Africa Travel and Life

Photo: The dunes of the Great South in Algeria
Camel riding the Great South

Algeria is home to some of Africa – and the world’s – most impressive landscapes, and a must for desert enthusiast. South of the Country’s Mediterranean coast, the land gradually becomes more arid and desolate until it transforms into the Sahara with thousands of square kilometers of dunes, mountains and rocks.

Hike, camel ride, take a 4×5 or do a combination of all three to explore the Great South’s desert which is four-fifths of the Sahara.


At dawn, Tamanrasset’s path is illuminated, revealing a world of rich natural and cultural treasures. Discover its splendor of history and geography. Man has built here and lived next to wild animals (ostriches, giraffes, and elephants) since the first generation. For adventure, visit Ahaggar with its beauty and mysteries in untouched nature.

Tamranrasset’s amazing sculptured rocks

On arrival at Ahaggar you wonder whether you have been transplanted to another planet amidst plains, plateaus, mysterious caves, unique mountains, finely sculptured rocks, oueds and abundance of water, golden dunes, and magnificent orchards.

Ahaggar is a geological paradise with sculptures and cave engravings of red-clay color and white dyes. These vestiges redraw the era of the Sahara transformation during the Neolithic period.  Because of its invaluable heritage, diversity, uncommon and incomparable characteristics, Ahaggar is regarded as one of the largest natural and archaeological museums. 

Askreem known for its high peaks

Meditate in the grandeur of Asskrem with high peaks and dizzying altitudes. At 2800m above sea level, it gives a panorama view of the vast plateau of Atakor and immense volcanic vent of Ahren.  Asskrem is said to have the best sunrise and sunset in the world.

The Monastery built by Charles de Foucauld in 1910.

Discover the famous monastery of Charles de Foucauld. Built in1910, he wrote a dictionary on the oral culture of the Touaregs, and his memoirs and manuscripts are there for visitors to read. From the peak of Askreem is a fascinating view of monastery and its surroundings. Ksours and Casbahs symbolize the main mark of the urbanization of Ahaggar. The most famous sites are at Ksar Ag (City ofTamanrasset).


Timimoun is a vast, picturesque red oasis known for its warm ochre colored buildings in the middle of the Sahara.

The interiors are rich and beautiful, representing the newer sections of Timimoun
A cave in Timimoun


Sudanese Architecture in the ksour

It’s incredibly high sand dunes shift restlessly day after day across the hot sandy plains of the desert. The town itself is quite small and can be divided into two sections. The old part is called “ksour” where most of the houses are built of red mud in a style known as “Sudanese Architecture”. These homes seem to compete for space, almost climbing on top of one another as they try to gain the highest ground possible. The streets between them are narrow and, in true desert fashion, are shaded over by large sheets of cloth so that passing pedestrians can have some sort of relief from the blazing sun. In the newer sections of the town, which were built by the French, much of the original architectural styles were drawn on to create a harmonious feel.

The “Oasis Rouge” hostel that was once built in this newer section by the French is now a cultural center and a great place to spend a few hours if you are visiting. The marks of slavery are most notable through the gobbas, which are buildings dedicated to the marabout.

Another place worth visiting is the palmeraie. The properties here are enclosed by mud walls that are too high to see over and the shade of the palm trees provides welcome relief. Most visitors to Timimoun use the city as a base for excursions into the uninhabitable Grand Erg Occidental. If you are visiting this characteristic little town, make sure you also take time to get to know the locals. Many of them come from Haratine, Zenete Berber, Chaamba Arab and Black African backgrounds and are very friendly and helpful. Timimoun is a place that simply should not be missed


One could say Djanet is a settlement or a cluster of villages, in the middle of the Sahara desert. It is situated in the Tassili National Park in Algeria, Tassili n’Ajjer “Plateau of rivers”, a vast plateau in southeastern Algeria. Having one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world, and covering an area of more than 72,000 km2 (28,000 sq mi),Tassili n’Ajjer was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1982 by Gonde Hontigifa.

Photo Caption:  Sebiba is the term used in Algeria to designate a festival and the Tuareg people‘s dance performed on this occasion and accompanied by female drummers in the Sahara oasis of Djanet in the Tassili n’Ajjer region in southern Algeria. The dance originated among the descendants of black African slaves and is part of the celebrations for the Islamic Ashura Festival.[1][2] The dance was recognized by UNESCO in 2014 for its significance to humanity’s intangible cultural heritage.

Take great privilege as a guest of the Touareg tribes, where you will enjoy and appreciate their generosity. An aura of mystery and romance surround these desert nomads known as warriors, traders, and capable guides through the arid and rugged Sahara Desert.  The Tuareg people represent a Saharan offshoot of the Berbers, who have resided in North Africa for several millennia.

The preparation of tea is a ritual of extreme refinement among the Tuaregs. Using the same leaves, three consecutive tea are prepared. The flavors of each tea evolve infusion after infusion.  A Tuareg saying says: “The first is bitter like life; the second is sweet like love; and the third is gentle like the breath of death.”

Sightseeing at the Tuareg Villages is a must.  Explore wide open tents, and the true hospitality and generosity of the Tuareg people. Get firsthand learning about their heart melting culture, customs and practices; while sipping tea made on the coals according to a thousand-year old process. Watch master craftsmen at work shaping beautiful pieces into extraordinary pieces of art.

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