Earth > Africa > Northern Africa > Maghreb > Algeria
|Currency:||Algerian dinar (DZD)|
|Paved roads:||71,656 km|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='dz' />|
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|<map lat='28.5' lng='3' zoom='4' view='0' country='Algeria' />|
Algeria is a country in Northern Africa. Hitchhiking in Algeria is common and legal especially outside of the big cities. The Algerian-Moroccan border is closed, as well as the Algerian-Nigerian border, and the Algerian-Tunisian border south of Taleb-Larbi (note the Taleb-Larbi border can only be used to exit Algeria, not enter), meaning the only way in and out is via boat, via plane, or the northern half of Tunisia. In the north most people speak French, in the desert it's mainly Arabic and Berber. French or Arabic is a HUGE asset in the country. Hitching without either would probably be fairly difficult.
The best option is probably taking a boat from Almeria, Spain. The only company is Transmediterranea, which runs two boats a week to Oran for between 50 and 100 euros (depending on the time of year). Other options are flying into Algiers or Oran from Europe, however flights are usually cheaper into Tunis, Tunisia, from which you can get in overland.
The country is quite calm and safe, and has been largely stigmatized by the media. The civil war of the 90s and 00s is long finished. That being said, it is best to avoid the area around Bouira in the north, where there have been a few travelers taken hostage in the last few years. Also avoid the Libya-Algeria border, and ESPECIALLY the Niger-Algeria border, where there has been a fair bit of violence and terrorism in the past. Tourists are also not allowed south of El Oued without being accompanied by an Algerian guide, although this may not be enforced. There are regular police checkpoints along all roads so be sure to have your travel documents with you at all times.
Most nationalities will need a visa to get into Algeria. The procedure can be somewhat daunting. You will most likely need:
- Proof of transportation in/out
- Hotel reservation
- Travel insurance
However, there is some leeway. The proof of transportation in can be your boat/plane ticket (They may let you get around this if you explain you expect to book the boat later on), and then you can just explain you will leave via Tunisia. The Hotel you can buy and then when you have your visa you can cancel it all for 100% refund (Expedia gives full refunds, but perhaps call them to make sure). The travel insurance is probably worth it, as it is only around 2 or 3$ each day, but if you want you could theoretically also cancel that as well. Even if you only have proof you have a hotel for a few nights, the minimum visa length they will issue is 30-days, starting from the first day of your hotel reservation, so you can reserve just a few nights and still travel the country for a month.
I hitched Algeria September 2014 for a week from Oran to the Tunisian border near El Oued, and it was by far the easist hitching I have ever done. It even beat out other hitchhiking heavyweights like Morocco, Japan, and New Zealand. Wait times were usually a minute or two. I think the longest I waited was 10 minutes. People were incredibly generous and often gave me food, money, or even a place to stay. Even getting out of big cities like Algiers I had no trouble. I just took the metro east as far east as I could go and then just found a spot with some shoulder and the 2nd car that passed picked me up! Knowing French and a decent amount of Arabic helped immensely. Probably one of the most fun weeks of my hitchhiking life. -Physicshipster