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  #61  
Old 28 Jan 2013
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We've heard otherwise about the border so are going to give it a shot (cross Libya to Egypt)... fingers crossed eh!? After much discussion as to whether or not to travel on the bikes we decided to keep it as low key as possible and have bundled them onto the back of a Libyan truck under cover. We are heading off early tomorrow with the aim to stop in Ajdabiya and Torbruq then straight to Alexandria.

We will give you guys updates when we can but this will probably be when we arrive in Egypt

Stay safe people and keep smiling
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  #62  
Old 3 Feb 2013
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So we've made it to Alexandria

Crossing Libya from Tripoli to the border was a complete doddle and at no point did we feel threatened or concerned despite the hype. Had we known it would have been okay we would have ridden the bikes as opposed to jumping on a truck.

Advice:

Prebook all hotels in advance and if you cannot ensure you arrive at your destinations well before sunset and look for a hotel. An ideal travel route we would suggest is:

Tripoli - Misrata - Ajdabiya (difficult to find online hotel but there are three odd big ones in the town and near major roundabouts) - Torbruk - Sidi Birrani (Egypt side).

The roads between Tripoli and Misrata are very poor so although it seems a short distance there are a fair few check points and you cannot really hammer it through!

Ajdabiya - Torbruk is straight through absolutely nothing!! So take food and water for the trip and fill up with petrol beforehand (some petrol stations dotted at the beginning and end but not necessarily any petrol available)

Leave Tobruk as EARLY as possible to reach the border.

We did spot areas you could wild camp but it is not recommended by locals to be so exposed at night at the moment.

Libyan to Egyptian Border:
Very simple and painless to cross. If you've had to pick up number plates remember to return and collect any monies you originally paid.

Egyptian Entry Border:
Absolute nightmare. Preparation suggestions:

Monies. Take plenty of Dinars and Egyptian Dollars our beforehand in prep. You will need to pay for number plates (I believe 500 Egyptian Dollars each returnable on exit) and 15US Dollars for visas. Be prepared to bribe.

Make your VIN number accessible. Unfortunately our bikes are built in a fashion where half the VIN number is hidden. This caused us 3 or 4 hours of politics and pain as they need to take a rubbing of it to clarify it is your vehicle.

Do NOT in any situation leave your vehicle unattended. If you are alone ask a guard to keep an eye on it and leave it away from the crowds but within view and in a lit area.

Expect to be grilled. We had it bad because of Sam's Arabic name and inability to actually speak Arabic. Also we had problems because we were with a Libyan Driver. Do not bite if they interrogate, just smile and keep it light.

Do not speak about any politics or about Libya.
If they ask your opinion just dodge the question and say you are travelling as there are some animosity between the two countries.

If female: Cover your hair and dress modestly, you will get a lot of attention.
Keep your head down and ignore it. Because we were stuck for 7 hours we ended up caught at night and there are continuous rolling black outs. During one I was groped and pockets were grabbed but I managed to have a successful knee jerk reaction. I was also hit on by a border guard who tried to get in the van with me at a later time when I was alone. It wasn't a good situation particularly when he started tapping his gun on the window. Due to this I would recommend staying in view of as many officials and in a well lit area as possible.

If female with fella: let the bloke do all the talking and chasing around.
Stay with your vehicle, again in a well lit and visible area.



I think no matter what the news states it would be possible for anyone to pass through the border with time and money. Expect the worst and hope for the best! Enjoy it (as much as you can!!) and try not to get too angry at the bureaucracy!
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  #63  
Old 3 Feb 2013
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****thanks Pheebs for your report and happy it was possible for you to enter in Egypt even if it is a nightmare (as usual...)

RR.
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  #64  
Old 5 Feb 2013
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Ahhh flubbywotsits.

It would seem the border gave us a duff receipt for our number plates. Being all in Arabic we knew no better. Looks like they won't be refunding us for the plates, although we kind of accepted that there was a high chance of that anyway even with a receipt.

