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  #1  
Old 8 Aug 2003
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Niger and Libia: visas, guides and security

I am currently planning a scientific expedition to North/West Africa starting in April 2004. After reading Sahara Overland (the book and the tips on the board), I have several (= a lot of) questions related with visas, guides and security.

1 – for Libya, can anyone confirm that it is currenty necessary to apply for visas in groups of three or more ?

2 – for Libya, can anyone confirm that the prices mentioned in Sahara Overland are updated: roughly 350 euros per person (including visa, letter of invitation and a guy waiting at Raj Ajdir to deal with the paperwork) ?

3 – for Libya, the demand for a daily guide remains mandatory ? If yes, the estimate of 50 euros/day for a guide in my car is it a reasonable one ?

4 – with the goal of reaching Dirkou from Libya, should it be “more safer” to go to Djanet and then follow the “Piste Balisé” or go from Al-Katrun following the "Malboro piste" ? Is the first option still officialy forbidden ?

5 – for Niger, the demand for a daily guide for the Tenere and Air mountains remains mandatory ? or even if it wasn’t, it is strongly advisable for safety reasons ? Can anyone recommend a reliable a guide in Dirkou (for the Tenere) and in Agadez (for the Air mountains) ?

6 - How much should I expect to pay between Dirkou and Agadez and for a 6 day trip to the Air mountains ?

7 – Is it possible to get a via for Niger in Tunisia or Libya ? Read somewhere that visas for Niger might be available in Sebha (Libya), can anyone confirm this ?

Thanks,
José
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Old 8 Aug 2003
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4 – with the goal of reaching Dirkou from Libya, should it be “more safer” to go to Djanet and then follow the “Piste Balisé” or go from Al-Katrun following the "Malboro piste" ? Is the first option still officialy forbidden ?


Algeria is OK with travel south down the balise route, but I think Niger still officially doesn't recognise this route. Not many tourists try the Djanet to Dirkou route.
(see http://www.sahara-overland.com/Sfiles/wash.htm).

The Marlboro route is more commonly done (see http://www.sahara-overland.com/Sfiles/jochas.htm) and seems to be tolerated by Niger. For example Niger has the necessary stuff for border formalities at Madama (but not at Chirfa, the first military oost on the Balise route).

Normally you need to take a guide from Dirkou to Agadez although some people have managed to leave Dirkou without (see http://www.sahara-overland.com/Sfiles/wulf.htm). Others have had to take guides from Seguidine.

If you opt for the balise route south of Djanet, don't tell anyone where you are going or else drive 30 km or so off the Balise line. Bandits have been known to lie in wait, as 4 German tourists found to their cost in early 2002.
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Old 9 Aug 2003
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You also might find
http://www.sahara-overland.com/updates/Niger.pdf
useful
and the /updates in general

Ch

------------------
Author of Sahara Overland and the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, among other things

http://www.sahara-overland.com
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Old 10 Aug 2003
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Thanks for the info Chris and Richard.

I've had the opportunity of previously read the S-files and the Niger.pdf

However, I was counting with more updated and recent information. But it might turn out that there isn't much recent information.

These aren't popular routes, in the current times, and so perhaps this is the only info available.

Thanks anyway,
José
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Old 10 Aug 2003
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For Libya

I think traveling to Libya in the deep desert specially in the eastern side is better with an organized tour from Europe so you join a group and you have your visa with them plus traveling in a group of 3 cars reaching places cant be done in a single car .
When contacting with them you also will find the up to date information.
Its how I did it for Libya so you don’t have to worry about daily guide expenses or permits also you would be traveling with a professional guide sharing knowledge and experience.

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Old 11 Aug 2003
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VERY IMPORTANT :

For scientific and/or research expeditions, individual or not, You do must have permit from H.A.T.A. (antiquities Department) . Cannot manage without !
---
Minimun four persons

Guide compulsory all travel along

cost £ 75/90 by day all inclusive , inviation letter, tent, food and 4x4 included.
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Old 13 Aug 2003
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Thank you Budrinna.

I'll contact the diplomatic representation of Libya in Lisbon to know the details.

José
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  #8  
Old 14 Aug 2003
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Hi,

I strongly advise against Djanet-Dirkou. There had been at least 3 robberies on this route in End 2001-2002.
And one in 2003 near by.

See: http://www.dfae.diplomatie.fr/voyageurs/etrangers/avis/conseils/fiches/fic he.asp?onglet=1&pays=NIGER

And "5 – for Niger, the demand for a daily guide for the Tenere and Air mountains remains mandatory ? or even if it wasn’t, it is strongly advisable for safety reasons ?""

Yes, Guide strongly advised and compulsary anyway.

Kind Regards, Yves www.sahara-info.ch

[This message has been edited by Yves (edited 13 August 2003).]
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