Trek through the Aïr Mountains by foot or camelback
- Duration: 7 Days (approx.)
- Product code: ntt-en-agadez-6
Agadez - Azel - Dabaga - Elméki
Leaving Agadez in 4WD vehicles, we follow the Telwa Oued and go through Azel, a charming village of settled Tuareg farmers and herdsmen. Arid moonscapes and emerald-green oasis, volcanic pillars and well-tended gardens, light-footed gazelles and flowering acacia trees: on this stretch of track, contrasts and surprises abound, to the unending delight of the traveller. In Elméki, Tuaregs still extract tin from ancient cassiterite mines.
Anou Mekkerene - Tchintoulous - Zagado valley - Kogo
The track zigzags through small, chaotic valleys, crosses the Anou Mekkerene Oued and follows the Zilâlet Oued to Tchintoulous, a village nestled at the foot of the haughty Aguerâguer. Watch for gazelles in the Zagado Valley that leads us to Kogo.
Walking tour with pack camels in 7 to 9 days
Kogo - Arakao - Illekane - Izane - Adrar Chiriet - puits de Tezirzek
The walking tour with pack camels starts from the nomadic campground of Kogo, under the guidance of Tuareg camelherds.
An ever-widening valley leads us to the desert shore along a path skirting huge marble mountains. At Takarit, we start climbing toward Tchi-n-Taboûrak for a magical bird’s eye view on Arakao, a claw-shaped crater that gathers the desert sand through a large breach in its wall. Below our perch, dark, jagged rock frames the gold crescent of a giant dune. An unforgettable night under the desert stars awaits you there.
We leave Arakao through its desert door, making our way through high sand ridges. After crossing the Issaouane Oued, we walk on to Illekane. Blue and white marble mountains sprout out of the sand. The giant gold, silver and pink dunes nurture delicate flowers and capture light tracks that hint of a secret life amazingly well adapted to its harsh environment.
Marble walls bar the way ahead, forcing us take a roundabout path; the colors of the cliffs change, gazelles sprint away at our approach. At midday, we eat and rest in the merciful shadow of a tree.
After admiring the golden-brown sands of Izane, we turn north toward Adrar Chiriet, one of the most magnificent sites of the Sahara. We must climb several high ridges to discover the multicolored dunes
rushing up against a dark volcanic outcrop fantastically eroded by blowing sand.
We follow the Ifiniyane Oued, skirting dunes of many colors.
Our path up, down and around sand slopes finally leads us to a well.
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.
There, our drivers are waiting with their 4WDs. The rest of the journey is done by car, but short walks can be arranged on request.
Tezirzek – Iférouane
After this journey to the kingdom of sand and silence, we reenter the world of the living through Iférouane. This rather large lowland
oasis dotted with well-tended, shadowy gardens is our meeting place with
traditional metalsmiths and craftsmen.
Iférouane - Assodé - Timia
South of Iférouane, the sand-covered track runs through wide valleys; this is the heart of the Aïr.
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.
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.
Elméki - Dabaga - Azel - Agadez
We pick up the Agadez road right after passing through Kreb-Kreb; gazelles sometime use it too. Our path skirts rock outcrops, crosses oueds, passes traditional wells where Tuaregs gather with their livestock. Elméki, Dabaga, and Azel mark the return journey to Agadez.
Price per person for a party of 7 or more starting from Agadez (pack camels only.) Solo travelers or small groups should contact us for doing this tour within their target budget :To secure the expedition and prepare properly and safely, all tourists must pay a fixed deposit no later than 15 days in advance of the start of their trip. This deposit represents around $450 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, in cash (in one of the 3 currencies below,) or (with advance notice) in credit card, which is indicated below:
- 14 days: 900 Euros (5,900 FF) /$1176
- 13 days: 870 Euros (5,700 FF) /$1136
- 12 days: 840 Euros (5,500 FF) /$1097
Prices are per person and include:
* 4WD vehicles and fuel
* drivers, guide and cook
* full board, cookware, tableware and one foam mattress per person
* pack camels
* local taxes on desert travel and required route approval
Prices do not include:
* drinks and personal expenses
* food and lodging in Agadez
* airplane tickets and airport taxes
* travel insurance (last-minute cancellation, lost luggage, emergency return
for health reasons)
* Please book your camels used to ride (suppl. $250 per person, one camel for two people).
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.