Pat & Alicia

The Ennedi Desert

Ok so the Ennedi Desert is not on everyone’s wishlist. But, though little visited, it is a Natural & Cultural Reserve and World Heritage Site.

A part of the Sahara, it is an impressive plateau that’s been sculpted by erosion of water and wind, forming gorges, canyons, valleys and an endless number of extraordinary sandstone formations with shapes of arches, peaks and extravagant pillars of different sizes.

Outside the grottoes or hidden inside the caves, we see hundreds of paintings, one of the richest and most varied concentration in the Sahara, preserved by the dry atmosphere of the desert. The oldest date back to 7,000 BCE. This rock art tells the story of the area when it was populated by giraffes, elephants, rhinoceroses and more, all of whom left long ago.

More recent, this desert tells the story of the defeat of Gaddafi and the Libyan army with the remains of tanks and other vehicles occasionally seen.

One of our first hikes in this otherworldly landscape.
There is a huge variety of rock formations in this corner of the Sahara.

World’s 2nd tallest rock arch, Aloba Arch at 394 feet with a span of 250 feet.

The Guilta D/Archeï, a permanent water source filling a wide pool in which an isolated population of crocodiles lives.
We didn’t see the crocodiles but watched as hundreds of camels drank watched over by semi-nomadic herders of camels and goats.

Some of the best rock art we found under this arch.

A spectacular ‘cathedral’ feel to this space. The walls soared several hundred feet above, the walkway narrow.

Achiwili, another geological wonderland.

Our ‘cozy’ little tent which moved with us - everyday to a new wonder.

Issa, our lead driver, who used just his exceptional sense of direction in this vast land of no roads or signs or internet/GPS.

We visited a chain of 8 very different lakes; all fed by a huge aquifer. The one below is the only one with fresh water; some of us swam and washed here.

Ever-changing view from our little tent.

Libyan tank and remnants of the war.

Our last night in Faya before we fly out the next day. We relaxed by a fire each night before dinner with a small metal cup of very nice Italian wine courtesy of our Italian guide, Pier Paolo Rossi. He wrote the definitive book on the Ennedi rock art.

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