The security situation in Libya is in a dangerous state of flux owing to the Civil War. All travel to Libya should be avoided if possible until the dust settles.
Night driving in rural areas is not recommended, due to the high risk of accidents on- and off-road. Rural roads are usually not marked at all, which makes it hard to stay in lane.
In addition, many cars have non-standard headlights, making it very hard to see the road and oncoming traffic at the same time. Speeding is common and the primary cause of death in Libya.
Camels cross at night on rural roads. Because of its height and mass, this animal can be very dangerous to passenger vehicles.
For an extra charge, some cars can now be rented or purchased with a "camel sensing" device. While not foolproof, this "camel radar" provides warnings that can make a difference.
It is difficult to navigate safely off-road especially in the dunes areas, due to the high horizon. The average speed for distances longer than 10 km is less than 15 km/h.
The domestic situation in Libya remains unstable subsequent to the formal announcement of liberation by the Libyan National Transitional Council on 23 October 2011.
The country remains unstable following a civil war between the armed forces of the previous Libyan government and anti-government rebels supported by a NATO-led coalition of Western and Arab nations. Libya continues to suffer from factional disputes between competing political and militia groups. This may involve armed conflict and violent engagements between groups, disaffected individuals, foreign military elements and competing militias both within and also outside the scope of the government. These activities may be sustained for a prolonged period and possibly involve the use of deadly force, therefore travel within the nation's borders remains dangerous and is strongly discouraged for independent travellers.
If you do insist on trying to gain entry into Libya tourist visas are not being issued as of October 2013, make every effort to get independent and reliable information concerning the current political and civil situation and any engagements between military forces, militias or similar activities. If uncomfortable with the situation in the area you are visiting, then organise an immediate and secure exit from Libya by contacting your country's embassy or their representatives either in Libya, your home country or neighbouring nations.
If requiring assistance, EU citizens should contact the embassy of another EU state if they cannot make contact with their home country's representatives. The governments of many nations have issued formal travel warnings. Research these warnings in depth before travelling to or moving about within Libya. Many nations have also recommended their citizens in Libya should leave the country without delay and avoid travel to the destination.
You must refrain from talking about late Libyan revolutionary, Muammar Gaddafi, as it is now national law in Libya not to praise Gaddafi or his family.
Libyan immigration requirements frequently change without warning. According to the U.S. State Department, a requirement of a certified Arabic translation of the biological data page of your passport is mandatory for obtaining a visa and entering the country. As of December 2010, Libyan authorities no longer require an Arabic translation of the ID page.
Due to the conflict in Libya during 2011 the appointment of diplomatic representation outside Libya has been somewhat confused. Careful attention should be paid to the current standing of the foreign mission and it's appointed representatives if travel documentation to enter Libya needs to be sought from a Libyan Embassy or Consulate.
It is now legal for Americans to travel to Libya; however, it is difficult for US citizens to obtain visas. The Libyan Embassy in Washington DC now accepts visa applications, but you will need a letter of invitation from a Libyan sponsor who applies for you in Libya. Tourist visas are often rejected at all embassies without being a part of a tour or applied for on behalf of a Libyan tour operator. Check with the Libyan Embassy in Washington DC for more info you are American (http://www.libyanbureaudc.org/) According to the Libyan Embassy in Washington DC, USA, a traveler will need US$400 as bare minimum in a convertible currency, with the following exceptions:
Tourists arriving as a group, as part of a package organised by travel and tourist bureaus, agencies or companies, which cover their living expenses during their stay.
Those in possession of entry visas on official missions
Those in possession of student entry visas with expenses paid by the Libyan Government.
Those wishing to join a resident of Libya on condition that such a resident provides a grantee to cover the expenses of the guest stay and medical treatment and other requirement
Standard Arabic is the official language, but the native language is Libyan Arabic. Although much of the vocabulary and syntax of the Libyan dialect differs from Standard Arabic and Eastern dialects, foreign Arabs or Arabic speakers should have no problem being understood due to the influence of Arab media and Arabic Language education in Libya. English is widely understood especially by young residents of Tripoli, while older people are likely to speak Italian as a result of Libya's Italian colonial past, and even among younger people it is the second most known foreign language after English because of access to Italian television. Libyan Arabic is influenced by Italian, such as "semaforo" traffic light and "benzina" gasoline.
Other languages, such as Berber and Touareg, are used in many small urban settings. Speakers of those languages will often be multi-lingual and be able to converse in Libyan Arabic and sometimes Standard Arabic as well.
Embassies and consular services. Many foreign missions in Libya remain closed or have very limited consular services available due to the civil war hostilities, others were damaged or closed and have not yet restored services, or the question of diplomatic recognition during transitional administration remains unresolved.
The Venezuelan embassy in Tripoli was ransacked and looted by rebel forces and others including the UK embassy were also damaged. Many parts of Libya are currently under the de-facto administration of the National Transitional Council NTC, other parts of the nation have either no administration or are getting by with individual ad-hoc arrangements. Some nations have given the NTC a level of recognition equivalent to that afforded to the government of a nation state, others are recognising the state of Libya and have accepted representation of that state by the NTC, others have agreed to engage in dialogue with the NTC. Some other nations have refused to recognise the NTC at all and either still formally recognise diplomatic arrangements with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or have suspended diplomatic relationships whilst awaiting the formation of an interim government in Libya. Nations such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom never recognise governments anyway and only recognise a nation so their situation is less ambigious, in most cases they have accepted diplomatic envoys from the NTC to replace the previous diplomatic staff. In some Libyan foreign missions and at the UN the encumbrant representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya government is still recognised by the host nation but now represents the Libyan nation in transition, providing either formal, or quasi-formal recognition of the NTC as a provisional administration. If needing to travel to Libya it is important to determine the status of the representative Libyan foreign mission you are dealing with and ensure that any required documentation is acceptable for travel to Libya, for entry into the country, and for any subsequently travel to the part of Libya which you may wish to enter.
If requiring assistance from your nations consular representatives it may be possible to seek them out in a country adjoining Libya or from a partnered nation if a citizen of an EU state.
Embassies and other foreign missions and provisional offices are located in Tripoli, some additional representation may be found in Benghazi
Telecommunications and other services may be seriously disrupted for an extended time due to damage sustained from prolonged attacks upon Libyan infrastructure by NATO led bombing and destruction and looting of government and private property by rebels opposing the Libyan government.
Pay attention to the customs and traditions. What may mean a casual smile or wave to a Libyan woman, may be understood as harrasing by the locals. This subject is very sensitive therefore avoid eye contact when dealing with Libyan women as it is seen to be shameful. If you are a female however this is not a problem.
Libyan people love to celebrate their weddings by hanging up many lights around their houses. On the wedding night they also light many fireworks. Do not be afraid if you hear occasional racket.
The locals may try to 'show off their English language skills'. Many will attempt to help you or simply introduce themselves.
Libyans are known for their hospitality. Many will invite you to their homes, usually for lunch. Try not to act wary of what you are eating. Make sure you show you are grateful, Libyans LOVE being flattered and doing so you will ultimatley gain their respect and trust.
When meeting locals avoid sensitive or controversal topics. Talk about your job, family, and experience in their country. Encourage them to do the same.
If you stay near a mosque expect to hear the callings for prayer 5 times a day. Also to note one of these times is very early and may wake you up until you get used to it.