View Full Version : Algeria?
Am planning our trip Eastwards through the Mediterranean this year Summer and instead of the Baleares we were thinking about passing along the North African Coast. Morocco and Tunesia of course are not a problem. What is the latest on Algeria? We are just planning to follow the coast, not visiting the mainland.
I have the North African pilot and consulted several sources already (e.g. noonsite - not recommended, cruiserlog.com, fco.gov.uk - non-essential travel not advised, my government - don't go if you don't have to).
Any experiences (especially positive) that you could share are appreciated!!!!
Main problem is the political situation, as I understand.
You'll probably find your insurers have opinions on that - mine specifically exclude Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt - but have a get-out from any loss due "to civil insurrection or terrorist action".
I'd suggest you make guarded enquiries of them - certainly the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advise against any but essential travel, citing the following incidents:-
* On 9 August 2008, a bomb attack in the port of Zemmouri in the Boumerdès province targeted a police station, reportedly killing 8 people and injuring at least 19.
* On 3 August 2008, a bomb attack in Tizi Ouzou targeted a police station, reportedly injuring at least 25 people.
* On 04 June 2008, there were two explosions in Bordj el Kiffan. The attack targeted a Republican Guard barracks. The suicide bomber along with at least one soldier died, and several people were injured.
* On 21 September 2007, a bomb attack in Bouira injured at least nine people, including two French nationals and one Italian national.
* On 8 September 2007, a car bomb targeted the naval barracks in Dellys, 70km east of Algiers, killing at least 28 people and injuring over 60.
* On 6 September 2007, a bomb attack occurred amongst a crowd gathered outside a mosque in the wilaya of Batna, killing 20 people and injuring around 100.
No personal sailing experience of Algeria, but based on secondhand info and having once worked on a Construction Contract in the country, I personally wouldn't sail in Algerian Waters or even close to them. Advice in '92 was 'steer clear of the boondocks they shoot Christians there' When a colleague enquired as to how they could recognise who was a Christian? He for instance was a Buddist; the response was 'the locals aren't ignorant, they can read you know! They shoot westerners and check the following week's newspaper, if the report say's you were a Buddist they'll be ever so contrite!' From Melilla in Morocco (about 003W) I'd recommend heading NE into Spanish waters and then across to Sardinia, before dropping south again to Tunisia.
We crossed from Spain to Algeria (Cherchell) in Feb 2008 and continued along the N African coast to Bizerte. Will be glad to share our experiences and first hand knowledge of Algeria.
Please send PM.
I guess many of us (certainly me!) would be very interested in your account. Any chance that you could post in in the open forum?
I suspect you will have lots of replies from people who have a friend of a friend twice removed who have definite experience of sailing in a county that is on the same planet as the one you are asking about. So take advice from all but make your discussions
[ QUOTE ]
We are just planning to follow the coast, not visiting the mainland
[/ QUOTE ]Weather, ill-health or mechanical problems might force you to visit the mainland, leaving aside the issue of armed, hostile, literate, Christian-haters.
In the eighties I used to visit Algeria regularly in the course of my work. All the way from Oran in the West, Alger, Setif, Tizi-ouzu, on to Constantine in the East.
Beautiful country and i used to love the place. Made many friends.
Today, I wouldn't go there if they paid me, even if I still worked.
I lived in Algeria for many years until 1985. I had my boat there, at Sidi Ferruch (25 km. west of Algier). It was a very nice time. No longer any more!
I would not recommend to approach the algerian coast under any circumstances. You may be shot down without any warning.
I wouldn't sail from Marocco to Tunesia following the algerian coast, and this for two reasons :
1.- In an emergency, you'll be far away from help, and may be tempted to try Algeria after all. Very dangerous - again - decision.
2.- There is very heavy freighter and tanker traffic all along the north african coast, (10 to 40 miles offshore) making all this zone at least "unconfortable" for sailing boats.
My choice would be to stay at least 50 miles from the african coast, or even nearer the spanish one.
... And enjoy a stop either at Formentera, and/or Mallorca.
Sorry for the bad news, but really I cannot find any positive reason to go to Algeria at the time being.
Have a nice trip.
Sorry Tony but no chance. Main reason is that the original poster seems not to want any info (no PM to date) and if anyone genuinely does then they will take the trouble to ask. Also there are enough people clogging up this forum with IMHO unnecessary or irrelevant replies to threads.
I would just like to comment that some of the replies on this thread appear to be on assumption rather than recent (less than 1 year) experience. WE WERE MADE VERY WELCOME AND WERE NOT SHOT AT.
It is a bit less developed than Tunisia or Morocco but then again no one asked for 'bakshish'.
Have to say it was better that being hounded by Spanish authorities at anchorage or paying inflated marina fees.
If you are scared don't go. If you are adventurous you will give it a go.
And no we did not have visas.
I did the same in the mid 70s, made some good friends BUT there were some seriously bad buggers there even then. Its a mind set and if they are bad they are bad. Would not go any where near there now!
We sailed from Almerimar Spain to Tunisia last May/June. We were between 20 and 30 miles offshore from Algeria and did not encounter any problems. We went to the rescue of a British single hander in a motor sailer named Rebecca Louise who had broken down, he had seen us three miles distant and called us up for assistance. He had limited comms, no lights, no engine and couldn't sail, was injured and tired. We motored close by but couldn't board as there was a big swell running and we were only two up. We called up port control at Skikda and requested their assistance. They sent out a pilot RIB at night. A trip which took two hours as we were 30 miles offshire and in the main Gib/Suez route. The RIB then towed the casualty into Skikda. We were then able to proceed to Tabarca in Tunisia. Skikda control were extreemly helpful, spoke reasonable English and had asbsolutely no reservations about rescuing the casualty. I have nothing but praise their very professional response.
A friend has just completed a passage from Melilla (Morocco - sort of!) to Hammamet. They cruised along the coast of Algeria stopping off several times. They found the ports tended to be commercial/fishing with no provision for yachts. The authorities were helpful. Movement outside the port areas was restricted and they were accompanied when they went into towns.
Colin on Solent Venture
Thanks to ercildoune for the useful information!
We are considering cruising the north african coast if we duck out of the Red Sea passage east, so I have done quite a bit of research on Algeria. Suffice to say that I would have no hesitation in sailing there.
What has been said is true, but things have changed very much since the old days. Did you know that Algeria is now the No 1 Destination recommended by The Lonely Planet?
I'd jump at the chance, if I were you. Let us know how it goes.
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