About the challenge

About the Challenge

The Plymouth-Dakar Challenge was started in the winter of 2003. This year is the third year and also the largest group of cars going.carinsand2

It was started by Julian Nowill – a stockbroker from Devon England. Unofficially spoken of as ‘The Ultimate Banger Challenge’, it’s a motley collection of cars costing less than £100 will be assembled to drive over 3,800 miles from the South coast of Great Britain to the West coast of Africa.

The “rules” are quite simple:

  1. Competing cars must cost less than £100
  2. Maximum budget for the vehicle Rally Preparation: £15
  3. Once the Rally is underway, there will be no form of formal assistance from the organizers in any way – Teams are ON THEIR OWN.
  4. All of vehicles that make the full distance to Banjul must be handed over to the Challenge Control Group to be auctioned under controlled conditions (reported to The Gambian Government) in aid of local Gambian Charities
  5. All vehicles must be LEFT-HAND DRIVE!!

But as they say on the Challenge website:

“Rules are made to be broken …” – Julian Nowill
“(Except Rules 4 and 5)”

We’ve spent a little more for our ice cream van than £100, and we’ve spent a little more than £15 for preparation – and our ICV is actually right hand drive (but we got approval from the organizer to take it and it’s considered a “character” vehicle) – but one rule we won’t break is the charity side of things – we’ll be donating the vehicle, all our tools, and the bulk of everything else we take down there (freezer, camping gear, etc.) to charity.

Countries we’re heading through :

England – France – Spain
Morroco –
more info
Western Sahara –
more info
Mauritania –
more info
Senegal –
more info
The Gambia –
more info

Here is our route :


Typical Route

Day Description Miles Total
Day 1 Depart UK
Day 2 9AM arrive St Malo and drive to border with Spain 600 600
Day 3 Drive through Spain to Gibraltar 600 1200
Day 4 Rest / Catch-up / Repairs day in Sotogrande/Gibraltar 0 1200
Day 5 Ferry to Morroco. Drive to Rabat. 173 1373
Day 6 Drive to Marrakech. – PARTY TIME!!! 205 1578
Day 7 Rest/Recovery day 0 1578
Day 8 Drive to Agadir 172 1750
Day 9 Drive to Laâyoune 433 2183
Day 10 Drive to Dakhla 338 2521
Day 11 Drive to Nouâdhibou 288 2809
Day 12 Rest / Repairs / catch-up / Party 0 2809
Day 13 Into the desert. Overnight camping (probably near a dune). 110 2919
Day 14 Continue through the desert, out of the National Park of Nouâmghar and part way down the beach. 120 3039
Day 15 Continue down the coast to Nouakchott 93 3132
Day 16 Drive to Zebrabar Campsite, near St. Louis 189 3321
Day 17 Rest Day / Party Night 0 3321
Day 18 Rest and Recovery Day 0 3321
Day 19 Customs escort straight through Senegal 338 3659
Day 20 Drive to the Gambia 40 3699
Day 21 Chill out and Party at the Safari Garden Hotel. Surviving cars will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Gambian Charities 3699
Day 22 Flying home from Banjul

Total Miles


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