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  #16  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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Just to add to the general knowledge base this might be of interest from a few years ago -

WFP convoy crosses Libya-Chad border | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide

As most have said it all seems too risky for European mortals

Some footage of the crossing in this promo from WFO
and lots more info if you google - Libya Chad Convoy
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Last edited by silver G; 31 Jan 2012 at 09:34.
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  #17  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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Quote:
1) Is there a route from Libya to Chad?
Are you sure you mean Chad or maybe made a mistake with Sudan?

Because if you mean Chad, that is a slightly less outlandish idea.
gvdaa did it a couple? of times along the Zouar route in the west:
Sahara Overland ~ Chad with Mercs

But that was 10+ years ago. I believe there was a plan recently to go back that way (with Chad support), but the Libyan revolution put an end to it.

I have not done it but I would say El Gatrun-Zouar is a recognised piste into north Chad (colonial/WWII era, on the Mich map) with some diversions around mined areas. The Kufra-Matan-Ounianga trade route into Chad (which I believe the WFP took), I would classify as a piste too. It's on maps and is a pretty clear line (until Ounianga) on Google. There's even an actual border post on the border. P.614 in the book describes this route loosely from 1999 - not for the faint-hearted.

If there proves to be stability, permission and all the rest in the south of Libya* then I would say El Gatrun-Zouar would not be beyond the pale, though perhaps not for a first timer.

But if we're still talking about Libya-Sudan, then I'd guess it's as Kuno and Andrasz describe.

Ch

* I read yesterday that former rebels from Zintan occupy the southern oases like Ubari, so it may not be as 'wild west' as I assumed down there, although Kufra could be another story.
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  #18  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrasz View Post
Kuno summed up the answer quite nicely... However if you do give it a try, there will be a lot of interested ears, some may even be willing to pay for a pint or two in return for the story, assuming the remote possibility that you will be able to tell it.
I think this was the best reply of the lot!
and it says a bunch
if you want an adventure you'll have to go for it

now in what ways would this endeavour be more dangerous than the trip that GvdAa did with those two Merc 190s anno dazumal???

and shouldn't we try to stake out new routes for adventurers?
like finding the best west-to-east route
in a changing Sahara
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  #19  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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One thing that you have to be clear about when trying something like the Libya-Sudan route is whether you can deal with ending up in detention somewhere while your case is being dealt with (e.g. the query is passed up the chain from the border post, or while some regional chief-admin guy decides if you are an arms smuggling risk, but it takes him a few days to weigh things up). So it all might end OK, but given that the route is unusual, you will likely be detained at their pleasure for as long as it takes to figure things out. Andrasz has already mentioned this possibility. The key thing is to know whether you have got the composure to deal with it.

I did an unsual route from Djanet to Chirfa (Algeria to Niger) that caught the Niger authorities by surprise and it took them 10 days or so to work out if we should be free to proceed. It was a l-o-n-g 10 days without my passport and I wouldn't want to do that again. That was 10 years ago. Given the issues to hand now, I don't think it would be as short as 10 days.

I'd add that it is important in all countries in Africa for border posts to know where you have come from - i.e. to be able to trace stamps in passports. This almost never happens on arrival at busy borders in Europe, esp at airports but seems routine in Africa. It makes it much more risky therefore, to leave a country unofficially and arrive at another, officially. They'll work out pretty quickly that you left unofficially and that will ring the bells. I appreciate this may not be the intention. But suppose you arrive at the NW border of Sudan and there is no one willing to stamp you out, or no one able to? The temptation and reasonable thing might be to carry on. But that will put you in the unofficial category.

Finally, a colleague looked into driving north in Chad to Libya a year or so ago. I was somewhat surprised when the embassies of both countries said it was OK. I say somewhat because the embassies sometimes aren't good at advising on overland routes (I am being polite here!). He made it to Faya in Chad, but then ran into difficulties for other reasons. Had he not, I think he might well have made it to Libya. It could be the case that this route is acceptable as an unusual once off but just that no one has tried. Right now I'd prefer Chad-Libya to Sudan-Libya. That said, Chad alone would be good enough for me.

Last edited by Richard Washington; 31 Jan 2012 at 15:36. Reason: typo
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  #20  
Old 2 Feb 2012
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If I was to attempt this route I would only do it after checking and sniffing around the area for a couple of times and after getting local info, as reliable as possible and I would probably not be putting a theory on the forums. To put it in other words, I wouldn't try it without already previously knowing anything about the area - then, it would depend of my guts and of the answer to the question why I'm doing it and whether it's really worth it. At the moment, knowing the area as much as I do, I wouldn't attempt it.

In any case, if you do it and you're able to tell it afterwards, I'm sure, as Andrasz said, many here will be glad to read it. On the other hand, I still believe some things are better kept secret for the ones with guts. As soon as it starts being advertised on forums and two or three wrong parties use the tip, it might quickly become impossible even for those with guts.

