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Sahara Travel ForumTopics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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It's not been detailed here much, but in the last few months the tourism ministry has tried to impose new procedures on agencies in an attempt (AFAIU) to make them all more accountable and responsible (and possibly taxable).
So you can see how the agencies feel they are getting it from both ends - AQIM activities and now new govt regs.
Having said that, the agencies do seem to have a bit of a blind spot for '2003' (mass kidnapping - border-to-border agency escorts imposed soon after). That finished off desert tourism as we knew it in Alg, but it must have been a bit of a bonanza for those agencies that could get the escort work which followed.
I think tourism is seen as one of the few ways of making money/getting work legitimately in the south, which is now seen as being disrupted by northerners (govt), closure of Tassili-Hoggar and the fact that the French 'FCO' recently put Alg on its black list which ended all fly-in tours.
Along with recent kidnapping, all a great shame as the place has so much potential - especially with Libya as it is and should the Mk border open to foreigners.
The Hoggar opens up for tourism, 500 new campsites planned, according to the Director of Tourism in Tamanrasset.
"After two lean seasons, the managers of travel agencies in the wilaya of Tamanrasset welcomed the announcement of opening the doors of the Tassili of Ahaggar, officially banned domestic and foreign tourists since February 8, 2010." Le Tassili de l’Ahaggar se prépare à accueillir à nouveau les touristes - 7 jours - El Watan
"...to be launched on the occasion of World Tourism Day September 27."
Tassili du Hoggar is said to reopen for tourism partially from November on. I was told and it was mentioned in the press.
Example: "...La décision prise par le conseil de sécurité à sa tête le wali de Tamanrasset pour la réouverture des circuits du Hoggar et Tassili dès cette saison a eu un impact très important à l'étranger. «Les agences ont déjà eu de petites réservations et plusieurs tours opérateurs sillonnent déjà cette région en vu de l'inscrire dans leurs guides de voyage», a-t-il indiqué...."
Nouria Bourihane - LE TEMPS D’ALGERIE - 18-10-2011
However I would expect that the southern parts of Tassili du Hoggar and the crossing to Djanet remain closed.
About GPS etc.: French travelers entering at Taleb Larbi reported that their cars had been searched and GPS and CB and VHF radio were not allowed to enter.
Thanks Yves for these infos.
I've asked this in another thread but I prefer to have different advices: Do you know if it is possible to go to Timmimoun and Beni Abbes from In Salah without leaving tarmac (no offroad) with only our guide in our car?
I've asked to Tanezrouft but they have told that I'll need an escort by gendarmes.
Just returned, we did an 8 day trek on the Tassili N'Ajjer, no issues or security hassles other than the endless filling of police forms when taking the domestic flights.
Djanet still the same sleepy backwater as I remembered it, no visible evidence of any refugees in larger numbers. The military seems to keep a close watch on the border, we saw a small patrol aircraft fly over the Tassili several times per day. I believe our itinerary was passed to the military authorities.
Hardly any tourists, we met noone on the plateau, our guide said there was a swiss group a week earlier, there were another 5-6 foreigners on the flight back to Algiers (operating now twice per week, combined with Tamanrasset)
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