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Quality of the Roads

Here is a description of some of the desert roads in the Sahara. Traffic is usually scarce. Their status may have changed since Eden visited them last.

Algeria

Ghardaïa-El Goléa: The road itself is very good. There are sand dunes on the road to watch out for. Last visited: August 93.
El Goléa-In Salah: The road itself is very good. There are sand dunes on the road to watch out for. Last visited: August 93.
In Salah-Tamanrasset: The road itself is generally good, although somewhat bumpy. There are spots of sand on the road. The mountains around Arak are a sight worth seeing. In some places (after Arak) the asphalt has completely deteriorated. Last visited: October 96.
Béchar-Reggane: The road is very good. The stretch between El Ouâta and Adrar, is bordered by impressive sand dunes. Although there are signs warning about sand on the road, it seems to be well maintained. There are many small oases between Adrar and Reggane. Last visited: October 96
Reggane-In Salah: Between Reggane and Tit the road is very good. The topography is flat and monotonous. About 5 km after Tit, the asphalt disappears entirely. Where there is no track at all, markers have been set out to show the way, but they can be a bit hard to find. Last visited: October 96.
 
Tamanrasset-In Guezzam: There is a short section of asphalt down the mountains. There are markers along the way, but they seem to be showing both a new and an old route, which is a bit confusing. The area is flat and the surface quite hard (except for the ergs) in the beginning. When approaching In Guezzam, a difficult area arrives. There is a sort of pass bordered by mountains and sand seas on both sides. Make certain you find and follow the route here. It is very easy to get stuck. After this, the rest is rather flat again, and you should have no trouble following the markers to In Guezzam. One small notice is that once you see the town, follow the wheel tracks, not the markers into town. The markers will lead you to an entry that is blocked by sand. 
The town of In Guezzam is not the same place as the border station. The border station is located a bit further out, and there is lots of sand surrounding it. Follow the road here. Last visited: October 96

Crossing between Niger and Algeria

This is a short section, but a tricky one as well, because both In Guezzam and Assamaka seem to be surrounded by sand. Get some speed in order to 'float' over the softer regions. The customs at Assamaka can be picky about where you should park your car. Last visited: October 96.
What was trans-sahara like before?
Click here to see a map of the off-road stretch between El Goléa, Algeria and Arlit, Niger in 1986.

Niger

Assamaka-Arlit: There is no road here, only markers showing the way. Tracks run in almost every direction, so it's easy to get lost. There are a few sand seas you may get caught in if you venture too far on your own, especially when closing in on Arlit. Otherwise the terrain is rather hard and hilly. Some sand dunes can look very soft but actually be quite hard when you drive on them. Last visited: October 96.
Arlit-Agadèz: The road is very good. It seems that some places will be submerged in water during the rainy season. Last visited: October 96.
Agadèz-Tanout: The road begins with asphalt. After a while the asphalt ends, but there is still a road. Depending on how long it was since the road was cleared, there may be ruts so deep that they will touch the chassis of a Toyota Land Cruiser (but you can still drive there). The last time Eden was there, the road had been cleared of sand, and was a 'washboard'. The final part of the stretch is asphalt as well. Last visited: October 96.

Morocco

Most roads in Morocco seem to be good, but somewhat narrow. On some distances, two cars can not meet without moving onto the gravel by the side of the road. The danger here, is that your windshield be hit by a stone, but that's about as bad as it gets. Visited desert roads include Er-Rachidia-Bouarfa (October 96) and Agadir-Tiznit-Tafraout-Agadir (August 95). These roads match the above description.

 

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