Getting around

In general group travel for tourists is well organised. Travelling in groups is very interesting and varied. Local travel guides are well trained, speak a variety of European languages and inform visitors about the history, culture and every day life of the country. Tours are being conducted in Toyota land cruisers taking visitors through the most fantastic landscapes. In this way the main sights can be well reached.

Individual travel in the Yemen is at present possible but there are many difficulties to overcome. Every time someone wants to leave he capital and travel to another city or site outside the capital a special permit has to be obtained from the tourist police. Buses or collective taxis refuse to take foreigners who do not have such a permit. These permits can be obtained. One has to devote time and plan one’s travel carefully in advance. It is easier but much more expensive to hire a car and a driver who then will get the permits for you.

It is also possible for a women to travel alone in the Yemen. I had no negative experience when I hired a driver and visited the country. On the contrary, Yemenits are polite and helpful people. A European woman travelling on her own without belonging to a group or with her husband stimulates a certain protective instinct in the population towards the traveller. I felt never accosted or threatened by anybody except sometimes bothered by begging children. On the contrary I was often invited by families into their homes either to join them for their meal or to stay overnight. Thus I sometimes met very interesting people. I especially found that Yemeni women were very interested to meet European women. If one speaks the language, or even if one has a certain knowledge of it this of course is a great advantage. The people appreciate it very much if they feel one is interested in their daily lives.

Sanaa - Old town
Sanaa - Old town

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