Really quite a crabby border!
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  #65  
Old 16 Feb 2013
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Crossing Libya

Hi Pheebs,

I’m leaving on 12th April with 3 other to drive from London to Cape Town. Our route takes us into Tunisia on the ferry and then East through North Africa to Egypt. This obviously means crossing Libya.

The RAC has stopped issuing carnets for Libya and foreign office advice doesn’t look great however if it’s not a stupid risk we’re very committed to sticking with our original route.

I notice that you’ve just crossed Libya and therefore would hugely appreciate any advice you could offer, specifically:

1. What do you do if you don’t have a carnet.

2. How do you obtain a visa (I sense it’s not a great idea to get one from the Libyan embassy in London because the reality on the ground is very different?)

3. Would you be able to recommend a local guide who could help us at the border and through the country if necessary.


Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can offer and I look forward to hearing from you.



Cheers

Harry (and the team)
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  #66  
Old 16 Feb 2013
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Quote:
1. What do you do if you don’t have a carnet.
The Libyans do (or certainly did) their own one - though these days they may well not bother for the transit. One less document.

I think your other questions have answers or leads earlier in the thread.
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  #67  
Old 16 Feb 2013
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Thanks.
Just trying to get as up to date info as possible as things seems to be changing the whole time.
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  #68  
Old 16 Feb 2013
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[QUOTE=Chris Scott;411957]The Libyans do (or certainly did) their own one - though these days they may well not bother for the transit. One less document.

+1!
I just return from 22 countries in west and east Africa Maroco-Cape Town-Cairo, without Carnet.
In Egypt I paid for TIP (temporary importation papers)$800 Refundable-Deposit which I got back to the penny when I left Egypt.
Lost $70 on exchange from Egypt money to $usd.
My route in Africa April 2012-January2013

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  #69  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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The border is indeed closed to foreigners. Unless you have made prior arrangemnts, with the visa in the passport, and an armed escort waiting, it must surely be jusst about impossible to blag your way across. Since David Camerons visit, security measures have increased greatly - in Misrata at night, there are checkpoits every few hundred metres.
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  #70  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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That doesn't sound very good although they obviously let you through!
Who arranged your escort for you across the country?
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  #71  
Old 23 Feb 2013
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Tip to toe- I think I replied to you by email for all others out there you do not need a carnet for Libya but they will stamp your carnet even though Libya is crossed off!!

And again, yes the border was closed to all foreigners but we made it through and believe anyone could with enough time and patience

Visa wise you can still obtain business ones (a friend has done so in past couple of weeks!) you just need a business willing to write an invitation , will try and get some names and numbers ASAP.
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  #72  
Old 26 Feb 2013
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I'm afraid we don't appear to have received the email.

Yes I understand it is possible to get business visas although not cheap - about £200 is what we've been quoted.

Have you just crossed Libya?

If so were you accompanied by the tourist police?
Did you take a guide and what did you pay him?

Information from all those outside the country seems very negative in terms of cost and security so appreciate your views!
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  #73  
Old 9 Apr 2013
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Interesting article on the state of Libya.

RealClearWorld - A Libyan Report Card

Prognosis not good for much more than the occasional transit.
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  #74  
Old 18 Apr 2013
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Hmmm.... The depth of the analysis reminds me of the saying, the origins of which are attributed to another Kaplan: "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

That's true: "a band of civilian experts, plus small numbers of special operations forces" can't turn Libya into a stable democracy led by a new strong central government able to monopolize the use of force. Until it happens, the dysfunctional Libayn state is not to be allowed to freely exchange petro-dollars for fancy military technology, like Ghadaffi used to do, only for the wrong reasons and dealing with the wrong people.

But they are working on it : Libya to Spend Billions on Defence | Libya Business News. Still, as travellers in occasional transit, we are in greater danger of AK47's than Eurofighters falling in the wrong hands.
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