Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 8 May 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 3
Algeria - Visa, North/South travel, etc.

Hello, I have a question about traveling in Algeria. In particular, I am interested in working with a tour agency in the South to arrange a visa. I'd like to take a desert tour (likely from Djanet), but would also like to travel the North independently. Has anyone on here been able to do that? In other words, have you been able to obtain a visa invitation from an agency in the South with whom you planned a desert tour, while still being able to travel the North independently? The plan is to visit Algiers, M'Zab, Oran (etc) on my own, then fly to Djanet for a desert trip.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 8 May 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
If I were to do this I'd try it the other way round: fly to Djanet, do your agency tour and then fly back north to try and do your own thing.

That way your entry date matches more or less with the agency but you still get the month's visa. Last few times we've arrived at Algiers airport immigration asked who or where our agency is - and were satisfied with a name and that they are down south where we flew later that day.

I would also be up front with the agency because if you're not and you get caught, it's they who get in trouble. What you're doing up north doesn't seem to be completely proscribed the way unescorted driving down south is, but is very unusual. The people of course will be normal; it's the men in hats who may get nervous, so you would do well to behave discretely and not to look too much like a happy-clappy backpacker.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 9 May 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portugal
Posts: 13
Hi!

We just crossed Algeria last week, but they only gave us the visa - In túnis - after we wrote them a letter with the compromisse we wouldn t travel south. With an agency I have no idea.

in the north we traveled independently with no problems at all!

And then we took a boat to Spain after 11 months round Africa on our reanault 4L!

cheers from Portugal

Carlos

Not 2 late trip
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10 May 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Congratulations on completing your big circuit Carlos, and managing to drive across Alg without an escort and even getting a visa in Tunis. Not sure I've heard that before.
Which border did you use, Nefta or further north?

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11 May 2012
gregor's Avatar
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: rzeszow, poland
Posts: 37
visa alg

hi.

I just ask algerian embassy in Poland about visa to south alg.

They answered me that, if I take my own car or motorbike I don't get a visa.
Only travel agency car can be used.

in other embassies are the same?
__________________
GZ
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11 May 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Fly-ins only? Sounds a bit extreme - I've never heard of that before (though even then, 3 out of 10 fly-ins from various countries failed to get a visa/the right visa for my camel group last Dec).

Each consulate seems to have its own rules.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 20 May 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2
Travelling to Algeria - COST!!!

Hi everyone,

Basically I didn't know how to write a thread so I'm going to have to write my question here. I'm planning to move over to Algeria and I want to take a car from London. I literally need to know the CHEAPEST way of doing this. As I'm a student I don't have a lot of money to spare, not taking a car is not an option as I'm in sheer desperation for a car in Algeria, it's vital in order for me to function normally on a day to day basis. What are the rules of shipping over a car in a container? Is it cheaper than driving it over myself? What would be the cheapest route to go by if I did drive, through Spain or France? I really need answers as I'm pitching my idea to my father when I see him this summer so I need to sound like I actually know what I'm doing (haha?). Thanks so much to anyone that replies. For the information I'm thinking of buying a freelander 2002 reg I think.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 20 May 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 334
Hi,
make sure that you understand the customs rules applicable before buying a car. For a temporary import (max 3 months) any car will do. But for "permanent" importation cars older than 3 years are banned! (law since 2005)
Also I feel that considering repairs (which a 10 year old car may require from time to time) a model frequently encountered in Algeria were parts are cheap to obtain and mechanics used to work on will be of advantage - a Freelander is not one of thees.
I would expect that taking the ferry from France or Spain is the cheapest way to get a car over to Algeria, and less hassle than by cargo (container).
__________________
Yves
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 20 May 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2
Thanks so much for that I thought there was that type of ruling about how old it should be. I think I could go over and take it out every 3 months, I could drive over to Tunisia, me and my dad could alternate. What car do you think would be best then? This will be my first personal car that's actually mine. I'd like to spend around £1,500 on it as I said before my costs have to be low as I'm in need of taking money over there to live. How much do you think everything will from (including fuel) From England to Algeria, through france or spain. Thanks for your speedy reply!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 21 May 2012
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregor View Post
They answered me that, if I take my own car or motorbike I don't get a visa.
Only travel agency car can be used.
The vibes I'm getting on the grapevine is that due to the repeated misconduct of a couple of irresponsible idiots on the Bamako rally, it is practically impossible for anyone with an Eastern European passport to get a drive-in visa.
__________________
Happy Travels, András
http://www.fjexpeditions.com
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 29 Jun 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
A request for information or experiences;

I want to do a road trip across Algeria. My current concern is the visa situation.

How do I submit an itinerary that does not include flights or exact dates of arrival/departure?

Is it necessary to book all hotels or ok to start with a couple and leave the rest?

Is it easy enough to make phony hotel bookings purely for the purposes of obtaining the visa?

Cheers.

Pete
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 30 Jun 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Hi Pete,
if by road trip you mean in your own vehicle (other than pushbike), then you will need a fixed date of arrival and departure (off a Med ferry or at the Tunisian border) so that your escort can meet you there. One or two have managed over the years (pre Arab Spring) to get away, but it seems a matter of luck and maybe nationality.

I imagine your itinerary will also be dependant on where you're allowed to go unescorted (not down south, whatever your nat) and where you'd be advised not to go (a foreign-plated vehicle in parts of the Kabylie in the northeast may not be a good idea).

From your hotel booking questions it sounds like you might be hoping to stay up north and dodge the agency-invite requirements (to get the visa) with the mandatory escort rule (once there). Not sure you will get away with it, otherwise we'd all be trying it to save €50-100/day.

