Ghana to Morocco Trip Advise
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 19, 2012 12:26 AM Last Post By: taharqa
Jan 15, 2012 10:35 PM
Additionally, how difficult will it be to make it from Dakar, Senegal to Morocco? And where are the best places to purchase needed Visas? I have read good things online about TCV and Gana Transport bus services, but if anyone has advise on the best routes and buses to take, it would be really helpful.
Any insight to these questions or general recommendations for this trip would be greatly appreciated, particularly any one who has traveled these areas recently!
Jan 16, 2012 1:10 AM
Jan 16, 2012 3:51 AM
2As Taharqa mentioned, the risk of being victim of a road accident in Africa (or anywhere, even in Afghanistan) is much higher than the risk of being victim of a terrorist incident.
From Ghana to Morocco, travelling by public transport and applying for visas on the way is rather smooth. In most cases, you need to your visa ready before arriving at the border, but the embassies should grant visas within one working-day without any additional support documents.
Travelling between Mali and Senegal is a bit rough and time-consuming. If you want to skip Senegal, there are also direct buses Bamako - Nouakchott. Between Nouadhibou and Dakhla, there is no public transport available.
Jan 18, 2012 11:21 AM
3I really appreciate your responses. Do you think Senegal is worth the extra time spent getting there? I figured we would explore Dakar, and maybe try to spend time at some beaches in the area. But I am much more excited about Morocco, so maybe I should head straight to Nouakchott from Bamako as you suggested. And you mentioned that there is no public transport available between Nouadhibou and Dakhla, I assume at that point I would hire a bush taxi? I'm sure I will become well acquainted with bush taxis during my trip, but are there any guidelines or standard protocols in hiring one (in a way that I won't get ripped off)? How much should I expect to pay for a bush taxi from Nouadhibou to Dakhla?
Jan 18, 2012 1:04 PM
I'm just back from an overland Spain-Senegal trip, in a car, so I can't help with public transport questions, sorry. But a couple of thoughts on Morocco vs Senegal. Morocco is much more developed than it used to be (I hadn't been there since 1994, so that's entirely unsurprising, but it is just like southern Europe now). This may be a good thing for you or bad: it's easy to get around, the people are lovely, the food is great, infrastructure works etc - but perhaps less 'exotic' than you might want? Senegal (and also Gambia) were, by contrast, much harder travelling - e.g. hard to find places to eat/stay/buy food along the way, crappy and overpriced hotels with dodgy water/plumbing etc, and much more of a feeling of being a tourist (e.g. having to stay at 'tourist camp' type places rather than hotels where locals stay) - also lovely people, though :-)
And Mauritania - well, I'd read the UK/Australian foreign office warnings and I was convinced it was a hotbed of scary unrest and hostility - and in fact it was absolutely fine. I'd packed Gulf-appropriate women's wear (long skirt, long sleeves, headscarf) but in the end I felt fine in cargo pants and a short sleeve T-shirt, without covered hair (I wouldn't wear a vest top or shorts/short skirt there, though - as I wouldn't in any Islamic country).
Mauritania practicalities: it was hard to get fuel/water/food in the north, and Nouakchott is a hole, seriously. Plus: no-one has any idea where anything is - orientation outside of the centre is hard. But the national park (Banc D'Arguin) was great and the roads are really good (better than Belgium, according to the Dutch guys I was travelling with!) Southern Morocco (Western Sahara) was also great - we met an activist guy who explained to us (in Spanish) all about the separatist struggles - very interesting and sweet guy.
So I'm not sure where that leaves you, but if I was doing my whole trip again, knowing what I know now, I'd probably spend a bit longer in Western Sahara and northern Mauritania and less time in northern Morocco (although the trip there was lovely - it's just a bit too easy to do it on a budget airline from Europe any time you like - in particular, Marrakesh was a real hustlery tourist trap - much worse than I'd remembered, and worse than comparably touristed places in the region - Cairo, Istanbul, Petra, etc).
I'd also think twice about how I travelled in Senegal/Gambia - perhaps basing myself in one place and staying a little while doing e.g. a course or something, rather than trying to travel around and sort out practicalities on the fly, always feeling like a parasite doing something that a local wouldn't normally do.
Hope this helps - have fun :-)
Jan 18, 2012 1:05 PM
5Oh and: the Ile du Goree, near Dakar, is awesome - go there :-)
Jan 19, 2012 12:26 AM
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