Tadrart Rouge

Tadrart Rouge, 7 days

Far away in the central Sahara, near the oasis town of Djanet, lies a piece of the most beautiful Sahara: the Tadrart Rouge, the red Tadrart. In the region, the traveller will see fantastic rock formations, towering mountain peaks and sand that has been piled up by the wind over the centuries into dunes dozens and even hundreds of metres high. And yes, the sand is very red in places!

This remote corner of the Sahara is now more accessible thanks to easier visa process, but you or your group will still have the Sahara almost entirely to yourselves. Desert tourism in Algeria is not mass tourism at least not yet. With expert Tuareg guides, you will see Tadrart Rouge and experience the friendliness and hospitality of Saharan people. If you travel in summer, you will also experience what the heat is like!

It is possible to tailor the trip to the length of your holiday (415 days), but in this proposal we visit Tadrart Rouge for seven days. If you are interested in a hiking holiday in the red landscapes of Tadrart Rouge, we can tailor-make a walking tour for you.

Day 1

Arrival by air in the desert tourism hub of Algeria, Djanet, in the south-eastern corner of the country. The Libyan border is close by, but it is nonetheless very peaceful in here. Many flights land late in the evening/night, so if you wish, we can take you to your first night in a hotel at the 3-star La Grotte des Ambassadeurs or similar. If, on the other hand, you want to continue directly from the flight to the desert, that's also possible.

Off-road vehicles are packed for our trip. Tents, food, drinks and other necessities are included. The trip will be made by a private car and a satellite phone will be included for emergencies, as there will be no phone coverage in Tadrart Rouge due to the fact that only occasional herders pass through the area. There are no permanent villages. We head towards Tadrart Rouge, visiting the acacia forest of Amaïs and the dark dunes of Adjalati. At this point, we have already left the paved road behind us and are driving along dirt and gravel roads. Overnight in the Tadrart Rouge area.

Day 2

Tadrart Rouge is part of the wider Tassili n'Ajjer mountain range and the national park that encompasses it. The national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The national park is known in particular for its picturesque rock formations, such as the natural arches, and for its prehistoric rock paintings and rock engravings. These can still be seen today, but unfortunately some of the rock art is much more recent. Our guides will do their best to show you mostly only authentic rock art from thousands of years ago. One site with rock art is called Wan Ahar (or Ouan Ahar).

We camp overnight at Moula Naga, where you can choose to conquer the huge dune and find that it's actually quite an arduous task.

Day 3

We enjoy a breakfast prepared by our Tuareg chef, then drive to Intifalghhagh to see the rock carvings. Well before sunset we arrive at Tin Merzouga. By this time the landscape has turned red and at Tin Merzouga we are greeted by red dunes, the highest of which are about 200 metres high. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and the scenery is even better if you can climb up to the top of one of the dunes. Climbing the sand dune's sometimes sinking ridge or wall is no easy task! From the top you can see all the way to Libya and especially at sunset or sunrise the view is magical. We camp at Tin Merzouga at the foot of the dunes, so if you wish, you can conquer one of the dunes the next morning and watch the sun rise over the Sahara.

Days 4

Today we see more dunes as well as amazing natural formations, such as the stone pillar known as the Coupe du monde. So it's the winner's trophy of the football World Cup! We will see and visit canyons and camp in In-Oksam.

Day 5

Today we say goodbye to Tadrart Rouge and its red sands. We drive to Tin Arassou for lunch, then continue back to Djanet. In the evening we drive to Timghas, west of the town.

Day 6

After breakfast, we drive to Essendilene Canyon, a kilometre-long canyon northwest of Djanet. It is one of the most famous and picturesque sites in Algeria. We will walk 3060-minute trip to the end of the canyon, where those who wish can take a dip in the refreshing guelta, a deep pool of water with year-round water. If you visit in spring, the bottom of the canyon is full of flowering shrubs. Essendilene is uninhabited, but you may still come across the occasional shepherd grazing his cattle here. For the evening, we drive to Tikobaouen, whose high and varied rock formations are reminiscent of Mars, or at least the Moon.

Day 7

After breakfast, we drive through picturesque scenery to Tegharghart, south of Djanet. We see shapes of cows carved into the rock 70008000 years ago. What makes the place special is that these long-horned cows have been interpreted as crying! The images date back to a time when the Sahara was a lush and bustling oasis of life and there may have been an animal watering hole in here.

In the evening we take you either to your hotel or to the airport.

General information about the tour

Price: inquire with us

The price of the trip includes:

  • Tent, mattress, blankets and pillow
  • All transfers (including airport transfers)
  • Flights AlgiersDjanetAlgiers
  • All entrance fees
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Own cook and all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Bottle water
  • Visa invitation letter
  • Hotel nights if you wish, or at least a shower before your return flight

Not included in the price:

  • Own sleeping bag
  • International flights
  • Visa (Visa on arrival for Sahara is free at Algiers airport)
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal expenses, such as souvenirs and tips

NOTE: The final price depends on whether there are one or 13 participants.The trip is done by car, so there are no fitness requirements. However, not everything is accessible by car and, for example, hiking to the end of the Essendilene canyon is a demanding task on a hot day, to say the least. We recommend packing light and choosing a soft suitcase. You should bring good shoes, such as sneakers or hiking boots, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, wet wipes, a torch and a powerbank, or preferably several if you like to take lots of photos. Warm clothing is also necessary in the evenings and at night in winter and well into spring.