The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
Attempted to cross In Guezzam - Assamaka a few days ago. Had obtained Nigerien visa at the consulate in Tamanrasset, 3 days waiting, 4500DA. Asked the consul if the border was open and if the situation on the Assamaka-Arlit-Agadez route was ok. The answer was reassuring: there are no more convoys Assamaka-Arlit, so it must be relatively safe. There are still convoys Arlit-Agadez, twice a week.
Good. With these news I arrived at the border. Checked out of Algeria, no questions asked, no particular warning given in regard to Niger. I asked them in fact - the Alg border police told me everything is fine as far as they know.
Raced across to Assamaka. Different news there. The Chief (I couldn't figure what exactly he was chief of, as he was wearing plain clothes, but I figured he was chief of customs) insisted that he would only give me laisser-passer on the condition that I hire a private convoy to proceed to Arlit. He said without hiring a private military convoy he wouldn't let me into the country.
I anticipated some hard bargaining for the cost of a private convoy, but the figure he voiced was unimaginable. He said (after a lot of thinking, and even walking off 'to talk to the military') that I needed to hire two vehicles with fifteen soldiers on board to accompany me from Assamaka to Arlit, and that it would cost me 360.000 CFA (550 euros). I made it clear that I am not paying this kind of money, but I would be happy to hear another offer. He refused bargaining. He just said buy it or return to Algeria.
It didn't help that some other people in uniforms around him were drunk (possibly himself too but I am not sure), and they were all participating in this discussion. Those of you who've been at the Assamaka border crossing would easily imagine the pressure from all those people who descend upon you all at once. Whilst bargaining over the cost of the convoy I had to unload the entire contents of my vehicle on the ground, and was worried about a dozen hands going though my bags at once. Someone else took my passport, another the driving license, and the third (the drunk one) took my GPS and mobile phone. Oh-la-la.
In any case, I said that I have forgotten something on the Alg side (I actually did), and that I would think about their offer on the way to In Guezzam and back. I managed to get all my things and papers back, and drove back to Algeria.
The Algerian police and the customs took a couple of days to allow me to re-enter (I didn't have another visa, so technically I could not enter). They tried their best contacting their superiors and eventually succeeded in getting me back into the country again - they annulled the exit stamps somehow. I had to camp outside the border post of course, but that didn't worry me much, as I could see those guys were genuinely trying hard to help me. They were offering me food and drink, took good care of me, and didn't charge me anything for the re-entry.
well wow. Sounds like a real mess. Reminds me too much of our experience in May this year, attempting the same thing.
Only we never even made it to the border. We were refused visas after five days of waiting in Tam. They said that from then on all foreigners must apply for Niger visas in their home countries. This was verified by the consul himself after I asked to talk to him in private.
We later found out through a Nigerian friend that the real reason was that I had given my partner's profession as photographer. Niamey don't like journalists.
We spent the days of waiting checking everything with Niger; customs, convoys, possible alternative desert routes etc. I have a name and number somewhere of a guide who will escort tourists from Assamaka to Arlit, if it is of any use to you.
We went through Mali instead, which was exactly what we had decided we would not do. Next attempt to go Algeria-Niger is in February. But I won't even try if it will be this tricky.
One solution in your case may be to round up a number of travellers so could split the cost, if they insist. But there may not be many tourists going that direction? In May, we were the only Europeans around.
What are you going to do now? Your original visa may run out of time, and the Algerians are very strict about that.
edit: one of the precautions I am going to take is getting a double-entry visa for Algeria in case of a situation like this.
We will also get the Niger visa here rather than relying on the consulate staff in Tamanrasset.
We're flexible on time, but we won't attempt the trip unless the situation appears to be stable and foreigners can actually get into Niger.
It may well be that things have changed by Feb. I have a strong feeling that the refusal to let me in without a private convoy was a personal decision of the chief of customs (or whatever he was chief of). The guys on the Algerian side have never heard of such thing as private convoy; the consul in Tam said the road is clear.
