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We are now safely in Cairo having driven across Libya from Tunisia.
As requested, I have put a summary below. You can read the full details in our blog: aimlessinafrica.blogspot.com
Jill at email@example.com obtained Business Visas for us. These are probably a bit better for overlanders, as you do not need to have a guide. The cost was $ 400/person.
We picked up our visas at the Libyan embassy in Tunis. The process seems to be that the administration in Tripoli sends a fax with a reference number to the embassy where you want to collect your visa. Unfortunately we were given an incorrect fax number for one of our visas and this took a couple of days to sort out.
You queue at the side of the Libyan embassy in Tunis and talk to the people through an open window. You do not enter the embassy. With the correct fax number the process is simple and straight forward. You need to complete the application form in ARABIC and hand over 2 x passport photos and TD 45. About 1 – 2 hours later you have your visa.
We passed through the Tunisia formalities with little delay.
On the Libyan side there were some questions about our sponsor, so we showed the email from Jill with the details. If there were any further hassles we would have asked them to phone Jill. They also wanted to know where we were staying in Tripoli etc . After ~ 30 min we were on our way.
We elected to get the carnet signed in case the Egyptian side asked about it. This took ~ 60 min, as they did not know what it was and it was not in Arabic. Still, it was finally signed.
We stayed in Sabratha at the Hotel Tellel Complex, a resort on the beach, LD 180 for dinner, bed & breakfast. If you were a little braver than us, there were plenty of places to camp on or near the beach on the way to the hotel.
Day 2– 16/10/12
We visited the Sabratha Roman ruins. Then we had a very hard time finding a bank to get money. Finally, just before the ring road in Tripoli, the Amen bank had working ATMs and currency exchange. We did not stop in Tripoli
We visited Leptis Magna ruins and camped at a clearly marked camp site near the entrance. TD 10.
Day 3– 17/10/12
We drove to Benghazi. A lot of the hotels were full, so we strayed at the Hotel Juliana, LD 220. The braver folks could drive a km or so off the Sirte – Ajdabaya road and camp.
Day 4– 18/10/12
We visited Cyrene and drove along the coast to Tobruk. The drive from Marsa Susah to Darman along the ocean was wonderful. There were plenty of places to pull off the road and camp on a secluded beach/ocean view. There also seemd to be a few resorts, one advertising RV facilities.
Near Tobruk we visited the Knightsbridge War Cemetery. We stayed at the Al Masira hotel, LD 135
Day 5– 19/10/12
On the way out of town we visited the Tobruk War Cemetery. We then drove to the Libyan border. Immigration was competed in less than 60 secs. Getting the Carnet stamped took 60 min! This is probably because they had not seen one before and did not have the stamp at the outgoing border post.
The Libyans we met were friendly and super generous. They invariably went out of their way to assist us in any way. That said, they are the world’s worst drivers, total maniacs.
We did not feel there were any security issues and we always felt safe. However, we stayed in hotels or secure areas at night and did not wander after dark. This added to the cost.
Location: Now Alberta, Canada! (originally the Netherlands)
The border TO LIBYA FROM EGYPT is really cloesed it seems.
After multiple emails with LTT they agreed to pay us back 50% of the fee as this border is closed for us already for a few months.
Honestly, it still hurts to have lost 175USD on this per person, but 50% back is better than nothing.
I have to say LTT is a professional business, but they should think about their product a bit better .... and pay back 100% if it turns out that their 'product' doesn't exist.
From TUnesia no problem, we've bumped into multiple travellers who drove that way through Libya without big problems, with b.visa's from LTT.
We saw people passing through the boarder from Egypt to Libya. But, no overlanders.
The queue of trucks on the Egypt side heading into Libya was huge, ~ 20 - 30 km long. However, cars seemed to bypass the trucks and and go direct to the border post. We did this on the Libyan side.
Did you have a local fixer when you went to the Egyptian boarder post?? The local facilitator made a huge difference to our transit from Libya into Egypt. But, we are old & retired! The LE 200 for this was money well spent on our part.
Maybe it is just Business visas or non Egyptians/Libyans who are stopped??
We found LTT to be good and very responsive. The incorrect fax number was a bit annoying, but for any long time overlander, just a blip.
