This 17-day rally starts and finishes at Portsmouth in the UK, although for teams wishing to join us from other countries, you can meet us in Gibraltar…
Thu 14 Oct – Meet at Portsmouth ferry port for the 22:15 ferry to Santander, Spain.
Fri 15 Oct – (Day 1) At sea
Sat 16 Oct – (Day 2) Santander to Gibraltar
Sun 17 Oct – (Day 3) Gibraltar – preparation day
Mon 18 Oct – (Day 4) Gibraltar to Fes, Morocco
Tue 19 Oct – (Day 5) Fes to Midelt
Wed 20 Oct – (Day 6) Midelt to Merzouga
Thu 21 Oct – (Day 7) Merzouga to Lac Maider
Fri 22 Oct – (Day 8) Lac Maider to Zagora
Sat 23 Oct – (Day 9) Zagora – rest day / vehicle maintenance
Sun 24 Oct – (Day 10) Zagora to Lac Iriki
Mon 25 Oct – (Day 11) Lac Iriki to Tata
Tue 26 Oct – (Day 12) Tata to Agadir
Wed 27 Oct – (Day 13) Agadir to Moulay Bousselham
Thu 28 Oct – (Day 14) Moulay Bousselham to Gibraltar
Fri 29 Oct – (Day 15) Gibraltar to Burgos
Sat 30 Oct – (Day 16) Burgos to Le Mans
Sun 31 Oct – (Day 17) Le Mans to for 16:30 ferry to Portsmouth, UK. Arrive at 21:15 hrs
THE ENTRY FEE…
The entry fee for this incredible adventure is from as little as £900 per person, which includes…
Full expedition support with mechanical, medical, recovery & communications equipment
Expedition Leader, French speaking Guide, Medic & Mechanic
4×4 Expedition support vehicles
Return ferry from Spain to Morocco
All campsite accommodation in Morocco (with the option to upgrade to hotels)
Branded desert clothing
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT UP UNTIL THE 31ST JAN 2021
3 per car – £900 per person
2 per car – £1,125 per person
STANDARD ENTRY FEE – 1ST FEB TO 31ST AUG 2021
3 per car – £1,000 per person
2 per car – £1,250 per person
THE OTHER COSTS…
Additional costs per car are…
Ferry – £760 (UK to Spain return)
Fuel – £166 (1,270 miles in Spain, assuming 40mpg)
Fuel – £280 (2,175 miles in Morocco, assuming 30mpg)
Tolls – £35 (Spain & Morocco)
Car Insurance – £90 (Morocco)
Camping – £15 (Spain – £5 per car per night)
Additional costs per person are…
Camping – £15 (Spain – £5 per person per night)
Food – £170 to £340 (£10 to £20 per person per day)
As for vehicle choice, there are plenty of options…
Being a former French colony, Morocco still has close ties with the country and predominantly uses French cars, Citroen, Peugeot and Renault. Tending to be more reliable, Peugeots are the preferred choice of the three. For teams of 3 people, Citroen Berlingo / Peugeot Partners work very well, being comfortable, good off road and very reliable with their 1.9 non-turbo diesel engines.
Peugeot 206, 306, 406 (or better still a 205, 309, 405), Partner
Citroen Saxo, Berlingo, Xsara, Xsara Picasso
Renault Kangoo, Clio
The most reliable cars in the world are Japanese, with Honda consistently taking the No.1 spot. The little Nissan Micra K11 being a firm favourite on banger rallies. Suzuki also do some really good cars such as the Swift, but we particularly like the look of the Ignis as it already comes with 180mm ground clearance, so the suspension probably won’t need any modifications there.
Any small Honda, Nissan Micra K11, any Suzuki, any Toyota.
German cars tend to be well screwed together, especially VW’s that share the Mk4 Golf platform. Any car from the VW group will do though, including Audi, Skoda or Seat. Although now quite rare and expensive, if you can get hold of a Mercedes W124 then you’l be in good company with most of the taxi drivers in North Africa!
VW Golf Mk 3, 4 & Beetle, Audi A3, Skoda Fabia, Seat Leon, especially those with the 1.9 diesel engine
We have loads of Fords here in the UK, with the Focus, Fiesta and Ka being very common. We like the look of the Ka, but they might be considered a little small for some.
Hatchback, Saloon or Estate?
Hatchbacks will work better in the desert with less overhang than equivalent estates and shorter cars can ride over sand dunes easier than long ones.
