Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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

Like Tree4Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 30 Oct 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: F
Posts: 650
"
So it looks like "they took the money and then strung it out for weeks until it gets too late" situation mentioned earlier by Chris. Not nice, beware"

This situation can't happen in a French consulate: you need to pay ONLY when your visa is stamped on your passport.
But it's possible you get your visa too late (without paying).

RR
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 30 Oct 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Sorry to hear it didn't work out for you Chris.
Fyi RR, in London you queue for 2 hours and pay the £80+ in advance in cash. You may get a visa. Last year 2-3 weeks, this time who knows.

It seems to me that the requirement for MoI/MFA permits we heard about months ago are being implemented in the last few weeks - this was the warning from a local op I mentioned in my post 2 weeks ago. I just heard a Swede - whose app was going well - has suddenly come up against this requirement.

As some of us predicted, this new govt permit requirement to secure visas is really going to slow down the process and choke tourism. At least 2 months might be needed for Algiers to respond which gets difficult if you're booking planes or ferries or time off work without some certainty.

And being Algeria, it's not like the MoI/MFA are working with state Tourism or the consulates. Technically the country is not closed to tourists, but it seems to me they are making it as difficult as possible, if for no other reason than to ensure our safety in the south (as RR described) is a whole lot of bother.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 31 Oct 2012
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 301
Back from Djanet

Just back, a brief update on the overall situation:

Visas:
It seems like the process is very much dependent on country/embassy. We used the same agency Chris mentioned, Essendilene, same pdf invitation letter, no issues. An aussie travel companion received the visa within two weeks of applying, in Budapest it took three weeks longer but no issues, and Irishman living in Malta had to drop out because the assigned Rome embassy refused to cooperate in doing the process by mail and not in person.

Travel:
We were supposed to make a trek on the Tamrit-Sefar-Jabbaren areas of the plateau. All was fine, I was doing our shopping at the Djanet market when our guide came back from the military with a gloomy look, saying the military have just closed off the plateau (everything was apparently fine that morning), as some undentified group have been reported crossing from Libya, and were suspected of hiding there somewhere. A quick reorganisation, and we decided to visit the Iheren/Tin Abenhar area west of Iherir which is also a major rock art area. In the end we had a superb trip, and in retrospect actually seen more than what we originally expected. However the fact remains that the area with the well known Tassili paintings remains closed indefinitely.

The Tadrart is surprisingly open, supposedly because the military is controlling all possible access points (I have some lingering doubts about 'all'...). No restrictions between Djanet and Illizi, but as previously mentioned, exact itineraries must be provided to the police/military, and must be kept to.

The Djanet - Tam road is firmly closed. Another operator was told that it will open 'very soon' in November, but in Djanet nobody beleives that, it is expected to remain closed to foreigners indefinitely.

We flew to/from Djanet from Algiers, no issues whatsoever with arrival/departure or the flights. Have used the London office of Air Algerie for booking the domestic tickets (the only ones able to speak english over the phone), they were very nice and frendly, kept extending the ticketing deadline until all visas were issued. Have not seen any tourists on the flight other than us either way (flight is combined Tam/Djanet).

One member of our party stayed on for another two weeks (planing to travel to Tam with the hopeful company after a visit to the Tadrart), will post an update when he is back.
__________________
Happy Travels, András
http://www.fjexpeditions.com
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 31 Oct 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3
For what it’s worth……
…… I managed after numerous failed attempts to speak on the phone to the consular visa section, and the gist of it was

“We never received your special delivery envelope for return of the passport” Then several “What date? / what name?” type questions followed by waiting whilst an unsuccessful search took place. After 5 mins the official stated that the envelope was never received, and that I’d have to collect in person (not tomorrow as the consulate is closed). She said that the visa is stamped into the passport.

So should I choose to do so, I could go to London Friday and collect, then get a flight to Algiers for the remainder of my available holiday time. But I’m terrified that there will be another screw-up and that I’ll lose the second fare as well.

CS – is the collection process at the consulate (16:00 – 16:30, I’m told), reliable and efficient? Are there queues and a cut-off if you don’t turn up 2 hours early? …..yes, I understand that all info is provided in good faith but absolutely without guarantee…… just trying to understand my options and make a well-informed decision.

I sure wish I'd known the difference between Recorded Delivery and Special Delivery when I sent the original postal application. SD = shiny silver plastic envelope.

Regards Chris
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 31 Oct 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Quote:
…… I managed ... to speak on the phone to the consular visa section
They do a Nobel prize for that.

Glad you told me it's closed tomorrow - I was setting the alarm.

If they say you have the visa stamp in your ppt then I imagine they're not making it up.

Collection in the afternoons is easy - not like apps in the morning where couriers are queuing 90 mins before opening time. No queues, just walk in with your ticket and collect your ppt. Check it has the right dates and so on, before you leave.

Thanks for update Andrasz. Dodgy goings on on the plateau doesn't sound so far fetched as it's so close to the border. Maybe just smugglers rather than kidnappers but I suppose the army can't get up there in jeeps.
Would be nice to continue right down the back of the Tadrart towards in Ezzane one time.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 31 Oct 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks for that, Chris….. on due reflection I think I’m going to stump up and go anyway, I feel pretty bad about leaving my friend there alone (Japanese woman who can’t speak any French and doesn’t even have a guidebook because there aren’t any in Japanese). Luckily an Algerian woman on the same flight decided to be her guardian angel and my friend is now staying free of charge in GA’s Algiers home.

One little point of clarification – when you say “just walk in with your ticket and collect your ppt” – is that a ticket issued by the consulate or an actual ticket to the destination?

Cheers, Chris
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 1 Nov 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
Ticket issued by the consulate. I hope you have one of those.
Otherwise good ID may do it.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 1 Nov 2012
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott
Dodgy goings on on the plateau doesn't sound so far fetched as it's so close to the border.
Not at all. In fact I was quite impressed that rather than giving no explanation, we were informed about this, and I had to fully agree with the army's assessment. They acted on specific intelligence, and given the terrain up there, a group of 20 can easily hide amongst the rocks even if the patrol helicopters have IR cameras. They said that until they find this group and figure out who they are, they cannot guarantee safety in the area. Fair enough.
__________________
Happy Travels, András
http://www.fjexpeditions.com
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 1 Dec 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
fyi we (Brits) got visas 4 weeks after re-applying. Presumably that is how long it takes for the MoI in Algiers to come up with approval or whatever and send it to the relevant consulate. I think it was broadly the same for the other European nationals coming with.

So I would say, allow 6 weeks from applying in UK (with an agency invite which specifies an itinerary) to getting your passport. Twice as long as last year.

And, according to my post here - the plateau will be re-opened for the New Year period.

Ch
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 3 Dec 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9
South Algeria - areas open for travelers

Is it any different with an Attestation d'Hebergement from a family rather than a licensed tour guide? I've used this before but only in the north.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 3 Dec 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
I have only used agency invites for travel in the south.
Agency invites may be different documents from family invites but amount to the same thing, although travel in the south now requires additional permits prior to visa issue, as well as the usual escorts once there.

Ch

PS. Recent article with interesting comments:
http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...194766_109.php

Last edited by Chris Scott; 7 Dec 2012 at 14:13.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 10 Dec 2012
Contributing Vendor
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 33
Visa procedures are set to be changed again, following some sort of ministry indaba this week, which the main agencies have been invited to attend.
If I understand correctly, they are considering making things less onerous, in the hopes of resuscitating the tourism which has been so badly affected.
The Djanet-Tam road remains as closed as a closed thing can be, and advice is not to include Tam on one's intended itinerary (presumably due to Mali situation)
__________________
Waypoint Tours http://waypoint-tours.com fully catered 4X4 self-drive adventures
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 10 Dec 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9
South Algeria - areas open for travelers

Hi Barrie, "Advice" from who? (not to include Tam)
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 10 Dec 2012
Contributing Vendor
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 33
Hi Budric,
Info received this morning from my contact in Illizi. He seems very well informed and is in regular contact with those who have influence in these things.
__________________
Waypoint Tours http://waypoint-tours.com fully catered 4X4 self-drive adventures
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 10 Dec 2012
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,156
avoiding Tam

I must say I have come to that conclusion too recently and am taking it into account on my future plans in the area.
Priffe's note about a guide he met getting done for kidnap plans (dont know if that was the main Akar Akar case), plus the (botched) suicide bombing, plus the general drugs mafia scene and blow-ins associated with north Mali mixing in.

Plenty of army/police/etc there too of course, but best to reduce the risks. There's fuel in and food in In Amguel and you can get to Assekrem via the rugged back roads if you like.

Ch
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
algeria


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Importing vehicle on Carnet into South Africa Duty Free (Returning South African) langebaan sunset Trip Paperwork 6 14 Nov 2013 19:28
Kenya to South Africa: teaming up with another rider to get around import issues. davidsuk sub-Saharan Africa 11 9 Aug 2012 16:26
anybody selling a bike in south africa? larrysimpson TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 5 9 Aug 2012 02:21
My Top Rides of South America ReeceNZ South America 4 30 Jun 2012 15:42
Latest updates from Algeria TurboCharger Sahara Travel Forum 2 6 Dec 2011 15:26

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:05.