Getting there & Costs - North Africa

While most North African countries offer holidays of good value for your money, getting there can be expensive for some travellers. This especially applies to Asian and American visitors, and even visitors from other parts of Africa. From Europe, however, getting to countries like Morocco and Tunisia is suspiciously cheap. Getting to Egypt is seldom cheaper than medium price level.

When getting to North Africa there are four major ways of transportation, airliners, chartered air flights, ferries, and overland travelling.

As for airliners, one should note that air carriers for this part of the world are less accustomed to discounting their regular fees, than in other parts of the world. Student prices are not always common, though the discounts here can be fairly healthy. Most travellers will either depart from central Europe, or use central Europe as a intermediate landing. In Europe, London, Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt are among the biggest, and prices one way will be on the level of US$150- US$500.

Most tickets, ordered well in advance, will be around US$250 one way. For Morocco, there should be a good chance of getting last seat tickets at heavily discounted prices. As for which airliners having the cheapest fares, it appears that North African companies are the most expensive, and not among the best, yet the price differences here are often only marginal. There are no clear winners in the price battle on North Africa. Trips to southern Spain can be had at the best prices in April and May, which happen to be the best time to visit. The best prices start at slightly less than US$120 for a round ticket from most parts of Europe.

Chartered trips can be ubelievably cheap. With Scandinavia as an example, Morocco can be had at US$300 for 5 weeks including hotel from Sweden, Tunisia from US$140 for 1 week with hotel from Norway. Yet, high season prices are exeeding this a lot, and most of the time paying US$450 for two weeks with an average hotel is normal. Egypt is more expensive, and rarely drops below US$350 at the very, very best.

At the time being no other country in the region of Miftah Shamali are served by chartered trips, yet there are organised trips for Mauritania, that are generally of high quality and at high prices. Organised trips for Libya does exist as well, but these depend on travellers first getting to Tunisia or Egypt, and then crossing the border into Libya.

Ferries in the Mediterranean are shamelessly overpriced. The only ones not digging too far down into your pockets run between Morocco and Spain, but these take normally only 1-2 hours. Algeria has rediculously overpriced ferries, never cheaper than a regular airliner. Egypt has ferries running on Greece, Jordan and Saudi Arabia; Libya on Malta (you just have to get there first); Tunisia on Italy; Algeria on France and Spain; Morocco on Spain, Portugal and France. The Sudan has ferries running on Saudi Arabia. Prices for one way travelling start at US$40, and runs up to US$150 for one way.

Overland travelling is the least likely way of getting to North Africa. Egypt has the most feasibly connections, coming from Israel. Taxation by the Israeli government is an irritating element here. The Sudan has unstable connections with principally Eritrea and Chad, and if you should get permission to travel in the south (which is not recommended, due to the still ongoing civil war), into Uganda and Kenya as well. Libya has in theory connections to Chad, and Algeria likewise theoretical connections to Mali and Niger. Mauritania has reopened its borders to Senegal, and these are have border posts very much in use, while the connections with Mali is only for those with good vehicles.

Cheap: Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. Tunisia is discernibly more expensive than the two others, but still very cheap.

Middle: Algeria and The Sudan. Algeria was earlier a fairly expensive country for those sticking to official exchange rates, but the black market here was cheap, easy to locate and seldom dangerous to use. The Sudan is a bit expensive in the way that getting around will demand extra measures,- yet the country appears to have low prices on food stuffs and such.

Expensive: Spain. Spain is no longer what it was, prices have risen, and travelling here is hardly cheaper than in the rest of Europe.

Very expensive: Mauritania and Libya. Thanks to official exchange rates, these two countries make most travellers poor. Tripoli of Libya is according to official exchange rates the world's most expensive city. Yet, if you go for the black market (not as dangerous as you might think), Libya is actually the cheapest country in North Africa. Mauritania offers a price level of hotels which is to be considered as mocking of most people's travelling budgets. Food on the other hand, as well as transportation, can be done at fair prices.


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