Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 14 January 2020, 12:53 NZDT
  • Still current at: 28 January 2020

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Do not travel

Do not travel to Libya due to ongoing conflict and the threat of terrorism and kidnapping. New Zealanders currently in Libya are strongly advised to depart immediately.

As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Libya, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited. The British Embassy, which previously provided emergency assistance to New Zealanders in Libya, has closed due to the security situation. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Libya should consider.

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Ongoing conflict
The political and security situation in Libya remains extremely fragile. Since 2014 there has been heavy fighting between rival factions throughout the country. Militia continue to operate freely in Libya, and the Libyan authorities have been unable to exert control over the security situation nationwide. Further violent clashes are likely and it is possible that those in the wrong place at the wrong time could get caught in the crossfire.

Significant numbers of unmarked landmines and unexploded ordinances remain in areas where fighting has occured. 

Tripoli International Airport has been closed since July 2014. A number of other international airports in Libya have closed or become inaccessible as a result of the security situation. A small number of airports, including Benghazi, Mitiga Misrata, Al Labraq (in Baida) and Tobruk airports, offer international flights out of Libya, however, flight schedules can change at short notice. All airports are vulnerable to attack.

New Zealanders who choose to remain in Libya against our advice should be vigilant and ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times, including a robust contingency plan. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company for advice on security arrangements. You should monitor developments closely through the media and follow the advice of local authorities. 

Civil unrest
Public demonstrations are a frequent occurrence throughout Libya. New Zealanders in Libya are advised to avoid all protests and large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should find a safe location, remain indoors, follow the advice of local authorities and leave the area as soon as it is safe to do so. 

There is an extreme threat from terrorism throughout Libya. Terrorist and extremist groups, including Daesh-affiliated extremists (formerly referred to as ISIL), Al Qaida and other armed militias, continue to conduct attacks frequently. Future attacks are expected. Attacks may be indiscriminate and could occur anytime and anywhere, including in places frequented by foreigners.

Westerners and Western interests continue to be targeted by terrorists in Libya. A number of foreign nationals have been targeted and killed in the past. Further attacks against foreigners are highly likely. Potential targets for future attacks may include Libyan government buildings and security forces, embassies, diplomatic interests, non-governmental organisations and international hotels. 

There is a significant risk that foreigners will be targeted for kidnapping by criminal and terrorist groups throughout Libya. The risk of kidnapping is particularly high in the border areas of Algeria, Chad, Niger and Sudan. It is likely that kidnapping attempts against foreigners will occur opportunistically and without warning. A large number of hostages have been killed by their captors.

Law and order has broken down in many parts of the country and crime levels have increased. There is a high risk of violent crime, including carjackings and robbery by armed groups.

General travel advice
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment and fines.

New Zealanders in Libya are advised to respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. We recommend exercising modesty and discretion in both dress and behaviour.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Libya should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to Libya as exclusions may well apply.

New Zealanders who decide to travel or live in Libya against our advice are strongly advised to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Cairo, Egypt is accredited to Libya

Street Address 8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt Telephone +202 2461 6000 Fax +202 2461 6099 Email Web Site Hours Sun-Weds 0900-1500 hrs, Thurs 0900-1330 hrs Note In an emergency or if you require urgent assistance, please call the Embassy on +202 2461 6000. Outside of business hours you will be redirected to an after-hours duty service.

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Egypt

Street Address
8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt

Telephone: +202 2461 6000

Fax: +202 2461 6099



Hours: Sun-Weds 0900-1500 hrs, Thurs 0900-1330 hrs

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