Tassili N'Ajjer National Park

Tassili N'Ajjer National Park

Tassili N'Ajjer National Park
4.5
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A vast plateau on the edge of the Sahara is famous for the 8,000 years old cave paintings.
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4.5
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Janev_Australia
Sydney, Australia889 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2012 • Couples
Tassili n;Ajjer National Park - Review of two tours with Bachir Touareg, Travel Guide of Djanet

Bachir Hafir, Touareg Trekking Guide

After hearing rave reviews about trekking in the Tassili n'Ajjer National Park (Tassili n'Ajjer, means ‘Plateau of the Rivers’ a mountain range in the Algerian section of the Sahara Desert and a UNESCO World Heritage Park in the south of Algeria (see: whc.unesco.org › Culture › World Heritage Centre › The List) from a Belgian friend, we decided to try and organise a private tour.

Finding an English speaking guide was quite a problem as naturally the languages spoken in this part of Algeria are Tamasheq, French and Arabic), so we searched on Lonely Planet Thorntree (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree) for an English speaking guide. This is where we found Bachir Hafach or he found us! After checking client references, we contacted Bachir and organised 2 two-week tours in late February – early March 2012. We had a choice of walking with donkeys, walking with camels or 4 x 4 (and walking) tours. We chose the walking with donkeys and the 4 x 4 and walking tours

After agreeing on routes and a quote, we applied for a visa from the Algerian Embassy in Canberra, Australia and after an anxious wait, we were granted tourist visas. To obtain the visas, we required copies of airline tickets into and out of Algeria, a copy of our tour itinerary and an invitation from Bachir who is a licensed guide. Bachir is well organised and a good communicator and organised these essential documents efficiently through regular emails. When we finally arrived at Djanet airport at 2 am in the morning, we were very pleased and relieved to see that Bachir was there to meet us. He then took us straight out to a camp site where a tent was ready for us. We slept until the morning when we started on our first trip.

The first 7 day tour was a ‘walking with donkeys’ tour from Djanet to Tamrit, Sefar and Jabberen – a distance of about 90 kilometres. This tour involved walking the reg or stony plateau region of the Tassili n’Ajjer National Park just out of Djanet. The features of this tour were dramatic weathered sandstone scenery, ancient trees – the rare Saharan cypress - Cupressus dupreziana, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_dupreziana) of which there are only 233 specimens left in the world arches and best of all, the most amazing ancient rock art.

The second 7 day tour was a 4 x 4 tour of the Tassili N’Ajjer National Park north of Djanet. This tour featured dramatic landscapes, ergs (sand dunes) and the most beautiful oases, bedecked with wildflowers including the lovely lavendula. We drove from place to place and walked between two and four hours a day. We visited Ihirir - a beautiful date palm oasis and village along a river gorge, Dider to see the rock engravings, the guelta (oasis) of Essendilen which, as it was spring, had an stunning profusion of wildflowers, followed by a visit to the sand dune (erg) at Admer, to Tikobawen which featured a very striking arch, then Tilallen and on the last night, we camped at Tehramiwen where there was a stunning sunset

These treks are the best holiday we have ever had. On the first trip, we had a team of two expert guides (Bachir and Liden), two equally expert donkey handlers (Moussa 1 and Moussa 2), and an excellent cook Boubaker. While walking, one guide walked in front of us and one behind, to ensure we had a safe footing on the difficult parts. The walking, while requiring a reasonable level of fitness, was not too onerous. In the second week, we had Moussa 1 and Bachir as guides and Boubaker as a cook. Boubaker is an excellent guitarist and singer and at night around the fire, sang Touareg songs, including a number of Tinawaren songs. We really enjoyed the music. The team was a happy one, made us very welcome and treated us with respect. good humour and with incredible hospitality.

The food consisted of breakfast (bread, jam, cheese, honey, tea or coffee), lunch (salad, bread, tinned fish or a cooked dish, followed by fruit), late afternoon tea of biscuits, peanuts and tea and dinner (a cooked dish, salad, bread, dates and tea and coffee). It was very nicely cooked and presented and there was plenty of it. Moussas 1 and 2 and Liden also proved to be very good taguella (Touareg bread) cooks.

At night, we slept in rock ‘bedrooms’ or alcoves, on foam mattresses in our sleeping bags. A tent was provided, but we preferred sleeping under the stars and moon which were incredibly beautiful.

We started walking about 9 in the morning, walked until lunch, had lunch and a rest for two hours and then continued walking. In the first week we walked about 90 kilometres. The walking was not strenuous and within the capability of any moderately fit person. The speed and distance is adjusted by the guides to the capabilities of their clients.

The combination of the astoundingly beautiful scenery, being in the desert, enjoying the intense quiet and the peace, the desert climate (warm and dry), the superb rock art, the wildflowers, the ancient trees, the excellent company and the good food and exercise combined to make this a superb experience. ‘J’adore’d’ everything!

