ride) in the Aïr Mountains (12 or 14 days)
small groups will enjoy
Agadez - Azel - Dabaga
Leaving Agadez in 4WD vehicles, we follow
the Telwa Oued through Azel, a charming village of settled Tuareg farmers and
herdsmen. 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.
Anou Mekkerene - Tchintoulous
- vallée du Zagado - Kogo
The track zigzags through small, chaotic valleys,
crosses the Anou Mekkerene Oued and follows the Zilâlet to Tchintoulous,
a village nestled at the foot of the haughty Aguerâguer.
Watch for gazelles in the Zagado Valley as we travel on to Kogo.
The trek starts from the nomadic campground of Kogo, under the
guidance of Tuareg camelherds.
An ever-widening valley leads us to the desert shore along a path skirting huge
marble mountains. At Takarit, we start climbing toward Tchi-n-Taboûrak
for a magical birds eye view on Arakao, a claw-shaped crater that gathers
the desert sand through a large breach in its wall. Below our perch, dark, jagged
rock frames the gold crescent of a giant dune. An unforgettable night under
the desert stars awaits you there.
We leave Arakao through its desert door, making our way through
high sand ridges. After crossing the Issaouane Oued, we ride on to Lerouana.
On all sides, giant dunes crest above our heads. We must climb several sand
ridges to reach Adrar Chiriet, one of the most magnificent sites of the Sahara.
Multicolored dunes rush up against this dark volcanic outcrop fantastically
eroded by blowing sand.
We travel on to golden-brown Izane and spot from afar the blue and white marble
mountains of Illekane. The giant 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. Marble walls bar the way ahead, forcing us take a
roundabout path; the colors of the cliffs change, gazelles sprint away at our
approach. At midday, we eat and rest in the merciful shadow of a tree.
The ride ends in Kogo, where our vehicles and drivers are waiting for us. The
last part of the trip is done by car.
Kogo - Zagado - Assodé
The wonderful Zagado Valley leads us back
to the Aïr Mountains.
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
We take the Agadez road right after passing through Kreb-Kreb;
gazelles sometime use it too. Our path skirts rock outcrops, crosses oueds,
passes traditional wells where Tuareg nomads gather with their livestock. Elméki,
Dabaga, Azel mark the return journey to Agadez.
PRICE for the 14-day full-board with cook tour from Agadez
for a party of - 1= 3200 Euros (21.000 FF)
- 2 =1750 Euros (11.500 FF) per person
- 3 = 1265 Euros (8.300 FF) "
- 4 = 1020 Euros (6.700 FF) "
- 5 = 1170 Euros (7.700 FF) (with 2 4WD vehicles)
- 6 = 1020 Euros (6.700 FF) " "
- 7 or more = 885 Euros (5.800 FF) per person
PRICE for the 12-day full-board with cook
tour from Agadez for a party of
Prices include: * 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
* food and lodging in Agadez
* airplane tickets and airport taxes
* travel insurance (last-minute cancellation, lost luggage, emergency return
for health reasons)
NOTE: these prices apply to the 2002/2003 season, save for an abnormal rise
in local prices.
DESERT TRAVEL IS NEVER DULL. EXPECT