The Saharawi refugee camps are located about one hour bus/truck journey from the city of Tindouf, in the South-west of Algeria, close to the Moroccan and Mauritanian borders.
To get to the camps and participate in the race you can join a charter flight from Madrid (Spain) to Tindouf:
SCHEDULE: The schedule from Madrid flight is yet to be confirmed by Air Algerie.
Madrid-Tindouf: February 23rd 15:00 h.
Tindouf-Madrid: March 2nd 19:10 h. (arriving time 22:05)
Price: 900 Euros with registration fee included
Children can travel accompanied without problem, following some advice from the organization. The price for children under 16 is 750€
Registration deadline: January 281th
The registration fee is the same for both runners and non-runners and includes:
Flight Ticket Madrid-Tindouf-Madrid
Accomodation: participants will be split in to small groups of 4-5 and will be hosted by Saharawi families in their tents. Mattresses, pillows and blankets will be provided but bringing a sleeping bag is strongly recommended.
If you are repeating and already know a family, and want to be their guests, you can stay with them.
Food: participants will eat meals with the Saharawi families.
Water: participants will receive mineral water in sealed bottles as required.
Transport: transportation will be provided from Tindouf to the camps and for various site visits.
Race registration: race participation, t-shirt and a medal.
Although it is not easy to comply with a scheduled programme in the camps, this is the travel plan:
Thursday: visit with a guide of a school, a nursery, a pharmacy dispensary, and at the end a talk about the history of Saharawi people
Friday: children race and olympics, and excursion for tea on the sand dunes
The Sahara Marathon organisation and the Saharawi people will try to ensure visitors enjoy their stay at the camps. However, it is important to understand that the event is also about solidarity and, for a week, participants will be living in the same conditions that the Saharawis have endured for 43 years. With this in mind, it is requested that participants visit the camps with an open mind and a flexible attitude.
An Air Algerie aircraft has been chartered to transport the delegation from Madrid to Tindouf, leaving on Saturday 23rd February and returning on Saturday 2nd March.
However, in the event that less than 100 participants register to take the chartered flight it may be necessary to revert to scheduled flights requiring a change of aircraft in Algiers.
The schedule won’t be official until AirAlgerie confirmation.
The plane will make a technical stop at Orán or Algier, but normally there’s no need to get out of the plane.
The allowed luggage is 15 kilos per traveler.
The visa is collective and we will take care of it. Don’t forget your passport and make sure about the expire date (must be valid for 6 months ahead of the travel date). Minimum validity until September 3, 2019
All participants will be split in to small groups of 4-5 and will be hosted by Saharawi families in their tents. You can ask to join a particular group or create one, otherwia you’ll be assigned randomly.
All families will receive economical aid and supplies from the organization, and since for the saharawi hospitality is very important they’ll do their best to make you feel part of the family.
If you want you can bring small gifts to the family, possibly sharing the gifts amongs neighborood families and kids to help more people. We suggest small toys for the kids, flashlights, pens and colored pencils, utility tools…
The organization will offer a breakfast and a pocket lunch the day of the race. All other meals will take place with the respective saharawi families (lentils, couscous, salads, camel or goat meat, french fries, pasta)
Is very important to drink only the bottled water (we’ll take car of water distribution in each family), that is the same water used for tea that you can drink safely.
If you want to buy something you can use Euros (don’t bring large bills). There are quite a lot of shops where you can buy artisan articles and have a drink. You can also find locutories where you can call home. The best is to bring one of the childs with you so they can understand you better.
We’ll stay in a refugee camps in the middle of the desert, this means that we must forget a daily shower and all the commodities of our WCs.
Outside every house/tent there will be a small building with a wc, and you’ll always have available a basin with water to wash.
The day of the race, if we won’t have problems with water, everyone will have the chance to take a shower in the protocol building (bring your soap and towel).
Besides the normal weight limit of 15 kg per person please note that we bring a lot of material for the project. We ask you to not bring too much luggage.
Temperatures: during the day it is spring temperature (20º-25º) and at night is quite chilly (10º) so it is recommended to bring an anorak or a warm sweater.
You should bring:
– sleeping bag
– toilet paper
Do I have to vaccinate? It is not necessary, just enough care in food and water consumption (bottled only). It’s recommended to schedule a previous medical examination.
What temperature am I going to find? Between 8º and 28º. Fresh nights and spring days. Possibility of some sandstorms.
What will we eat there? Your family will prepare pasta, tortilla, cous cous, lentils or some meat (chicken, goat or camel).
What footwear do I run? The terrain is generally hard and stony with some sand. You can run with trail shoes or leggings, but usually the best are normal training shoes.
Is there a time limit for the race? No, there are people that walk all the way to the finish.
Are there feeding zones in the route? Yes, every 3 kilometers or less there is a place with water, fruit and some energy bar.
Can I change the distance to which I have registered? Yes, until the previous night you can change the distance by communicating it to the organization.
Do we have showers after the race? Yes, but only on the day of the race, in the jaimas you can clean yourself with water from tanks and buckets.
What currency is used there? The official currency is the Algerian dirham, but in most shops euros are accepted (small bills are recommended).
What traditions do they have? A very tolerant and hospitable Muslim society; we will often be invited to the tea ceremony.
In what language do they speak? Their language is Hassania, an Arabic dialect, but in almost every house there is someone who speaks Spanish because they study it in school and because many children have family in Spain or have come on vacation.
Do I bring a gift? It’s a good idea but keeping in mind that it must not be too bulky nor too heavy to carry. Children’s toys, school stationery, candies, flashlights, multi-pronged knives, pens … are all good options.
Download a useful map of the Smara camp
Download a useful Hassania to English/Spanish/Italian vocabulary
For travel arrangements from specific countries, check in the Contacts page if there’s a SaharaMarathon partner in your country.
Past participants from Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, China, UK, USA organize groups, promote the race, arrange flights and can answer many of your questions.
IMPORTANT: All participants must pre-register through this form, it won’t be possible to register later at the camps.
IBAN: ES04 2100 8947 4522 0001 3022
BIC (SWIFT): CAIXESBBXXX