"Timia: beautiful oasis in the Aiir Mountains" Timia by Bonobo2005
Timia Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 65 photos
Why To Timia?
A young boy introduced me that Wednesday afternoon to a friendly middle aged man called Moussa Touboulou, a Tuareg man and guide. I was orientating for an excursion out of Agadez, but there were no others looking for sharing a vehicle. Ok, there were some travellers around, but Thursday next week would be the start of the Cure Salee Festival in Ingall. There was no time for a big trip in the isolated A?r Mountains or Tenere Desert.
The day before I had met a Japanese backpacker, who told me about a place called Timia, which was described in his Japanese Guidebook. I had never heard of it before. Later I would learn that Timia was quite a remote and little but important oasis in the A?r Mountains, some 240 km away from Agadez. Its cascade is usually the first (or last) advertised highlight on regular tour group itineraries in the region.
Now I thought Timia would be a feasible destination; which I would hope to reach by a ride on the occasional truck that's going out there to collect market trade.
Moussa and I were having tea while he convinced me of his outstanding reputation (since 1966) and I explained him my plans. He spoke only little English and I even less French, but we managed to communicate somehow. Although it originally was my intention to try to reach Timia without a guide, Moussa said it would be harder than I expected with my few words French, the lack of private transportation, accommodation and supplies. Moreover he said it was not even permitted for tourists to go there without a local guide and special permission from local authorities (but I didn't verify if this is true).
Next morning I revisited Moussa's difficult to find house in the maze of alleys of the Agadez' Vieux Quartier. He had found out that soon a truck would leave to a place called Tabelot, some 180 km. from Agadez and 50 km. from Timia, situated at the foot of Nigers highest mountain range (highest peak 2022m.). "There", he said, "I have friend with camel". After two or three days by camel we were supposed to reach Timia. Then, we had to be just lucky to find transportation back to Agadez along the main piste. But he expected that many people from Timia wanted to attend the festival in Ingall too, and so he expected a truck to depart. Still, it would be very uncertain if I could reach the festival in time.
We discussed the price and agreed on 20.000cfa (EUR 30) /day everything included. For both of us a good deal I thought. Together we went to the market to order a tailor made desert outfit for me (complete from 8000cfa), to buy a prayer annex sleeping mat (2000cfa) and gifts like tea and medicines for people we would meet on the way (2000cfa). The outfit would be ready tomorrow by noon. Moussa expected the truck to leave later in the afternoon.
On Friday morning at 10am, Moussa came to find me in Hotel Agreboun. "Hurry", he said, "truck go, come to my house after 1 hour!". All right!! I packed some stuff, checked out and jumped on the back of a mototaxi that Moussa had arranged to wait for me. By the time I reached his house he was already there. The desert outfit was ready and the permits supplied. The mototaxi drove me to the Tabelot lorry park at the edge of Agadez, while Moussa did the trip several times transporting our supplies for at least 5 days in stages.
A full loaded converted French army vehicle with heavy bags of onions on the back was just emptied. Strong men dropped the big bags here, and loaded the truck again with barrels of petrol and supplies for the rural markets. After 3 hours of waiting we left. Moussa had spent extra money to buy the cabin seats, while some 6 other passengers and 3 truck assistants were suffering in the open back. We were on our way to another adventure?!
Eventually the itinerary turned out to be:
5 hours by truck from Agadez, bush camp;
5 hours by truck to village just before Tabelot;
4 hours by camel, bushcamp
11 hours by camel to Timia, homestay
Day 4 and 5:
Morning in Timia
4 hours by Toyota 4WD with German tour group, bushcamp;
8 hours by Toyoto 4WD with German tour group to Agadez.
But still, I was so happy to have the ride. Late in the afternoon we reached Agadez. Next day I left for Ingall, where... more travel advice
We drove for 4 dusty, bumpy and hot hours and it was hard for me to imagine how this could be fun for 5 or more days,... more travel advice
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