Djanet, Algeria

People in Djanet - December 2010

I’m really astonished and surprised by reading that an Italian woman has been  abducted in Algeria, near Djanet.

Details are not so clear and there is a lack of information, as the situation is difficult and the risk for hostage’s life very high

Just a year ago I was there, in Djanet because of my trip in a desert area called Admer-Tadrart.

I’d like to share with you my memories and feelings, so alive, about that place.

We can’t consider Djanet as a ‘town’, even if is the main settlement in South East of Algeria. Better to say it’s a big village, near oasis and palmerie. 350 km north from Niger, 300 km east from Libya. People origins are Tuareg.

Its economic growth is due to excursions to Tassili N’Ajjer and its famous rock paintings, and tourism is the only way they have to increase their economy and improve their lives, in terms of health, education, work.

Rock paintings

In December 2010, Djanet was really crowded because of tourism. Mainly, groups from Italy, France, Spain, and … Japan as well!

We spent there a couple of days, organizing our week in the desert, and durino our stay there, we attende a local festival. Hundreds of people singing, dancing, together with tourists. We all felt safe in that place, I was interviewed by a local Algerian TV, they asked me about safety and my feeling in the place as a tourist. I remember I said that I felt safe, happy and comfortable in their village.

Interview by a local TV

It is still difficult to me thinking about Djanet like an unsafe place. But I can’t say right now, that it isn’t dangerous to go there.

I can only say that many people always pay for the cruelty of just few crazy human beings.

Dances - Djanet

Suq - Djanet

Admer Tadrart

Sahara’s experiences …

Lost steps ...

Doesn't it look like Africa?

Every time I say that I’m gonna visit the desert, I usually see astonished expressions, followed by the question “why?”

At the beginning, it was difficult to explain. It was a sort of feeling, a ‘literary’ idea, a dream.

The first time I ‘tasted’ the desert was in Morocco, in 1992. I spent one day in the Sahara and I fell in love.

But it was after my trip to Acacus, the Lybian Sahara, that I realized what the desert means and why every time I visit the desert is a unique experience.

I believe that it’s impossible to say: ‘come back to the desert’. Even if you visit the same place, it won’ t look like the previous time you have seen it.

Wind, sand, rocks … all the elements are always combined in a different way in huge area of emptiness, between sky and land. There, I feel like in a sacred place.

These are just few reasons why I planned my first trip to the Algerian Sahara, in area called Admer Tadrart.

This area is situated in the south of Algeria near the border with Lybia, and it is easily reachable from Djanet.

Djanet is a huge oasis, with 20.000 inhabitants. Most of them are Tuareg. All the journeys to Tassili and to Admer start from here.

I hope my pictures will tell you more than my words.

Last but not the least … It’s very important to know that it’s vital to afford the desert with a previous preparation. The desert is not dangerous if you are careful, and well prepared in terms of information. If you need any help don’t hesitate to contact me!

Enjoy your desert!

Dunes

The Moon

Graffiti

Landscape

Black dunes

Night camp


Tea in the Sahara …

Hi All and Happy New Year!

Tea in the Sahara

I’m just back from a wonderful place:  the Algerian Sahara. In particular, there is an area called Tadrart, close to the border between Algeria and Lybia . Touareg’s land where people live according to tradition and modernity. Where the tea ceremony is still alive together with hundreds of mobile phones.

In the next days I’ll tell you about this magic trip,  as I’d like to support my Touareg guides  explaining why this part of Algeria is NOT dangerous.

Stay tuned!