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Country Libya – Rich Desert Land

Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Great Jamhiriya or the country Libya is located in North Africa. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea towards the northern side, it is situated between Egypt on the east, Algeria and Tunisia to the west, Sudan to the southeast, and Chad and Niger to the south. With an area of 1,800,000 square kilometers, it is homeland for 5.7 million people and is 17th largest country in the world. Large reserves of petroleum make it a rich country.

From luxury star hotels to budget hotels, bed and breakfast, and guesthouse, Libya has everything for the tourists and travelers. However it is good to know a few things about Libya accommodations before moving there. For clean, basic and cheap accommodations, buyut as-shabaab or youth hostel is very handy. Holders of hostelling international card can have discounts too.

Camping in the deserts is free. Private hotels are cheaper, friendlier, and much better maintained in comparison to government run funduq. However cheap accommodations have shared bathrooms and do not have breakfast. Campgrounds can have kitchens for a fee. Accommodation in Libya is not as cheap as other countries in Middle East and alcohol is prohibited. Also beware of mosquitoes while camping in the desert.

Brief History and Political Features
Inhabited in 8000 BC by a herd of Neolithic people, Libya was subsequently dominated by Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans until it came under the Islamic dominion. In the recent years, an army coup headed by Captain Gaddafi military dictatorship was established in the country with Gaddafi, Revolutionary Committees, and Command Councils, all established in 1969. No election or voting process is in existence in Libya. A unique feature of Libya is its flag that is single colored without any insignia or designs; the only one in the entire world.

Geography and Climate
Nearly 90% of the land in Libya is covered with deserts. Three traditional parts of country Libya are Fezzan, Cyrenaica, and Triplitania. Even with the longest coastline, the climate is dry and desert-like in most areas except the northern regions that has a milder Mediterranean climate. Hot, dry, and dust laden southern wind called sirocco is one of the major natural hazards and is scattered throughout the country during spring and autumn. In addition there are also the sandstorms and dust storms. Numerous Oases can be found in the country spread over the desert areas. Ghadames and Kufra are two of the most popular Oases of the country.

Getting Around – A Hassle Free Travel Guide
Libya does not have any international train connection and it has no significant domestic train systems either. Most of the travels are to be carried out on road. One good thing is availability of cheap domestic flights. With one’s own vehicle the traveler can move anywhere but not the Tibesti region in the southeast that is off limits for them. A person from the tour company that arranged visa must accompany the traveler throughout the tour as his or her guide and companion arranging all tours.

Fast driving on the right side of the road is characteristic of Libyan drivers. With an expanding domestic air flight network there are air routes to most of the important destinations in Libya from Tripoli. International flights are also increasing after the lifting of the UN sanctions. Cruise ships are also available for reaching Libya though there are no ferry services. An important thing to remember is exactly specifying the entry point to the visa representative before procuring the entry visa to Libya.

Currency in use in Libya is the Libyan Dinar or LYD. Current exchange rate of LYD with one Euro and one USD comes to and 1.7441 and 1.2893 LYD respectively. One can have a look at the news from time to time to learn about the change in the exchange ratio.

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