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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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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 23 Apr 2002
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piste Ghat - Djanet

Is there anyone out there who has done the piste between Ghat and Djanet? Details on the piste would be much appreciated.

After reading the book “Sahara Overland”, and if I understand it correctly, it is possible to leave Ghat and visit the Tassilli n’Ajjer without a visa for Algeria, has long has you are with a Libyan guide and you plan to return to Libya. Has anyone done this before? If so, details (recommend guide, price of guide, etc.) are welcome.

I’ve read somewhere that in south Algeria there maybe fuel shortages. Does this situation confirms ? And what about in Libya ?

Thanks in advance,
José
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Old 23 Apr 2002
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Jose,
The route from Ghat to Djanet is relatively easy - it's just the start bit when you go on for what seems like forever in the wrong direction - the route does eventually go west!

You cannot enter Libya at Ghat - no way. If for no other reason than they are not set up there with the number plates etc. We asked in Ghat about the 'go off to Djanet and then come back with a guide bit' - they were all very confused - as far as customs and immigration are concerned you can't, and never have been able to.

Lastly, there is even less traffic on this route than the others!

Sam.
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Old 23 Apr 2002
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Hi Sam,

Thank you very much for the information.

Since you’ve travelled in that region may be you can give more advices. After 2 trips to Morocco and one to Mauritania/Senegal, the “Sahara virus” is now running free in the blood stream. Therefore I’m now starting to plan a trip to the central Sahara. My first idea was to cover SE Libya (Ubari and Akakus regions), then a quick jump to the Tassilli n’Ajjer, and back north, via Libya to Ghadamès, in about 30 days. The idea was, on the way back, to avoid the stone throwers of north Algeria and benefit from the extreme low price of fuel in Libya.

According to your information this might not possible, due to difficulties of entering Libya in Ghat. So now this leaves me with three possibilities: 1) visit only Libya, 2) visit only Algeria or 3) visit Libya and return via Algeria. Nevertheless, due to the various costs of such a trip, perhaps I’ll have to stick with option 1 or 2. So, from you point of view, which would be a more interesting trip: the Ubari-Akakus region or the Hoggar-Tassilli n’Ajjer region. I’m a field biologist, so I’m always interest in the fauna & flora. From preliminary readings of texts describing these two regions, I get the feeling that Algeria should be more rich, in terms of biodiversity. Besides, the Hoggar and the Tassilli are two National Parks, inscribed in the World Heritage Places of UNESCO.

So which option do you consider to be the best bet for a first trip to the central Sahara ? If its Algeria, do you think it compensates the risk caused by the stone throwers ?

Thanks in advance,
José
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Old 23 Apr 2002
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Jose,
Option Three is your best! Down through Libya, across to Djanet then (depending on time/cash) further across to Tamanrasset and north, or direct north from Djanet. I have never had problems with stone throwers.

Algeria is (perhaps) more varied, but Libya has Lake Gabroun and the Akakus - both of which are exceptional. It also has Sabratha and Leptis Magna which are also incredible (if less Saharan!!). When asked my 'jewel in the crown of west Africa', I always say Libya.

I suspect this debate will spark quite a few replies - listen to all of the responses and then go for whatever you choose!

Sam
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Old 24 Apr 2002
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the stone thowing kids - what's left of them - and saving a few pence per litre are not a reason to miss out Alg.
Re nipping into Djanet from Ghat and back - it was a rumour at the time of the book in 1999 but as often in Libya, they changed their mind or they never made it up in the first place
Option 3 and you will see it all.

CS
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Old 24 Apr 2002
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I would agree, definitely do the circuit. Don't miss out Ghadames though - you could go from the border to Ghadames (via Nalut), then do the Derj-Idri piste from which you can go to Lake Gabroun and the Wadi (if you have time) and on to the Akakus and Algeria.

I am not sure of the impossibility of doing a return from Ghat to the Tassili. We were in Ghat in February this year and Awiss Tours were very keen that we do this option and assured us there was no problem. In the end we didn't do it because we were going to Djanet later. While we were in Djanet our guide for the Tassili from Hotel Zeriba told us that people were coming across from Libya to do this, although we didn't meet anyone who had done it.

I don't know what the Ghat-Djanet piste is like, but we have not heard anything to suggest it's very difficult. I am pretty sure you are compelled to have a guide for this crossing given the proximity to the Akakus and Tassili.

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