Back at the desk, I see Aharhar now. Never been up there but came down the rocky piste from the '1560 junction' off the main road in late 2002 (also in 89). Ended up near Tazat. Didn't 'know' about Afara then - should have had a look around.
2002 I also followed the owed that runs north of Amrar coming in from the main road to the east, but I turned north for Oued Samene. It's possible there was a junction which also lead south to Amrar valley, so coming up via Amrar (assuming it's possible) you could then turn east along this piste and join the highway just below the big Inhadja Kli switchbacks.
Following the easy track and heading up towards Oued Samene watershed that time, I got far enough (this point - the house icon
) to establish then (this was pre Google maps) that there was a rideable track from the watershed vicinity. We were planning to moto down Oued Samane from the north on Desert Riders
a few months later.
The other month I was looking again at this area on Google and found the Oued Ifernikene track you mention. You could say it's a continuation of a track that I know people have done, coming from Imirhou (or Tarat) along Oued Edefil, east side of the road. And if Imirhou is open then why not, but I get the feeling since Libya changed, this whole area is a bit hot. It occurred to me that should Libyan arms smugglers get round Tarat (army base in view of Libya border), they could follow the piste to Imirhou, Edefil, over the road for Ifernikene and from Tamadjert and out onto the plains - one of the few back ways through the Tassili N'Ajjer AFAIK.
It is notable that there are no tracks visible up Oued Samene. From our small experience riding it (a few km), it would be extremely hard work if not impossible in a car - boulders or very fine river sand. We also suspected from maps at the time (and now from sat) that there is a cliff face right on the watershed (somewhere here
) high enough to stop vehicles - although you could maybe get round it on the plateau either side. All way too 'Camel Trophy' for me.
A good place to ask is Wüstenschiff • Forum anzeigen - Maghrebstaaten und Nordafrika
All the old Alg pros are there.
Reply to Jim:
Sorry to have to tell you the 2004 Sahara book is fast becoming a remembrance of things past.
Or is it so rare it is always independently organized?
Yes, AFAIK. I last did one there in 2008
and don't know of anyone doing them now - maybe in Europe.
SW Libya is surely off limits right now. No news from the south does not mean good news. Tourists visas are now only for fly-ins at the airport, and even the coast transit seems a bit of a rat run. That is all they allow atm.
Make your plans in Alg, notwithstanding the restrictions of closed areas. I get a feeling they are not so rigid and once you're in there (with a suitable guide) you can feel out to the edges.