If you can find a cheap 4×4 or SUV, then this would, be the best vehicle to take. They tend to have a higher ground clearance which is good for negotiating rocky sections and soft sand, four-wheel drive helps you in slippery conditions and their bodies and components tend to be made of stronger stuff than their saloon or hatchback equivalents.
Good examples are…
Honda CRV Mk1; Suzuki Jimny & VItara; Nissan X Trail & Terrano; Toyota RAV4 Mk1 & 2; Kia Sportage
Manual or Automatic?
Manual or automatic doesn’t really matter either. Autos give you more control in slow speed sections where there isn’t a clutch to burn out, but manuals give you greater fuel range, are simpler and have a better chance of being fixed in the field and can be bump started if your battery dies.
Petrol or Diesel?
As for petrol or diesel, it doesn’t really matter, but diesel is always preferred on serious expedition vehicles due to the following reasons…
Fuel range tends to be better with a diesel engine
Low down torque helps you negotiate slow-speed sections without the need for slipping the clutch
Diesel fuel is safer to carry in Jerry cans
Depending on the car you choose, the following modifications may need to be done…
Suspension – raised suspension will help when negotiating soft sand and rocky sections
Roof Rack – somewhere to carry a second spare wheel & fuel Jerry can
Sump Guard – protection for the engine, probably the most important modification that needs to be done
Can I use someone else’s car on the rally?
Yes you can. As long as you have a copy of the original Vehicle Registration document, we can make up a ‘Letter of Authority to Drive’ which you can show to Customs officials and Police Officers when overseas.
Why can we only take a maximum of 3 drivers in each car?
Keeping the weight of your vehicle down is key to successfully negotiating the Sahara Desert. Adding an additional driver not only adds their personal weight, but that off their clothing & equipment, plus extra water, food and tents. Not only this, but the room inside all hut the largest 4×4 vehicles is quite limited and it just wouldn’t be a comfortable experience for them.
Where will we be sleeping?
Accommodation will primarily be camping, but in many overnight stops there will be the option to upgrade to a hostel or hotel room. This will be on a first come first serve basis, but to avoid having uncomfortable nights sleep, it is best to bring a good quality sleeping bag and mat.
Are there any rest days on the rally?
During the 17 day event, there will be 3 whole days in which you can rest.
Day 1 – On the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander
Day 3 – Gibraltar, when you have time to get ready for the desert as well as tour the ‘Rock’
Day 9 – Zagora, where you’ll get your vehicles checked over and stock up with supplies
Where is the best place to find a used car?
In order of preference, we would suggest the following online resources to find a suitable car in terms of the numbers available to choose from and the most reasonable prices…
Don’t forget your local papers and used car dealerships as well.
How many teams will be on the rally?
Foe this inaugural event, we are capping the number of entries at 18 teams. This equates to 40 people as some teams have 3 per car.
How many support crew will be on the rally?
For this 2021 event there will be 9 support crew which is made up of…
Expedition Leader – 25 years experience operting vehicles in extreme conditions
Moroccan Guide – over 20 years experience guiding 4×4 vehicles throughout Morocco
Expedition Doctor – experienced GP and A&E doctor specialising in remote wilderness medicine
Chief Mechanic – serving British Army vehicle mechanic, skilled in ‘Battle Damage Repairs’
2nd Mechanic – ex British Army vehicle mechanic who served with our Chief Mechanic on overseas operations
3rd Mechanic / Film Crew’s Driver – serving Royal Navy engineer with a background in classic cars
Producer / Director – Freelance filmmaker
2nd Camera – Freelance cameraman
Photographer – Aston Martin engineer and semi-professional photographer
What is the ratio of support crew to teams taking part?
For every 6 teams taking part in the rally, there will be at least 1 support vehicle and 1 mechanic.
Do we drive in a convoy or travel independently?
We are currently working on providing everyone with a copy of the route that they can use to navigate by from their smartphone. This will be just the same as using a normal sat nav back home with turn by turn instructions. As modern smartphones are GPS enabled, this means you won’t be using up any of your mobile data.
On the tarmac sections, this will allow teams to travel independently, with the support crew following up the rear to recover anyone who has broken down. If teams wish to stay close to the support vehicles though, that will be fine.
For the desert sections though, we’ll need to stay pretty tight as getting regular hatchbacks and saloon cars along the original Dakar Rally route will not be easy and it will be a team effort to get through.