We begin our trip in Marrakech, one of the most touristic and interesting cities in Morocco. After going through the lightbulb, the parks and the always busy and striking place of Jemaa el Fna we go towards the south by the mountainous road which takes to Tizi n’Test in the Atlas.
The Tinmel mosque is 80 km head south Marrakech, on the high Atlas, built by the almohades in 1553. It was a new architectonical style which has continued in the Kuntubia in Marrakech, the Giralda in Seville and the Tour of Hassan in Rabat. Our first night we camped surrounded by a magnificent scenery with the spectacular Atlas Mountains.
From Tizi n’Test placed 2100 meters high we travelled to the Gorges de Ait Mansour, on the south of Tafraoutte. For several kilometers the road is pretty narrow and goes thought a beautiful palm tree area. Red mudbrick houses, gardens and a stunning landscape was our present for the day.
The Sahara desert begins, still 2.000 kilometers of never ending stones, sand, dunes, beautiful bays, solitary beaches where to camp and spend the night under the stars. From time to time a camel heard or the gendarmerie, very politely, asking us for “les fiches”. It was long days of drive but we have enjoyed the gorgeous gastronomy of the region with big fresh fish barbecues and delicious tajines and also the landscapes, even hard and monotone but always changing and amazing
Dakhla, with its spectacular bay, good wind, calm waters, and numerous camps has become in the last years one of the greatest spot to practice kite surf.
Forwards the “no man land”, it is a space of several kilometers between the border of Morocco and Mauritania, which belongs to the Sahraouian people and where the Morocco government has entered to build a road and to occupate the territory. There we found the Soldiers of the “Frente Polisario”
The Mauritanian visa can be obtained at the border for 120€
In the camping “La Baie du Levrier“ in Nouadhibou we have rested for a couple of nights. There we have met a German and Swish biker group that were traveling towards the inside of Mauritania, with a Portuguese ONG traveling up to Guinea Bissau and with a couple of Canadian bikers who were traveling by train to Chingetti. Mauritania is a country that we would love to explore in the future and expand much more this itinerary; there are many interesting places and very nice people. Anyway we were happy to see that there are always people visiting this country.
Maybe the big surprise was the Diawlin National Park in Mauritania, the continuity of the Djoudj National Park in Senegal. This park is known internationally for its big concentration of birds, lovely natural scape of wetlands and variated fauna (bush pig, crocodiles, varanos, chacals) that we have contemplated from the road heading to Diama (Senegal) and from our campsite next to the wetlands inside the Diawlin Park.
The Zebrabar is 17km away from Saint Louis in the National Park “Langue de Barbarie”. A great place to rest after a long journey though the desert. Swim in the river, excursions, canopying, barbecues, relax are some activities we can do in this fantastic place.
We finish the trip in the busy Dakar, city that offers big markets, workshop centers, cultural visits and a quiet space where we could rest in the Espace Thialy