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

Trans Sahara Routes.

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Old 26 Aug 2016
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The problem with kidnappings is not solved by arming tourists.

A major reason the kidnappings have abated is the anti-terrorism policies adopted by the USA after 9/11 which has made it a lot harder to transfer and launder money. Such as Executive_Order_13224 and the Patriot Act.
W. Bush should get some cred for that! It has also had interesting side effects, like the arrest of FIFA officials. https://piie.com/blogs/realtime-econ...eenback-police
" US law grants American authorities the right to prosecute foreigners for activities criminal under US law even if such dollar-based financial flows (or say the use of an Internet server located in America) are the only connection to the United States. The reliance of foreign banks on US banks to supply dollars gives American authorities the extraterritorial reach needed to prosecute these cases."
When military force is needed let the proper authorities handle it.
This idea of increasing security by arming civilians doesn't belong in modern society. It is madness. Dont export it.
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Old 26 Aug 2016
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Originally Posted by priffe View Post
The problem with kidnappings is not solved by arming tourists.
On this I tend to agree with you.

I'm all for people being armed and knowing how to defend themselves. The issue, however, is that people may be armed but not knowledgeable on how to defend themselves. Neither how to realistically assess risks nor how to use their weapons. And this poses a problem. You can't expect every tourist to be proficient in this kind of things so, for most, giving them a weapon is more troublesome than just allowing the poor soul to be kidnapped or robbed or whatever.

I'm with you here. You just don't solve the problem with arming tourists. Strong, muscled military interventions, though, are a much more appealing thing. International cooperation would be required for something like this, though.

Originally Posted by priffe View Post
When military force is needed let the proper authorities handle it.
This poses two sets of problems. First, they are not right next to you. When in trouble you need them right here, right now. But they can be several hours away so trusting on the proper authorities to assist when one needs is impractical. Second, and I'm not saying that this is the case in Mauritania and I believe it isn't, in some countries trusting the proper authorities can be worst than keeping them in the dark. It all depends on the specific country but the issue is not always so cut and dry like that.

Originally Posted by priffe View Post
This idea of increasing security by arming civilians doesn't belong in modern society. It is madness. Dont export it.
If it works and already showed that it works with piracy at sea why not giving it a try? Belonging to modern society or not is irrelevant. If it works, why not? Do you know that no armed ship has been successfully attacked by pirates?
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Old 26 Aug 2016
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It's interesting that this has gone down a piracy and gun route, personal safety is very important. With no experience in these countries I can see the reason for carrying a gun to defend, but like Chris said, if you feel you need a gun you're in the wrong place. That logic can be translated to any country... Perhaps I should avoid the southern states and run down areas of the USA too? I know this is stereotype, but they feel they need guns to protect themselves too, so the same logic can be applied?

It has been a very steep learning curve hearing from all of you, and the common thread is 'border crossings are a pain in the ass' and 'don't go to Southern Algeria'. I have taken heed of your advice and have been flirting with another route, I will ask more about it later once I have something solid. It's the other side of the continent... Sudan to Egypt, yes I know it has a border crossing, but from the research I've done so far it seems waaaaay easier than any other crossing. And Sudan and Egypt seem waaaay safer than my previous route (I don't plan to go anywhere near the south of Sudan).

Before I ask anything about it or make a new thread I want to research as much as possible, and I'm getting info from people on the ground there. I firmly believe this can happen as travel across the black and white deserts is open, the border is open and safety is a much smaller (although real) factor. I want to get off the main road a bit, so when my maps arrive I can start planning a route, and once I've read Chris's Sahara Overland Travel Guide & Sahara Camel Trekking, plus a few others I will have a better grip of it.

By all means keep the conversation going, but I'm no longer planning a trip from Mauritania to Algeria. Thanks everyone for all the amazing advice, what a great community here! I check these forums everyday for new threads and posts, and I'll probably be adding another of my own sometime soon.
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Old 2 Oct 2016
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Dan, I'm interested in joining you on this trip. I can't seem to message you directly on here but if you have Facebook add me on there and let's talk - Lubo Falcon is my name on there.
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Old 7 Oct 2016
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Hi Lubo,

I added you but I'm not 100% it is you. Let me know if you didn't get the invite.

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Old 10 Oct 2016
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Dan. Make sure you take plenty of water.
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Old 21 Nov 2016
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Is this thread a wind-up?
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Old 19 Mar 2017
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Hey! Is this thread still going?
Im thinking of crossig the Algerian part of Sahara.
Anyone else with the same idea?
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Old 19 Mar 2017
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You can certainly do a couple of weeks in the usual areas – right now probably Djanet/Tasilli is easiest. Better to start that way unless you know what you're taking on.
Anything beyond the duration of a visa or in certain regions will not be possible.
Camel trekking ebook
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