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  #1  
Old 15 Jun 2009
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Post Libya?....................

Firstly, hello to everyone................

My first post on this forum.

I've been offered to go on a reece to Libya at the end of the year, I've done a far amount of reading (incl Sahara Overland, excellent read), and other bits of information gathered from other sources.

I'll be part of a group of 3-5 vehicles (mostly Landys) and about 8 people.

But I have a few questions;

Visas/Invitations/border costs; I've read the info on this site, and I understand that it all could change before we go. With a UK passport, how easily obtainable are Visas? And what bits do you need to get in the UK? And what bits at the Libyian border?

Guides/Police etc; Does every group need or have to have these? Or can we travel independently?

Ferries; Marseille - Tunis, seems expensive and one of the few, but better options. Are there any tips here?

GPS/Maps; Which GPS? Obviously, not just for Libya, but elsewhere (hopefully) in North Africa at a later date. Maps?

I think that's it for the moment, thank you for any help, all gratefully received.
Best of luck with your travels,
Mark
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  #2  
Old 15 Jun 2009
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Hi Mark, I'm sure others who have been there recently can add more but:

Visas:
It's all changed in the last week or two and a UK agent told me even the embassy in London did not know what was going on except it is all taking longer. It may well change back in a few months.

.. can we travel independently?
Not as far as I know.

Ferries:
Genoa - Tunis is cheaper than Marseille last time I looked.

Ch
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  #3  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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Libya?....

Earlier this year we took 35 vintage and classic cars on a timed rally through Tunisia, Libya, and into Egypt [deleted]. We could pass on our contact information if its any help. We had a good local guide, actually a two-man tourist company who spoke reasonably English, and having helped with the initial recce, provided discreet, fairly hands-off, non-interferring assistance from the background, once we arrived. We also had a good UK based fixer to sort the visas, which were all done direct in Tripoli, by-passing the Embassy who dont always respond to correspondence and are not very proactive. Our route was the fairly well established coast road across the top, non too interesting and would be dead dull in a 4x4, road surfaces were brilliant (oil money no doubt), but the stops at the Roman and Greek ruins were stunning - so totally unspoilt, you walk on bits of old Roman pottery, you can explore the cages where they kept the lions and opposite the cages where they chained up the Christians, still with the original iron rings in the walls...quite a revelation. There is also a Government tourist-board that we visited, charged with trying to expand the number of visitors. Its a big test of patience and will power, tho... it cant be done without a lot of hassle. Its a long, long way off being like Morocco, or, Tunisia.

We stayed in fairly basic hotels, the main drawback is that not even being able to have a glass of wine with your meal brings it home what a drag the total ban on alcohol can be. A or two in the evening is possible in Tunisia, and Egypt, but not in Libya, despite it being all the same religion.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 16 Jun 2009 at 08:18. Reason: deleted .com
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  #4  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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Thank you for you replies;

Chris; Thanks for the great info, and quick reply. Yes, I knew about Genoa, weighing-up that option as well.

Endurorally; Thank you also for some great info (like the website), yes please, any good useful contacts will be very helpful, thank you.

Yes, I too like a class of wine. I spent 5yrs living in the Middle East, so became accustomed to not having this sort of refreshment. I also understand the 'Inshallah' method of doing paperwork.

I normally travel by myself; but with this offer of joining a friend on a trip to Libya it will a chance to seeing this stunning Country, I probably would have trouble seeing it solo.

Thanks again, Mark
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  #5  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endurorally View Post
A or two in the evening is possible in Tunisia, and Egypt, but not in Libya, despite it being all the same religion.
Errr... there's a Moroccan restaurant in Tripoli that serves some kind of liquor fortified with screen wash, but it tastes awful and will cost you 40 dinars a pop. You've been warned!
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  #6  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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Definitely go on the trip. What do you mean by recce? There are recognised tourist routes and it's a matter of stringing them together. Guides are reluctant to take you into difficult dunes, as it's obviously risky and hard work for them. I assume it's an organise yourself trip rather than one put together by an agency.

Take advantage of the fact that you have to do everything through an agent, so let them worry about visas and passport translations. Depending on who you pick they will deal with the ferry as well. For instance, Saharatravel do good deals on the Marseille route. Fessano get good write ups as well and are very helpful.

You will need a guide and policeman, but that can be a great help. For example ours managed to find a new windscreen for a 35 year old Range Rover in Murzuq. We also got to go Ubari to Derj direct across the Idehan Ubari, which not many have done. However, if you don't speak French or Italian (or Arabic) try to get some tuition before you go and don't forget a translator or phrase book. You might pay and arrange for a English speaking guide, but you might not get one.

Maps in Libya are just for interest, as the guide will take you wherever you or he decide. By the way, the Gizi road map has better topography than the geographical one. A basic GPS will do for storing the track, eg a Garmin Map60csx. The x is important as it takes a memory card for all the data. There is a mapsource Libya map, but it's not very accurate. The one for Tunisia is brilliant, and routable.

Get south and camping as soon as possible. Hotels in Tripoli are OK as is the one in Yefren. The Nalut funduq is in ruins as its being renovated (we camped in the builders rubble), but will be wonderful some day. The hotel on the main drag in Sabratha is rubbish. Organised camp sites are OK for their showers, but nothing else. We camped I think for 22 nights and regretted the 3 or 4 nights in hotels/camps.

