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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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Old 21 Oct 2010
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Visas for Algeria, Mauritania and Mali. Easy?

Hi, I am in Spain, in my way to Africa (the north of Africa). I have already the visas for Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco (I made them in Mexico before start the trip), but I have not done the ones to Mauritania, Mali and Algeria. I have one month to prepare the trip and my first thought was to send my passport to Mexico because here in Spain they just make visas for residents, but the 600 Euros have makes me try to find another better solution. So, as always, I have found valuable information here and in sahara-overland.com, so, just trying to confirm that (the information is always changing):

Is possible to make the Mauritania visa in Rabat, in Rue Thami Lamdawar (It seems that the phone numbers 00212-3756679 and 00212-7656678 have changed).

For Mali, the embassy is in the same street than the Mauritania. And is possible too in Nouakchott.

And for Algeria, it seems not too easy, right? Maybe harder for Mexicans. My plan (MX3 MEXICO POR EL MUNDO EN MOTOCICLETA) is to get to Algeria from Mali. Possible visa in Bamako? It seems that the only option would be to send my passport to Mexico for the visa (less expensive that made Mali and Mauritania in Mexico too). About the escort, like how much time takes to arrange it?, how much time before enter to Algeria is recommended to arrange the escort?

As always, thanks in advance for your help and posts.

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Old 21 Oct 2010
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Hello Ivan, for Mori and Mali you are right re visas.

For Alg not too easy is also right, though no harder for Mexicans. We had a Mexican in our group last year (this was an organised tour).

Not sure if you mean Algerian visa in Bamako - may be possible - or try Ouaga or Niamey. Tho see below - there may be no point.

Or do you mean head direct to Algeria from Bamako (Mali). Bad idea: read the AQIM posts or see Routes

Even up from Agadez (Niger), it is said the region is currently closed to tourists and may not reopen until the kidnapped French are safe.

The only safe and legit way into Alg now is off a ferry or from southern Tunisia. Currently crossing into southern Algeria is either risky (Mali) or risky and or/ not allowed (Niger, Mori, Libya, Maroc).

But before the escort, the same agency will have to invite you so you can get a visa. That is what takes time, but I suppose can be done in a month. It depends if the nearest embassy wants to co-operate.


Last edited by Chris Scott; 21 Oct 2010 at 16:00.
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Old 22 Oct 2010
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Hi Chris.

I can not believe it.!. The AMHandbook that I saw for first time in Romania (in a 4 months motorcycle trip in Europe), made me start this Round the World Trip. Master!!

So, acting again like professional… My plan is to cross from Mali to Algeria thru Tessalit. Yesterday I called to Mexico and it seems that the Algerian consulate will not give me the visa before December (I will need it for January), so, the option could be to send my passport from Senegal (I can spend a couple of weeks there) to Mexico in December and if it does not work, try to make the visa in Mali.

I know about the LOI, now somebody in México will help me with the Algerian visa. But about the escort, and having in mind the December time of the consulate, when could be the best time to manage the escort stuff.

Have a great sand.

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Old 22 Oct 2010
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Hi Ivan,

Yes you can get the visas for Mali and Mauritania in Rabat on the same street. The GPS coordinates are: Mali (N33°58.778, W006°49.965) and Mauritania (N33°58.821, W006°49.870). If I remember correctly they took 1 day each to process. We travelled around Africa for 1.5 years so if you need any other info you can check our website Touring Africa

Good luck!
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Old 22 Oct 2010
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obtaining a Visa for Algeria is normally only possible in the country of residence. One exception however in the past were transit Visa, for instance in Agadez to enter at Ain Guezzam.
But with the current, very bad security situation in the northern Sahel I doubt that this is still possible today.

A particular warning: entering Algeria from Tessalit is actually prohibitive, the region is by far too dangerous (read the other thready on this BBS). I would say everything north of Gao or Timbuktu is off limits. The region north of Agadez is not much better.

Best regards, Yves
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Old 23 Oct 2010
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Thanks for the advice, maybe I will have to change the route. What do you know about the escort? Does it take a lot of time, considering that I will try the Algerian visa in December to enter in January?
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Old 23 Oct 2010
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Good idea to forget Tessalit Ivan. You would not have even got near it anyway.

The Alg escort is not a problem as they will know the exact day you arrive at a given border (your visa will have this date) and will be there waiting for you and can help with the papers. They do this sort of thing all the time.

It is possible by January that the Alg-Niger border will be open again, but best not to count on it.

Until that happens, legit/safe Sahara crossing for overlanders seems to be not possible between Atlantic and Nile.

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