Ad Dakhla

Ad Dakhla (Dakhla, Dajla) is a city in southern Western Sahara.

Map of Ad Dakhla

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Dakhla Airport (VIL  IATA) with almost daily flights from/to Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc, once a week to Agadir as well. There is a regular flight to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria with CanaryFly, though only seasonal.

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 (~20 hr, ~350 dirham. Supratours has two buses per day, while CTM has one. Be prepared for up to eight checkpoints along the way and, if a Westerner, to be checked thoroughly.

National Route 1, running the length, of the country passes by Dakhla It is also the only major road in the vicinity. Distance from the nearest major city in the north, El Aaiun is 535 km. This road is in good condition but expect long distances between gas stations.

To the south of Dakhla is 440 km of almost uninhabited territory, except for a few tiny fishing villages, until the Mauritanian border and Nouadhibou. Travelling this stretch by car is perfectly possible but requires some planning and careful preparations. There are only two gas stations along the entire route and breakdown could include hours of wait in scoring temperatures.

The city centre is small enough to navigate on foot. Should you want to head further out, petits taxis abound and are metered.

  • Take a road trip to Aoussard: UN base, followed by mine field, followed by Moroccan army base. Take water with you and fill up with gas: it’s a 3-hr drive (if you obey speed limits) and it gets hotter with each kilometre.
  • Take a break at the laguna and watch kite-surfers. They even have a special road sign that says “watch out for kite surfers that sometimes crash on the road”.
  • Drive to the historic lighthouse west of Ad-Dakhla: albeit as of January 2014 climbing it was no longer permitted, the building continues to be one of the most recognisable landmarks of Western Sahara due to the black-and-white ring pattern.
Ad-Dakhla Lighthouse.
Kite-Surfing at Ad-Dakhla.
Ad-Dakhla Lagoon.

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