WHAT IS THE REAL WAY TO DAKAR?
The Real Way to Dakar is a demanding competition that challenges you to go beyond limits, whether you are an experienced rally driver with passion to do original rally routes, or more inexperienced motor enthusiast with desire to explore.
We are a strong, well organized and helpful community that supports you on this journey. With us, you will pass through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal evoking a timeless sense of adventure and exploration. From the endless dunes of the Sahara to the desolate expanses of coastal deserts, the rocky trails of the High Atlas, and the low lying Savannah.
Above all, each day brings new surprises and unexpected challenges. Join us on this adventure.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE SIGNING UP
Before signing up for The Real Way to Dakar we recommend that you consider the following:
- Your level of driving skills
We try to make The Real Way to Dakar accessible to as many people as possible. However, the race is more than 5.000 kilometers in challenging and varied terrain, so we highly recommend that you prepare yourself both mentally and physically.
- Your service team and what to expect from them
While you can do the rally on your own with no service team, we do recommend that you sign up with a service team – especially if you are participating in the race category. However, we do have a number of cars in the adventure category that completes the rally with no service team, so it is definitely possible, it just requires a bit more preparation.
- Your vehicle
Regardless of whether you participate on a bike, a buggy, a car or a truck, your vehicle should be prepared to handle all kinds of rough terrain, from the large dunes of the Sahara desert and to the rocky mountains of southern Morocco. Please also check any requirements to your vehicle in the rules before signing up.
- Your navigational skills
If you are not used to participating in a GPS-based rally, it might be a good idea to practice this skill. From how to load the track file into your gps to how to navigate a route in unknown terrain using your GPS device.
THE RALLY ITSELF
The Real Way to Dakar starts in Paris to pay tribute to the original idea of the long-distance rally tradition. Stating in Paris is an option for both race and adventure participants but not a requirement. Hence, there will be no racing or timekeeping on the distance from Paris, France to the technical inspection in Morocco.
The rally offers two different categories: Race or Adventure. The race category will give you the opportunity to race against both yourself and other participants, while the adventure category takes you out of the timekeeping but still lets you challenge your driving skills in the terrain.
Regardless of whether you choose to race against the clock or go at it in you own pace, you will join our rally family. This community is important to us and we hope that you will participate in the joint dinner every night, where participants trade stories from a day in the terrain. Joining the community of The Real Way to Dakar also mean that we encourage participants to help each other out – both in camp and especially in the terrain. This means that when you pass a participant stuck in the terrain, you check in on them and if you can, help them out.
A DAY AS A PARTICIPANT IN THE RALLY
- Get up early enough to check your gear and your vehicle, get a proper breakfast (food is never to be missed!) and pack up your camp before leaving for the start line.
- Get to the start line in good time before your start time. Sometimes the start line will be just outside camp, sometimes it will be quite the distance from camp. Make sure to plan your morning, that way you are sure to be ready for you starting call.
- Whether you choose to navigate the track by yourself or along with a team, be sure to stay alert and drive in accordance to the terrain and your skills.
- Arriving at the finish line at the end of a long stage is awesome! Sometimes the finishline will be just outside camp and sometimes you will have to ride an additional distance to reach camp. It’s always a good idea to fuel your vehicle on the way to camp.
- Arrive at the campsite and find your service vehicle. Get out of your gear, get some water and food and get going on checking over your vehicle and gear so it is ready for tomorrow.
- Join the community dinner when it suits you.
- Pay attention at the evening briefing! ORG will reveal the stage for the coming day, communicate about fuel stops, speed zones and any other relevant information you need to be aware of. After the briefing ORG will also release the usb-sticks with the route for the next day.
If you are participating in the adventure category, there will be a separate briefing just for this category.
- GO TO SLEEP! It may seem important to use hours upon hours on planning your route for the coming day, but please be sure to get some sleep, so you are ready for the challenges of tomorrow.
A GPS BASED RALLY
The Real Way to Dakar is a GPS navigation rally – no roadbooks. The rally route is based on a list of waypoints that are supplied every night at the briefing as a GPX file. (GPX is a Garmin format, readable in most standard gps-devices.). You must bring usb-sticks to get the file and you must be able to transfer the file from the usb-stick to your device.
In your vehicle/MC you must bring one (or more) gps-device(s) loaded with the route. You may also find it helpful to bring some electronic maps loaded on to your device. Note that not all devices will allow you to load your own maps but will only work with the preloaded maps. These may not cover the parts of Africa we are travelling in.
