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

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Old 8 Apr 2005
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Realities for citizens of USA RE: travel in Algeria, Tunisia

I am part of a group of Americans planning a trans-continental trip through Africa. The first leg of the trip we are considering is to cross the northern part of Africa beginning in Morocco and ending in Egypt.

1. Morocco - don't consider it a problem and plan to explore here a lot.

2. Algeria - from what I know it used to be considered a complete no go. Is it feasible to safely transit the northern part of the country? ie: following the major road through Tlemcen, Oran, Alger, Constantine, Annaba or possibly following the coastel road. Is fundamentalist activity still a concern and if so, is it mainly limited to southern areas?

3. Tunisia - Not too concerned here, I understand quite a lot of tourist activity, but again is a USA passport a liability?

4. Libya - Just recently open to US citizens, what is the local attitude towards us? Would like to do more exploration here, away from the coast.

5. Egypt - No worries, I think? Other than, is military escort still needed in south to the Sudan border.

Also, Sudan. I've heard the visa restrictions on US citizens have been relaxed a bit. Any Americans pass there recently?

Any feedback from travelers or those with relavent info regarding the areas mentioned is much appreciated. We are in the planning stages and need to make some route decisions soon.

Thanks for all your help..
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Old 8 Apr 2005
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Maroc/Alg border has been closed for at least ten years. You'll have to start in Algeria or use ferries to get around that.

Also, read other posts about Lybia (invitation and guides required).

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,


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Old 8 Apr 2005
ctc ctc is offline
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As long as you can laugh and smile when a joke is cracked about George Bush you should be fine in most of North Africa.

Personally (UK citizen) I have avoided northern algeria as the security situation is volatile (even Algerians who are not from the area are wary about travelling to some areas in the North. Key in an urban area is maintaining a low profile - difficult though if you are part of a large group.

Generally though I would avoid politics as a topic of conversation.

Most local people dont hold individuals responsible for the activities of their governments and likewise the people you'll meet often don't identify or feel responsible for the activities of their own governments.

What mode of transport are you considering? Travel from West to East is not intuitive in the Sahara. Most routes are designed with going North South in mind.

I'd read Chris Scott's book and buy the Michelin 953 & 954 maps as a starting point in your planning process.

[This message has been edited by ctc (edited 08 April 2005).]
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Old 13 Apr 2005
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Hi there
I was in Sudan in 2002. I'ts a beautiful contry. We drive from Ethiopian border to Egypt border ( Lac naser). All the way next to the nile is beautiful. From Kharthoum to Wadi Alfa, just desert on your right and oasis on your left. Peoples there was realy friendly. All of them want to give tee and food. At any time we fell unsafe there. I dont no if you are American but you dont need to say that you are from USA !!!!!!! Sudan is very wild, no hotels, bad tracks, no touristic staff only crasy landycapes, old stones (Meroe...) and sand......
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