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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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  #1  
Old 18 Dec 2003
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libya guides

I've spoken to an agency in london who tell me that they can get me a libyan tourist visa fora month and that they will supply a guide who'll meet us at our point of entry. They say that we can then dump him immediatly. Does anyone know if this is true? Can you just take a guide for your first entry into libya and then spend 10 days or so driving around the norht coast un accompanied?

Thanks
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Old 18 Dec 2003
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Stuart,
A bit of a scam on the part of the agency ( if it's the one I used this year)
I don't have the time right now to type out all the info, nor do I have a contact number, if you would like to email me yours, I'll give you a call tomorrow and see if I can enlighten you.
Geoff
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Old 19 Dec 2003
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Stuart / Geoff,

Would either of you pls put this info on here? I'd be much interested to hear.

I know that last year people would take a guide for just one day and then get around just fine without one. I'd be interested to learn if that is still viable.

Camiel
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  #4  
Old 19 Dec 2003
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If you want to try and avoid the guides, may I suggest trying this method:

Get to the Tunisa/Libya border 2 hours before your agreed time to meet your guide.
Get yourself through the customs procedure, which is actually fairly straight forward. and will also save you 100US for doing it yourself.
(What I can suggest is to try and get a written english/arab translation of the normal words used in an
import procedure. ie make, model, reggo number etc.)
On leaving the border area, you can try to bluff the gaurds by saying that you had booked a guide, but he hasn't turned up.
Make sure you have lots of copies of your invitation into the country, at each roadblock they will generally ask for a copy.

SOmething that does work in our favour at this border is that there is a timezone change here.
I hadn't realised this until I got to the border an hour earlier than my guide, which is when I tried to do as I have suggested as above.
Unfortunately, as I was finished and just about to ride off, my guide pitched up.
My guide left me just before the Egyptian border post on my way out, so I don't see a problem with geting out without one on the other side.

Let me know if you succeed.
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  #5  
Old 20 Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Geoff van de Merwe:
If you want to try and avoid the guides, may I suggest trying this method:

Get to the Tunisa/Libya border 2 hours before your agreed time to meet your guide.

...

On leaving the border area, you can try to bluff the gaurds by saying that you had booked a guide, but he hasn't turned up.
And make sure the guide has been paid in advance, otherwise you will have ripped him off!

------------------
Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Peter.
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Cheers,
Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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  #6  
Old 21 Dec 2003
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Hi Geoff

Thanks for that advice. The agency is one of those recommended by the embassy in london - is that the same one? So anyway are you saying that when you get there and the guy comes to meet you that in the end you can't just keep him for an afternoon and then spend 2 weeks or so driving around on your own? Or is it ok once you've dumped the guide to cruise around alone. How long ago was it that you were there?

Also do you happen to know if its the same deal with Algeria and needing a guide there (in both countries we'll be sticking only to the coast.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 21 Dec 2003
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Beddhist,
You are of course right, ripping off the guides would gain nothing, but make things difficult for ourselves in the future.

From my personal experience though, I do feel that the agenices which I dealt with need some bringing into line.
My visa through 'United Travel Agency' in London (recommended by the Libyan Embassy) cost me £200,
which was meant to include:
invitation
arabic translation in passport
a guide to meet me at the border and get me through all formalities

Upon reaching the border, I discovered that the guide had been prepaid to get only me through the border.
I was charged another 100US to get my bike through. (For the time it took and the simplicity of the task I find it hard to justify that amount of money. esp. as I had completed part of the procedures myself)

As far as the guiding company was concerned:
I was on a bike, so I had to pay 100US/day for the guide and his vehicle.
This vehicle was the guide's clapped out car and it would have been the same price for a 4X4, surely a 2 wheel drive rust bucket should be cheaper?
The guide was of no use at all except to get me through the roadblocks.

Perhaps, the answer would be to set up some information page where a traveller could get an idea of what to expect for their money
and also an indication of which travel agencies and guides are the most efficient/service oriented.

If others feel similarly, I would be happy to help to compile such a page, as I know I will be going back to Libya again and would hopefully
have a smoother trip the next time around.

Stuart, I was in LIbya in March,
more details on my website.

Geoff
www.catchthepig.co.uk
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