Arrived in Senegal

· 2 min read · mauritania senegal border negotiate

Last night's sleep on a concrete floor was a bit rough!

The first part of the ride to the Diama crossing into Senegal was on tarmac with potholes and massive erosion.

Poor road conditions in Mauritania.

Once at the Diawling National Park in Mauritania, the road and scenery changed considerably.

Diawling National Park, Mauritania.
Diawling National Park, Mauritania.

I saw warthogs, but couldn't snap a photo in time. Th sound of my engine drove animals away, which was unfortunate for the two wildlife photographers that I passed!

The border crossing was fine and took about 1.5 hours. I met three other bikers heading in the opposite direction, and we had a brief chat between the border formalities.

In the passport control office on the Mauritanian side, the policeman was processing my passport when he stood up, bowed, and was incredibly polite to a tall gentleman who entered the room. They shook hands. The gentlemen then extended his hand to the other biker and myself. The policeman and gentleman then offered cupped hands to each other, and the gentlemen started talking. I think the gentlemen was a man of faith offering a prayer. It all happened one foot in front me. It was very surreal as everything stopped in the small office and this gentleman became the center.

I moved across the bridge at Diama and entered Senegal.

Bridge at Diama border crossing into Senegal.

Riding the first few miles, I had an enormous grin and feeling of excitement as this was a new country I had entered. Conditions of the road were much better in Senegal; however, they have very large speed bumps that are not well marked. There was lots of vegetation, but that started since the national park in Mauritania. I noticed a lot more people in general.

I withdrew cash in St Louis and purchased the carte brune insurance, which covers multiple West Africa countries. I had to wait for the insurance shop to open, so I sat by the river watching the boats and people. The boats are long and have very colourful designs.

Watching the boats in St Louis, Senegal.
Watching the boats in St Louis, Senegal.
Watching the boats in St Louis, Senegal.
Watching the boats in St Louis, Senegal.

The insurance took a lot of haggling. The initial price was extorniate, but I got the price down to 40% of the initial request, which matched what others have paid (from reports online). Anyway, I finally got it, and headed to the Zebra Bar to stay for the evening, which is just south of St Louis.

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