We give this tour 10/10! It really was outstanding and an experience we will treasure and remember. It was an honour and privilege to trek in this amazing environment with such a truly excellent and capable team.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Written May 21, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

w0rldtraveling0
Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
This plateau, located in south-east Algeria, at the borders with Libya and Niger, is a UNESCO world heritage site of great interest for its geology and for its prehistoric art. Its eroded sandstones form a stunning rock forest, giving to the landscape a lunar aspect and its more than 15,000 drawings and engravings testify the evolution of human life and the climatic changes in this part of Sahara starting from 6000 BC. You can visit it only on foot and with a local guide but trekking on the Tassili N'Ajjer is a fantastic and unforgettable experience. To organize a trek from Djanet you can contact Mohammed Hassani (contact@tinariwen-tours.com).
Written April 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mona B
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
It was simply fabulous ! Would never forget the amazing landscapes and the hospitality of the Tuareg ! Amazing
Written September 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andrasz
London, United Kingdom563 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Family
These words are not mine, but a quote from Philippe Diolé (Jacques Cousteau's close associate), who wrote a book on his experiences while making a camel trek in the fifties. The plateau top is an amazing wonderland of eroded sandstone spires and canyons, hiding innumerable rock shelters which have been covered with paintings by the prehistoric inhabitants - thus the Tassili is also one of the greatest open-air museums of the world. The plateau top is only accessible on foot, with supporting pack donkeys, giving a sense of great remoteness and isolation. A trek on the Tassili is an unforgettable experience, suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
Written June 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

selyoink
Washington272 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Friends
Went on an 8 day tour of the tassili and tadrart. The landscapes were incredible and unique each day. Truly unforgettable
Written February 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mrc282
World8,922 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
the national park is located at the SE corner of algeria, in the sahara desert. it extends from NW of Djanet to SE of Djanet, with the majority of the arid landscape dominated by sandstones. it is a UNESCO heritage site and most popularly known as the largest open air museum for prehistoric rock art (painting and engravings)

most travelers to the park are fly-in visitors who join the multi-day tours led by Touareg agencies from Djanet. there are 3 standard circuits offered:
- Tadrart: Moul Naga (yellow dunes), Tin Merzouga (red dunes), Adjalati (black dunes)
- North Tassili: Erg Admer, Timghas, Tikoubauin, Essendilene Canyon, Iherir Oasis
- Tassili Plateau: Sefar

Tadrart and North Tassili can be done by 4x4 or hiking, but Tassili Plateau can only be accessed by hiking or donkey/camel ride. in my opinion, Tadrart has bigger and different colored dunes, offering the more classic desert experience; North Tassili has more cave shelters and waterscape; Tassili Plateau boasts the most beautiful rock arts.

price for tour is dependent on the number of travel days in the desert. in general, expect to pay around 120-160 (solo), 90-110 (2 pax), 65-85 (3 or 4 pax). all prices listed are in euros (or converted from dinars using parallel rate) and are expressed per person per day. standard inclusives are tent, mattress, meals, 4x4 vehicle, park fees, and a guide + a cook + a driver accompanying throughout the journey. extras are flights to/from Djanet and upgrades to hotel stay.

if on budget, it is also possible to visit the park on a 6 days trip for less than 70,000 dinar per person, inclusive of flights from Algiers. however, the compromise here is big group setting (10-15 pax).

at the time of writing, Nov 2023,
1 EUR = 1.10 USD
1 EUR = 147 DZD (official), 235 DZD (parallel)
1 USD = 135 DZD (official), 217 DZD (parallel)

having said all the above, i should point out that self-driving is also possible, with some caveats.
- realistically, this is only a feasible option for someone who owns a 4x4 vehicle in Algeria, Tunisia, or Europe (and with easy access to Marseille or Genoa car ferry)
- due to its proximity to neighboring countries and remote locale, the Tadrart region (SE) of the park, is subjected to more restrictions. there is a gendarmerie camp and control at the entrance of In Djaren pass, and occasionally, I was told, at the El Berj pass. It isnt clear to me whether the less commonly used Alidema pass receives the same scrutiny. in any case, you would need to use one of these three passes to enter the Tadrart region. all self-drivers i observed at the park had hired a Touareg guide to accompany them in the vehicle.
- there is no (consistent) gendarmerie control that i know of in the North Tassili region (NW) of the park. but as it is in Algeria, there may be various police checkpoints on the paved road connecting Djanet - Bordj el Haouas - Illizi

for best weather, i recommend visiting in Oct/Nov. Oct will be hotter and subject to some rain, but deserts will be lush for a brief moment after a rain fall. Nov weather will be more stable and happy medium for all. Dec/Jan will likely be cold, while Feb/Mar have higher risk for sandstorm. months apart from what are listed are too hot

happy planning
Written November 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Inappropriate Youtuber
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
I was on the Plateau last October 2019, I went there on a trip organized by the travel agency Immesoukal Voyages.

I had a Touareg team only for me : Hamid Housseyni, the guide, Khaled Hamdaoui, the cooker, Hadj Mohamed the donkey-driver and his son Achour.

Highly recommend you guys to visit Plateau of Tassili by trekking.
Written December 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Tassili N'Ajjer National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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