Building a network of highways across Africa to promote much-needed economic development sounds like a fantastic idea. And being able to cross the Mediterranean via ferry from Europe, then drive from Algiers to Lagos would be great [source: Sengupta]. And, maybe someday, when the Trans-Sahara Highway is completed, that'll be doable.
But for the time being, traveling on the 2,800-mile (4,506-kilometer) long, partially completed route remains a daunting task. Daytime temperatures are scorching, and fuel and water are in scarce supply along much of the route, so you'd better hope the needle doesn't touch "E" and that your radiator doesn't blow [source: Travel + Leisure]. And even the newly paved portions of the road often disappear under immense drifts of sand that block the route for days at a time [source: Harnett].