Libya Warnings and Dangers
Hotel balcony view
Hotel balcony view
Warnings and Dangers
Warnings and Dangers
Reviews from VirtualTourist Members
Libya is not cheap!
Libya is not a cheap place to travel through when compared with other countries that offer similar cultural and historical experiences - Egypt and Syria for example. At present, most visitors must travel with a tour group, or at least with a considerable degree of tour company organization. If you are travelling in a tour group, you will have a very good idea of what is covered by the tour cost before you go but if you are travelling more independently you must be prepared for some fairly hefty costs, particularly if you are travelling alone or with just one other person, and even more so if you want to move away from the more populous areas or down into the desert.A car and driver ( self drive car hire is not an option) will cost you anything from 80-100LD a day (currently the Libyan dinar is worth about $A1 or 60 Euro cents) - expensive for just one person. Dinner in a reasonable...
Update - March 2009 Just returned from Libya and can report that all camera charges and restrictions have been removed from museums and historical sites! I don't use a video recorder so don't know about those, but for still camera photographers at least, this is excellent news, but, this being Libya, things could change back again at any time. so ... be prepared ... this is how it was until recently ...Whilst entry charges for Libya's historical sites are a very reasonable 3LD at most ( some are only 1LD), you will have to be prepared to pay a camera charge if you want to take photos (and you will want to take photos!) - 5LD for a still camera, 10LD for video. - at nearly all of them. Places such as Leptis Magna will levy the charge for both the site and the museum. This can knock quite a hole in your budget so do ensure that you allow for it when working out your finances.
Calls of nature
Public loos are thin on the ground in Libya - the only one I saw apart from those at the main archaeological sites was a very new pair in Gazelle Park in Tripoli. This is not a problem though as it is quite accepted practice to go into a restaurant, hotel or cafe (internet cafes are good too) and ask if you may use their toilet. When we did this at a hotel in Gharyan, we were escorted very politely to an unused hotel room! I never found a loo that was not acceptably clean and never had to use a squat loo, though this may not be the case in more remote places. Update - June 2009 - I wish I could say the same from my latest visit, but this time round, some of the loos we found were pretty grim! Be prepared!Water and soap were always available, but you should be sure to carry your own small supply of loo paper - and remember not to flush it away but use the bin, especially in the...
Houses in Ghadames are made out of mud, lime, and palm tree trunks with covered alleyways between them to offer good shelter against summer heath.Those covered alleyways can be visited in a complete atmosphere of darkness (pic 5) - in fact a danger tip for "claustrofobia" visitors. But if the local guide is a good one, he will warn you
The "Latrines" - say toilets
Generaly spoken, the arabics have another view on the hygienic toilets in hotels, restaurants and many touristic places. Stating it short, they are dirty and sometimes boots are a must.But oké, we as western tourists have to accept those facilities, alltough not to forget.. I just noticed that in NY (US) a first public toilet was installed (jan2008)
A dangerous legacy
*******NEW*******Wars long since over are still claiming casualties in Libya. Each year 120 people are killed or injured by landmines sown as long ago as WWII. More have been added during conflicts with Egypt and, most recently, Chad. Over one-third of the country's arable land is suspected of being contaminated, leaving just 60%of the country's agricultural land safe enough to plough. With some 93% of the country classified as desert, this is a disastrous situation. Altogether 33% of the country - desert, towns and villages as well as farming land - is sown with mines. As well as the reduction of usable farming land, the presence of mines causes huge problems maintaining infrastructure, demining must be carried out before any survey work for the country's valuable oil industry can be carried out and the Great Man-Made River project has taken far longer and cost far more than estimated...
Everything said here is true
I've been traveling to Libya on business since it opened. All the tips here are true. But Libya is not a dangerous place for the ordinary tourist. Here's my list of don'ts.Avoid political discussions:Libyans will not venture into political discussion with you, and neither should you.Respect Islamic culture and traditions. The Libyans will not make you feel uncomfortable about being non-Islamic unless you are Jewish. The Libyan govt has an argument with Israel and takes it out on all Jews. They have no argument with other religions.Respect the law:alcohol is prohibited-don't bring it into the country even for personal consumption. The penalty is a lot worse than confiscation. Prostitution, homosex, drugs:all are available there,but don't even think about it. The upside is minimal,the downside is life-shattering.No pics of government institutions. If in doubt,just ask the local police man....
Strictly speaking it is illegal to enter or exit libya with libyan dinars. I changed money in tunisia on the road to the libyan border because there may have been a large queue at the official exchange at the frontier and the exchange rate may have been worse (dont take my word for it though).What is likely to happen if you are caught is that the official may help himself to a few notes in exchange for keeping quiet. Therefore i was advised to split my money up as this is much more likely to be a problem if they find a big wad of notes as opposed to just a few.
Protection against the sun
The sun in the desert is very bright and hot during the day. It's advisable to protect your head. Also an umbrella can be very useful.If you don't want to damage your eyes during the solar eclipse it's absolutely necessary to use safe eclipse viewing glasses !
Watch the roads!
It seems to me the only real hazards you are likely to come across in Libya are all to do with the roads. Libya has a very high rate of car ownership and everyone is a wannabe Stirling Moss - speeding is endemic, 160kph seems to be considered quite normal once out of the city and in city streets there are only 2 speeds observed - crawling in a traffic jam and speeding. Negotiating city streets is a matter of watching the locals and sticking close to someone who is crossing - especially around Green Square where pedestrians weave in and out of the traffic with nonchalance.If you find a good driver (taxi or private) ask for his card and call him when you need a car again. Good drivers are to be cherished. I mean good as in safe - I had a "good'" driver when I went out to Villa Sileen - he handled the car beautifully - at 160 kph all the way untill I told him to slow down - which he did -...
Reviews and photos of Libya warnings and dangers posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Libya sightseeing.