Earth : Africa : North Africa : Western Sahara : Ad Dakhla
Ad Dakhla (Dakhla) is a city in southern Western Sahara.
There is an airport with almost daily flights from/to Casablanca. There is a recently introduced regular flight to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
There are a few buses daily from as far away as Casablanca and Marrakech. Buses are run by CTM, Supratours and Satas. There are no regional operators.
Supratours and CTM buses run to and from Agadir (approx. 20 hours, ca. 350 dh). Supratours has two buses per day, while CTM has one. Be prepared for countless checkpoints along the way.
There is only one road running south from Laayoune, Dakhla is well signposted.
The city centre is small enough to navigate on foot. Should you want to head further out, petits taxis are abound and are metered.
There are windsurfing and quad driving opportunities north of Dakhla. Inquire locally. A kite shop next to the Supratours office at the waterfront is helpful with all the necessary info. You can wind- and kitesurf on both the western (ocean) and eastern (lagoon) side of the peninsula.
Local Sahara Jellabah
Many pastisseries offer cheap pastry. The restaurant at Sahara Regency hotel has decent Europan food, though the choice is limited. There are also numerous eateries in town.
There are plenty of budget hotels clustered around the city centre. Due to military presence, most only have twin rooms and you will pay almost the same price if you are alone. Twin rooms usually cost 60Dh. Prices, as always, are negotiable.
There are a few campings by the road to the north of Dakhla. Camping Moussafir is a popular spot with overlanders, and is located just south of the first checkpoint out of town.
Ticket for any bus heading north can be bought at the corresponding agency, they all have offices around the town centre (Satas is a bit further south).
Supratours runs a nightly bus south to the Mauritania border. The bus leaves from the waterfront office at 23:59 and costs 150 Dh, arriving at the frontier at 05:30.
Finding a lift is usually not a problem. You can try to get a lift from overlanders (ask around at Camping Moussafir) or catch a ride with the Mauritanian traders, who gather on a lot opposite from the first police checkpoint north of Dakhla (take a petit taxi to get there for about 15-20 dh, or walk the 7 km). The going rate is 250Dh for a car (a minivan) or 350Dh for a Mercedes. The cars leave in the morning.
You can also organize your ride to Nouadhibou (350-400 dh, ca. 10 hours including border crossing) or Nouakchott (600 dh, min. 12 hours) at Hotel Sahara in the centre. Ask for Tawfiq. The cars leave around 7AM.
Be prepared to spend several hours on both sides of the border. The Mauritanian visa must be obtained in Rabat beforehand (as of January 2011). Be sure to check the current situation beforehand.