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You are looking at illegal pictures for which I was detained for 30 minutes and almost jailed. It was stupid and my own fault. In fact I normally feel the right to take pictures, but this was wrong. Please don’t do what I did.
The Police in Algeria are very protective and supportive of Tourists. Several times they stopped me to make sure I was ok, was watching my valuables and they told me to ring the Police phone number should I have any issues. In fact I have never been so well treated by the Police in any country I have ever visited.
I was half-awake one morning and decided I would take a picture of a (ubiquitous) Police road block, some Police signs and a Police car. Little did I realise the signs were on the side of a Police station and jail. A small guy with an AK-47 brought me to me senses and I was escorted into questioning rooms. Multiple rooms. I was questioned over the next 30 minutes by multiple detectives. Plain clothes detectives. I had to surrender my camera and all my photos were examined – twice.
Yes I got out of it and I can tell you how by email – but that’s a different story.
So these images were NEVER seen by the Police or I would have been on the wrong side of at least a fine and possible seizure of my memory card and/or camera.
After I satisfied the Police enquiries, several stood and spoke to me about my travels, some of the other nice photos I had and then – as they always did – told me to be careful with my valuables and ring them if anyone caused me any problems!!!
Nice Policemen! Always!
So be careful and when in doubt, just do as I did afterwards (mostly).
If you see a Policeman, point at what you want questionable photos of. They will either say yes, no or tell you where to stand so you don’t get a sensitive building in your shot.
It pays to have long lens cameras in Algeria if you do want shots of some ornate government buildings from a distance they can’t see you from.
Updated Sep 22, 2011
At nigth , everytime that you see a Police / army road block, before you get to them turn the inside car light IN and slow dow.
They will order to spot or not.
But your inside light must be IN, other wise you might get in problems.
Written Aug 20, 2007
I have already written in other tips that I collected photos of school warning road signs. I took this one in 2005 in Annaba. I should have more in my old slides that I will add. On the occasion of our recent travel, I noticed that Algeria had a great variety of such road signs. It seems that they were all different (home and hand made ?) but unfortunately, as we were not on our own, I could not take other pictures ! The car or the bus ran too fast ! Next time, Inch'Allah !
Written Dec 8, 2005
If you decide to cross the Sahara desert by car, make sure, that it is a good one, that you have plenty of water with you to survive in case of a breakdown and to take a good navigation system with you! It might be fatal otherwise!
Updated Jul 28, 2004
Before I go to Algier I looking so many pages at Internet about ALGIER and Im so angry at USA travelers pages who write so bad, so many lies against this wonderfull country at mediteranian.
Especially US ambassy security travel pages write that is country full of terrorists, dangerous and killings...LIES, LIES LIES
If you are going in trouble deffinetely in USA you receive more attacs then all around the globe.
In Algier is normal that you dont go in middle of night in Casbah or El Harrach zone where like in Bronx group of people attack you to take you money or things...but in Algier be sure you can walk also in not so late evening in town, looking the sunset on the beach.
All this is true and I was 3 months there in town ORan, Algier and ANNABA.
Written May 1, 2004
voulez vous donc donnez a l'etat de la conistance, rapprochez les degrees extremes autant u'il est possible ,ne souffrez ni des gens opulents ni des gueux,ces deux etat naturellement inseparable sont egalement funestes au bien commun;
de l'un sortent les fauteurs de la tyrannie de l'autre sortent les tyrans
c'est toujours entre eux que se fait le trafic de la liberte publique!!!
l'un l'achete , l'autre la vend!
quelque branche de commerce exterieur dit (le marquis D'ARGENSON) ,ne repand guere q'une fausse utilite pour un royameen general,elle peut enrichir quelques particuliers, meme quelques villes , mais la nation entiere n'y gagne rien,et le peuple n'en est pas mieux!!!!!!
Written Jun 9, 2003
In this zone we saw 3 scorpions, so it's recommendable to sleep inside a tent, the guides didn't because they are used to it, but it is a little impressive to anybody else except them. This "lovely" animals use to stay near the rocks and stones, don't put the tent near.
There are also snakes and other animals, don't worrry very much, if you don't disturb them there's no problem, but be careful where you put your feet and look inside your shoes!!
Updated Oct 22, 2002
It's not very probable that rain comes, but nothing is impossible. During my trip our guide told us that it was raining in the mountains and that it could be dangerous. I didn't understand what it meant until where there were only dry sand a front of water came, a huge quantity of liquid was pulling whatever it found and a river appeared. It can be very dangerous, it is not a joke.
Written Sep 30, 2002
In the dessert is very, very easy to get lost. You can get confused very easily and it's very difficult to find somewhere or someone. That's why the travel assurances don't cover getting lost in the dessert or in the sea.
If you decide to go to make a little excursion without a guide talk conviniently about where they are going to pick you up and wich is the way to take. It is very serious
Take ALWAYS with you water (more than needed) a light (it's very usefull at night to make sings) and some extra clothes (if it get's dark the temperature falls).
Written Sep 24, 2002
Although the number of terrorist incidents in Algeria has fallen considerably over the last two years, there are still unpredictable attacks at night, in rural villages and roadsides, and on public transport. Most recent terrorist activity has occurred in rural areas in northern Algeria.
Written Aug 25, 2002
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