If the story of the crossing-attempt some day fills the headlines for a day or two, it'll be nice to follow it in the same thread. Just for the sake of the continuity.
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  #21  
Old 2 Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by priffe View Post
I think this was the best reply of the lot!
and it says a bunch
if you want an adventure you'll have to go for it

now in what ways would this endeavour be more dangerous than the trip that GvdAa did with those two Merc 190s anno dazumal???

and shouldn't we try to stake out new routes for adventurers?
like finding the best west-to-east route
in a changing Sahara


R.A. Bagnold's and his sahara travels have been mentioned on the Hubb before. Remember he and his friends went this way in the 1920's, in Model T Ford's, pioneering tracks and developing new methods of navigation, driving and existing there in ways that had never been known previously, under exactly the same political conditions as exist there now if not worse.


I can't but agree with Priffe's sentiments and I'd go further; show the same spirit, the thirst for adventure and the unknown that these modest and self effacing men did in former times and now seems to be absent in too many modern men – or to put it in the present vernacular “don't be such pussy's”...


It's sometimes easy to forget the simple truths of why we do what we do but I can do no better than quote the preface to R.A.Bagnold's book “Libyan Sands”. We stand on the shoulders of giants:-



Preface

As other people collect their poems and finally republish them, I have collected my travels.

Travels among the ruins of desert kingdoms and the crocks and querns of prehistoric tribes; beyond them among creeping dunes, petrified forests and in places where nothing exists, no sprouting grass blade nor worm of decay; where perhaps, in certain spots, nothing ever did exist; travels shared, companions changing but ideas preserved; and all over a sense of what travel is, and how it can be done with little pomp, little money, much love of it and very much preparation.


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  #22  
Old 2 Feb 2012
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... under exactly the same political conditions as exist there now if not worse.
I agree that Bagnold is a much under-rated desert explorer and his book is one of the best in its genre.

But I don't think one can compare camel-mounted tribesmen or Senussi renegades harassing Brit soldiers (probably with pistols) roaming around newly decolonised Egypt in motor cars in the late 20s, with the Janjaweed (or whatever they've become now) rocking up in technicals on unarmed tourists looking for an adventure in foreign lands.

It is notable that Bagnold's 1932 trip ('6000 miles') included much of NE Chad (then a French colony) but avoided Libya.

Or have I fallen into a trolling trap ;-)

I still think some confusion has crept in over the Zouar route into Chad and the OP's query about Libya-Sudan. They are not the same, IMO.

Ch
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  #23  
Old 2 Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I agree that Bagnold is a much under-rated desert explorer and his book is one of the best in its genre.

But I don't think one can compare camel-mounted tribesmen or Senussi renegades harassing Brit soldiers (probably with pistols) roaming around newly decolonised Egypt in motor cars in the late 20s, with the Janjaweed (or whatever they've become now) rocking up in technicals on unarmed tourists looking for an adventure in foreign lands.

It is notable that Bagnold's 1932 trip ('6000 miles') included much of NE Chad (then a French colony) but avoided Libya.

Or have I fallen into a trolling trap ;-)

I still think some confusion has crept in over the Zouar route into Chad and the OP's query about Libya-Sudan. They are not the same, IMO.

Ch
I think that's a military distinction more than a political one. Bagnold and his team was just a fettered by “permissions” to travel to the various places he did (strikingly familiar ones as it happens) as is the modern traveller; to get to Transjordan for example, or around the Sinai. Sometimes they took side arms or rifles, mostly they went unarmed. In the western dessert they came across Italian soldiers in whose territory there was war. Borders change but the dessert hasn't – they went west of the Gilf and far beyond and were at Benghazi also.


Of course times have changed together with the nature of the hazards but where we have land mines and AK wielding groups they had no roads and lawless bandits armed to the teeth by the British government during and after WW1 who flooded the area with arms. They had sun compasses we have satellites in the sky to guide us. I imagine you could transpose hazards one for one if you wished.


My wider point and also I think Priffe's is that these men were not daunted by the challenges with which they were faced or chose to take on and were in much if not more danger than we would be going to the same places today.


Taking another line from his book which I think sums up these men and the point I wish to make; Bagnold stood at Siwa looking to the south and south west where the Great Sand Sea lies. Consulting the only map that existed: “where the map of Egypt faded away into blankness stippled vaguely to indicate sand, and ended with the final stimulating remarks “ limit of sand-dunes unknown”. They pointed their Model T's in that direction and drove into it.


Also - no traps here

To be fair, Bagnold also states “we never went where we were not wanted, got shot up by angry tribesmen or provoked a reluctant government to send out police and troops” and he saw this as a disbenefit to an interesting book (!) but I see it as a great achievment of organisation and original thinking.
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  #24  
Old 3 Feb 2012
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Update.

Reported today on Misurata radio, that several hundred Misurata militia men have been sent to this border to seal it from immigrants crossing into Libya.

So at least you know someone will meet you at the border.
CJ.
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  #25  
Old 13 Feb 2012
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Not exacly encouraging news from the South...

Three killed in Libya tribal clashes | News by Country | Reuters

------------ added by CS ----------
More on that topic a few days later
http://af.reuters.com/article/topNew...81G00A20120217
CS
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Last edited by Chris Scott; 17 Feb 2012 at 11:15. Reason: updated and added link
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