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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



Trans Sahara Routes.

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Old 6 Dec 2011
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Latest updates from Algeria

Hi all, so we're back from our tour of the mediterranean including Algeria.

All went pretty well I have to say. The only issue was getting our visas, but that was our own fault for leaving it so late. Our Algerian visas came back in our passports only two days before leaving on our trip! So the stress levels were right up there since we had already paid our non refundable 10% deposit to our Travel agent in Algeria.

A brief summary of our trip then I'll give full details of our border crossings.

We left Switzerland on 1st Oct and arrived back on 28th Nov, covering 10 countries, Italy, Greece, Albania, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Andora, France and back to Switzerland.

For Algeria, we planned 9 days to cross from Taleb Larbi near Nefta in Southern Tunisia to Ghazaouet, the port in the far north West of Algeria on our own motorcycle registered in Australia. Originally we didn't think we'd have enough time to go to the south but our guide insisted, mostly because Eid festival was right in the middle of our trip on the 6th Nov and he wanted to spend it with his family understandably too. It boils down to an exciting and unique experience to be a part of the Eid celebrations.

We've written up our whole Algerian experience in full details on our blog.

Quick Facts:
  • We rode our own motorcycle 2up
  • We had a Travel agent accompany us the whole 9 days
  • We needed an authorised Travel Agency to get our visas
  • The border crossing took over 3 hours
  • We bought compulsory Insurance for 1400DZD (approx 14 Euros) valid 30 days
  • There are police & military checkpoints all over the country; at major intersections and at entry and exits of towns.
  • We covered 2,700kms in 7 days of riding
  • There are many speedbumps that you really need to slow down for in towns.
  • We left via boat to Spain as the border with Morocco is firmly closed.
  • Petrol is cheap, 23DZD per litre (approx 22 Euro cents/L)
  • People are very friendly and we had no problems.
  • GPS is banned and if you have one it will cause problems with Customs and police.

We have logged our trip via GPS using Everytrail so you can see exactly where we have been. The southern most point in Algeria was Ain Salah. And before you ask we thoroughly enjoyed Algeria and think it was worth the expense and hassle.

PS Thanks Chris.S for the tips and advice, your website was really very helpful.
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Old 6 Dec 2011
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thanks for the update TC, glad it all worked out.

Quote:
... Our Algerian visas came back in our passports only two days before leaving on our trip
Try 2 hours - then you can start sweating ;-)

The latest I hear now is that, besides last week introducing a general visa ban in most nationalities of tourists going south, if there already one may require a gendarme escort on and off road (like in the Gilf).
But like all regs there, can't be sure this is applied consistently although being Alg and not Egypt, I doubt you'd pay for it.

As mentioned elsewhere, hopefully these are temporary measures.

Ch
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Old 6 Dec 2011
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All went great except for me flying over the handlebars after a stack in the sand and a serious bout of food poisoning... But it wouldn't be an adventure if all went perfectly well.

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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
thanks for the update TC, glad it all worked out.

Try 2 hours - then you can start sweating ;-)

The latest I hear now is that, besides last week introducing a general visa ban in most nationalities of tourists going south, if there already one may require a gendarme escort on and off road (like in the Gilf).
But like all regs there, can't be sure this is applied consistently although being Alg and not Egypt, I doubt you'd pay for it.

As mentioned elsewhere, hopefully these are temporary measures.

Ch
It sounds absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I know how the police escorts work in Pakistan and Iran, and it isn't helpful. Actually it is more harmful opening you up as you are forced to stay in the open for extended periods of time as the police/military do shift changes or leave their district and handover to another escort. And would they even have vehicules to service the demand?

It works as is now and I was very happy to have a good (read excellent) guide.

PS. Mohamed sends his regards!
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