One thing is definite: there are not many tourists who go this route now. I asked at the Algerian side - they mentioned a couple of groups which crossed in the past month. Not much, and it would be really difficult to find others to split the costs. Besides, the figure given me was totally arbitrary, and could increase if a bunch of westerners turn up at the same time.
I am coming back up this time, won't be trying Mali or anything else. Besides, the vehicle needs some attention, so I rather not take extra risks.
Are you travelling with a guide? It seems like a good idea to go with a guide all the way from Tam to Arlit, aiding with the border passage. Preferrably someone well experienced with both Algeria and Niger. He should be able to talk you through. His services may cost quite a bit but still be good value if he's up to the task.
It can drive you crazy trying to find a solution when you are alone facing African bureacracy and/or corruption.
Good luck with your trip which should be enjoyable anyhow!
>the real reason was that I had given my partner's profession as photographer. Niamey >don't like journalists.
Not just Niamey. It's a very bad idea all over North and West Africa. Especially journalists and photographers. Whoever I'm traveling with we always write marketing on 'le fiche'. Last time the whole bus was 'marketing' They don't give a damn if you're not a journalist.
A contact of mine in Tam just wrote that the border from Algeria to Mali, at least at Tessalit, is closed for tourists now. The Malians do not let you in because of bad security. But she said the border to Niger is open. I agree with Priffe it better to hire a good guide. Do not try to arrange these border crossings yourself, especially in this area under the current tense circumstances.
In case anyone is in any doubt this guy at Assamaka is running a big scam. It can be tricky there but 550 euros is really taking the piste - as their reaction at IGZ clearly showed.
It's easy to say it here of course, but I also think even waiting for a group to help share the cost of this bogus convoy is setting a bad precedent.
Best advice seems to be get a double entry Alg visa, as others have suggested - and when back in Tam try and cause a scene at the Niger consulate.
IME I dont think Algies like going to Niger as, unlike for Mali, I believe it requires getting a visa too just like us. That could raise the cost of an Alg guide going all the way to Arlit and then his trip back.
I'd even be tempted to avoid Assamaka and run straight through to Arlit and let them sort immigration out there. Just say you got lost in a sandstorm.
With all the other bad news it looks like it's springtime for Wadi Halfa...
It is true that Algerians need a visa to enter Niger. I saw many Algerians queuing at the consulate in Tam. They pay less for their visas though. Most of them go there to sell cars - I saw dozens of French and Italian registered sedans at the border, driven but northern Algerians.
The guy at the Assamaka border was indeed running a scam, as the consul in Tam had never mentioned anything like a private convoy. On the contrary the consul (or was it his assistant) told me that the convoys no longer exist because it is safe now. I am not sure just how safe it is, but that's another matter.
A double entry Alg visa would be a necessity if anyone attempts to do the same thing. The Alg border guys tried hard to help me, and they managed well, but perhaps only because it was an extraordinary situation. Also, I imagine that the chef at Assamaka gambled on the fact that I didn't have a re-entry (he checked my Alg exit stamp), and thought I'd have no other way out.
Presently a military escort Assamakka-Arlit is required (not by dodgy guy at border, but paid in Arlit). This confirmed by Niamey. We waited 2 days, then paid Eur500. This week, though, was a decommissioning of rebel arms in Arlit, so we were really trying to go through the middle of things.
Try to get through without paying, but it could be difficult.
A consolation (that it is a legit fee and not a scam), but still expensive, especially for one person in one vehicle. Yet, prior to driving to the border in Dec 2009 I'd asked at the Niger consulate in Tam, and the consul was positive there was no convoy between Assamaka and Arlit.
How much escort did you get for the money? How many were you?
Reading this thread i got a bit worried. I'll be attempting the road from Agadez to Tamanrasset on public transport in 2 months. I already have an algerian transit visa and will get a niger visa without problems.
do you think i might get stopped in some way in Agadez or Arlit? What kind of restrictions apply to people travelling on public transports?
I've been told on another forum that there were buses from Agadez to Tamanrasset... anyone to confirm?
Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.
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
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
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!
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.