Libya is slowly opening up to visitors and now is the time to visit this fabulous country before mass tourism discovers it as a new destination.
Tripolitania , part of today's Libya looks back at a long history - Greeks and Romans were here and their architecture left some of the best preserved examples in the whole Mediterranean . Beside exploring this world heritage, some of it is classified by the UNESCO, you will soak up the atmosphere of oriental but cosmopolitan Tripoli and, of course undertake a Sahara crossing – one of the finest possible within the time available. The Ubari Sand Sea is home of some of the most stunning dune corridors and after four days travelling across open desert you will reach the mysterious Mandara lakes.
In Libya there are not many good hotels, however we have selected the best ones and you will spend five nights in comfortable surroundings with the remainder in bivouacs and one night on a serviced campsite. Daily distances are greater then on our other safaris, expect to drive for about five to six hours a day. Rest days are also part of the itinerary and you wont be exhausted when you return home – quite the opposite. Many of our guests have described Libya as the best holiday they ever had.
You can leave home in your own time and travel across France at your own pace, your ferry ticket for the channel is an open return and you may leave as early or as late as you wish. You will meet the group and your guide outside Marseille for an overnight stop or at Marseille port on the morning of the ferry crossing. Most of our guests split the 600 mls drive through France over two days, adding two more days to the itinerary below.
Tripolitania & Mandara Lakes
After your Channel Crossing, drive to the south of France and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner in Orange . Dinner at restaurant (optional), overnight and breakfast at hotel (optional). .
leave Orange in the morning, drive to Marseille port (55 mls.) and check in for the ferry to Tunis where you have first class accommodation, lunch and silver service dinner with the group, evening entertainment in various bars on board. Breakfast at hotel (optional), lunch and dinner on board, overnight on board.
Arrive Tunis early afternoon, drive to Kantaoui and check in at the Hotel Palace . Enjoy the fabulous buffet at the hotel and maybe an Arabic massage, a walk on the beach or a swim in the pool or in the sea. Join us on a tour of the palatial residence of the hotels founder. Breakfast on board, picnic lunch, dinner and overnight at hotel.
Via Sfax and Gabes, where we can do some last minute shopping you will arrive at the Libyan border at Ras Adjir. Your guides will organize Libyan number plates for your vehicle, carnet and insurance and we continue on to a lovely spot on the beach just outside Sabratha where you can go for a swim in the clear sea. Breakfast at hotel, picnic lunch, dinner at camp, overnight in bivouac.
Explore the Roman ruins of Sabratha and enjoy the guided tour of the site located right on the coast. Some fine examples of amphitheatres, baths and monuments have survived here. We continue on via Nalut to Ghandames, the “pearl of the desert” on the corossroads of ancient caravan routes. Breakfast at camp, picnic lunch, dinner in restaurant, overnight at campsite.
Take a tour of the old town of Ghadames , a place like from another world and a UNESCO world heritage site. See the colourful interior of the old houses and learn how people lived here over the centuries. After lunch stock up with fuel, water and provisions – we are starting our desert crossing today. Breakfast at campsite, lunch in restaurant, dinner and overnight in bivouac.
Drive across some of the highest dunes in the Sahara today. The Ubari Sand Sea is Sahara at its best. Fine tune your skills in negotiating the dunes and get enticed by the magnificent landscape. Breakfast at camp, picnic lunch and dinner and overnight in bivouac.
Continue on across open desert and check out how the locals live in this part of the world. Well, there is nothing in regard of settlements, the only place where we will be meeting other human beings is at a frequently visited well where the herdsmen come to nourish their camels and travelers to replenish their water supplies. Breakfast at camp, picnic lunch and dinner and overnight in bivouac.
Reach the mysterious Mandara lakes today – 13 lakes surrounded by palmtrees and sanddunes. The last dunes before we reach the first lake is particulary difficult to cross and might require several attempts. The lakes however reward for the challenging drive – take a swim in the water so rich of carbonate that you are afloat without swimming. Breakfast at camp, picnic lunch and dinner and overnight in bivouac.
Is mainly a rest day, you can join us on an excursion to another one of the desert lakes if you fancy some more dune driving before we set off to Sebha where we find hot showers for the first time since Ghadames. Breakfast at camp, picnic lunch, dinner and overnight at hotel.
Time to head back North – it's a long way to Tripoli of which we will cover half the distance today and spend the night well sheltered, away from the main road. Breakfast at hotel, picnic lunch, dinner and overnight at bivouac.
Before we get to Tripoli there is an opportunity to visit one of the most impressive Roman sites in the entire world: Leptis Magna . After having toured Leptis it is only a short drive to Tripoli where we check in to the Hotel Al Kabir, conveniently located just a two minute walk from the Green Square with the adjacent medina. Breakfast at camp, picnic lunch, dinner in restaurant, overnight at hotel.
You have the whole day to explore Tripoli . The medina
(old town) is as oriental as it can get – stroll around the
markets, watch the locals with their bartering and purchase
your souvenirs here yourself. You will be surprised about
the value for money in this part of the world.
Back across the border to Tunisia , but not before you have filled all your reservoirs with cheap Libyan fuel. We are heading for Kairouan, the second holiest city of the Islam for our last night in Africa . You will be staying at the La Kasbah, one of the best hotels in the whole country. Breakfast at hotel, picnic lunch, dinner and overnight at hotel.
The port of La Goulette is about two hours away from Kairouan and your ferry to France departs shortly before lunch. Let our guides worry about the check in procedures and relax during the crossing in your comfortable ensuite cabin. Breakfast at hotel, lunch, dinner and overnight on board.
After you have said good by to your new friends you make your way back home – again there is no rush, your ticket for the channel crossing can be changed free of charge if you decide to stay another night in France .
|Day 17||Arrive back home.|
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Please note that all itineraries are for illustration purposes. We will adhere to them whenever possible, however this being Africa adjustments might have to be made if certain areas are temporarily closed off, weather conditions are adverse or other circumstances dictate changes.