Being used to driving in Europe, our usual concerns are
about how much traffic, accidents, road works and other impediments will block
When we read about Africa, we know it is going to be different, but have no idea
how different. With hindsight, it is simple...do not panic. It
really is not as bad as you might expect from all the horror stories, but then
we did go in the dry season.
The main roads are surprisingly good, with
major hazards being suicidal animals and pedestrians with occasional
from other drivers, though not that often. Hopefully the following
pictures give you an idea of what it is like, or was like in December 2005, just
after completion of the hardtop from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott. They say
that the last couple of kilometres of piste across No-man's-land will be
completed next year, then it will be asphalt all the way from Europe to
Nouakchott, and thence to Nema at the end of the Route d'espoir.
Still no way of avoiding some
piste driving if you want to go to Mali. Route with least distance on
piste is from Ayoun to Nioro on asphalt, then 170 miles of currently appalling
piste to Didiema, then asphalt to Bamako. They were building a new road
when we went so even this last bit might be asphalt by the time you go!