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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



Trans Sahara Routes.

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  #91  
Old 18 Dec 2015
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Good news with visas - shame about Tam. 'Pour votre securite' no doubt.
Credit cards never worked there - it's not like Morocco, it's like Iran - but buying cash on the side may get you 10% more.
I heard from a guying who rode his moto down to Djanet earlier in the year. Had to be escorted all the way from Ghardaia (+ military escort through oilfields) - so the 'line in the sand' is further north than it used to be.

I'd fly straight to Djanet and visit the great places Artur mentions.
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  #92  
Old 18 Dec 2015
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Good news indeed, well done.
Re cards, I have used my UK issued visa several times at Algiers airport and at the Airport Sofitel, both to draw cash at ATM-s and also to pay bills directly. No cards work in the South, but had no issues in the North.
Second Chris' advice, fly to Djanet and see whatever is visitable, they are all superb places. Check out the accounts of our last two trips on my website for ideas.
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  #93  
Old 30 Dec 2015
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I'm off to Algeria in Feb, travelling around the north with a bicycle, and got my visa no problems. I managed to get an invite posted to me, but the actual application was super fast. It was stamped into my passport the day my application arrived there by post (a Friday) and was back to me on the Wednesday. No itinerary, no reservations, just an invite letter.

https://assets.digital.cabinet-offic...vel_Advice.pdf

So other than that yellow blob, which I see Chris said should be red, is there anything else that people in the area think should be avoided? I'll be coming from Tunisia and exiting by ferry to Spain.
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  #94  
Old 30 Dec 2015
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Great news with the visa. And they say there was a 'soft coup' there last week, too.

Depending on how long you got, I would go way under the yellow bit and Algiers, just because it will be quieter roads. I imagine the coast road will be non-stop traffic.
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  #95  
Old 30 Dec 2015
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Definitely not in a rush. I'm going to go via M'Sila, as that's where the guy who invited me lives, but beyond that my plan is pretty open.

FCO Algeria map seems to suggest crossing the Tunisian border at the coast, but then having said that https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia FCO don't seem particularly keen on the idea of me going to Tunisia in the first place.
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  #96  
Old 11 Jan 2016
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Just a question from looking at my visa. Does the expiry date (21st of March) mean the day I have to leave the country by irrespective of when I enter, or the last day I can enter the country by, and then they start counting? They gave me 30 days, which I'm hoping to extend when I get into the country, but just wondering how much of a rush I am in to get to Algeria and how much dilly dallying I can do in Tunisia.
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  #97  
Old 11 Jan 2016
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I think it's the last day you can enter the country, in other words, use the visa. Then the 30 days starts ticking.
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  #98  
Old 21 Jan 2016
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I can't imagine the expiry date meaning it is the last date the 30 day entry can start - surely it's the last date you can be in the country.

Having said that, on my application form I said I would be arriving on 14 March 2016 and that I wanted a 30 day visa. The visa I got back (attached) says "Expire le 13/04/16". From that I deduce that in my case 13 April is the first day the visa is no longer valid, rather than the last day it is valid.
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  #99  
Old 21 Jan 2016
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You are right. I checked my old visas.
You must be out before expiry date.
Now we know.
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  #100  
Old 22 Jan 2016
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We arrived in Timiaouine once, long time ago, leaving Algeria. Stamping us out, the officer said "did you know your visas are running out today?" We didn't! Just plain forgot. We had entered the country a couple days later than planned.
Just lucky.
PS - I hear there are more tourists in Djanet this year.
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  #101  
Old 22 Jan 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L764 View Post
I can't imagine the expiry date meaning it is the last date the 30 day entry can start - surely it's the last date you can be in the country.

Having said that, on my application form I said I would be arriving on 14 March 2016 and that I wanted a 30 day visa. The visa I got back (attached) says "Expire le 13/04/16". From that I deduce that in my case 13 April is the first day the visa is no longer valid, rather than the last day it is valid.
Thanks for your reply. Did they approve that visa on the 13th of January? I ask because my expiry date was 3 months after the day it was issued. I think it's based on that rather than a calculation of 'well he asked for 30 days and said he will arrive on this day'

I'm going to be in Tunis in a few days so will go to the Algerian embassy there to talk to them about what they think. Also, I'm hoping to be able to get another 30 days in country, so and that surely can push it past that original expiration date... so it's not too important.
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  #102  
Old 22 Jan 2016
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Algeria is definitely opening up for some reason. Maybe it's just the periodic cycle of things until the next set back.
Got some spam today from a 'northern' Algerian travel agency (ie; they charter southern outfits so don't really know the Sahara; like Libya in the old days)

But out of interest was a 9-day tour between Tam and Djanet (> Assekrem > Hirhafok > Amadror > Afara > Dider > Essendilene >).

I thought this transit was closed. Maybe it is and they're winging it, but it's a small glimmer of hope for the classic southern circuit.

The guy I mentioned in my Dec 18 post paid @2000 for an escort/fixer to drive up from Tam and do a 13-day Ghardaia-Djanet return. So about the same as what I paid last time I did a car/moto trip.
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  #103  
Old 23 Jan 2016
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Thanks Chris for these news,
Can you us link to this agency, just to see?

RR.
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  #104  
Old 23 Jan 2016
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Here it is Djanet and Tamanrasset Tour with Expert Algeria, Algeria's Leading Tour Operator
i am sure the price will be crazy.
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  #105  
Old 24 Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by domobow View Post
Thanks for your reply. Did they approve that visa on the 13th of January? I ask because my expiry date was 3 months after the day it was issued. I think it's based on that rather than a calculation of 'well he asked for 30 days and said he will arrive on this day'.
No, it was approved after then and based on the date of arrival I specified on the application form.
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