The Marrakech to Dakar Motorcycle Tour is the alternative tour to the historic rally course of the legendary Paris-Dakar Rallye and a sensational highlight for all those who only have 16 days. Your vehicle or rental vehicle will be waiting in Marrakech together with the participants of the Paris-Dakar Tour. The off-road and on-road stages selected by us run on large sections along the original course of the Paris Dakar Rally southwards to Lac Rose in Dakar. No times are taken, because they are history and we don't want to rush either. Historically, however, we will follow the route to the finish in Senegal. When choosing the route, we paid attention to the security situation on the ground, so we won't be able to cover the whole route. This expedition from Marrakech to Dakar is meant to give you the opportunity to get a feeling of what the heroes back in the days experienced.
Marrakech to Dakar: Motorbike Expedition
You fly from Germany to Marrakech in Morocco, where the motorbikes and other off-road vehicles are waiting for you. After crossing the Atlas Mountains, we will enter the desert and go off-road on large sections of the route into the Western Sahara. Along the wild Atlantic coast we will enter Mauritania. In Mauritania, the track gets really rough and we will rarely see asphalt. The goal is to reach Dakar, the capital of Senegal and a thriving metropolis in West Africa.
Motorbike Tour Day 1: Arrival in Morocco
After landing in Marrakech, you will be met at the airport and given your motorbikes. You can spend the rest of the day in the alleys of Marrakech, packing your bikes and preparing for the tour.
Motorbike tour Day 2: Meeting in Asni and crossing the Tizi n'Test
We meet the participants of the Paris to Dakar in Asni at the foot of the Jbel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. Together we continue to the top of the Tizi n'Test pass. Even though there are not too many kilometres, it takes almost a day to reach Taroudant on the other side. On the single-lane road, we encounter everything from donkeys to 40-tonne trucks.
Motorbike tour Day 3: African culture and wonderful riding fun on our bikes
We drive through a beautiful valley full of almond trees towards Tafraoute. The road winds continuously along the valley wall and makes the motorcyclist's heart beat faster. The first dromedaries will be seen where the desert begins. Once we arrive in Tafraoute, we can stock up on food and fuel for the next few days and admire the gigantic monoliths, which look as if they were made by human hands.
Motorbike Tour Day 4 and 5: Through the Sahara to Smara
The first major off-road stage lies ahead of us. We will drive for two days through the western foothills of the great Sahara towards the desert town of Smara. On the way we cross the disputed border between Morocco and the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. This can still be felt today in the mentality of the locals and the language. Whereas French is very common in Morocco, Spanish is now the only way to get around. From here on, there are only a few refuelling possibilities with leaded petrol only.
Motorbike tour Day 6: To the metropolis of Western Sahara
The route follows a dusty track along the Saguia el Hamra river, which also has water most of the year. The day's destination, El Aaiún, is not far away and there is time in the afternoon to stretch your legs or take a dip in the sea.
Motorbike Tour Day 7 and 8: Sahara, Sahara and Sahara
We take the N1 for about 500 km to Dakhla. To our right is the blue Atlantic and to our left the endless expanse of the Sahara. We will have time to make repeated stops at the beautiful coast and to drive off-road along the beach. Optionally, we can also step on the gas and chill on the beach of the surfer town Dakhla.
Motorbike Tour Day 9: Offroad into the Unknown
While Morocco is known to nearly everyone, Mauritania is rather unknown despite its size. We will spend the rest of the day dealing with the entry of man and machine into Mauritania. Right behind the border we set up our camp for the night in the idyllic dunes and allow ourselves and the motorbikes some well-deserved rest.
Motorbike Tour Day 10 and 11: The Oasis of Atar
We follow the route of the iron ore train off-road to Atar. The route is a tough one and it will take us two days to reach the oasis. Atar was once an important city in the high culture of the Moors, who gave the country its name.
Motorbike tour Day 12: Out of the desert - off to Dakar
We drive back to the sea and will be half on-half off-road in the Sahara for the last time ,before entering the Sahel zone.
Motorbike Tour Day 13: On the Beach
Before the road was built in 2006, the official route to Nuakchott was going along the beach. Due to the tides, it is smooth and you still make better progress than on the road. Our destination for the day is the main city of Nouakchott, where half of Mauritania's population lives.
Motorbike Tour Day 14: Across the Senegal (River)
Those who don't know ''Fech Fech'' yet, will get to know it today (very fine powder that often forms in deserts due to deflation). On tracks covered with it, we drive to the border of Senegal along the Senegal River. There are trees along the road again and clearly more animals. Our way leads us through a bird sanctuary national park where our European birds spend the winter. Our destination for the day is Saint-Louis. The city is on an island in the delta of the Senegal River and has a very beautiful colonial city centre.
Motorbike Tour Day 15: Finish line in Dakar
We leave Saint-Louis in the morning and reach Dakar around noon. Like the Paris Dakar, our journey ends on the shores of Lac Rose, the pink salt lake on the outskirts of Dakar. We will spend the last evening together and celebrate our arrival with a good meal and a couple of beers ;)
Motorbike tour Day 16: Way home
Today is unfortunately the official end of our dusty and sandy expedition. After we have handed in the motorbikes at customs for shipment, we will board the plane, freshly showered and freed from sand and dust, we start our journey home.
Those who have not yet had enough can join us for a few more days of exploring Senegal and Gambia by motorbike.
IMPORTANT information about this trip / expedition:
The journey ahead of you is advertised by us as an expedition and is also to be understood as an expedition! For safety reasons, we will not cover all sections of the original Paris Dakar track on this expedition!
Expedition means that we explore the route, which we have had in our programme since 2015, every year anew, so the above trip description is only to be understood as a rough guide!
You have the possibility to compare the expedition description with the original route to avoid any misunderstandings.
This expedition is one of the last stages to be driven in and through the Sahara for off-roaders and endurists alike, so let's start today before it's too late tomorrow.
Answers to any questions you may have can be found on our FAQ page or by clicking on the enquiry button above.
Services included in the tour price:
- English speaking tour guide from OVERCROSS
- All accommodation (hotel and camping) as advertised
- Travel insurance certificate is compulsory for all trips
- Accompanying / support vehicle for the expedition trip
- Flights for participants from Dakar to Frankfurt
- Technical assistance and support for vehicle repairs
- Driving and off-road briefing
- Provision of tools and equipment
- Securing the logistics of spare parts
- Expedition kitchen and crockery during the expedition trip
- All entrance fees for sightseeing are covered by Overcross
- Motorbike transport from Tübingen to Marrakech
- Motorbike transport from Dakar to Tübingen
- Breakfast and dinner
Services not included in the tour price:
- Bar and restaurant visits
- International health insurance (compulsory!) travel, luggage, transport, car (green card) insurance
- Rental motorbike and deposit
- Customs documents / VISA /Carnet and security deposit
- Everything that is not listed in the included service