Some of the most used maps include the OpenStreetMaps maps for Morocco, Mauretania and Senegal. And the Garmin 276Cx is a classic among participants although a number of different and newer devices will do the job.
Finally, you may consider bringing a smaller handheld GPS-device and/or a paper map and a compass as back-up.
You have three different options in regards to service teams:
1) Be on your own
If you are on your own, you bring your own tools and spares to work on your vehicle and you’ll need to bring your own tent and other equipment with you.
2) Bring your own service team
If you bring your own service team, you need to sign them up for the rally in the service category. They will then be able to supply service for you and your vehicle.
3) Buy service from the one of the registered service teams
You can also choose to buy service from one of the registered service teams. IN this case it is important that you get a clear understanding of what the service team will provide in terms of transportation, technical assistance in camp, breakfast etc. so you are sure to sign up with a team that meets your needs. Go here to see a list of serviceteams that will be participating in the rally.
MEDIC & SAFETY
It is important for us that you feel safe doing the Real Way to Dakar from start to finish. At the first briefing you will be introduced to the medical team that will travel together with us all the way to Lac Rose, Dakar. They will be in the terrain during the day and in the camps in the evening to help you with medical issues.
You will be given a tracking device that doubles as an alarm to make a request for medical help at any time during the rally if you have critical needs. (Please consult the rules). Every night in camp you may consult them if you have questions or need help.
As we are travelling in some of the most remote areas in north-western Africa, we alternate between camps in existing campsites and wild camps.
When in wild camps you need to bring your own tent and sleeping equipment. There will be no infrastructure for power supply, water, sanitary facilities etc. You must manage everything by yourself and with your service team.
When in camp there will be access to sanitary facilities and in some of the camps even power supply for light, charging etc. Your service team may have options for electricity for charging etc. In some of the camps there are a limited number of rooms or cabins for rent on a first come first served basis. You will have to make arrangements and pay for these yourself.
Dinner is included in your sign-up fee and we hope that you will join us every night for a community style dinner. This will give you a chance to check in with everyone else, exchange stories of the challenges you’ve faced during the day and, most importantly, to get a good meal that will keep you going all the way to Dakar.
You will have to take care of breakfast as well as food and water during the day in the track yourself. If you are a part of a service team we recommend that you align your expectations in terms of what the service team will provide and what you will have to bring yourself.
THE RACE CATEGORY
The race category is a challenge for all participants, even the more experienced rally veterans and off-road drivers. Each day will have 1 or 2 off road special sections with timekeeping and with time limits. You will race the entire route. You will have to conform to all the rules of the race and may be subjected to time penalties which will influence your overall ranking. You can participate in the race category with a variety of vehicles and motorclasses. This is the option for everyone who wants the full rally experience.
THE ADVENTURE CATEGORY
The adventure category is an opportunity to participate in the rally in a more relaxed format. You will take part in most aspects of the rally, but you will not be keeping time limits. Furthermore, you are free to skip sections of the race route or maybe even the entire race for a day to just enjoy the landscapes and the towns we travel through and there will be days where you are required to take the service route as some terrain demands race category skills. The participants in the adventure category will have a dedicated go-to-person and a special briefing every night. This is a great opportunity to test yourself and your vehicle before entering the race.
THE FULL ROUTE
The race category gives you the full experience of starting in Morocco and racing all the way to the beach in Dakar. It is a high paced race against both the clock and the other participants.
This adventure will bring you through 5.000 km of spectacular and varied terrain in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal.
DATES FOR 2024:
Start in Paris (optional): January 18th
Sign In: January 21st
Start: January 22nd
Finish: February 3rd
LITE 1 & 2
The lite version of the rally is still a race against the clock and other participants, but only half the distance compared to the full category
1) Lite 1 starts in Morocco and finishes in Dahkla, Morocco.
Sign In: January 21st
Start: January 22nd
Finish: January 26th
2) Lite 2 starts in Dahkla and finish on the the beaches of Dakar.
Sign In: January 26th
Start: January 27th
Finish: February 3rd
How do you want to participate?
The Real Way to Dakar is not an official FIA/FIM rally. This means we can be more flexible with the vehicles we allow to participate in the rally. But there are still some requirements depending on what kind of vehicle you choose as your companion.
To make it easy we’ve gathered all relevant information for each vehicle in one spot.
The Real Way to Dakar
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