Duration Mauritania: 1,5h
Duration Senegal: 1.5 h (+Registration Carnet de Passages in Dakar)
- customs 4000 MRO unofficial per bike
- 500 MRO road tax official
- 4000 CFA toll for using the bridge over the river Senegal
- 2500 CFA per bike fort he passavant, despite our Carnet de Passages
Fixer: despite the persuasiveness and the “official” badges of the men at the border, there is absolutely no need to pay a fixer here.
We already got a 5 days insurance for Senegal at NASR in Nouakchott at 4260 MRO per bike, but we were never asked for any proof of insurance since. We didn’t extend the insurance after expiration. NASR office: N18.08667 W15.96673
Careful: The border crossing of Rosso should be avoided at all times. You don’t even have to go to Rosso to get to Diama. There is a shortcut at N16.78990 W16.09915. Turn right on the new asphalt road for 30 kms, then the road turns into easy piste and leads through a national park full of birds and warthogs.
Step 1: Just ignore the “official” badges of the fixers and try to make them understand once more you don’t want to use their services. They tend to get really pushy and we decided to just plain ignore them so they finally gave up.
Step 2: Registration in the logbook of the Mauritanian police
Step 3: Customs formalities for the bikes. It all seemed pretty chaotic and it wasn’t really clear where I should go. I ended up in the office of the big chief who asked me for 10€ per bike straight away. I tried to explain him in a friendly way that in fact I didn’t have to pay that money. He promptly got furious and threw the Carnets at me aggressively shouting that he would kick me back in Mauritania if I didn’t pay him “right now” and that I had to take another border crossing. I tried to ask for his name but that only seemed to make things worse. Defeat was all mine, I have to admit. I was burnt… Plan B consisted of sending Caroline in after 20 minutes but after some more discussing back and forth, it became clear this would be very long process if we were to refuse paying those 10 €, and Caroline was still in pain because of her bruised ribs. We ended up paying anyway, but it just didn’t feel right.
Step 4: Get your passport stamped for free at immigration
Step 5: A friendly man sells tax vouchers at 500 MRO/bike. These are official so it seems.
Step 6: You cross the border and pay toll for using the bridge at the Senegales side of the border: 4000 CFA/bike. We got a receipt. It looked official but we are not sure.
Step 7: Get your passport stamped by the immigration officers. I didn’t get our passports back unless I paid 10€ per passport. I the immigration officer in a friendly but firm way that I knew this was not ok and I could see in his eyes he knew it too. He tried once more but shortly after that he dug up a story about not having to pay in case you are using a Carnet de Passages. Yeah right. He felt something wasn’t right there.
Step 8: Customs apparently couldn’t deal with our carnets here. The official procedure now is that they sell you a passavant for 48 hours and that you have to get the carnets done in Dakar. The customs officer was willing to grant me 5 days but when the papers were done, he wanted to have 10€ per bike. I put up my dumbest possible face and pretended not to understand. He first said 2500 CFA right? When more and more people gathered around the office window, I suddenly got the 5 days at the official price.
Step 9: get the carnets registered in Dakar at customs office at the port: Avenue de la Libération N14.672004 W17.425051 (not the one at the Place de l’indépendance, this one is only for extension of the passavant). Someone that looked like official doorkeeper told me the price was 30000 CFA per carnet. I couldn’t believe my ears. So I told him I would be more than happy to just extend my passavant. He said it was not possible because the passavant was for registration of the CDP only. I refused and pretended to walk away, when all of a sudden he came after me and asked me how much I was prepared to pay… Owkay then… I knew he was talking plain shit now, so I just ignored him and got my way up the stairs, asked some guy where I had to go for the CDP and he pointed me in the right direction. For free! Go to the 3rd floor, after the stairs go right, knock at the third office. The customs officer there will start the process and point you in the right direction for the following two offices. All the customs officers were extremely polite, correct and didn’t ask for money.