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Several government travel advisories have highlighted that travelers should reconsider all but essential travel to Algeria. Avoid traveling to the southern part of the country plus the border areas with Libya and Tunisia due to the high risk of banditry and terror-related activities.
Algeria has unfortunately experienced a few terror-related incidents in recent years. Throw in some civil unrest and that can present any traveler with challenges.
Traveling to Algeria can certainly provide its troubles for an unsuspecting tourist, so it's important that you do your research and talk to locals before traveling around the country.
Terrorism is firmly in place in the country's south and doesn't seem to be moving any time soon. Since 1992, Algerian radical groups have been trying to overthrow the Algerian government.
Known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group has been responsible for a number of attacks throughout the country and have targeted foreigners.
But when it comes to traveling to Algeria, kidnappings are a notable concern. It's a common and widespread tactic used by these radical groups.
Border areas near northern Mali, Niger, Western Sahara and Mauritania are all no-go zones - kidnappings and killings have been recorded as recently as 2014.
Suicide attacks can occur in Algeria, with the capital, Algiers unfortunately being the target of a few incidents. A series of attacks was recorded through 2007, with threats made against foreign interests and infrastructure.
It's vital that you consider all options before deciding to travel to Algeria and if you do decide to travel to the country, you should exercise a high level of caution.
Ask your embassy about local issues and get informed about the current political climate within the country. Find out about any recent terror-related activities.
Civil unrest continues to occur in various locations around the country due to political instability. You should avoid any public demonstrations and keep updated with local news reports and government warnings.
Travel to this destination against government advice can have implications for your travel insurance. You should read and understand your policy documents thoroughly if you are considering travel to this destination. Talk to your travel insurance provider should you have any concerns.
Petty theft and pickpocketing does occur in Algeria. Muggings can also happen, especially after dark. So it's best to avoid dark streets, deserted beach areas and isolated spots when night falls.
Make sure you don't make your wealth obvious either. Dangling cameras, flashing money or credit cards or expensive jewelry is not a good idea.
Potential thieves will watch you carefully and strike when you least expect it. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings.
Theft of contents and parts from parked cars, so never leave valuables in sight while the vehicle is unattended or stopped in traffic. Keep your car doors locked and windows up whether you are on the move or have parked the car.
Luggage theft and pickpocketing on buses and trains does happen so make sure your bags are secured, valuables close to you and keep an eye on your belongings.
Thieves have been reported to target hotel rooms. If you do leave things behind, secure your valuables in the room or hotel safe. Hide things out of sight.
Thieves posing as police officers or checkpoint guards is an often ploy to get Westerners to open their doors and hand over money.
Unfortunately, many of these men are usually armed and dangerous. Once they enter a house or stop your vehicle, they will hold you for ransom.
These bandits and their methods are common in most parts of Africa. If you do get confronted with an armed robbery, don't resist. Best not to make eye contact and obey commands.
It's a classic scam in Africa and around the world - locals posing as tour guides, who are actually con artists looking for an easy way to take your money.
You should use a local licensed guide for any tours of the Kasbah area of Algiers.
If you do wish to take a tour, organising one through your hotel is probably the best bet, or ask around.
There will often be people outside hotels saying they are licensed guides, but usually they aren't - be vigilant.
All foreign currency being brought into Algeria should be disclosed when entering the country by filling in an official form.
Each person leaving Algeria will be stopped and asked if he/she has any foreign money and may be possibly be searched.
If foreign currency was declared when entering the country, any disparity between the amount arrived with, and the amount held at departure, must be accounted for.
If a traveler failed to declare any currency when entering Algeria, and is found to possess foreign currency while exiting the country, the penalties may be severe.
Don't take photos of police, military installations, government infrastructure or airports. There is a high level of security in all these places and they won't take it lightly if you disobey the law.
Algeria isn't the place you want to travel to if you wish to indulge in drugs. Whether they are hard drugs or soft drugs, the rules are all the same, and there is no tolerance.
Penalties for drug use or trafficking of drugs include imprisonment.
Homosexuality is illegal in Algeria, so LGBTQ travelers need to be discreet and respectful of local laws at all times.
Punishment is a three year jail sentence and a financial penalty.
Algeria is a conservative Islamic country, so visitors will need to be mindful of this as they travel around. Dress conservatively and be respectful of the local culture, particuarly in rural locations and around places of worship. Women travelers should also consider wearing a headscarf.
In Algeria, it's against the law to convert Muslims to another faith or to distribute religious material that may be seen by local authorities as an attempt to convert Muslims to another faith.
Physical contact between men and women in public should also be avoided. Public displays of affection can cause offence, particularly in rural areas where social attitudes can be more conservative and near places of worship.
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