We advise against all but essential travel areas bordering Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria (this does not apply to the towns of Ghadames and Ghat), owing to the threat from cross-border criminal activity and instability in the region. With the exception of the official land border crossings to Tunisia and Egypt, visitors and residents are not permitted to travel in the interior or to border areas without an officially sanctioned guide or specific permission from the Libyan authorities.
The Libyan authorities may restrict access to the more remote parts of the country (e.g. desert areas and remote towns) at short notice. Visitors should check with their tour operator or the Libyan authorities for the latest information
There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
You should take sensible precautions for your personal safety and avoid political gatherings and demonstrations. You should follow news reports and be alert to developments in Libya and the Middle East that might trigger public disturbances, e.g. recent adverse developments in Swiss/Libyan relations have created difficulties for Swiss citizens in Libya.
A visa is required for travel to Libya. Following the introduction of a new biometric visa system on 1 December 2008, all visa-applicants are required to visit the Libyan People's Bureau to give their fingerprints and submit the required documents and passport photos. On 11 November 2007, the Libyan authorities reimposed a requirement for all travellers entering (and including those re-entering) the country to have an Arabic transcript of their passport's details page. If you travel without this transcript, you may not be able to enter the country. See the Entry Requirements (Visas) section of this advice for more details.
Over 16,000 UK citizens visited Libya in 2006 (Source: Libyan Tourist Board). Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in Libya in 2007 was replacing lost or stolen passports.
We strongly recommend that comprehensive travel and medical insurance is obtained before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.