With the Arab Spring of 2011, most of the Arab countries in the north of Africa in a state after residents protested over some of the political situations in their countries. One of these countries was Libya. With its beautiful sites, some countries around the world have issued travel warnings against traveling to the region. There have also been reports of the country's major transport nodes being shut off by rebels. In case you are looking to travel to Libya, we give you all you need to know before you go.
As a South African citizen traveling to Libya you need a visa. You can contact the Libyan Embassy in South Africa here.
2. Safety and Security
After the Arab spring and the violent death of the longtime ruler of the country Muammar Gaddafi, the country has attempted several times to regain its stability but hasn't quite attained it. In January this year, the United States of America issued a travel warning for its citizens, stating that the embassy has been closed and therefore citizens will not be saved should they run into trouble. A site that provides information on the country has also advocated for travelers getting kidnap and ransom insurance which is a type of travel insurance. It is offered for travels into specific regions of the world like Central and South America, the Middle East, parts of Africa and Asia, where the economic situation in the country is dire. Before you go, it is advisable to keep paying attention to news sites. Contact the embassy as well.
While the country is dealing with any specific outbreaks at the moment, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has told travelers to vaccinate against Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Yellow Fever.
4. Tourist attractions
Despite its unstable political and economic state, Libya is a beautiful African country. One of the sites that is infinitely popular with tourists is Tripoli, the capital city. It has historical items from as far back as the beginnings of the country's Islamic beginnings. It also features Arab art and handicraft. Then there's the Ghadames Dessert where visitors can go and have a tour. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities.Worth seeing in this city is the D'jimaa al-Kabir mosque, where a panoramic view of the city awaits. Benghazi, the second largest city in the country is located on the eastern most part of the Gulf of Sirt. It has the Ras Alteen, a nearby beach with pristine white sands that is the ultimate relaxation spot for tourists.
Religion: Islam (Sunni Muslim),
Climate: Medditerranean. Winters are mild and wet, while Summers are hot and dry
Official Language: Arabic. English and Italian are also spoken.
Time Zone: GMT +2
Currency: Libyan Dinar