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Africa > North Africa > Western Sahara > Smara


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Smara is in Western Sahara

North-eastern suburb of Smara


Travel Warning WARNING:
  • Smara is in the disputed part of the world called Western Sahara. Everybody tells you to stay away from that part of the world. And everybody is right. Do not go here unless you know what to do!
  • Travelers who go here usually do with an organized tour. That means the itinerary has been confirmed by Moroccan authorities upfront - because you are traveling with a tour operator.
  • If you decide to go to Smara on your own, be prepared: On a bus, you will be asked to leave the bus on every military checkpoint and your credentials will be checked. In a private (rental) car, you'll be questioned: Never ever tell the military that you are a journalist - you are just a tourist who wants to travel the country! Even people who work as camera-(wo)men in their day jobs have been refused entry.
  • Some hotels will refuse to host you - don't despair, just check the next hotel.
  • In town, don't despair. Yes, everybody will look at you like you are from a different planet - but you actually are. Tourists are rare. Very rare.
  • Never ever discuss politics - it is a hot topic and most probably none of your business.
(Information last updated Oct 2015)

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]







There is just one main road and most hotels are on it. If one does not want to host you (for political reasons), just ask them for a recommendation - you'll be pointed at a decent place where you get a room for about USD15 max.


Go next[edit]

Ask the police/military at exit points for the road ahead. When they tell you not go to a some way, just don't do. Roads to Akhfenir and to Laayoune are easy to and probably the safest to follow. All other roads basically go straight through the desert - there are no road signs and unless you really know how to follow GPS signals you are putting your life at risk.

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