Wilaya de Djelfa Off The Beaten Path Tips by JLBG
Wilaya de Djelfa Off The Beaten Path: 11 reviews and 31 photos
Time to leave!
We stayed may be half an hour but we had to drive back to Algiers to take the ferry and go back home! We could not stay any longer. Before leaving the camp, we gave them gifts, mainly clothes and also samples of perfume and note books for the children.
More Ouled Nail women
Once they understood that we were harmless foreign visitors and not officers coming from the capital for some unknown (but always scary!) reason, they invited us to come into the tent and sit on the ground with them. The oldest prepared mint tea for everybody.
Ouled Nail women
Ouled Nail women are famous as belly dancers and because they have always been unveiled, as you can see on the photos. At first, they were surprised, the children hided themselves inside the tent and only a few women stayed at the entrance of the tent, not really knowing what to do!
Who are those visitors?
There were only women and children in the camp and they were for sure surprised to see a group of 12 walking towards them! May be that if we had been all male adults they would have been scared and even would have told us to go away! But we were 2 males, 4 women and 6 children between 10 and 15. On other opportunities, we had found that to have children always made the contact much easier with locals.
Ouled Nail tents!
The fabric of the tents had wide red strips, which meant that they belonged to the Ouled Nail tribe. The Ouled Nail is a large tribe divided into several bands. Each band has a special feature for the stripes of the tent but I am unable to tell if the one we visited were Ouled Sidi Ahmed, Ouled Amer, Ouled Derradj or else!
Nomads’ tents far away!
Along the road, always at some distance, there appears from time to time a group of tents inhabited by nomads that live on the Hauts Plateaux . On one of our travels, when we were in three cars and altogether 12, one of us proposed to pay a visit to a tent.
Camels with a mahmal
I was lucky to get closer to one part of the caravan. Some camels were loaded with what is called a mahmal or hawdaj, a kind of palanquin. It is a special saddle that is fit on the camel’s back. It is made with strong oleander branches fitted to make a chamber. Once fabric is adjusted on the frame, it makes a chamber in which a woman can travel while hidden from any sight. The color of the fabric, with red stripes tells that these people are from the Ouled Naïl tribe.
Camels on the horizon!
A little further, we spotted a small caravan on the horizon. They seemed to ride across the landscape and thus should cross the road. That was worth waiting to see them from closer! They were actually more than expected and there were two dozens of camels. Some had a strange load on their back but they were too far away to identify what it was (third and fourth photo)
We had brought with us old garments that could still be worn. While the shepherd was going to ride back to his flock, he was more than happy to collect a thick jacket that we handed him (first photo).
He was all wrapped in several layers of fabric but there seemed to be a mysterious bump moving behind his waist. We asked him and he showed (enlarge the second photo) that he had a newly born lamb that he protected from the freezing wind!
Good by !(last photo).
Shepherd riding a donkey
The flock remained at some distance with a young boy but one man, riding a donkey came towards us, to say “hello, you are welcome”. He was clad in a whitish djellabah and had a cheich wrapped around his head. He was happy that we gave him a cigarette.
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