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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 6 May 2009
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No entry into Libya

So we had everything well organized, visas ready, passports translated to arabic. We arrived in Ras Jedir Saturday, April 25. Our guide was waiting on the other side. We were lead past the thousand or so Tunisian smugglers in Isuzus and old 505s and signed out of Tunisia. We met the guide and he went to have the plates made. While waiting, there was the Libyan immigration officer approaching us and saying there was a problem with pur passports and the guide needed to come right away. I sent an sms to the guide but it was an hour vefore he returned. Then after talkng with the officer in charge ha said it was "an unexpected major problem". Turns out Moammar had changed the rules the same day, so only parties with five or more could enter. Before, the rule had been five people on the same visa within 30 days.
Or this is what the guide told us.
We were stuck and couldn't get in. Us two, and also the eminent Genji from this forum, travelling alone.
Our guide (from Sherwes travel) said he would go back to Tripoli and take care of it for the next day. I wish I hadn't belived him, as he never got back with us. Genji's guide arranged so he could cross the border the next day at 6 p.m (with two Italians, so it was a party of three - go figure).

I wish we hadn't been so Swedish/British about it. I should have been in attack mode from the very moment the immigration officer approached me. We should have flat out refused to return to Tunisia. We should have blocked the darn boarder lanes with our cruisers screaming BLOODY SCANDAL.
But we didn't and now all we got out of it was a cheeseburger on the Libyan side.
So stay alert and be prepared if you go to Libya.
At least we didn't loose any money.
As always in Africa, I wonder what was really at play. Perhaps our guide was in bad standing? Or someone hadn't been paid enough? Impossible to know. But I swore to never again let us fall prey to "circumstances" without fighting like mad.
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Old 6 May 2009
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"Before, the rule had been five people on the same visa within 30 days."

I believed it was for not five people together ....
Now it is 6 ?
I can't believe that (not you , of course).
Lybia is definitely an unreliable country...

RR.
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  #3  
Old 8 May 2009
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Use Hadi Bkai for Libya...

That's all I would say!

Safe travels, Sam.
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Old 8 May 2009
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Hi Sam
Do you mean than 4 or 6 , it depends for the agency (supposed that Hadi Bkai is one of them..)
RR.
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Old 8 May 2009
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I mean that regardless of anything, Hadi is more likely than anyone else to make it work!

Sam.
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Old 8 May 2009
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OK Sam if I understand well , you think Hadi is the best one fr Lybia ;
Which agency please ?
Also , I've read this on Chris' site:
""You need to travel in a group of at least 4, not including your entourage.""
Does it mean that if I travel with my wife and also another couple (2 vehicles) our group is composed of only 2 people (ie without "entourage")?
In another terms , is it possible to travel in Lybia with 2 vehicles and 4 people + only the guide in one of our car ?
RR.
(sorry for my -not so good- english)
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  #7  
Old 8 May 2009
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I don't know what the rules are, I just know that Hadi will be able to put a plan together that will work for you and the Libyans.

Fessano-w-tours

'later, Sam.
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Old 8 May 2009
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If I remember correctly, the Englishman (Genji) who was denied entry at the same time was using Fessano tours.
So he didn't get in that day, but he did the next day. WHereas my agent said it was impossible for us to get in "at this time".

My point would be to check and doublecheck with the agent that everything is going well, to minimize the risk of being denied entry. The rules may change at any time.
And don't take "no" for an answer.
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  #9  
Old 19 May 2009
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I feel sorry for those travelers who were just not allowed to enter the country. It is very unfortunate that the procedure does not allow single persons to enter or groups which are considered 'too small'.

Personally I would not rely on above advice, that 'Fessano can do it' and even not on a written confirmation. It is actually not soooo good, if you mention Fessano can do things which are not foreseen by the official regulation here in the internet - and even if a tour operator writes to you, that there is no problem for you to enter the country even alone: This statement is not valid against the local authorities (but it may help you to travel calm).

Hope that the day, where an individual tourist can enter Libya is not too far...
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  #10  
Old 20 May 2009
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I wrote:

"I just know that Hadi will be able to put a plan together that will work for you and the Libyans."

emphasis: 'you and the Libyans'

He knows how to work WITH the system, not around or against it.

Sam.

Last edited by Sam Rutherford; 20 May 2009 at 15:33. Reason: spelling!
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