TÉNÉRÉ TOUR in 7 or 8 DAYS by ARBRE DU TÉNÉRÉ
Agadez - Tiguidit - arbre
The Tiguidit Cliffs bear rock paintings from prehistoric
cultures who vanished several thousand years ago; with the pre-islamic tombs
and petrified tree trunks discovered in the same area, they powerfully evoke
a very ancient past.
To avoid sinking into the soft sand, drivers let air out of the vehicles
tires as soon as the ridges of the Ténéré Erg are in sight,
long before you reach Arbre du Ténéré. The first giant
dunes raise their proud profile against the sky just beyond this historic site.
Arbre du Ténéré
- Areschima sud - Arakao
Heading north, the road zigzags among trackless dunes; as the 4WDs wind their
way around the huge sand hills, leaving faint tire marks that vanish with the
first breeze, travellers feel as lost as in the middle of an uncharted sea.
To the left, the massive Takolokouzet challenges the dunes march toward
the western horizon. At the junction between sand and rock lies a ten-kilometer-wide
crater shaped like a crab claw: Arakao. Through a gaping wound in its side,
a gigantic dune leads the deserts assault against the proud mountain.
Illekane - Izane - Adrar
In every direction, sand waves roll toward the horizon,
sometimes crashing against islands of blue and white marble. Gold, silver and
pink dunes nurture delicate flowers and capture light tracks that hint of a
secret life amazingly well adapted to its harsh environment.
The multicolored Ifiniyane Dunes rush up against Adrar Chiriet, a dark volcanic
outcrop fantastically eroded by blowing sand.
Puits de Tezirzek - dunes
Near Tezirzek Well, a hill covered with rock paintings
evokes the rich fauna that roamed the Ténéré when the desert
still bloomed. All those species have disappeared, along with the cultures whose
life depended on them.
Almost completely blocked by sand, the tricky Temet Pass leads to the highest
dunes of the Ténéré, of the whole world, perhaps: forbidding
sand walls more than 300 meters high in places. Mount Gréboun towers
another thousand meters above them.
Temet - Iférouane
After this journey to the kingdom of sand and silence,
we reenter the world of the living through Iférouane. This rather large
lowland oasis is dotted with well-tended, shadowy gardens; there we meet traditional
metalsmiths and craftsmen.
Assodé - Timia
Tales of the flourishing past of'Assodé abound. The ancient
capital of the Aïr is now a ghost town where only a few walls still stand,
but pottery shards strewn all over the site testify to its once thriving economy.
Bright green against the ochre expanse of sand, the Timia oasis
offers a striking contrast to the somber lava range that surrounds it. Kel Oui
farmers still water their gardens with the wooden pulleys used by their ancestors.
They raise corn, wheat, a wide variety of vegetables, even grapes.
Downstream from Timia, a lovely waterfall cascades through a
series of basins toward the guelta.
Elméki - Dabaga
- Azel - Agadez
Arid moonscapes and emerald-green oasis, volcanic
pillars and well-tended gardens, light-footed gazelles and flowering acacia
trees: on this stretch of track, contrasts and surprises abound, to the unending
delight of the traveller. In Elméki, Tuaregs still extract tin from ancient
cassiterite mines. The road to Agadez goes through Azel, a charming village
of settled Tuareg farmers and herdsmen
PRICE per person for a group of 7 or more starting from
- 8 days = 640 Euros (4.200 FF) per person
- 7 days = 565 Euros (3.700 FF) "
- 6 days = 520 Euros (3.400 FF) " (Temet Pass excluded)
* 4WD vehicles and fuel
* drivers, guide and cook
* full board, cookware, tableware and one foam mattress per person
* local taxes and route approval (required for desert travel)
Prices do not include:
* drinks and personal expenses
* plane tickets and airport taxes
* food and lodging in Agadez
* travel insurance (trip cancellation, lost luggage, emergency return for health
NOTE: these prices apply to the 2001/2002 season, save for an abnormal rise
in local prices.
DESERT TRAVEL IS NEVER DULL. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED