Situated in Northern Africa and adjacent to famous tourist destinations such as Morocco or Tunisia, Algeria is a country that is mostly advised for intrepid travellers. Why? Well, because there is a lot more to Algeria than Sofia Boutella (wink)! Stretching over 2,381,741 square kilometres, it is the largest state in Africa. With a population of over 40 million, it sure looks like a colourful place to visit but here are the top five things to keep in mind if you are planning to hit the road!
1. Travel warnings:
No matter where you look, you are going to find tons and tons of travel warnings linked with Algerian tourism. The thing is, Algeria is not a safe place to visit, that is by no means a secret, but travellers take on the challenge anyway. Terrorism is rampant in the southern areas and it surfaces in other areas as well from time to time. Tourists are especially in the danger of being kidnapped as ransoms are the most sought-after resources within the ranks of terrorists. Please understand that, though Algeria is in the process of rejuvenation, civil unrest is something that has not been completely eradicated. Go at your own risk to the home country of Ms Boutella and if you do, watch your back and belongings.
What you must know about Algeria, if you choose to visit it, is that wages there are extremely low there. If you think that Eastern Europe was a haven for low-budget travellers, then Algeria is about to amaze you. Besides the generally affordable prices, tips are also low, if you choose to hand over some extra. Tips in general are between 10% and 15% and they usually depend on the quality of the service that you get. No matter how much extra you choose to leave, it will be accepted with smiles and gratitude. Stay polite and stay satisfied!
The Algerian culture adheres to conservative Islamic standards and ladies are more than urged to keep as much of their bodies covered as possible. Though more and more local women defy these standards, it is best not to tempt one’s luck when visiting an already-labile country. Ladies, if you can, avoid short skirts, shorts, or revealing tops. Transparent clothing is heavily frowned upon and so are uncovered shoulders. The best thing to do is to buy some white clothes that cover a lot but do not hold the heat in as the sun can be a bit scorching in Algeria. Keep the sun and the frowns at bay with the power of intelligence (wink)!
4. Language barriers:
English is well-spoken in Algeria as it is widely taught in schools and other educational facilities. The younger generation is more than adept at foreign tongues and they are your beacons of hope when you have to ask for directions. If you see a youngster with a smartphone, chances are high that he/she will be fluent in English. In spite of this, it is important to understand that English is not the only choice there – French is also a medium to which you may cling. Algeria used to be occupied by the French and this inadvertently makes the language a well-spoken one (in fact, French is a semi-official language there). So, long story cut short: language barriers are not a problem in Algeria – stick to your English or French when the Berber tongue only coms out in broken words and syllables (wink)!
In spite of the fact that we have already discussed the tipping etiquette of Algeria, we have to bounce right back to its restaurants. Here’s the inconvenient truth: Algerian restaurants are not as regulated as they are in western states. What this means is that you may end up with an aching belly or worse if you do not pay attention to where you eat. If a restaurant looks a bit “laid-back”, just avoid it and all will be well. Sticking to supermarkets never hurt anyone (wink).
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Algeria and what lasting impressions have you been left with? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Safe travels and see you next time!