Algeria Travel Guide: Algeria Travel Safety Tips
Travelers who want to have a safe and enjoyable time in Algeria should take the time to prepare some things before leaving home. Ensuring that all travel documents, as well as hotel accommodations and transportation are ready should help travelers have a worry-free holiday.
As a basic safety precaution, bring photocopies of your passport and other travel documents with you. The passport should be valid for at least six months to cover you during your stay in the country. It’s not necessary to bring your passport as you go around Algeria, so you may leave it in your hotel safe. However, be ready to present some identification as needed, so the photocopy of the travel documents should be appropriate.
Another practical travel safety tip to remember is to ensure that you are in good health before you leave your country. The demands of travel could be quite taxing so ensure that you are in the best of health. In case of an emergency, there are adequate medical facilities available in the major cities. However, it may be more difficult to find English speaking medical personnel and top grade medical facilities and practitioners in the rural areas, especially if going to the Sahara desert region. This is why it’s important to be in the best possible health whenever traveling. If medical assistance is needed, opt for privately run medical facilities rather than government owned hospitals and clinics.
Bring any necessary prescription medication and supplements you need to last you for the duration of your trip. Be sure to pack your medication in your carry on luggage rather than placing it in your check in luggage. This way, you don’t need to worry about having to take your prescription on time in case your luggage gets lost or stolen. It’s also a good idea to have copies of your prescription so that you could present it just in case. You may also want to pack a few over the counter medications just to make sure you are adequately supplied in case of a small medical need.
As of 2011, there have been typhoid outbreaks in the eastern portion of Algeria, in the cities of Annaba and Ain Delfa. Discuss vaccination options with your doctor as an added health safety precaution. Swine flu has also been reported in the country in 2010 in the areas of Ain Delfa, Annaba and Algiers. To protect against many common diseases, avoid buying food from street vendors and instead eat at establishments that are more likely to strictly follow food safety practices. Tap water is not potable so drink bottled water only.
Finally, be sure to have travel medical insurance before you leave. Keep any receipts, medical certificates, test results and other medical paperwork so claims could be made with the insurance company upon your return. Many travel insurance policies operate on reimbursement basis.
In the past, many travelers find that a trip to Algeria is generally peaceful and trouble free. However, as with any case, there are always exemptions to the rule. Also, recent activities in the counties have elevated some of the risks associated with travel to Algeria.
As a safety precaution, travelers should consider hiring an experienced guide for the day when going around Algiers. This provides a level of protection and gives travelers an opportunity to relax and enjoy the sights while being armed with important information about many important attractions. For those who prefer to drive, travelers need to get a local driving permit. Taxis are quite reliable, but some drivers may pick up other passengers along the way.
It’s also best to go around in the daytime and stay indoors during the evening. Also, be sure to pre-arrange your accommodations before arriving at Algeria. Unless you have a reputable and experienced local guide, travelers should avoid going to the outside towns around Tamanrasset, Bourdj Bou Arreridj and Djanet.
Conditions in Algeria may be volatile at times, and if you really must visit the country, it is recommended that you check the travel advisories issued by your embassy and it is imperative that you register your travel to the country with your embassy. This is a security precaution should anything untoward happen to you while you are in the country.
Also, as with any major city, the risk of petty theft and robbery is quite prevalent. Carjackings have been reported. In some instances, criminals have posed as police personnel, especially when outside the main cities. If you have been victimized by criminal activity, report it to the local authorities right away.
For your security, avoid carrying all your cash when going out. Keep a low profile and avoid wearing expensive and flashy jewelry to avoid the attention of criminals. The Algerian Dinar is the currency used in the country. Get you money changed to the local currency at banks, international airport and larger hotels instead of the black market. Also avoid purchasing bootleg items since these are illegal. Travelers who attempt to bring back illegal bootleg or counterfeit items back to their country may face sanctions and other penalties.
Whenever possible, it’s best to get around Algeria by air rather than by land. Road conditions are unpredictable, especially when there is inclement weather. Also, land travel security may pose some hazards to travelers. Algeria may not be a backpacker’s paradise since independent travel is not advised.
Travelers should be respectful of the customs and traditions of this Muslim country. Ramadan time is an especially sacred time for the people of Algiers. Be sure to dress appropriately and conservatively. Homosexual activity is illegal in the country. Couples should also refrain from exhibiting too much displays of affection as part of being respectful to the sensibilities and traditions of the people.
For travelers who simply feel that they must see Algeria, it’s best to be armed with the correct and most up to date information. Algeria is a country rich in tradition, history and culture so it continues to attract many travelers. Travelers should have some ample preparation for the trip and exercise vigilance and alertness to stay safe. This way, travelers would have a safe and enjoyable time in Algeria. Our Travel Guide Algeria is an excellent resource to use to help you learn more about the country.
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