 hours and potentially multiple bribes etc, so we're going to be taking a detour to another border crossing which we've heard through the grapevine is much easier to get through. The Border guards for Senegal are notorious for requesting bribes etc. It took us 4 hours of driving along a dirt road to get to the alternate border crossing, and even then it took us 2 hours to get through the Mauritania/ Senegal border and one stupid toll of 25 Euro (originally he ... read more
St Louis 2
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St Louis 4

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti October 20th 2007

After a night in Nouakchott to shower and catch up on food shopping we ventured away from the coast inland to the old trading city of Chinguetti. Once a major player in Mauritania, it is still considered by Mauritanians to be one of the holiest places in Islam. The city itself is a shadow of its former self and is slowly giving way to the sands of the desert that surround it. It's incredible to see the many buildings that are half-burried in the sand, and one can only think that it is one major sand storm away from completely disappearing. How many people get to celebrate their 30th birthday in an ancient city in the middle of the desert? Naturally, camel riding seemed like a unique way to celebrate! They're such funny looking animals, but ... read more
Driving 1
Driving 2
Driving 3

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott October 18th 2007

While the cities in Mauritania are anything but special, the drive from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott was far and away the highlight of the trip on the Dover to Dakar section. There is a brand new tarmac'd highway linking the two cities, but if we took that it would entirely defeat the purpose of travelling overland. A little sandmatting was certainly worth the effort in order to experience the real Sahara. Part 2 of this drive took us along the beach through a bird sanctuary and national park. When we arrived at the beach we had to wait around for several hours to allow the tide to go out so that there would be a large enough strip of firm sand to drive on. Once the tide was out far enough we were only about 10 to ... read more
Desert 1
Desert 2
Desert 3

Africa » Mauritania » Dakhlet Nouadhibou » Nouadhibou October 17th 2007

We arrived in Nouadhibou the night of the 14th. A stark contrast to relatively civilized Morocco. This is when Kathie finally exclaimed, "okay, now we're in Africa!" The town itself is not much to speak of, but it was a place to re-charge after a couple of nights bush camping and stock up on supplies for the 3-day journey across the sand dunes to the capital of Nouakchott. After a short drive along the road, we left the tarmac and began our trek through the sand. Rather than roads, there are trails left behind by previous vehicles where the tracks haven't been covered by blowing sand. We would not have made it very far if we did not have our guide Ahmed with us. He is from Nouadhibou and is a very famous guide. He knows ... read more
Nouadhibou 1
Nouadhibou 2
Nouadhibou 3

Africa » Western Sahara October 14th 2007

Sorry for the length of time between updates. There isn't much for internet cafes when you're bush camping in the desert! We've got a lot to update on so we'll try to split it up into a few entries. The next part of our journey took us through the disputed territory of Western Sahara. We won't go into the historical details of the dispute, but the result is that there are police checks every couple of kilometers (or so it seems) and the ocasional mine field. Surprisingly though, the road is all tarmac and in very good shape the whole way through. We were prepared to do hours of digging in the sand, but were plesently surprised with the conditions. Our thirst for digging would be satisified later...not to worry! Upon exiting Morocco, we came across ... read more
Tree Goats
Tree Goats 2
Tree Goats 3

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira October 11th 2007

We are enjoying the last of our day and a half visit to Essouira. It's a beach resort town and used to be popular with the hippie crowd. The atmosphere is so much more relaxed here and for the first time we felt comfortable browsing the shops in the Medina without being hassled to our wits end. We are taking advantage of the time to relax and gain our strength for the next portion of our trip. After today we make our way across the Sahara desert and into Mauritania over the course of 6 days. There's going to be lots of sun, sand, and digging (digging out the truck when we get stuck).... read more
Essouira 4
Essouira 1
Essouira 2

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech October 9th 2007

What a crazy, stressful city! When we first arrived it took very little time for our driver to get hopelessly lost in the maze of streets (especially without his co-driver who stayed back in Rabat to pick up our visas). He hired a couple of local teens to direct us to our hotel which was right off the main square Djemma el Fna. This is where the action is. The square is full of entertainers, scammers, snake charmers, etc. It was fairly quiet during the day, but it really came alive at night. You had to be on your toes at all times to avoid getting hit by the scooters that were constantly zipping through. The internet here is pretty fast and reasonably easy to locate internet cafes around. So we thought we would take advantage ... read more
Marrakech 1
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Marrakech 4

Africa » Morocco October 6th 2007

Next stop on the list is Ait Benhaddou, site of one of the most photographed Kasbahs in the world. It's been seen in such films as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Jewel of the Nile among many others. We only spent a couple hours here, but it was a worthwhile photo op. Much of it looks like ancient ruins until you find out that people still live in the Kasbah. We spent the night at a campsite just outside of town and prepared for the drive over the High Atlas mountains to Marrakech.... read more
Kasbah 1
Kasbah 2

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