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Stone castles and star dunes - Tassili Hoggar and Tassili Najjer
(15 days)

During this tour, which we begin in the big, city like oasis and Touareg capital of Tamanrasset, we discover the most spectacular sights that the south of Algeria has to offer, each sight being worth a visit in its own right.

First of all we drive by jeep to the more than 2000 metre high Assekrem, in the Hoggar mountains. Here we visit the hermitage of French Father Charles de Foucauld, who lived here at the beginning of the 20th century. He stayed at the Assekrem in Tam for more than a decade, and studied the culture and language of the Touareg people. The most impressive sight here is the panoramic view from the mountain's summit: as far as the eye can see, different shaped mountain peaks climb into the sky. The glowing colours of a sunset from this magnificent viewpoint is a sight you will never forget.

The next day, we continue our tour further into the Tassili Hoggar. For the first time during our trip, here we find the fine and multi-coloured sand, which everyone expects to see in the Sahara. Strange looking stone formations, which look as if they have been made by famous sculptors, emerge out of the graceful waves and hills of the sand. With a little imagination, you can make out prehistoric animals, groups of people in conversation, stone castles and cathedrals. It is an unbelievable pleasure to walk and climb through the sand in this sculpture garden and discover it step by step. You could stay here for days, but our next destination is already awaiting us.

The huge Erg Admer is a pure sand desert with high dunes as far as the eye can see. They look beautiful enough from below, but it is worth our while to climb the high dunes and enjoy an incomparable panoramic view from the top. You can sit there until darkness falls and enjoy the spectacle of the sunset.

The next stop is the Djanet oasis, known as the “pearl of the Sahara”, much smaller, cosier and more original than Tam. This oasis can be discovered quickly. We enjoy a shower (having spent a week without such a luxury) and go shopping in the well equipped arts and craft shops.

The last part of our tour we will be on foot, as we have to climb to the Hochplateau Tassili Najjer, with donkeys carrying our luggage. After a steep ascent and an easy walk on the plateau, we arrive at some fascinating stone landscape. We walk between the individual and often almost quadratic boulders on “streets” that have been cut deeply into these boulders, just as if we were walking between high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. The almost right-angled arrangement of these streets also adds to the impression that you are in an American city. This is in itself a great experience! But the main attraction is the rock paintings and engravings, which we find here in various hidden places. The entire area is a huge open air museum with lots of exhibits of high artistic value. They tell us the history of the South Sahara during the last 5000 years, and tell of the exuberant nature, wildlife and the culture of its former inhabitants.
If we ask ourselves at the end of our journey what our strongest and happiest memory has been of a tour that has allowed us to discover the many faces of the desert, responses will of course vary. We believe however that altogether, the experience of distance, peace and nature will enable you to find yourself here, better than anywhere else in the world. One or other of us will perhaps not have this most profound experience during the day, but rather at night, under the twinkling stars of the desert sky.

kreis Please ask for our more detailed programme.

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columns of basalt

Hoggar Mountains

shapes of erosion

Oase Djanet

rock painting

rock painting