The Libyan customs guys will be disappointed if they can't find some alcohol when they search at Ras Adjir, so a lightly hidden bottle of Scotch might be appreciated. Your guides will be disappointed that you don't have anything, but I think it's better to go dry as that avoids any problems about having alcohol and not sharing it, or letting your guide/poloceman have too much.
When you get back into Tunisia, the Moevenpick on Djerba is ideal. It's 5 star and has everything you'll be desparate for. The Riu's in Sousse and Hammamet are also brilliant (and all inclusive, so you'll make up for the dry days).

Anything else just ask. They're mostly friendly here, and everyone, without exception, is friendly in Libya.
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  #7  
Old 17 Jun 2009
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Hi Mark

I agree with all the above and am sure you will enjoy Libya. But if you come across a tour company named Arkno in your research, think carefully before using them.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ighlight=arkno
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  #8  
Old 17 Jun 2009
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Have to agree with everything GavinF says - I was there with him for the 6 weeks and it was my Range Rover that needed the 'screen!

At times it will seem more hassle than it's worth, both during the planning and execution, but is definately worth it.

Libya is awesome, the highlight of our trip being a four day crossing of the Ubari Sand Sea from Ubari to Derj.

You'll love it
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  #9  
Old 17 Jun 2009
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Many thanks to your replies Gents.

GavinF; Many thanks again, I''ll go through your helpful reply and get back with some questions, no doubt.

Cheers, Mark
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  #10  
Old 17 Jun 2009
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Many thanks for all the replies, Gents.

GavinF; thanks again for your reply, I'll through it and get back to you with some questions, no doubt.

Cheers, Mark
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  #11  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Hi GavinF,

I hope all is well;

Definitely go on the trip. What do you mean by recce?

***It’s basically a trip to Libya to gather info and seeing firsthand the areas to visit, or not to visit on further trips.

There are recognised tourist routes and it's a matter of stringing them together. Guides are reluctant to take you into difficult dunes, as it's obviously risky and hard work for them. I assume it's an organise yourself trip rather than one put together by an agency.

*** Yes, organising it ourselves. One of the guys has been before, but for the rest of us, it will be just a chance to visit this great Country.

Take advantage of the fact that you have to do everything through an agent, so let them worry about visas and passport translations. Depending on who you pick they will deal with the ferry as well. For instance, Saharatravel do good deals on the Marseille route. Fessano get good write ups as well and are very helpful.


*** Many thanks for these contacts, I’ll look into them.

You will need a guide and policeman, but that can be a great help. For example ours managed to find a new windscreen for a 35 year old Range Rover in Murzuq. We also got to go Ubari to Derj direct across the Idehan Ubari, which not many have done. However, if you don't speak French or Italian (or Arabic) try to get some tuition before you go and don't forget a translator or phrase book. You might pay and arrange for a English speaking guide, but you might not get one.


*** Thanks again, great info.

Maps in
Libya are just for interest, as the guide will take you wherever you or he decide. By the way, the Gizi road map has better topography than the geographical one. A basic GPS will do for storing the track, eg a Garmin Map60csx. The x is important as it takes a memory card for all the data. There is a mapsource Libya map, but it's not very accurate. The one for Tunisia is brilliant, and routable.

*** Thanks again, great info. Yes, I’ve read a lot about GPS’s and the Garmin 60csx seems to keep coming up. You say ‘basic’, is this best? i.e. keep it simple.


Get south and camping as soon as possible. Hotels in
Tripoli are OK as is the one in Yefren. The Nalut funduq is in ruins as its being renovated (we camped in the builders rubble), but will be wonderful some day. The hotel on the main drag in Sabratha is rubbish. Organised camp sites are OK for their showers, but nothing else. We camped I think for 22 nights and regretted the 3 or 4 nights in hotels/camps.

*** Thanks again, great info.


The Libyan customs guys will be disappointed if they can't find some alcohol when they search at Ras Adjir, so a lightly hidden bottle of Scotch might be appreciated. Your guides will be disappointed that you don't have anything, but I think it's better to go dry as that avoids any problems about having alcohol and not sharing it, or letting your guide/poloceman have too much.


*** Thanks again. Agree when it comes alcohol.

When you get back into
Tunisia, the Moevenpick on Djerba is ideal. It's 5 star and has everything you'll be desparate for. The Riu's in Sousse and Hammamet are also brilliant (and all inclusive, so you'll make up for the dry days).

Anything else just ask. They're mostly friendly here, and everyone, without exception, is friendly in
Libya.

*** No doubt I will have further questions, tahnk you again, best regards, Mark
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  #12  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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You probably know this bit already, your passports need to have an arabic translation inside. There are companys and individuals charging vast sums to provide the translation service, but it can be done for little cost or hassle.

You first need to get a stamp applied to one of the passport pages, which basicaly has name/DOB/address etc in arabic. You can get this free of charge from the passport agency - I sent mine of and it came back about ten days later by secure courier.
You then need to get your personal details entered in arabic - I went to a local language college and paid £15 per passport for someone to do the translation. I enrolled on the same college course afterwards so could help with this if you don't find anywhere.

Things seem to change quite quickly regarding Libya, so check these are still curent requirements...
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  #13  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Hi Eightpot,

Thanks for the info; yes I knew about the transalation, passport agency, great idea! As is the college.

Many thanks again, I'll keep watching the visa info situation.

Cheers, Mark
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