Today, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued a newly revised travel advice for Western Sahara. Some of the first-time participants of Running the Sahara 2010 may have already come across it...and are worried.
Not to go into great length of the advice, the FCO highlights various safety issues (other than swine flu) that we do not want to diminish in its relevance and seriousness. However, we would like to put them in perspective. There is no question, that Western Sahara is a disputed territory. After all, this is one of the reasons, why we invite you to visit the camps with us and see for yourself what this issues means to the people that are affected by it. However, "Running the Sahara" takes you to the refugee camps in the SW Algerian Sahara NOT the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, which changes the situation for you ever so slightly.
All caution will be taken to keep you away from the danger zones at and around the 2,500km long berm that divides the Western Sahara into the occupied territory and the desert, in which hundreds of thousands Saharawi refugees are forced to live. The refugee camps in the latter region are backed and protected by the Algerian government. It is the government of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and the relevant British embassy that will be of relevance for us if so necessary.
A few other points that were raised:
- travel and medical insurance
As with any travel to place that are exotic or nearby, it is wise to get travel and medical insurance. This isn't different with Algeria or Western Sahara.
For questions on the acquisition of a visa, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org