AÏr Mountains 5 Day
- Duration: 5 Days (approx.)
- Product code: ntt-en-agadez-4
Agadez - Goûgaram - Iférouane - Tezirzek
Early in the morning, we leave Agadez in 4WD vehicles and take the road to Arlit.
Two hours later, the convoy turns east, crosses the Talak Plain and enters the Aïr at Goûgaram. The track winds around rocky outcrops, skirts low hills, crosses dried-out oueds whose tree-lined banks
provide the sole respite from the sun. At the foot of Mount Tamgak, stunningly green gardens surround the banco huts of Iférouane. We stop there to visit to the village’s metalsmiths and craftsmen.
Tezirzek Well - Izane - Illekane - Arakao
Near Tezirzek Well, a hill covered with rock paintings evokes the rich fauna that roamed the Ténéré when the desert still bloomed. All those species have disappeared, along with the cultures whose life depended on them. The track zigzags through high dunes along the Tezirzek Oued. Past Tchoum-Adegdeg Well, we follow the tree-lined Tchioulmas Oued to avoid the uncrossable Tebet Dunes.
North of Faris Well, the multicolored dunes of Izane bar the horizon across a wide plain. Islands of white and blue marble suddenly rise out of the sand : Illekane is in sight. Among the gold, silver and pink dunes, delicate flowers and animal tracks hint of a secret life amazingly well adapted to its harsh environment.
Crossing the Issaouane Oued — To reach Arakao, we must meet the challenge of giant dunes and move away from the massive Takolokouzet before we can come back to its base and enter the ten-kilometer-wide crater shaped like a crab claw.
Arakao gathers the Ténéré sand through a large breach in its high walls, forming a gigantic sand buttress against the Takolokouzet. An unforgettable night under the desert stars awaits you there.
Zagado Valley - Tchintoulous - Assodé
The Zagado Oued has given birth to an extraordinarily wide valley that we explore at leisure while driving upriver among marble mountains. Watch for gazelles in this area. Tuareg herdsmen also roam the valley where their livestock easily finds pasture. They are the builders of Tchintoulous, a village we encounter at the foot of Mount Aguerâguer, on the banks of the Zilâlet. This dried-out river leads us back to Assodé.
Tales of the flourishing past of Assodé abound. The ancient capital of the Aïr is now a ghost town where only a few walls still stand, but pottery shards strewn all over the site testify to its once thriving economy.
Timia - puits de Malletas
The road winds through small, chaotic valleys and crosses numerous oueds in an arid mountain landscape before reaching a sand-filled kori lined with gardens.
Bright green against the ochre expanse of sand, the Timia Oasis offers a striking contrast to the somber lava range that surrounds it. Kel Oui farmers still water their gardens with the wooden pulleys used by their ancestors. They raise corn, wheat, a wide variety of vegetables, even grapes.
Downstream from Timia, a lovely waterfall cascades through a series of basins toward the guelta.
After an arduous journey through a series of oueds along a mountain track, we finally reach Malletas well and sleep in the open near Guissat oued.
Elméki - Dabaga - Azel - Agadez
In Elméki, Tuaregs still extract tin from ancient cassiterite mines. Arid moonscapes and emerald-green oasis, volcanic pillars and well-tended gardens, light-footed gazelles and flowering acacia trees: on this
stretch of track, surprises and contrasts abound, to the unending delight of the traveller.
Following the Telwa oued, we go through Azel, a charming village of settled Tuareg farmers and herdsmen, before spotting on the horizon the tower of the Agadez mosque.
This is a seven-day full-board tour from Agadez. To secure the expedition and prepare properly and safely, all tourists must pay a deposit no later than 15 days in advance of the start of their trip. This deposit represents around 30% of the tour cost, and is used to reserve and ready the provisions for the tour, which also takes time and money.
On arrival, all tourists should pay the remaining balance of 70%, in cash (in one of the 3 currencies below,) or (with advance notice) in credit card, which is indicated below:
2 people = 1325 Euros (8.700 FF) /$1730
3 = 900 Euros (5.900 FF) /$ 1175
4 = 685 Euros (4.500 FF) $895
5 = 565 Euros (3.700 FF) /$ 738
6 = 480 Euros (3.150 FF) /$ 627
7 or more = 425 Euros (2.800 FF) /$ 555
Prices are per person and include:
* two 4WD vehicles and fuel
* drivers, guide and cook
* full board, cookware, tableware and one foam mattress per person
* local taxes and route approval (required for desert travel)
Prices do not include:
* drinks and personal expenses
* plane tickets and airport taxes
* food and lodging in Agadez
Please book your tour and pay your deposit at the top and side of the page with the booking buttons.
Includes all insurance,
transport, all breakfasts and some dinners, permits, entrance fees, taxes, 4x4
with a/c, and accommodation in safari-style lodges, villages, and tourist
hotels (where applicable). Alcoholic drinks are extra.