[TOUR] Eastern and Southern Libya (September, October, November)

05 April, 2023 | Blog, Tours

NomadMania has, over the course of its 10 years, had a number of impressive trips. In 2018, we had a pioneering trip to Timbuktu as well as island-hopping in the Pacific to obscure places such as Kanton island, Futuna and the Temotu islands. In 2019, we went to Niger including Agadez, before it opened up more massively.

Following a hiatus due to the pandemic, it is now time to explore Libya more deeply. A country which has been volatile and largely out of bounds since 2011, it is now slowly stabilising. To the best of our knowledge, no traveller has visited Eastern Libya (which has a different government) since 2014, and nobody has visited the archaeological site of Cyrene – a World Heritage Site – since 2011.

However, on March 12, a NomadMania lover who shall remain nameless made it to Eastern Libya, and subsequently also to the Fezzan area in the south. These are two of the least visited regions on NomadMania, and while they might have been more popular and doable before 2011, they have essentially been no-go zones ever since.

Incredible mosaics in Cyrene

Tour Program

We are very happy to propose a NomadMania trip in mid-September to include Eastern and South-western Libya. With add-ons, this trip will allow its participants to visit all 5 World Heritage Sites of this fascinating country. Here is the outline of the trip which is subject to changes of course, flight availability etc. Libya is changeable so while the below is possible today, perhaps tomorrow it won’t be!

Days 1-3: After landing in Tripoli, domestic flight to Al Bayda which will be our base. During these two days, we will visit the Cyrene Archaeological city, Apollonia, drive down the coast to Derna, once held by ISIS, and then head to Tobruk to pay our respects at the cemetery before returning to Tripoli by air.

Days 4-6: Flight to Sabha from where we will have 2 nights in the desert and end the trip in Ghat by the Algerian border. We will visit Tadrart Acacus, a World Heritage Site, and sleep in tents in the desert. Return to Tripoli from Ghat or Sabha depending on flights.

We will visit Derna, largely destroyed by ISIS.

We will also visit Sabha, the largest town in Fezzan, famous for its castle

Add-ons: From Tripoli, we hope to offer a separately priced 2-day/1-night trip to Ghadames (see below under our M@P rubric) including Sabratha, and another 2-day/1-night trip to Misrata via Leptis Magna.


A few notes about this unique trip

At present has not been conducted by any agency that we know of, and has not been done by any group in this format since 2011.

Note 1: NomadMania is not an agency, we just love to travel and to propose travel! The group will be accompanied by a NomadMania team member (probably our Founder) who will pay the same as everyone else. All payments and arrangements will be handled by our local partner but the trip will be organised by NomadMania, once again our NomadMania team member will be paying the same as every participant. Donations to NomadMania will be strongly encouraged.

Note 2: We are aiming for a price of 2,300 euro (indicative, not final) for the main trip of 6 days (Eastern and Southwestern Libya), all inclusive except for the international flights to/from the country. The add-ons will be priced separately but will certainly be affordable and depend on participation. Please understand that Libya has a very specific operating environment with lots of permits needed, so pricing is not that of a traditional destination.

Note 3: In theory, everyone can apply for Libyan visas (which will be your responsibility, with an invitation sent to you if permission is achieved). In practice, it is easiest for citizens of EU countries, some Far Eastern Asian countries (Japan, Singapore, Thailand) and some South American countries (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina) to be approved. UK and Canadian citizens may get lucky but it will take time and no guarantees. It is much harder for US, African and Middle Eastern country citizens to get a visa but in theory it is not impossible. Rumours that all Libyan visa issuing has been stopped are not true.

The Cyrene Archeological museum has been closed since 2011 but will open for us…

If you’re a fan of Gazprom, Tripoli will not disappoint…


How to join?

If you’re interested in this once in a. lifetime trip, contact Harry directly at harry@nomadmania.com.

We will decide how to proceed depending on the level of interest; should we get a lot of demand, we may run multiple trips back to back, but the first one will run in mid-September (going earlier will be way too hot in the desert). You will need to be in decent physical condition and with a high level of patience and tolerance for the unexpected; we will aim to make it as comfortable as possible but attempts to have a clear timetable are futile and long flight delays are common.

Priority will be given to travellers who are active in NomadMania and have shown an interest in past events, but we encourage everyone interested in a country which is truly begging to be explored to enquire.

As a summary, in September 2023, NomadMania is organising trips for every budget and every kind of traveller:

1. Sep 1-4: Meeting in Bratislava for the 10th Trans-Danube swim + triborder + Soviet-era relics

2. Mid September: Libyan trip described above

3. Sep 23-29: Armenia trip with emphasis on Soviet past and unvisited areas!