Travel Africa – Libya

Travel to Libya

travel libya
Roman theatre in Sabratha

Frequently asked questions:

1. Who is the current president of Libya?

Magariaf is the leader of the National Front Party, which won three seats in the 2012 election, and he was previously well known for having founded and been the first leader of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

2. Is Tripoli the capital of Libya?

Satellite view is showing Tripoli, largest city and chief seaport and the national capital of Libya, located in northwestern Libya on the North African coast of the Mediterranean Sea, 500 km (310 mi) south of Sicily/Italy. The capital’s Arabic name is Tarabulus Al-Gharb.

3. When was Tripoli founded?

Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC by the Phoenicians, who named it Oea. Due to the city’s long history, there are many sites of archaeological significance in Tripoli. “Tripoli” may also refer to the shabiyah (top-level administrative division in the current Libyan system), the Tripoli District.

4. Who colonized Libya?

Italian colonization of Libya. The history of Libya as an Italian colony began in the 1910s and lasted until February 1947, when Italy officially lost all the colonies of the former Italian Empire.

5. What is the main religion in Libya?

Sunni Islam of Maliki school of jurisprudence is the dominant religion in Libya. Other than the overwhelming majority of Sunni Muslims, there are also small Christian communities, composed exclusively of foreigners.

6. Is Libya a part of the Middle East?

Big mistake there, and one that no Libyan would make. They have never been part of the Middle East. Libya is in North Africa, quite removed from the Middle East, geographically speaking, and do not consider themselves Middle Eastern in any way, shape or form. … They are Arabs, but they are North African Arabs.

7. What is the climate like in Libya?

Both the Mediterranean Sea and the desert affect Libya’s climate. In the winter, the weather is cool with some rain on the coast and in the drier the desert temperature can drop to sub-freezing at night. The Sahara is very dry and hot in the summer and cool and dry in the winter.

8. When did the Italians invade Libya?

Italian invasion of Libya. The Invasion of Libya by Italy happened in 1911, when Italian troops invaded the Turkish province of Libya, then part of the Ottoman Empire and started the Italo-Turkish War.

9. What is the average temperature in Libya?

Average Temperatures in Tripoli, Libya. The annual average temperature in Tripoli, Libya is warm at 20.3 degrees Celsius (68.6 degrees Fahrenheit). There is a variation of mean monthly temperatures of 15.5 °C (27.9°F) which is a slightly low range. The mean daily temperature variation/ range is 13.2 °C (23.7 °F).

10. What is the meaning of Libya?

The Latin name Libya (from Greek Λιβύη, Libyē) referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to the modern Maghreb. Its people were ancestors of the modern Berbers. Berbers occupied the area for thousands of years before the beginning of human records in ancient Egypt.

11. What are the natural resources of Libya?

Apart from petroleum, Libya’s other natural resources are natural gas and gypsum. Its economy depends primarily on the oil sector, which represents over 95 per cent of export earnings. Moreover, the oil and gas sector accounts for about 60 per cent of total GDP.

12. What is the terrain in Libya?

Libya’s terrain is mostly barren, and features flat to undulating plains, plateaus and depressions. Several highlands dot the landscape, but there are almost no true mountain ranges, except for the Tibesti Massif along its border with Chad.

13. How big is the Libyan desert?

The desert covers an area of approximately 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi), and extends approximately 1,100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle slanting to the south-east. Like most of the Sahara, this desert is primarily sand and hamada or stony plain.

14. What country is the Libyan desert in?

Libyan Desert. Libyan Desert, Arabic Al-Ṣaḥrāʾ al-Lībīyah, northeastern portion of the Sahara, extending from eastern Libya through southwestern Egypt into the extreme northwest of Sudan.

Travel Libya – how to get there

BY AIR:Tripoli was previously served by most major European and Arab airlines in addition to Libyan Airlines which was using the airport as its main hub. Prior to the civil war daily flights were provided to and from most major European international airports such as Heathrow, Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rome with multiple weekly flights to and from Milan, Manchester, Vienna and Alexandria. The radar system was seriously damaged in a NATO air strike in late August 2011. Fighting at the airport destroyed several commercial airliners and the airport infrastructure was damaged. The Tripoli International Airport airport was officially re-opened for civil aircraft operations on 11 October 2011. Nine airlines are now providing limited flights from the Tripoli International Airport to regional international destinations. Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways are providing flights to Benghazi from Tripoli, however all Libyan Airlines operations are uncertain.

