Paris Dakar, the name says it all. You have the opportunity to travel from Paris to Dakar with your own motorbike in 22 days, partly along the legendary rally route. The route selected by OVERCROSS runs along large sections of the original route.
We will be off-road for most of the journey, but in order to make distance, connecting stages on asphalt are unfortunately unavoidable. The route leads far away from civilisation through rugged gorges and sandy passages along the Atlantic Ocean. This is not a cultural tour, but an expedition for endurists who want to experience the highlight of their lives. Here is the adventure and maybe you will soon be in the middle of it?
On the first day of the trip, we meet in the morning with our motorbikes in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This is the official start of the trip. Of course, you have the option of joining the guide from Germany and arriving in Paris as a group. After getting to know each other and a few instructions, you're off. The day's destination is the highest dune in Europe, the Dune du Pilat, in Arcachon near Bordeaux.
After seeing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time on our journey, which we will encounter again thousands of kilometres further south and much warmer, we drive over the foothills of the Pyrenees into Spain. After a short drive over a pass, we cross the Ibirian Meseta plateau to Burgos, our destination for the day.
You don't know where you are at the moment. The north of Spain is sparsely populated and the vastness of the landscape and the surroundings remind us of images from motorbike tours in America. We have to make kilometres in order to reach the ferry early on the fourth day.
After we crossed over by ferry, we have to go through customs with our bikes. As it usually takes a while, we will set up our camp at a suitable location not far from the ferry port.
We ride along the coast to Rabat and then take small roads towards the Atlas Mountains. It take some time to get used to the traffic, especially when riding a motorbike. We will work our way through the foothills of the Atlas towards Ouzoud. The first pass roads are already waiting for us.
Today, after about 2500 km, we take a well-deserved rest day. There is time to hike in the beautiful landscape around Ouzoud, to visit the 120 m high waterfalls or to take care of your motorbike.
We meet the participants of the Marrakech to Dakar Tour 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.
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 as we enter the dessert. Once we arrive in Tafraoute, we can stock up on provisions for the next few days and admire the gigantic monoliths, which look as if they were made by human hands.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Nein, für Reisen nach Kambodscha muss dein Reisepass mindestens bis sechs Monate nach deiner Rückkehr nach Hause gültig sein.
Leider nein, denn es gibt selbst in den Karpaten keine Schnee-Garantie.
Ja, für Tansania wird ein Visum benötigt, dieses kann online beantragt werden. Außerdem muss der Reisepass mindestens 6 Monate über die Aufenthaltsdauer hinaus gültig sein.
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