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

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  #16  
Old 2 Jul 2012
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Motor tours in Algeria

This is hopefully a easier question that posted here recently..
A solo Yank living in Italy with a GS bike and just got Chris's new Sahara overland book! Planning a 6 month africa tour and would like to start it off with a bang.

are motorcycle 'tours' available in southern algeria for those with a bike, coming thru Tunisia (via ferry from Genoa). I'm not after slipping thru the cracks, but want to see it before me and my bike ship home. Or is it so rare it is always independently organized?

And if this doesn't pan out, is south western Libya off limits for independent travel? i've read that its perhaps not so hard to drive west to east along the coast road (tourist visa available i think) but that's not that interesting except for Leptus magnus

Jim
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  #17  
Old 3 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
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
Thanks Chris for your reply.

Oued Aharhar is going NE from Afara with some pretty (I presume, never go along this oued) villages :Tamera,Ifata,Armar. You can see it on IGN map.
But our guide (M.Jaffar) in 2009 told me that there is another track going from Tamedjert to Illizi and is authorized (he said).
And it is this track that I'm lookin for....
I think this is not the rocky track you are talkin about (but not sure) and may be another one more in the east: from Tamedjert, following Oued Ifernikene, then Oued Samene (cf IGN 1/1.000.000) toward the track along Issaouane then Illizi.
About Imirhou, an agency in Djanet told me it's open now...
If anybody have other infos they are very welcome.
About visas, the Algerian consulate in France told me that I can have it within 14 days with only the "prise en charge" (invitation letter) from an Algerian agency: same procedure as before, the only thing who have changed is the price!
RR.
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  #18  
Old 4 Jul 2012
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Back at the desk, I see Aharhar now. Never been up there but came down the rocky piste from the '1560 junction' off the main road in late 2002 (also in 89). Ended up near Tazat. Didn't 'know' about Afara then - should have had a look around.

2002 I also followed the owed that runs north of Amrar coming in from the main road to the east, but I turned north for Oued Samene. It's possible there was a junction which also lead south to Amrar valley, so coming up via Amrar (assuming it's possible) you could then turn east along this piste and join the highway just below the big Inhadja Kli switchbacks.

Following the easy track and heading up towards Oued Samene watershed that time, I got far enough (this point - the house icon) to establish then (this was pre Google maps) that there was a rideable track from the watershed vicinity. We were planning to moto down Oued Samane from the north on Desert Riders a few months later.

The other month I was looking again at this area on Google and found the Oued Ifernikene track you mention. You could say it's a continuation of a track that I know people have done, coming from Imirhou (or Tarat) along Oued Edefil, east side of the road. And if Imirhou is open then why not, but I get the feeling since Libya changed, this whole area is a bit hot. It occurred to me that should Libyan arms smugglers get round Tarat (army base in view of Libya border), they could follow the piste to Imirhou, Edefil, over the road for Ifernikene and from Tamadjert and out onto the plains - one of the few back ways through the Tassili N'Ajjer AFAIK.

It is notable that there are no tracks visible up Oued Samene. From our small experience riding it (a few km), it would be extremely hard work if not impossible in a car - boulders or very fine river sand. We also suspected from maps at the time (and now from sat) that there is a cliff face right on the watershed (somewhere here) high enough to stop vehicles - although you could maybe get round it on the plateau either side. All way too 'Camel Trophy' for me.
A good place to ask is Wüstenschiff • Forum anzeigen - Maghrebstaaten und Nordafrika
All the old Alg pros are there.

Reply to Jim:
Sorry to have to tell you the 2004 Sahara book is fast becoming a remembrance of things past.

Quote:
Or is it so rare it is always independently organized?
Yes, AFAIK. I last did one there in 2008 and don't know of anyone doing them now - maybe in Europe.

SW Libya is surely off limits right now. No news from the south does not mean good news. Tourists visas are now only for fly-ins at the airport, and even the coast transit seems a bit of a rat run. That is all they allow atm.

Make your plans in Alg, notwithstanding the restrictions of closed areas. I get a feeling they are not so rigid and once you're in there (with a suitable guide) you can feel out to the edges.

Ch

Last edited by Chris Scott; 4 Jul 2012 at 13:59.
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  #19  
Old 6 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Back at the desk, I see Aharhar now. Never been up there but came down the rocky piste from the '1560 junction' off the main road in late 2002 (also in 89). Ended up near Tazat. Didn't 'know' about Afara then - should have had a look around.

Ch
Thanks a lot Chris for all these accurate infos!

I'm sure you know AFARA: a beautiful plain East of THiodaine. And Oued Aharhar is coming down (or going out?) this plain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
It is notable that there are no tracks visible up Oued Samene. From our small experience riding it (a few km), it would be extremely hard work if not impossible in a car - boulders or very fine river sand. We also suspected from maps at the time (and now from sat) that there is a cliff face right on the watershed (somewhere here) high enough to stop vehicles - although you could maybe get round it on the plateau either side. All way too 'Camel Trophy' for me.
A good place to ask is Wüstenschiff • Forum anzeigen - Maghrebstaaten und Nordafrika
All the old Alg pros are there.
Ch
I think I'm going to give up Oued Salene , Too much "camel Trophy" for me too!
Thanks for the German site .... but unfortunately I don't speak German!

