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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Zangskar Valley, India



Trans Sahara Routes.

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  #1  
Old 17 Aug 2011
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Camel trek tips?

Hi
Looking for a 7-10 day trek on foot with camel to experience the Sahara. This winter. Does anyone have some top tips? Where to go, for example Tamanrasset in Algeria sounds like an interesting area. And any contacts for hiring a guide with camels locally. Nearest been to Sahara before is somewhere in Morocco beyond Ouarzazate, by bus.
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  #2  
Old 17 Aug 2011
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Fly to Djanet, take a hike on the plateu with some chummy touaregs and you will have a jolly good time in the best of Sahara.
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  #3  
Old 17 Aug 2011
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thanks priffe
the tassili n'ajjer looks well nice
i will take your advice.
can you tell me how to find a good guide? what is a reasonable cost for guide?
stan
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  #4  
Old 17 Aug 2011
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I think south Alg is a great choice for camel trekking - it's the real thing, nothing like the 'blue cheche' scene in Morocco or Tunisia. Mori would be my other choice, though never done it there.

As far as I know the tassili n'ajjer plateau is not accessible to pack camels.
Tours use mules which can better manage the stiff climb at the beginning with full loads.

However you can certainly do camel treks west, along the base of the plateau to Essendilene, or out into Tadrat to the SE. Any local agency can lay on these regular itineraries, but you may be better off bringing a group.

Essendilene won't be totally satisfying IMO as you won't always be far from the road, but it is a beautiful area with cliffs and canyons to the north and Admer dunes to the south.

Other good areas include Tefedest (may try that next year), Immidir which I have got to know well (check the links at the bottom of this page). The good thing with Imi is that cars cannot follow; great to be away from pistes.
Hoggar/Assekrem I will be doing this winter though suspect it may be a bit stoney and grim. But it will be a fun way of getting to Assekrem.

If you want to try and DIY I can give you a contact for a Tam agency (speaks bad French only and very slow to reply though not all agencies even manage that much). I would say a week is a bit short. The 12-day Immidir walk is just right for a first timer, but once you get into this sort of travel, twice as long is better.

Alone I suspect you will pay at least €100 a day but I dont think it's something you can just organise by walking into an agency office in Tam. Very often the camels are miles out in the desert and so are the crew.

Normally the best way would have been to join a French agency who offered a whole range of routes in Alg last time I looked, but I think the French are excluded from Alg now by their govt - and that is what has really killed tourism there.

Ch

Last edited by Chris Scott; 19 Aug 2011 at 09:19.
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  #5  
Old 18 Aug 2011
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'ello again,
my touareg guide Abdellah (he is actually visiting here now in the far north of Europe!) replies:
"Oui les chameaux font-il le plateau du Tassili,
mais mieux en deux semaines, car le plateaux est un immonce endroit,
et pour une personne va lui cote cher, mieux en 3 ou 4 personnes ou plus,
pour que le prix sera moins cher"

So you should spend two weeks and bring some of your pals

Interesting with the inaccessibility of the Immidir plateau, that means that just like the n'Ajjer plateau it should be perfectly safe and peaceful, excellent for a camel trek.
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Old 18 Aug 2011
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Thanks priffe and Chris
A lot of really useful info there. Will get a group together and then decide what to do.
Cheers,
stan
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  #7  
Old 19 Aug 2011
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Chris I was wondering whether camels could really make it up to the plateau, thinking it would be to rocky, esp the climb at the start, for loaded camels. And I have only seen it done with donkey caravans.
But Abdellah reassured me they had done it many times. One week with donkeys or two weeks with camels. He sent this pic to prove it.

Here's an article from trekking with the Finns in Tassili n'Ajjer, in Finnish....but nice pics. Tuaregien vieraana - HS.fi - Kuukausiliite
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  #8  
Old 20 Aug 2011
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camels do make their way up & down from Tassili (have met some while there)
never heard of a camel trek for tourists to the region though
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  #9  
Old 22 Aug 2011
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I concur with moro - I'm sure it's possible to camel onto the plateau, perhaps via other passes, but all tours I've ever heard of use mules.

A nice book which includes cameling in the area is:
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DESERT OF ALL
Philippe Diole, 1959 scroll down

I've investigated following this route over the years but I get the impression the herbage on the plateau (for the camels) is not what it was in the 1950s.

Ch
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Old 22 Aug 2011
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Done a fantastic 12 day camel trip in Tefedest.Started just outside of Mertoutek and headed around Tefedest.I must say some of the nicest scenery I have seen in Algeria is in the Tefedest about 2 days outside of Mertoutek.

Could be an interesting route.Not sure if its still open ?
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Old 22 Aug 2011
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When was that then Daniel?
Did you go right up to Garet and back down the other side?
It's a lovely area for sure, well suited to camel trekking IMO.

Ch
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Old 22 Aug 2011
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Hi Chris

in 2008

As far as I can remember we passed Garet alright,but could be wrong as mountains are so similar out there. I know we definitely camped in the foothills of some fairly high peaks so it may have been Garet.

The route then looped back to Mertoutek passing a few small encampments along the way. I must try to remember the very small encampment we stopped at for a night with just two families in total.

I then took 4wd back to Assekrem /Tamanrasset via Hirhafok and Tazarouk.


We also came across a small camel train after leaving the Hoggar on the first leg of the route. Not sure where it was heading but it had about 6 camels in total and 3 cameleers.
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  #13  
Old 5 Sep 2011
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Thanks again, some useful tips. It looks like a choice between Tassili n'ajjer or camels. Might try out Immidir or Tefedest. What are nearest towns to these places? Can't find Immidir on map.
Cheers,
Stan
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  #14  
Old 6 Sep 2011
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Immidir

Hi Stan,
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanwild View Post
Can't find Immidir on map.
Immidir is to the NW from Tafedest. On some maps it is called "Djebel Mouydir".
Look here:
Google Images

Cheers,
Tomek
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