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.
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.
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.
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!