I will try to see what it's possible/authorized to do in this area and ...Inch'Allah

RR.
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  #20  
Old 26 Jul 2012
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Getting algerian Visa

Hi,

I'm trying to obtain this visa.
I've received the invite document from the algerian agency and also the same document stamped by the Algerian direction of Tourism.

I've gone with these 2 documents (and all the others items required) to the algerian consulate in Lyon (France) and they said that the agency must the same invite document to the MFA in Alger.. and then this MFA will inform the Consulate... (if they are OK to give us our visas).
I've told the Algerian agency about that but mau be they have already sent the document to MFA.
Not so easy and the result is not guaranteed

Do you know if some people have got their visas with this procedure?

RR.
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  #21  
Old 27 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roro View Post
Hi,

I'm trying to obtain this visa.
I've received the invite document from the algerian agency and also the same document stamped by the Algerian direction of Tourism.

I've gone with these 2 documents (and all the others items required) to the algerian consulate in Lyon (France) and they said that the agency must the same invite document to the MFA in Alger.. and then this MFA will inform the Consulate... (if they are OK to give us our visas).
I've told the Algerian agency about that but mau be they have already sent the document to MFA.
Not so easy and the result is not guaranteed

Do you know if some people have got their visas with this procedure?

RR.
Hi RR, did you get your visa and did you made your trip in Alg?
I obtained visa from Stockholm and waiting for answer to know where shall I go from Finland with my bike. My final destination is Barcelona for winter, but liked to make a roundtrip down to Palermo-Tunis-Alger-Spain. Have an accomodation invitation from a individual person in Algier with all stamps needed.
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  #22  
Old 10 Oct 2013
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Yes , I've got it but it was in October 2012!!!
Good trip but not so easy due to a lot of controls and forbidden zones
RR
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  #23  
Old 16 Oct 2013
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I got my 30 days Algerian touristvisa today, but my Green card for bike is valid only in Tunis not in Algeria. Can I get insurance from Tunis and Algerian border for the bike?
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  #24  
Old 16 Oct 2013
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Hi,
>Can I get insurance from Tunis and Algerian border for the bike?
yes you can.
In Algeria it is even enforced, no "green card" is valid for Algeria.

Happy travels, Yves
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  #25  
Old 16 Oct 2013
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'Assurance frontier' easy to buy at Taleb Larbi Alg border - in an office next to immigration (though I have not been this way for many years).

Ch
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  #26  
Old 28 Oct 2013
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I was last week in the North of Algeria

Hi.

I've just returned from a little trip to Northern Algeria.

Algeria - Visa, North/South travel, etc.-imagen2.jpg

Four weeks after asking the visa at the embassy I got it. I asked a tourist visa just for eight days and this helped me convince the officials at the toll in Oran I had no intention to get to the South.
People agreeable and very helpful everywhere. Lots of police controls but no problem at all.

Regards.

Basauritik mundura... motorrez: Norte de ARGELIA en moto

Last edited by ondoibili; 29 Oct 2013 at 00:38.
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  #27  
Old 16 Dec 2013
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Cycling in North Algeria

Hello!

I am from a dual Irish/British national living in London and am planning a rather long cycling trip, one leg of which is to be from Tangiers to Tunis. I am aware of the border being closed between Morocco and Algeria so intend on taking the ferry to Spain and back again. I will be carrying my own tent and plan to use it in Northern Algeria, following the coast (i.e. away from the dodgy desert).....I am trying to figure out how to do this as I'm aware of the need for hotel bookings for your whole trip.

I have considered booking a hotel in a port city for the duration and then only using it for 1 night - I see other people have mentioned this and I would be keen to hear if it worked.

I am also speaking to French friends of mine who might have Algerian friends/relatives to see if they could write a letter to the consulate saying I'd stay with them. Anyone have experience of this?

Thanks,

Dave
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  #28  
Old 17 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoibili View Post
Hi.

I've just returned from a little trip to Northern Algeria.

Attachment 10856

Four weeks after asking the visa at the embassy I got it. I asked a tourist visa just for eight days and this helped me convince the officials at the toll in Oran I had no intention to get to the South.
People agreeable and very helpful everywhere. Lots of police controls but no problem at all.

Regards.

Basauritik mundura... motorrez: Norte de ARGELIA en moto
Great! but 8 days is very short!
Do you think that 15 days will be OK (about visa).
And with a car? (only to visit Northern Algeria).
Where have you slept? Hotels? BivoauacS?

RR.
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  #29  
Old 17 Dec 2013
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My pals in Djanet say they can come and pick me up on the border and we can drive down south no problem. I am not so sure. Perhaps I will get a chance to try it this season.
Of course most areas are closed for tourists. Waiting to hear about the plateau.
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  #30  
Old 18 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
My pals in Djanet say they can come and pick me up on the border and we can drive down south no problem. I am not so sure. Perhaps I will get a chance to try it this season.
Of course most areas are closed for tourists. Waiting to hear about the plateau.
It's true only if you have a visa! And to have a visa you need an "prise en charge" by an agency in the south....and at the consulate when thay see you are going down south, to get it can be very long, or never.
I've tried it one year ago: More than 2 monthes to get the visa and just a few days before ferry's departure!

RR
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