BY TRAIN: Libya has no international train connections and no domestic train infrastructure.

BY ROAD: One may travel to Libya overland. There are bus and “shared taxi” (accommodating 6 people in a station wagon) services from such places as Tunis, Alexandria, Cairo and Djerba.

There are accounts of people having done the trip in their own 4x4s or using their own dirt bikes and campervans. There are very few borderposts open to travel into the country with a foreign car: Ras Jdayr (from Tunisia) and Bay of As Sallum (from Egypt). At the border, one has to buy a temporary licence including a number plate for €300 (March 2008).

There are bus services to Tunisia and Egypt.

Travel Libya – Getting around

Prior to the civil war many travellers undertook the trip in their own 4x4s or using their own dirt bikes and campervans. It would seem that they encountered considerable hospitality once in the country. Up until the uprisings of 2011 it was not uncommon to see SUVs with Texas plates on them in Tripoli (most likely US oil workers of which approx 5-10,000 previously resided in Libya). It was not uncommon to see convoys of European campervans on Libya’s highways prior to the civil war. Please make serious and detailed enquires prior to undertaking any trip by road into Libya to determine if the area you will be travelling through is safe and if fuel and other services are available. Travel such as this is not recommended at this time.

Some self-drive car rental services were previously available in the large cities but the rates were typically high and the cars unreliable.

The recommended travel Libya route of transport for tourists around major towns is taxis. There are also many shared taxis and buses.

There were previously many bus services between the major cities and it was a potentially a cheap way to travel Libya. The bus companies used modern and relatively comfortable air conditioned touring buses however many of the fleets were seriously damaged during the civil war. Longer journeys such as Tripoli to Benghazi will take about 14 hr by bus. The buses make stops for meals and the very important tea (shahee) breaks along the way. A faster method is to take the “shared taxis” but some of the drivers tend to be more reckless in order to cut the travel time. Services such as inter-city bus services have been seriously disrupted or halted due to the civil unrest and armed conflict during 2011. Travel by long distance bus services in Libya is not recommended at this time.

Travel Libya – Sights

Leptis Magna – Review: Visited May 2017. Easy day trip from Tripoli. 125km east. Biggest danger right now would seem to be the traffic. Dual lane all the way but crazy speeds. Very impressive ruins right on the Mediterranean Sea. Also make sure you visit the colosseum a little further east. Don’t miss it if you are in Tripoli.

Sabratha – Review:  One of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I hope Libya and the rest of North Africa recover from the troubles that have been plaguing them, as they have a wonderful heritage and very friendly people. This ancient attraction is one of the most beautiful and intact Roman ruins I have ever visited. Awe-inspiring.

Martyrs Square – Review: I visited Martyrs square it’s a One of my favorite places in whole Tripoli and it is close to Harbor area, and nice view of Mediterranean sea,I come by Martyrs square, it’s a good site, beside red castle and many old buildings,there are nice restaurants located nearby along with the main Souq which is selling everything from clothing,spices, jewelry, gold,handy-crafts. there are a lot to see, with very nice fresh air, I really enjoyed.

Gurgi Mosque – In 2011, when I was in Tripolis, this mosque was open to all visitors, following the usual dress code for entering a mosque. A wonderful silent atmosphere is spread out and you are walking like on batting, so soft and cozy the carpets feel on your feet. We were also allowed to take pictures.
For the time being, as of 2016, I do not encourage any travelling to Tripolis as long as the status of civil war is not officially ended in Libya.

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Entrance into medina of Tripoli
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Worker in the streets of Tripoli
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Catholic church in Muslim Tripoli
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Old part of Tripoli
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Head Scarf for sale - Tripoli
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Famous theatre in Sabratha
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Roman theatre in Sabratha
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View from Sabratha to the sea
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Ancient City of Leptis Magna
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Libyan Desert
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Camels in the desert
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Desert Tracks