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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 5 May 2004
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URGENT Libya info!

Have just spoken with the visa section of the Consulate here in London. They informed me that visa applications take 3-4 days at the moment, and you still need an invitation.

However (and inconsistent with what some of the tour companies are still saying) it IS possible to travel independently by motorcycle, no guide required. They didn't think I would have any problem "exploring".

Made my trip 100USD/day cheaper, and makes Libya a realistic option for spending some time (although I won't tackle any of the pistes alone, obviously).

YAY!

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Old 5 May 2004
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However, the guy at Visa and Translation Services still thinks you need a guide. He also said that some tour companies (Arkno?) will not supply an invitation without guiding you. Dammit.

He suggested that there may be more accurate information available directly from the Libyan tourist board, in Libya. Hmmm. The plot thickens.

Also just called the guy at Arkno in Libya. He said that it's very difficult to help mototrcyclists, and that they aren't really doing that any more. In a 4x4 it would be easy, but not on a bike. He also thought the guide was still a requirement, and was also talking about applying in groups of 4, although the Consulate said I can apply on my own.

Frustrating? You betcha.

[This message has been edited by POB/London (edited 05 May 2004).]
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Old 5 May 2004
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Libyan regulations (and their enforcement) are notoriouslyy unpredictable. My suggestion is check recent experiences on this forum, ask around, then for each particular item expect the worst possible scenario - you'll not be too far off the mark.

In the unlikely event things do turn out easier, take it as a spell of particularly good luck, not the norm.



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Old 5 May 2004
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Aint you gone yet?

There has been talk of Libya easing up the tourist regs following the recent rapprochement and visits. It could be that the consulate has been informed of this and the word has yet to spread. And for obvious reasons the agencies will be reluctant to co-operate too quickly.

Another person told me recently that, of all people, journalists, are said to be allowed to roam freely on successful application of the appropriate visa (not a regular tourist visa, I presume).

But in my experience overseas missions are often misinformed and as Andras said, Libya is well known for running around with its goal posts. But who knows, things could be lightening up there - it happens.

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Old 6 May 2004
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Until now no offcial news:

Still letter of invitation from registered T.O., minimum of 4 , guide at the border and all along the travel.

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