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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 3 Feb 2006
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Algeria - Backpacking solo

I'll be in Tunisia in early March this year, and hope to visit Algeria as well. However I'm not sure which way is better, cost-wise: fly to Algiers from Tunis (160 euros rtn) or cross one of the borders.

Is it possible to take the bus/train (local transport) to the border, as the Lonely Planet Africa on a Shoestring (2004) says, or do I have to travel on a car, which would involve lots of hitchhiking? And, at present, is hiring a guide mandatory, regardless of whether I fly to Algiers or cross the border, and will I be 'forced' to hire the guide for the entire stay in Algeria (2 weeks +)?

Sorry for so many queries, but I couldn't find direct and up-to-date answers after searching through this and other Web sites for the past 2 hours.
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Old 4 Feb 2006
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>>>fly to Algiers from Tunis (160 euros rtn) or cross one of the borders.
Forget the Tuni land borders, from what I hear you wont get far. Fly into Algiers and see how far you get before they arrest you (for your own safety). Will you even get a visa? If you stay in the north and away from hot areas you may get a trip to yourself but dont count on it.

>>>Is it possible to take the bus/train (local transport) to the border,
To the Tuni-Alg border from the Tunisian side? Of course.

>>>And, at present, is hiring a guide mandatory, regardless of whether I fly to Algiers or cross the border,
see above

>>> and will I be 'forced' to hire the guide for the entire stay in Algeria (2 weeks +)?
Let us know. You could get lucky out of Algiers. It depends on how you comport yourself. But I doubt you will get a visa without an invite - and an invite from who...
http://www.sahara-overland.com/country/algeria.htm
I presume you are not trying to visit the desert.

>>>Sorry for so many queries, but I couldn't find direct and up-to-date answers after searching through this and other Web sites for the past 2 hours.
It was addressed a couple of months ago but I forget the theme.

CS
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  #3  
Old 16 Feb 2006
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It is also possible to get a visa when reserving your hotels ahead and have your travelplans written down on paper before you visit the embassy.
Algerian goverment doesn't like tourists travel around without any means of knowing where they are.
Going by public transport and taking locals guides increases your chance of getting a visa.
I would take a plane to Algiers and form there a plane down south
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  #4  
Old 1 Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by giugo:

Is it possible to take the bus/train (local transport) to the border, as the Lonely Planet Africa on a Shoestring (2004) says, or do I have to travel on a car, which would involve lots of hitchhiking? And, at present, is hiring a guide mandatory, regardless of whether I fly to Algiers or cross the border, and will I be 'forced' to hire the guide for the entire stay in Algeria (2 weeks +)?
I dont really know much about this, but i do know that as a swedish citizen, like me, you do NOT need an invitation to get in to Algeria. I will go by bike(not motorcycle, the standard issue bike )
I have talked to the Algerian Embassy in Stockholm and the Swedish Embassy in Alger, and they claim that as long as i report to a couple of immigration offices and police stations along the way, everything will be fine. Talk to your embassy about it, they can help, believe me. Furthermore, you do not need a guide, which is good.

I'm going to cross the algerian border at the road between Agadez in Niger and Tamanrasset, and will go out of the country somewhere along the libyan border into Libya. Libya however is a tricky bastard, however Guess the only thing that will work there is speaking directly to Khadafi!

As i said, talk to the embassies, and things could work out. Don't know about other nationalities, but for swedish citizens, it looks good. However, the issue with raiders and such, i do not know about. Surely travel alone in Algeria is not the most wise of things to do. However, it is not out of safety you do such a trip neither There are no voilence or anger recorded against European people due to the Mohammed-issue among locals in Algeria.

/Daniel
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  #5  
Old 2 Mar 2006
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Hello Daniel,
don't forget to tell us about your experiences crossing Algeria.

From my knowledge I doubt that they will let you cross the Algerian Sahara by bike.
At least, if you get the visa without a booked tour, you are lucky and may try how far you could go.
Entering Libya from Algeria is officially impossible for tourists since years.
If you get through, you are very lucky.
I know of people who were promissed that they would be allowed to exit from Libya Djanet - they were not ("because the law changed the day before...") and had to return to Tripoli.

Good luck,
Yves

[This message has been edited by Yves (edited 02 March 2006).]
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Yves
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  #6  
Old 2 Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yves:
Hello Daniel,
don't forget to tell us about your experiences crossing Algeria.

From my knowledge I doubt that they will let you cross the Algerian Sahara by bike.
At least, if you get the visa without a booked tour, you are lucky and may try how far you could go.
Entering Libya from Algeria is officially impossible for tourists since years.
If you get through, you are very lucky.
I know of people who were promissed that they would be allowed to exit from Libya Djanet - they were not ("because the law changed the day before...") and had to return to Tripoli.

Good luck,
Yves

[This message has been edited by Yves (edited 02 March 2006).]
I won't forget

Yeah surely it will be hard, even though I have talked the brains out of the libyan and algerian embassies, and our swedish ones in the respective country(those poor bastards), these are not the same people that stand at the borderlines. It will be a hell of a journey, i can tell

About the Algeria - Libya problem, the swedish counsular said that due to agreements made between libyan and algerian borders, there is a possibility one will get through

Cheers!

/Daniel


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