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March, 2023
Once hooked on slow traveling fantastical landscapes, there is always a point of return.

That much is true for Switzerland based Michael and Esther, who have been seeking dune adventures in Algeria since the 1980ies. Their Steyr with one of our earliest builds keeps them safe and comfortable wherever they end up exploring one of their favourite parts of the world.

‘Back then, the times werde different. More carefree. 40 years ago, the Algerian Sahara was a popular destination for offroad- and desert afficionados. Sadly, tragic kidnappings and a raging civil war put the local tourism industry in an unfavourable place for decades. Now, slowly coming out of dormancy, Algeria enjoys a revival of sorts, especially among those seeking stretches of empty land.’ shares Michael who is a vivid storyteller and keen observer. His photographs and wonderful comments may give you a taste of his very own desert paradise, read on to soak in some magic.
Expect to deep-dive into the science-fiction like landscape of Tassili Tadrart - but don’t expect any cellphone service.

Michael and Esther spent five days in this magical place, suspended between thrill and relaxation. They spent each day driving around 50km, which gave them enough time to unwind.
Thrills were plenty because there were always short but challenging dunes to overcome. The Tassili Tadrart is a Unesco World Heritage Site - and not without reason. The landscape is full of incredible rock formations and looks like something out of a science fiction film. Rock engravings and rock paintings from the Stone Age grace many sites that are fairly easily accessible with sturdy off-road vehicles.
We had plenty of time to look at cave paintings and all kinds of bizarre rocks. Each exhausting climb up a dune was rewarded with fantastic views.
If a sand crawler from "Starwars" came around the corner, I wouldn't be surprised.
Michael’s and Esther’s trip takes them onwards via Djanet to Bordj El Haouas and Bord Omar Driss. Between the two latter, they expect to spend ten days for 600+ km on pretty bad tracks in arid land, without an option to replenish fuel, water or food. There are no settlements along this particular track, except maybe a few temporary nomad camps. To be on the safe side, they count 800km of off-roading in sandy and rocky terrain. Their diesel supply is close to 500l, and the water supply by far exceeds 500l. Again, they will travel without cell phone reception.

From Omar Driss, the plan is to travel back to Tunisia on paved main roads. Then, the ferry awaits in Tunis for the trip back to Europe, away from their desert paradise where a return might be in the books again soon!
Source: Wikipedia

The Tadrart Rouge (meaning "Red Mountain") or Southern Tadrart or Algerian Tadrart or Meridional Tadrart is a mountain range in southeastern Algeria, part of the Algerian Desert.

Primarily composed of sandstone, it links the Tassili n’Ajjer in the north-west to the Djado in the southeast. The area is well known for the spectacular red-orange sand dune fields contrasting with the jagged dark red rock formations of the range.

The Tadrart Rouge has magnificent Saharan rock art covering a long chronological span from early Neolithic to recent times.

Rock walls and rock shelters on wadi bottoms are dotted with both rock paintings and rock engravings, documenting climate change as the area evolved from a savanna 10,000 years ago to a desert 5,000 years ago. The rock art changed in time from wild fauna such as elephants, rhinos, giraffes, antelopes, and wild bovids, to domesticated animals such as bovids, ovicaprids, horses, and camels.
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