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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Photo by Hubert Kriegel, of Jean-Louis Grauby, Dades Gorge, Morocco, during the 8th year of 'thetimelessride'. Ten years on the road on his 2008 Ural Sportsman

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Hubert Kriegel, of Jean-Louis Grauby, Dades Gorge, Morocco, during the 8th year of 'thetimelessride'. Ten years on the road on his 2008 Ural Sportsman.

Trans Sahara Routes.

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  • 1 Post By ursula
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Old 14 Oct 2022
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Smile Egypt - the Western Desert Reopens !

heard today from Cairo:

"The Western Desert Reopens!

- White Desert
- Desert Lake District of Nuweimisa & Bahrain
- Great Sand Sea to the Ammonite Mountain
- Roman fortress of Umm Dabadib & Labaka"

Ammonite Scarp / Great Sandsea
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Old 15 Oct 2022
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Great news for some, but 20 months too late for me.
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Old 12 Nov 2022
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Is Gilf Kebir/Cave of the Swimmers still off-limits to tourists?
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Old 17 Nov 2022
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According to Ursula's list, far from it.
And that is the most interesting region.
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Old 7 Apr 2023
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Western Desert Travel Conditions 2023

Mail from Baharia 25.3.2023

"Travel in the Western Desert is officially allowed again, but with permission. Doesn't sound bad, but this statement is misleading!

Overnight stays, no matter where, are not permitted. You can stay in state-licensed hotels and do day trips from there. You can only drive in special 'government' approved cars that are equipped with GPS tracking and otherwise meet other requirements.

Some tour operators have already organized tours, but the granted approval is no guarantee that the tour can also be carried out as planned. One group, despite permission, was forbidden to travel from Siwa to Baharia and had to travel back to Cairo and from there to Baharia.

In the worst case, the police (yes, the police, not the tourist police or the army!) will accompany you with permission. At best, only occasionally...
Some places (e.g. Magic Spring in the White Desert) may not be approached.

The costs for a permit are manageable in themselves, but the travel agency tours have a disproportionate additional effort, which costs accordingly. If the permit is denied, the money is gone! (By the way, this is now also common when extending visas. In the past, payment was made upon collection, now upon application, but the application can be rejected and the money is gone!)
It seems that desert tourism is undesirable!

All tours conducted locally are officially illegal and will be prosecuted if drivers are caught!"
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Old 8 Apr 2023
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Hmm. I didn't know the White Desert was restricted. I guess I must have done an illegal tour when I visited in November 2021. I just asked around in Farafra and negotiated a half-day excursion with a driver. I was given the option to camp there but opted not to to save money. We had tea and dates at sunset in the desert and drove back to Farafra.
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