"Tamanrasset and The Southern Algerian Desert" Tamanrasset by janiebaxter

Tamanrasset Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 63 photos

Spectacular Desert Scenery

I have been to the desert in a few countries on previous trips, but never felt I had truly experienced it, and after a trip to Algiers (more about that in pages to come) in March where I met Redha, the perfect guide and travelling buddy, I decided it had to be done this year.
After a small setback with the Algerian Embassy not authorising my visa in time for my departure date, I finally left the UK on 31st May.
I flew to Algiers then down to Tamanrasset, which is 2000km South and two and a half hours from Algiers. For some reason which I could never really get to the bottom of, all the internal flights within Algeria are at silly o’clock!
Our desert trip took us North from Tamanrasset and slightly West in a 700km round trip to Mertoutek and the Tefedest Mountains I was told it would be very hot at this time of year - over 40 degrees, but down to only 10 or 15 at night.
The “Ahaggar” Region is the size of France and is mostly desert, but the landscape is very varied and includes savanna with Acacia and Tamarisk trees, enormous rocks, mountains and of course the vast “erg” or sand sea areas. The language in Tamanrasset is Tamahak , with French and Arabic also spoken. I couldn’t find any written information in English about places I visited, so had to rely on what I was told in each place.

Sleeping under the Stars

We had no tents, and everything for our trip had to fit in our Toyota. We slept under the stars on mats in the sand, cooked dinner on the fire after we had collected the firewood and enjoyed the peace, scenery and the atmosphere of this beautiful desert.
I have never seen such an amazingly beautiful landscape as this area. The scenery changes all the time from Savannah to sand dunes to huge mountains. The camera cannot do it justice
I wore the chech, traditional head cover, which is the best protection from the sun when exploring the sand dunes.

Nomads and Camels

As well as looking at the prehistoric rock art of the area, which dates back 12000 years, we met a few nomads and stayed in the Tuareg Oasis village of Mertoutek, where we were made very welcome.
We also came across a family of Nomadic Tuaregs and we spent some time with them in their temporary camp

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Quiet, few tourists, amazing desert scenery
  • Cons:none
  • Last visit to Tamanrasset: Jun 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 31, 2007
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Reviews (11)

Comments (7)

  • rdney99's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Really fascinating pages !! I've never heard of anyone traveling to Algeria for a holiday before- hope you were totally safe. I'm sure its a beautiful country anyway!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    This sounds like a beautiful region to experience a real desert and even sleep under the stars. Fine photos and descriptions!

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2009 at 2:15 AM

    Janie this is a nice page about the desert area and Toureg culture. Love the necklace. I agree that sleeping outdoors in the desert is a great experience. Lovely photos.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    Useful tips on how to travel in desert places. Cheers, SL :)

  • tafa2009's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    I wish that you enjoyed, mint tea Jane ! The Touareg tea is very strong !

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2007 at 6:55 AM

    Very interesting page of a very interesting place! Happy birthday from Finland!

  • Oct 4, 2007 at 9:18 AM



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