The Nouakchott Challenge leaves the UK on Dec 26th 2017 and heads South through Morocco, Western Sahara, and into Mauritania. The route travels mostly on tarmac roads, but the highlight is the two-day crossing of the Sahara Desert. The journey is approximately 3000 miles, and can comfortably be covered in 2 weeks (if all goes well). Those in a hurry have completed it in less, but that is missing the point, really. This is NOT a race. There is so much of interest en-route that it makes no sense to rush your travels.
The Challenge really starts in Southern Spain, where hotel accommodation is provided. The Road Book provides the clues as the Participants bond over a beer (or two) in the hotel bar, and form into travelling groups for the journey South. Ahead lies Sand, Sea and… even more sand. Experience the heat of the desert sun, and the challenge of nursing a knackered car all the way to destinations that most people would only consider flying to.
This Challenge is only open to all cars: RHD & Left-Hand Drive vehicles. The route can be completed by almost any vehicle, and there is no distinct advantage to having 4×4 drive (except when others are stuck in the sand!). It is a condition of entry that All vehicles MUST be donated to the Control Committee in Mauritania. The vehicles are auctioned and the funds raised are distributed to local worthy causes. This is the only legitimate way to ensure that the best price is obtained and that the funds are distributed appropriately. Nasty things do happen to those who might flout this requirement, because it is illegal to sell your vehicle privately.
There are security concerns in Mauritania but these have eased of late and tourists are returning in greater numbers. We aim to provide help through Mauritania with our man on the ground who will help with everything from car insurance to taking your car for passing on to good causes.
The fee is £399, per car,and the date is December 26 2017. Applications are now open.
For your fee you get:
•One ‘Dakar & Bust’ DVD.
•One paperback issue book by a previous participant
•Exclusive PDC ‘road-book’ including guidance notes,Phone numbers of all other participants.
•Entry and camping at the Launch Party in Devon in July
•Official PDC car stickers and entry numbers.
•Two nights accommodation for 2 people, half board in Tarifa in Southern Spain.
•Support on the Morocco/Mauritania border, hopefully including the payment of all bribes and car insurance costs.
•Advice on flights home with Royal Air Maroc.
•Behind the scenes administration to try and smooth passage through borders (no guarantees of success, however!)
•Behind the scenes international liaison with partners and coordinators that allow this event to take place.
•Web site listing and Publicity.
•Inclusion within the formal lists of Participants that are issued to the Officials of some of the countries en route.
Catherine Chamberlain/Andrew Mckeaveney UK/ S Africa