"Tassili N'Ajjer National Park" Tassili n'Ajjer National Park by JLBG

Tassili n'Ajjer National Park Travel Guide: 148 reviews and 151 photos

I strongly advise visitors of this page to follow author's order. I have arranged almost all my tips under "things to do" in a chronological way that follows our camel trek.

This trek in the Tassili was organized by a small travel agency managed by several mountain guides from France that had chosen to live half of the year in the Sahara (Hoggar and Tassili) with the Tuaregs and like the Tuaregs.

This trek was performed in 1974 but almost everything I have written and shown on this page is still valid. I have updated the few information that was outdated.

For this trek, we were 6 friends in a group of 9 travelers, lead by Pierre, our French guide, fed by Ali, the local cook and 4 cameleers were in charge of the transport. Each cameleer took care of his own camels (“imnas”). There were around 15 camels for riding (tarik) and 5 camels for the luggage (“amagagou”). Pierre owned his own camel.

Each evening the amagagou were unloaded. Each of us could then get his bag (limited to 10 kg). The collective bags contained food, cooking devices, the polyurethane foam mattresses, tents in case of bad weather (we never used them during this trip). At the bivouac, bags were arranged as a circle to make the “dining room”. During dinner, we sat on the sand and the half empty bags were used as backs to lean against.

While Ali cooked dinner, each of us took one 2.5 cm mattress (only one!) and chose where he would sleep. Some stayed close to the “dining room", other went further, trying to stay away from anyone that would snooze!

At dinner, though only 7-8 PM, the night was already dark and a 9 PM, everybody was in his sleeping bag, sleeping or watching the stars.

Tassili N'Ajjer is a mountain range in the Sahara desert in southeast Algeria. It is also called “Tassili du Hoggar” or “Tassili des Ajjers” or only “Tassili” though the word means “plateau” in Arab. It is a 50-60 km wide strip that stretches almost 800 km long, North to South, in the middle of the Sahara. It is a sandstone high plateau (mean elevation, 1,000m). Erosion has carved it deeply, giving birth to a special type of landscape with narrow canyons and pinnacles and needles standing among sand, looking almost like the ruins of an ancient city. This has fed the legend of lost cities hidden in this labyrinth, such as the famous novel “l’Atlantide”, written by Pierre BENOIT.

Tuaregs of the Kel Ajjer band inhabit the massif. Thousands of rock paintings and rock carvings dating from the Neolithic have been discovered under rock shelters. In order to protect these jewels of mankind from improper behavior and theft it is now a National Park, the "Parc National du Tassili". It is run by the ONPT (Office National du Parc du Tassili)

  • Last visit to Tassili n'Ajjer National Park: Apr 1974
  • Intro Updated May 1, 2006
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Reviews (148)

Comments (23)

  • Paris92's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Love these pages! Congrats on your Barney nomination!

  • grets's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2010 at 3:46 AM

    Great stories from the desert Jean-Louis, I can't wait to go there in April. It's been on my wish list for as long as I can remember.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    What an adventruesome experience to have seen so many cultural things and the desert can hold treachery. Nice pictures and comments

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Jean-Louis. I enjoyed reading about your camel trek. What a thrill and learning experience. I am surprised the poisoned camel's meat was not tainted as well. Lucky for you.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    What an absolutely wonderful adventure. Those rock paintings are fantastic. This is a wonderful learning experience you shared with us. I learned a lot. Excellent page!

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    Enjoyed reading some of your Tassili pics - sheep that grazed no more and the cow painting ...and then human paintings...are amazing...very nice adventure! Awesome trip, Norman :)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    ha ha I love yr tips on how to get ahead of the group for photos!this is how I am when Im having to travel with someone else or a group-they always get in the way!but what a fantastic experience youve had here&such effort to pass it on to us!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2006 at 4:10 PM

    Jean-Louis, I am speechless! I would nominate this page for No1 on VT! Fantastic pictures and descriptions. I've got to know a lot about Sahara. Well, I was riding a camel only some 1 hour in Tunisia once.

  • tini58de's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2006 at 12:15 AM

    Amazing!!! I will enjoy this trip report step by step - and I just started today! Thanks for a fantastic report, Jean-Louis!!! - Continued: I love those rock paintings and especially the carvings! Awesome!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2006 at 7:22 AM

    What an amazing trek! I enjoyed what I've read so far...the cave paintings were magnificent!


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