I'm not quite sure about the point of your question. Sollum is (the only) official crossing pint on the main road connecting the two countries along the Mediterranean coast, so any vehicle can cross.
However I have heard of conflicting reports recently on whether the crossing is open or not. In any case, your biggest worry would be getting Libyan visas and security in Cyrenaica, not whether a 4x4 can cross...
we are thinking of taking your route to egypt next april 2013.
I am also looking at the possibility of this route through libya also. We are departing from UK beginning of April 2013 in a 4x4, and will be essentially driving non stop through Europe to reach N africa, so would be there early to mid april.
Have you heard any updated information?
Would you be interested in travelling together if dates matched?
Hi Dan, We are hoping to do the same in February with 3 bikes.
Who are you using to get your business visa through? I have been trying to contact www.libyatravelandtours.com (and Libya Adventures which i think is run by the same people?) who aimlessinafrica used, but i have had no luck getting through.
We (me and Andrea) want to go same route in April 2013, too .... So, please stay in contact about the issue with visa and entry
We are travelling with a Mitsubishi L300 4WD and are based in the BlackForest in Germany. From there it`s about 500km (straight Autobahn) to the ferry Genova-La Goulette/Tunis.
The MS Carthage is operating every Saturday, I took this ferry already twice with a motorcycle.
So, maybe we can share the informations, even travel together and see how everything works with the border crossings
PS: I got an email (31.10.2012) from Jill in Tripolis asking $ 400.- for the letter plus the visa fee from embassy, which can be picked up in Tunis ....
Hi Thomas! Thank you for your email. My name is Jill Wilson, and I am an American working as a Sales Representative for Libya Travel & Tours here in Tripoli, Libya.
We'd be happy to help you plan a trip through Libya, from border to border. Unfortunately, I don't believe there are transit visas available...at least not that I've heard of. I think your only option right now is to travel through Libya on a business visa.
The Ministry of Tourism in Libya had started issuing tourist visas again, but they have actually been suspended at the moment, AND unfortunately they are ONLY for issue at the Tripoli Airport. Again, with that said, you would need to enter on business visas, which is what the other "overlanders" have done. The cost of a one month business visa is US$400 each for the visa letter of invitation from a host company here in Tripoli on our end PLUS whatever the Libyan Embassy charges you to get the actual stamp in your passport at the Libyan Embassy of your choice.
Also, although we have had clients successfully get their visa stamps in Tunis, it can be one of the trickier embassies to work with...so if you have the option of getting the stamp somewhere else, we might recommend that. We can only guarantee the paperwork coming from here in Tripoli...what happens at the embassies and at the border is unfortunately out of our control, so please realize that.
In order to get the visas, we would need scanned copies of your passports, a signed letter of indemnity saying we are legally not responsible for what you do while in Libya, and FULL payment to our US office. It takes us about 7-10 days to get the visa paperwork done on our end. We would then have to have the information faxed to the Libyan Embassy closest to you and you would need a few days on that end to get the visas processed in your passports. **Also, keep in mind that once the visa is stamped in your passport, you must enter Libya within 30 days! Once you enter Libya, the visa itself if also valid for 30 days.
Would you like us to arrange any hotel bookings for you along the way?
Hope this helps! I'll look forward to hearing back from you soon as to whether or not you're interested in having us help you plan your trip. If you can give me more specifics, I can then help you on some more specifics on pricing.
Have a great rest of your day!
Jill Wilson Sales Representative Libya Travel & Tours
we contacted the lady in the travel agency about libyia visa last week she said they were not doing them anymore because they thought the business visas were unsafe. so we are now shipping 2 4x4 in container to capetown and it is only costing a little more and no hassel in egypt . we may ship back from port sudan ....
The statement given to you by the tourist agency remains a bit vague when it talks about where you can pick up the visa after the invitation was granted.
Since I conclude that you are a German National living in Germany I do not expect that you get your visa stamped into your passport in Tunis - you will have to go to Berlin (probably even twice and not once).
Full payment to US office? Never heard of a Libyan agency requiring that, nor a letter of indeminity. That's the American, not the Libyan way of doing business. My advice is to contact Alarbi Suleiman on:
info [at} saharastars /dot\ com
I have travelled with him many times. He can arrange for you a business visa, meet you at the border, sort out the paperwork, get you through the road checkpoints and look after you all the way. Great guy!
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