Currently, following nearly a decade of much increased trafficking, banditry and terrorist activities, as well as nomadic rebellions and not least the recent outflow of weaponry and disenfranchised fighters from Libya, tourism in the central Sahara has collapsed or has become severely restricted. But it wasn't always like that. The 1980s were a Golden Age of independent desert exploration; post-colonial nations hadn't yet been beset by internal strife, while the glamour of the original Dakar Rally, as well as the advent of desert-capable motorcycles and 4x4s saw adventure travel flourish in the Sahara of Niger, Algeria and Mali. It’s unlikely those days will return. For once I found myself doing the right thing in the right place at the right time.
From the Author
The travelogue, Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa is now finally available here and covers my first six desert biking trips, starting in 1981 with a clueless and subsequently aborted Sahara crossing on a ratty XT500 aged 21 - and winding up about a decade later with a long and fractious ride from Algeria to Mauritania via Timbuktu with 'Steve', before Algeria went down the pan in the early 1990s.
But most of the book describes my original Sahara Motorcycle Tour of 1989 when I managed to scrape together half a dozen guys to follow me in a Landrover through the Algerian Sahara (so apart from the car, nothing's changed then!). As the back cover states - it was a tour from which only one rider returned still riding his bike...
The book is a paperback with some basic maps but you'll find 'Desert Travels; the Mis ing Pictures' on my adventure-motorcycling website.
One day I'll get around to D Travels II. There's certainly another book's worth of yarns to be spun. Enjoy the book and the pix.