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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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  #46  
Old 19 Mar 2010
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Algeria Closed Routes

Talked to Tahat Tours (tel +213 29 34 99 61 / +213 661 67 94 09, fax +213 29 34 99 61), based in Hotel Tahat (Tam), this morning about route closures: Everything south of Tam is currently closed to tourists and everything between Tam and Djanet. The east and west is open and also the north. According to Tahat Tours.

However, a group of 40 (yes 40!) 4x4s (Globetrotter "Taureg Raid") arrived here last night from Djanet and finished the hotel's supply much to Ian's dismay :-). They were escorted from the north of Algeria all the way to Djanet by police and army according to a lady who spoke some Anglais. It took them 6 days to get here (including 3 days due to a breakdown) so they would have been in the now-closed zone already when it was closed three days ago according the Dutch couple we met at Assekrem. Seems they were lucky.

From Tam to Ain Guezzam you currently have to be escorted by your guide and stay on the main road (tar) which runs through the closed-to-tourists zone.

The Globetrotter group's guide seemed to think that it was dangerous to go to Niger at the moment but there were a few Algerians we met at In Salah whom I saw again at the Nigerienne Embassy/Consulate applying for visas two days ago. They didn't seem worried at all. Embassy was closed earlier today so I've not been able to get info re convoy militaire between Assamakka & Arlit yet. It's Friday so they may possibly remain closed - then I'll post at earliest opportunity in Niger about what we found.

BOTTOM LINE: you get contradicting info depending on where you ask. It seems like some form of escourt is the order of the day in the north, from Oran eastward. Perhaps less formal & restricted if entering at Ghazaouet.

Later!
Kobus

PS. Just met photographer, originally from Paris, who has been living in Tam for 15 years and speaks good English. According to him the police/army/gendarmerie became aware of a local guide (couldn't/wouldn't tell me from which agency) conspiring to kidnap tourists just over a month ago - the whole group was caught. He cited that as the reason for current tight security, armed escourts and closed routes.
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Last edited by Gottoride; 19 Mar 2010 at 11:08. Reason: New info, same topic
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  #47  
Old 19 Mar 2010
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This topic is becoming a very useful tool to help me, and some others, to plan an Algerian route. (As usually around this forum!!)

Thanks to all and please keep feeding it with fresh information…
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  #48  
Old 19 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernardo feio lightweight View Post
This topic is becoming a very useful tool to help me, and some others, to plan an Algerian route. (As usually around this forum!!)

Thanks to all and please keep feeding it with fresh information…
Totally agree, this latest information is much appreciated. Thanks very much. Looking forward to news on Niger. Have a fun and safe jorney south to Agadez.
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  #49  
Old 19 Mar 2010
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Hi folks, I returned from Algeria 6 days ago. We did off pist from Djanet to Tam and later toward Ahnet region. We met some Gendarmerie posts but mainly close to villages. Quite friendly though. We had info that gendarmes did not allow to pass the border between willayas but with enough zig-zag we avoided remote posts in the desert. All in all, despite info about restrictions it was quiet and safe. The only problem was hot wind from Niger ;-)

Cheers

Jarek
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  #50  
Old 20 Mar 2010
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With a guide it is not difficult to go offpiste Djanet - Tam without seeing a single gendarme (unless you are unlucky).
Interesting info, Kobus. Keep it coming and good luck with Niger!
Btw, I think you should get at least 100 Dinars for the euro?
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  #51  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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Kobus

PS. Just met photographer, originally from Paris, who has been living in Tam for 15 years and speaks good English. According to him the police/army/gendarmerie became aware of a local guide (couldn't/wouldn't tell me from which agency) conspiring to kidnap tourists just over a month ago - the whole group was caught. He cited that as the reason for current tight security, armed escourts and closed routes.


I think this discrete PS by Kobus deserves a bit more prominence. If it's true it will explain the reaction of the police/army/gendarmerie and takes away the enigma of why Algeria has appeared to be in the 'eye' of the storm' since 2003.

Ch

Last edited by Chris Scott; 21 Mar 2010 at 10:28.
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  #52  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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Question

But, is it true? That is the question. And with Algerian authorities it's always difficult to know the truth even many years after....
Others questions: Is Tin Reroh and Tim Missao authorized know?
And what about the Djanet-In Salah route?
RR
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  #53  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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Hi roro,

>Others questions: Is Tin Reroh and Tim Missao authorized know?
closed, but practice is not consistent

>And what about the Djanet-In Salah route?
closed, only possible with Gendarms escort at the moment
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  #54  
Old 22 Mar 2010
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Taghit to Timinoun?

Hello

Does any one have experience in the crossing from Taghit to Timinoun?

Is it similar to Ubari or Merzouk crossings?
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  #55  
Old 22 Mar 2010
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I have not done it but I looked into it recently and I would say it's easier then Ubari and certainly what I know of Murzuk (where there is little choice) if you follow the obvious line on GEarth: directly east from Taghit and then south down that 'oued line' to Timi or the road.

I was told that this way there are a few cordons to cross but it's no drama.

If you go direct through the dunes it can be has hard as you like - not my cup of tea ;-)

Send us some photos

Ch
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  #56  
Old 23 Mar 2010
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Regarding the red quote above, I've heard that locals in Tam report that the 3 or 4 people arrested in town (not on a tour AFAIK) had been found innocent and were released.

Looks like the gendarmes may have been over-zealous, which is reassuring for us.

Ch
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  #57  
Old 21 Apr 2010
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Hello

I’m planning to do the first part of the pist Tam – Ideles – Amguid from CS book. What kind of terrain should I expect till Amguid? And how long do you think that I will take in a slow and old LR?

thanks

ps: I think that I will again travel to the Sahara in the summer!
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  #58  
Old 22 Apr 2010
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"What kind of terrain should I expect till Amguid? And how long do you think that I will take in a slow and old LR?"

I've done the route from Thiodaine to salt mine,crossing Tefedest,In Ecker then Tam in 2 days (last October) with my LR 110 300TDI.
I know it's not exactly what you need but this route is crossing the one you're planning and the terrain between Ideles and Amguid (East of Teffedest) should be the same than between Thiodaine and Tefedest: Not very hard without too much rocks or sand.
May be it's not the same just before Amguid where I think there some dunes and/or soft sand.
IMHO 4 days max will be ok for your old LR.
Hope it will help.
RR.

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  #59  
Old 22 Apr 2010
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In 2008 we drove from Garet El Djenoun, south on Tefedest East to Ideles and on to Tam in a LR 109 2A in 2.5 days. We arrived in Tam around lunchtime on day 3. We took it really easy and did not drive late on any days. Garet El Djenoun is not Amguid. From Amguid may be quicker because the really slow bit in the route I described is through the lava fields north of Ideles. From Amguid you can hit the tar road north of Ain Ecker more quickly than through Ideles if you needed to. But the Tefedest is lovely....
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  #60  
Old 8 May 2010
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Just back from a short trip to Tam. I was surprised by the number of independents there at the moment - for the first time many more than fly-ins to Assekrem. We saw 10+ vehicles coming from Assekrem to Tam in one morning. Most were Italians - a whole gang of matching G wagons + a separate group of LRs and Tojos, also from Italy.
Daytime temps in Town were 36+ and night about 24. Wind was strong westerly at Assekrem (16m/s) but there the max only reached 24. Days start very dusty with vis < 10km but the wind blows the dust to a clearer vis by sunset. All seemed calm in town - even a new bridge over the river. Locals are pleased about the 4 hrs it takes to the border now.

Might have spotted Bernado leaving Assekrem in the lightweight (can't be many around) + one KTM following (not for long....).
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