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  01.04.2006 Formalities: Libya
Date of Border Crossing April 2006
Point of Entry Ras Ajdir (Tunesia/Libya)
Passport and Visa Passport has to be valid for at least another 6 months. Visa at that time of writing was required but could be obtained at the border with the help of an invitation from an agency (see also information below - Additional Information). Things are bound to change frequently so check on the latest information with the Libyan Tourist Board.
Insurance 5 Euros per bike is what we had to pay for an insurance which we bought at the border.
Drivers Licence Nobody wanted to see a drivers license.
Motorcycle papers If you don't have a Carnet de Passage for your vehicle, you can buy an Libyan Carnet at the border. This will set you back 30 Euros.
Licence plates You will be issued a licence plate at the border, which you will have to attach to your vehicle. For the licence plates you have to pay in local currency: 100 dinars deposit (you get this amount back on exit) and 60 dinars rent.
How it went

First stop we got to was the passport checkpoint. Here they just waved us through. Put then we got stopped and asked where our guide was. So we had to hand over our passports and were told to wait for our guide. Once he had shown up he took care of our passports. Anyway make sure they stamp your passport and write the number of your visa on the stamp. Then our guide asked for our carnets and went to off to take care of some paperwork. After that he had us change some money, so that he could go and get the licence plates. While we attached these to the bikes he went to buy the insurance and then came back with a lot of paperwork:
- stamped carnets and passports
- receipt for the insurance
- receipt for the license plate deposit (don't lose this receipt)
- filled out entry form in Arabic
So for us this was super easy, we just had to sit and wait, while our guide took care of everything.

Point of Exit Bardiyah/As Sallum (Libya/Egypt)
How it went Well we had our guide with us, so we thought this wasn't going to be a problem. Well think again. Our guide had obviously never done this before. We drove straight up to the border. At the first checkpoint our guide got sent back to the village because he needed more copies of our travel documents. All trough our trip we had to hand over travel documents at the various checkpoints and he had run out. Then we drove up to the customs checkpoint, where they stamped the carnets. Here is also where they told our guide that the place to hand in the licence plates was back in the village. So back we went and there in one of the last buildings was a guy who collected the plates and gave us back the deposit, but only after we had showed him the receipt for it. Back at the border we were allowed to proceed to the passport checkpoint. Here there was some holdup, because our passports had not been stamped on entering! By this time our guide was really fed up with all of the Libyan bureaucracy and was about ready to quit. But we would not let him and so after some more debating they had him write down our passport und licence plate information in arabic and then they let us through.
Additional Information

In 2006 if traveling in your own vehicle and wanting to go South, you have to be accompanied by a guide. As far as we could find out there is no way around that. If there is no room in your vehicle the guide will have to have his own. This is of course more expensive and depending on which way your are heading, make sure the guide will have the appropriate vehicle.
If you only want to transit Libya and therefore stick to the roads in the North, it is apparently possible to get a Transit Visa.
Arranging for a guide is a bit of a lottery. Basically you have to contact a travel agency in Libya which will arrange everything. We did this by e-mail and it was a very long and painful process. Sometimes I would get a reply right away, sometimes you had to wait for weeks and some questions they did just not answer (like could you confirm in writing the following arrangement.). I think they would prefer to deal with you on the phone. I prefer e-mail, because at least this way you have some sort of conformation of what was agreed on.
Any way in the process of finding an agency I got a lot of different offers. Here is the information on the agency that we ended up using:

Shati Zuara Tours - Mr. Haji Ben Kalifa
phone: 00218 913 222 418
fax: 00218 25224 606

We agreed on the following prices:

Visa and border service 65 Euros per person
(including the 50 Euros the Libyan government charges for the visa)
Border service for the bikes 25 Euros
(not including cost for insurance, license plate and carnet)

25 Euro per day without car
65 Euro per day with his own 4x4 car
65 Euro for the guide to return to Zuara from the Egyptian border

As far as we could tell, this is a one man operation. Mister Haji was very helpful and professional in setting this up. During our stay in Libya we called him various times when there was a disagreement with the guide and things always got sorted out. The guides as far as we could tell got subcontracted from other operators. The guide we ended up with did not speak any of 'our' languages but only arabic, which was at times a real problem. So when setting things up make sure you let Mr. Haji know that you want a guide who speaks one of your languages. Other than that we can really recommend Mr. Haji.

In Tunisia we met Ennio Cavallucci also traveling on a motorcycle. He had crossed Libya just before us going the other way, that is from Egypt to Tunisia. He said he had a really nice guide who spoke English. Here is the information for the agency that Ennio used:

Sindebad Tours - Mr. Rabih Barudi
phone: 00218 21 360 9658
mobile: 00218 92 509 3110

Visa and border service unknown
Border service for the bikes unknown

40 Euro per day without car

Transit Visa

We met a Swiss couple traveling in a VW Bus across Northern Africa. They managed to get a Transit Visa for Libya in spring 2006. Here is how they did it:
They wrote a letter stating who they were, their travel plans, explaining why they didn't apply for the Libyan visa at home (they said they had already been on the road for three months) and asking for a Transit Visa. They had this letter translated in Arabic and handed it in at the Libyan embassy in Tunis. They were told to come back in ten days and then after paying a fee, they were issued a Transit Visa for 10 days. Inside Libya they managed to get that Visa extended to 30 days in Benghazi. They had already tried to do that in Tripoli, but there they were refused an extension.
They said that once inside Libya they tried to go South, but got turned around by the checkpoints.

These are the details of the border crossing into this particular country. The information is correct as of the date on which the border was crossed. But, due to the stability and vagaries of the regimes involved, it is prudent that you get additional data directly from the embassy involved, preferably in your own country. Also you should keep in mind that the procedure can vary depending on exactly who is on duty. So never assume anything is a particular way, and regardless of what anyone says, the impossible is often possible if you are in the right place at the right time. Good Luck.


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