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

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  #1  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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Egyptian Gilf restrictions

I heard last night that the Egyptian authorities have imposed more restrictions on travel to the southern Gilf Kebir areas, south of 23 degrees.

How true this is, or if this new 'law' will be removed as suddenly as it appeared, who knows, but apparently if you wish to travel south of 23 degrees from 1st september it will be neccesarry to be accompanied by two tourist police vehicles as well as the usual army officer.

While being accompanied is not a problem for me, the costs that they are talking about is!!!

As I understand it, they require 206 egyptian pounds for every 2 hour period!!!!,, So for a 15 day Gilf / Uwaynat trip this amounts to over 37,000 EP, plus food, water & tips etc etc.

Please somebody tell me this is not really true, It will kill any desert travel to these areas.

Also, apparently these rulese also apply to every where else in the Egyptian desert if there are 12 or more in the group, not that this bit really applies to me personally.

I think that this all stems from last year when the Army & Tourist police fell out about who gets the cash from tourists & suspended travel for a couple of weeks, and now the Tourist police also want a slice of the cake!!
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  #2  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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I've heared substantially the same during the spring circus, but back then it seems the army and the police came to an agreement over the spoils, and it was all back to normal again. Is this something new, or just the continuation of the spring rumors... ?
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  #3  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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Western Desert

hi - I am afraid that its true

here's what I got from my agency on 30 July

"Westliche Wüste
- unterhalb des 23. Breitengrades (Uweinat, südlicher Gilf )
pro Gruppe 2436 ägyptische Pfund / Tag
+ 2 Polizeiwagen und 9 bewaffnete Polizisten + 1 Militäroffizier

- oberhalb des 23. Breitengrades (nördlicher Gilf und Grosses Sandmeer)
pro Gruppe 1524 ägyptische Pfund / Tag
+ 1 Polizeiwagen und 4 bewaffnete Polizisten + 1 Militäroffizier"


but things change nearly daily now...

Ursula
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  #4  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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"Western Desert
- 23 below
Latitude (Uweinat, southern Gilf)
per group in 2436 Egyptian pounds / day
+ 2 police cars and nine police officers armed + a military officer

- 23 above the
Latitude (northern Gilf and Big Sand Sea)
per group in 1524 Egyptian pounds / day
+ A police car and four armed policemen + a military officer "



9 armed police officers!!!!!! Altogether they are probably not much more use than a chocolate teapot!!

I must admit I was unaware of the restrictions above 23', other than that for groups of 12 or more
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  #5  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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Egypt Permissions Western Desert

there are still a few weeks time to negotiate untill the season starts - the agencies try hard
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  #6  
Old 2 Aug 2010
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Hi Andy

9 extra pairs of hands to push! Bloody marvellous!

But I am wondring how they are going to recover a police pickup when it breaks down in the Gilf, and who will get the bill?
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  #7  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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Yes that’s confirmed and published on the website of Egyptian travel agents associations.

I guess Uweinat now is off limits, the high cost and 8 more people to eat and drink for 15 days are nearly impossible.

But gilf kebir north of lat 23 and great sand sea is a better option, one car and 4 person’s crew maybe still possible to handle.

Roman: I hope we are allowed to take them in our cars otherwise it’s also impossible that their drivers can drive in this type of terrain, no suitable tyres or experience

This cost also is beside the army old fees required!

The good side is: the area is not closed and it’s officially secured now

The bad side: you already know

Mahmoud Mohareb
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  #8  
Old 10 Aug 2010
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I recieved an email today (part of which is below) from Ms. Manal Hosny
Deputy Director General
Egyptian Tourism Federation which contained the following from another advisor!
I suspect that if they recieve enough complaints that (Hopefully) their get out clause will be that there is no longer any risk from the Sudanese frontiers.....................Does anybody know if this risk has actually escalated, Ive heard nothing, probably the 'Ministers' trying to justify themselves extorting more cash from the likes of myself!

As for ensuring our safety, well, probably my wife could do a better job than the tourist police!!!

The army officers that we have had with us in the past wouldnt have been much good either, in fact a couple of years ago in the great sand sea we had an 'encounter' with arms smugglers at gunpoint and the army officer with us was so afraid that he couldnt even speak, he just froze & couldnt get out of the car!!