Quote:
Is it necessary to book all hotels or ok to start with a couple and leave the rest?
Where that works, I would say the latter.

Quote:
Is it easy enough to make phony hotel bookings purely for the purposes of obtaining the visa?
I rarely hear of it working these days, despite this seemingly simple requirement being stated on some consulate websites.
I also think it depends on where yoiu apply for your visa (the consulate in your home country).
If you are a Brit arriving with a vehicle and apply with just a hotel booking or two, I dont think the guys at Hyde Park Gate will go for it. They will say you need an invite from an agency (or some other official body in Alg - usually for business travel). That invite is effectiively a 'Certificate de Hebergement' (CdH) which is the same as a hotel booking. Formerly a fax was sufficient, now some ask for originals sent by DHL from Alg - more expense.
But of course you won't get the agency CdH without their escort - or it's extremely unlikely - as it's said they are responsible for you in Algeria.

Other consulates will have different regs - some will 'slow track' your app until it's just too late, while for example I believe a Portugal app was easy for one guy here who rode his moto unguided (north of the 'escort line' - more or less In Salah parallel).

One way might be to book a few days tour with an agency, and then try and split to do your own thing (while staying up north).

If you aren't travelling in your own vehicle I get the feeling all the above might be easier to pull off, although the last few times I arrived at Alg airport they ask me where is my guide/who is my agency? I always have one of course; we meet up in Tam or wherever after a domestic flight, but on other occasions I could have slipped out of the airport, especially if you look 'businessman-like'. Getting the visa is the key.

For a cancellable hotel booking you might try online with the Mercure at Algiers airport (from about €80? part of Accor group, very few of those in Alg), but I dont know if their printed email conf will wash as a CdH at the Brit consulate. Nothing to lose I suppose as you can cancel it.

There aren't many countries in the world (3?) which make getting a visa for unescorted independent vehicle travel as difficult as Alg, but once in a while people manage. I think a lot depends on the consulate and the state of relations with them and the host country.

fyi, currently only overland access seems to be Tunisia. Maroc long closed, Libya the same (for foreign tourists), north Niger currently closed for tourists, same with north Mali of course and Mori too.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 30 Jun 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 334
Current travel restrictions Algeria

Hi,

currently the possibilities for trips off tarmac are very limited in Algeria, more than ever (I don't know about the northern part of Algeria):

Possible:
- Tam-Assekrem, sometimes with Escorte
- Erg Thiodaine, Afara plain
- Tamadjert, Oued Aharar .
- Tadrart, Tassili N'Ajer, Erg Admer

Not permitted:
- Driving off piste (not permitted for Algerians too)!
- Ahnet!
- Erg Oriental, Erg Occidental, Erg Tiffernine
- Tam-Djanet
- Tagrera, Mts. Gauthier

For fly-in tours there are still many possibilities (in Hoggar, Djanet/Tassili N'Ajjer, Immidir).
__________________
Yves
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 1 Jul 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: F
Posts: 650
Hi,

Can you tell since how many time Ahnet is forbidden? Are you sure about that?

About Tassili, do you know if it is possible to drive from Tamedjert to Illizi without going to Oued Aharar and Afara: that is going almost north (via Oued Samene?) toward Erg Issaouane (without going inside the erg) then going East to Illizi along this erg?
About Thiodaine surroundings, is it possible to reach Ahellegen and In Azaoua (North West of this erg, cf IGN1/1.000.000) and from where ? Also, is it possible to make a loop around Thiodaine ?
And do you know if it is possible make a trip from Illizi to Dider (or Iherir) with driving along Oued Imirhou?
Sorry for these numerous questions , I'm trying to plan a trip in Algeria for next October (15 days in Algeria), before everything will be closed.
Thanks for your replies.
RR.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 2 Jul 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Quote:
About Tassili, do you know if it is possible to drive from Tamedjert to Illizi without going to Oued Aharar and Afara: that is going almost north (via Oued Samene?) toward Erg Issaouane (without going inside the erg) then going East to Illizi along this erg?
Can't picture where aharar is right now but if I understand you correctly, there is a slow rocky route north from northwest of erg tio through the tassili onto the east-west erg isa route. Never done that bit but I recall one of the 2003 groups were caught on this route.
Once on the erg east side there is another rocky track east over the jebel via erg amastane to ain el hadjadj well and the well known 'graveyard piste' to ilizzi - but that is long closed afaik, since 2003 grabs all happened in that area.

As for tarat piste, even short cut down imirhou I would have thought not permitted nor a good idea. They are still trying to smuggle arms out of Libya, towards north Mali I imagine, or maybe northeast alg.

Still, with the open areas Yves described I still think you could do a good tour, as long as you can get off the tsh well before tam.

I recently read a book from the early 80s where the guy was told off for off piste driving which was then also interdite. I suspect it was always forbidden but they just turned a blind eye and of course could not police it anyway. And it's not like you can drive off piste that far in SE alg before you hit a track, that is part of the appeal there.

Ch
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adventure Travel Film Festival Australia - Bright Vic 24-26 Feb 2012 Adventure Travel Film Festival Australia HU Travellers Meetings - Australia 23 28 Nov 2012 07:04
West Africa visas - 2011 experience africano sub-Saharan Africa 12 7 Apr 2012 14:39
Algeria Travel Agent Recom. nick13 Sahara Travel Forum 2 26 Feb 2012 10:31
Morocco travel info-- visa, green card. jimmyboris Morocco 7 14 Jan 2012 20:16
Latest updates from Algeria TurboCharger Sahara Travel Forum 2 6 Dec 2011 15:26

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:24.