Places to go I. Ennedi region, Chad

Although for me it’s a pleasure to share my adventures, I understand that the blog cannot be all about me. And as I never stop on searching for nice places to go, I thought it could be nice to talk about some spots maybe you would like to know. And the first one is a somewhere that always has been on my list.

Ennedi location in Tchad

Ennedi location

Northwest of Chad there’s a place where the sand meets the rocks, some water raise up from the underground and it all meets to build unbelievable shapes. The region is famous for its natural stone arcs, its petroglyphs and the beauty of Guelta d’Archei, one of the lasts places where Nile crocodiles can be found inside the Sahara.

Most of the people from the region are Toubou people, who speak the Saharan languages Teda and Daza. Their muslim religion guarantees to be warmly welcomed.

If the region was more accessible, for sure it would be one of the most visited places on Earth. But some circumstances make it very difficult to reach. The first one is its isolation. It takes four or five days to travel from N’Djamena, the Chad capital, to Fada, the biggest town around there. And after that, it will not be easy to get to places we want to go.

The political situation can also be a handicap.  After the 2008 conflict, there are no serious problems in the region, but things can change quickly. The southern  part of the  border with Sudan, full of Refugee Camps from the Darfur war, should be avoided, as well as the Libyan border, were land mines remain. But this is not a trouble if we don’t go there. The main problem you can find going to Ennedi from N’Djamena is to be robbed on the road, that can happen sometimes, but not very often. Believe, around the world people is kind, helpful and polite,  so don’t pay much attention to those apocalyptic internet reviews.

Five arch rock, Ennedi region, Tchad

Five arch rock, Ennedi region, Tchad

The most famous thing from the Ennedi range are the natural stone arcs. They are big, photogenic and there are a lot of them. You can check on naturalarches.org for more arches, their location and description.

Guelta Archei

Guelta d'Archei

The next thing to mention from the Ennedi is the Guelta d’Archei. Guelta is a local word for “wetland”. As in other spots around the Sahara Desert, the underground water meets a land depression and it comes to the surface, forming what we would call an oasis. The most beautiful part of the Guelta is a gorge filled with natural water where for centuries have been a place to stop for camel caravans attempting to cross the Sahara Desert.

Around the rocks of the region can also be found some petroglyphs and graveyards from the Pastoral Period (7500 – 4000 year BC) and the Dromedary (Camel) Period (0 – 1700 years AD), the first ones made when the region was a green land with rivers and animals around.

Although it can be difficult and expensive to reach, I would like to encourage you to discover the far desert sands of the Ennedi. You’ll have images, memories and experiences that hardly anyone else will have, you will find people happy to meet foreigners and ¡hey! not everyone can say they have been in the very middle of the Sahara Desert!

And to help you to decide, here it comes some photos. Have fun!

Rock in the Ennedi Desert

Rock in Ennedi

Aloba Big Arch

Grand Arche d'Aloba

Rock in Ennedi Desert

Another rock in the desert

Petroglyphs on Ennedi

On some rocks you can see old petroglyphs. Look for them!

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Categories: Africa, Chad, Places to go, Sahara, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Places to go I. Ennedi region, Chad

  1. How old are those petroglyphs? I’ve never heard that word before, so you’ve taught me something new! Tchad or “Chad” isn’t on my bucket list of countries, but your pictures certainly make a strong case for the country!

    • aixecantelpolze

      There’s not many info about these petroglyphs. I’ve only read that there are some from the Pastoral Period and some from the Camel Period, as it’s said on the post, and the info was not easy to find. Thanks for read and enjoy!

  2. looks really fantastic, but aren’t you frightened of Al Quaida there??
    Peace and have a nice travel!
    xandi
    PS: Great blog design!!!

    • aixecantelpolze

      Well, it’s well known that Al Qaeda is in the Sahara, and although maybe (I think) is more powerful in Mali and Mauritania, it’s also present in Chad. The danger is always there, but it’s different if we travel in a caravan than if we try to travel with local people. When we hire a 5 jeep caravan, everybody knows it, and thiefs or even terrorists can prepare and act. The locals also travel inside their country, so I recomend you to travel with them, speak and get info from their knowledge.

  3. This photos looks unreal! Super )

  4. Gracies per visitar el meu Bloc “Voltar i Voltar”

    La versió Uyghur del Laghman era exquisida. He estat buscant els components i la base son espaguetis sense formatge parmesà i fets a ma. Els ingredients son carn de Xai (o vedella), espaguetis crus (frescos), forces alls, molta ceba, pebrots verds suaus, tomàquets a dojo, oli, aigua calenta, sal, gingebre….. com vols que no surti bo ??? impossible !!!.

    Gracies per les felicitacions del Bloc.

    He estar mirant el teu : THOUGH THE WIND SLOPER…. que segons el traductor de Google vol dir quelcom semblant a “A través del pendent del vent cada viatger troba el seu camí”….. te unes fotos increïblement maques i m’han vingut ganes de conèixer el CHAD. No te la possibilitat de traducció automàtica ?

    Estarem en contacte.

  5. This info is priceless. Where can I find out more?

    • Well, info about this place is quite difficult to find. Chad was a french colony, and most of the Sahara people know to speak french, so many websites are in this language. I suppose you can find also some French guidebooks about the Sahara, but I don’t know. The info is there, lost between lots of unuseful websites, so it will be difficult to find.

  6. thanks for following! I JUST got back from two weeks in N’Djamena, Chad & it’s changed my life. Can’t WAIT to get back there someday soon with my family. I didn’t make it up to the desert, but the city was phenomenal (by “phenomenal” I don’t mean one of those destinations that anyone would actually want to go to!)

    nice work on the photos. unreal. look forward to reading more of your travels.

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