From the Ocean to the Sahara
From the Ocean to the Sahara
Foreign Office Travel Warnings
Before booking your tour please familiarise yourself with the country specific information provided by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. This includes important information such as latest immigration requirements, and details of any travel advisories.
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the FCO has no travel warnings in place for Morocco Senegal or Guinea-Bissau.
In Mauritania, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to the provinces of Tiris Zemmour, Adrar, Tagant, Hodh el Chargui, Dakhlet-Nouadhibou and Inchiri (with the exception of the Nouakchott - Nouadhibou corridor). The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of the country. This includes travel along the Nouakchott - Nouadhibou corridor comprising the north-south arterial road running between these two cities and passing through Nouamghar.
It is likely travel warnings will remain in place for some time to come, and we are only able to accept a booking on the basis that you are aware this is the case and confirm that you are still happy to travel irrespective of the current FCO advice.
We work very closely with experienced local contacts and are fully confident that it is safe to operate this tour through Mauritania.
Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or if would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.
It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Accommodation and Meals
This is a unique expedition. We stay in the best accomodation possible but you need to expect basic conditions at times. Many of the hotels and guesthouse will be of a reasonable comfort level and have private bathroom facilities. Some will be shared bathroom facilities. Where air conditioning is required and available we will use such facilities. There is 3 nights wild camping on the expedition and some nights staying in fixed tents that have beds. In the main towns, you can generally expect to find that your hotel has a restaurant and/or bar.
We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.
Food & Drink
The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Budgeting for your Tour
You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.
The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.
The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.
Tipping – Guide and Drivers
Tipping is common practise throughout the region. If your local guide has been helpful then you could think about tipping. This amount can obviously be left to you. When tipping a driver, a guide or hotel staff a few dollars will always be gratefully received.
ATM Availability: Limited to major cities only, but none available in Guinea-Bissau
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: The use of cards is limited to high end restaurants and establishments only. Generally cards are not accepted in Guinea-Bissau
Local Currency: Morocco and Western Sahara - Moroccan Dirham, Mauritania – Ouguiya, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau - CFA Franc
Recommended Currency for Exchange: Euro
Where to Exchange: Your tour guide will advise you
Joining your Tour
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Joining Tour Abroad
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive an airport transfer, both on arrival and departure include in the tour price. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.
It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.
With the exception of some West African states, all nationalities require a visa to enter Guinea-Bissau. The United Kingdom does not have a Guinea-Bissau Embassy, and so documents need to be sent to the embassies in either Brussels or Paris, for a visa to be issued. A simpler process is to arrange your visa through a visa agency, such as CIBT, who will apply on your behalf. Consular fees as well as agency fees will be applicable and you should check the costs, which can be high.
As of 1st May 2015 UK nationals do not need a visa for a short stay in Senegal. Other nationalities should check with their nearest embassy.
Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travellers who are arriving from, or have transited through, countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
UK nationals require a visa to enter Mauritania. UK clients can apply to the Mauritanian Embassy in London, 235-237 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Victoria, London, SW1V 1EJ, Telephone: 020 7233 6158. Other nationalities should check with their nearest embassy. For travellers on our overland journey from Bissau to Marrakech or vice versa, we can normally obtain the visa at the border. However, please check at the time of booking.
Most nationals including UK, EU and US visitors do not require a visa. However this could change so we recommend that you check with your nearest embassy for the most up to date details.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.
We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.
For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Vaccinations & Protection
As with travel to most parts of the developing world, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. Anti-malaria medication will also be required and the use of a DEET-containing insect repellent is highly recommended.
Vaccination against yellow fever is a compulsory requirement and you must bring your certificate with you. This may or may not be checked when you enter the country, but we strongly advise that you do not risk being denied entry.
Preparing for your tour
When it comes to clothing it is usually recommended that lighter clothes are worn through the day and warmer ones at night, although you shouldn’t expect it to be cold here. Both male and female clients should dress with respect. Our advice is to dress sensitively in accordance with the countries traditions, and avoid wearing revealing clothing, particularly in rural areas. In summary, unless advised by your local guide, you should follow the above advice. If it is appropriate to dress in a slightly more revealing manner, then your guide will advise you accordingly.
You should make sure that you have sufficient long sleeved tops and trousers for entering any mosques. You may also find a waterproof jacket to be useful for the journeys made by speedboats.
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit. Suncream/sunblock is a must. You will not be able to purchase this while on tour so please make sure you have a sufficient supply. Please ensure you bring a flashlight and/or headtorch. You will need a light sleeping bag for the camping nights. Also it is recommended to bring a sleeping inner sheet. An inflatable pillow is recommended for camping and also a travel towel.
Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended as are sandals for travelling.
Luggage on tour
Due to the nature of the itinerary including many boat rides, the maximum weight allowed per luggage per person is 20 kg. A water-proof soft sack or bag is recommended.
Electric Supply & Plugs
2 Pin Round
Tour Itinerary Versions
Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These notes were prepared on 02/09/2016