I have had word from Bahariya that many many locals (of whom lots rely on tourists) are very unhappy about the situation, and that the Army also are none to pleased.

Note that there is no mention of different prices / amount of officers etc N or S of 23 degrees, although I did mention this to them in my email.

"Regarding your email of August 1st, let me assure you that the costfor the additional security measure is actually half of what has beenquoted to you, 102 LE for every two hours.

This Tourist Police escortis fully equipped with all means of deep desert travel, and will havetheir own provisions. They will not be incontact with any of the membersof your tour, as they will always be ina distance to ensure your safety.

These are temporary measures due to the situation on the northernfrontiers of Sudan.



Best regards,


Mahmoud El Kaissouni
Environmental Advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Tourism"
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  #9  
Old 16 Aug 2010
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The fees that I previously quoted came from The egyptian Travel Agents Website, Rule no 122, how come they have halved without anybody else knowing???!

And then, an email from the Egyptian State Tourist Office in London:

"I have head back from our head office in Cairo who have informed me that the Ministry of Tourism is absorbing the majority of the fees that your agent has mentioned. "

So now what?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #10  
Old 18 Aug 2010
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Another mail from the Egyptians (below)


'Regarding your latest email, I would like to confirm that the information you have is correct: every two hours would cost 203LE for the security escort for deep desert tours south of latitude 23, but through the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, the cost was reduced to 102LE.

As for trips north of latitude 23 the Ministry of Tourism managed to reduce the cost from 127LE for every two hours to 63.50LE.

Unfortunately there is no foreseeable solution to the cause of these security measures: the situation on the Egyptian Sudanese frontiers. This means that these new security measures will be enforced starting the beginning of next month, until the current situation improves.'

Best regards,


Mahmoud El Kaissouni
Environmental Advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Tourism


it seems that they have bowed ( a bit) to some pressure from various Tour companies etc, but it still adds a considerable amount to a 3 week gilf trip...... lets hope that 'the current situation improves'.....in more ways than one!!!

Andy
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  #11  
Old 11 Sep 2010
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Question Egyptian Gilf Kebir - restrictions ?

hi - are there any news about the restrictions in the Western Desert?



thanx - Ursula
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  #12  
Old 11 Sep 2010
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No news yet that Iv'e heard of except that the Tourist police have opened a new 'office' in Bahariya for Gilf trips & that the TP escort will be from there, not Dakhla!!

Apparrently the locals in Bahariya who have lost all thier bookings because of thi are hoping for some news next week now that Ramadam has finished.

there is NO official news/ confirmation about the reduction in fees that Mahmoud El Kaissouni
Environmental Advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Tourism emailed me about & I have not had any replies to further mails...............maybe because its been Ramadam time????
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  #13  
Old 13 Sep 2010
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Not confirmed yet interesting to know

In bahariya oasis a local guide and friend of mine told me the rumours spreading around:

- cars for security team will be hired from bahariya ( not clear if a group or tourism company will like to have their own car / driver is possible or not )
- security team ( allow me to use this expression ) will have their own : food , water , gps , satellite phone ,even suitable cloths and bags are newly prepared from them .
- they will camp 100 m away from travellers

I hope these rumours will be close to reality!

Mahmoud Mohareb
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  #14  
Old 15 Sep 2010
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This is the info I recieved today re the Tourist police, basically its saying (I think!) that the cost is 'subsidised by the authorities by 50%. Im still unclear as to where the start / finish of the costs would be.......bahariya, dakhla, 23 degrees or what??

Director in charge of the company
Chamber member companies, travel agencies and tourism.
Greetings,,,
Referring to what was reported to us from the Egyptian General الھیئة to promote tourism on the procedures
Organizational desert safaris in Western Sahara, as well as insurance services, which
ستتولاھا أجھزة Ministry of the Interior ..
We would like to take أنھ have been put controls and procedures to be followed to organize safaris
And are as follows:
ھیئة for tourism to be the following:
First: To provide الھیئة Egyptian Tourism Development the following documents:
1 - a detailed itinerary.
2 - Map shown علیھا itinerary and places of Mount and stop tourists on a scale
Appropriate.
3 - Statement of the names of tourists and بیاناتھم personal reality and passports to be edited
Arabic for the Arab nationalities and in English for foreign nationalities to append
Passport Photos سفرھم.
4 - Statement means the transition will be استخدامھا through the implementation of the flight and data drivers.
5 - is to get a letter stamped by the الھیئة Facility بھ made the trip all the previous requirements
Facility بھ company's request for the implementation of the journey.
As for the short safari trips which are limited to areas of the provinces of safari
October, Matruh and New Valley to the area by Farafra ھیئة Tourism notification
الاجھزة security of those flights for briefing before موعدھا 72 hours to be communicated to الھیئة
All applications mentioned above.
- Was approved by the Minister of Tourism to take the ministry of the value of 50% of the cost of insurance, as well as
The ministry holds 50% of the cost of expenses of the armed forces

Second: to inform the relevant security الاجھزة Interior Ministry to ensure the safari and so on as
Follows:
- Secure long-haul crew guarding the entire number (2) SUV if the number of
Members of the flight more than 12 tourists, or if the itinerary beyond the latitude of 23
Toward the south, regardless of the number of افرادھا ھذه In case the value of the service insurance
203 جنیھ for every two hours.
- Long-haul flights of more than 12 tourists أفرادھا does not include برنامجھا crossed the line
Showing 23 to the south فإنھ تأمینھا will be a low-power four-wheel drive car in
ھذه situation would be the value of the insurance service جنیھ 127 for every two hours.
Third: funders and notified the competent الھیئة أنھ in the case of non-compliance companies بھذه Help
فإنھ will take legal action �*یالھا.
Fourth: ھذه note that the instructions will be dealt from خلالھا starting from the first of September
.2010
V.: The mechanism of payment:
- Determine the mechanism for the payment of the insurance value of the guard is close to full payment of the insurance value of
The company implemented according to the value of the specific central - Payment by check is acceptable - at
Police General Directorate of Tourism and Antiquities event notification and delivery of the flight on behalf of Mr.
Major General / Director General Department of Tourism and Antiquities Police.
- Is provided out of a delivery receipt for the check and check image is recognized and benefit from the tourism police
The implementation of the journey as your receipt as indicated.
- Are grouped Touch مساھمة ministry of Sacrifice insurance follows:

Statement of the value of the specified insurance from the Ministry of Interior to secure safari Long:
M the itinerary number of tourists force the amount of insurance the insurance تت�*ملھ
Company
1 long journey beyond the line
View 23 in a southerly direction
More than 12 individual 2-drive vehicles
Quad
جنیھ 203 per hour
Example
(Trip for 14 days)
14 × 12 × 203
Total
34 104
50% of the cost of
Insurance =
17 052
2 long trip does not exceed the line
View 23 in a southerly direction
Less than 12 person-drive vehicles
Quad
جنیھ 127 per hour
Example:
(Trip for 14 days)
14 × 12 × 127
Total
21 336
50% of the cost of
Insurance =
10 668
21336 = 12 × 127 × the amount owed per trip is less than 12 tourists = 14
34104 = 12 × 203 × the amount owed per trip more than 12 tourists = 14
The number of hours a day) × cost of insurance for each hour × (number of days of the trip
% 7700 value of 50 = 5.5 × $ 100 × 1 × the value of insurance for the armed forces = 14
3850 جنیھ =
Exchange rate) × amount of insurance that the number of flights × × (number of days of flight
- Payment is under the sign of the tourism police check acceptable payment on behalf of Rear Admiral / Director
Police General Directorate of Tourism.
- The armed forces shall be reimbursed affairs department morale.
Please take the briefing,,,
Thank you for your cooperation great, to wish you continued success.
Yours respectfully,,,
Reports
2010 Riyadh Cain / 9 / 14
Egyptian Travel Agents Association - E.T.T.A - Home Page
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  #15  
Old 27 Sep 2010
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Angry latest rumors...

hi Andy

there is another bad news: Tourist Police escort is not only mandatory for the Western Desert

- TP escort also south of the 27th between Asyut and Farafra

xzf$xty£wx*xz !!??!!

Ursula
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