Tailor-Made Holiday

Ennedi Desert Adventure

Sand cathedrals and camel caravans

16 days

from $2,850pp (excluding flights)

In the north-east corner of Chad, lies Ennedi - a desert region of rock towers and sand cathedrals, fascinating nomadic people, busy markets and shimmering oases.

  • Encounter the nomadic Tubu people and their herds of camels at the Archei oasis
  • Explore the region of Guera, renowned for its impressive granite rock formations
  • Travel through the Ennedi Massif and photograph the beautiful sand formations of Terkei and Toukou
  • Visit the French colonial fort at Fada and walk through the vibrant markets

Ennedi is a Saharan enclave in the north-east of Chad. It is a land of space and silence, occasionally interrupted by the procession of camel caravans traversing the sands. This harsh environment is home to a diverse array of Nomadic people - for millennia the Tubu, Gaeda,Tama and Zagwa have all left footprints in the sand, trekking ancient caravan routes across the Sahara.

This is an adventurous trip and conditions can be challenging. Travelling is done in specially equipped desert vehicles with drivers, an English-speaking guide and a cook. Accommodation is a two-person tent with a comfortable mattress; camps are not fixed but will be set up according to where the best shelter can be found. Be prepared for a night sky teeming with stars.

An average of fine to six hours will be spent driving each day, but there will of course be opportunities to walk. Trek along the white, red and golden sand dunes that descend to the lakes of the Ounianga region and walk through the Archei gorges where numerous rock paintings can be found.

This trip is the perfect to combine with some time exploring Zakouma National Park.

 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 3847.5 $ 1012.5
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Paris

Fly Paris to N'Djamena


N'Djamena is one of the poorest capitals in the world - its international airport must be one of the smallest international airports in a capital city.

Surprisingly, N'Djamena is home to a thriving horse scene. Every Sunday from December to June, the residents of N'Djamena flock to the spectacle of racing on a dusty track not far from the presidential palace. As a result it is worth trying (although it is not always possible) to coincide your visit so that you have a Sunday at the races.


Arrive in N`Djamena, clear custom formalities, meet you driver and transfer to the hotel.


You will be staying at Hilton N'Djamena, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

N'Djamena to Abeche
Head out from N'Djamena and follow the asphalt road as far as Massaguet, from where you join the track turns towards Abeché, residence of the Sultan and capital city of Ouaddai region. Continue east and enter the Guera region know for its granite rock formations. Between the village of Bitkine, Ab Toyour and Mongo the markets are a colourful mix of peoples from the Hadjerai to numerous Arab nomadic groups that move with their animals.
Always on asphalt road you arrive in Abeche, the ancient capital of Chad, nowadays the capital of the Ouaddai region and one of the most important centres of the whole country.

Day 4

Abeche to Fada
From Abeche, you leave the asphalt and take the track north towards village of Biltine. After the small village of Arada, the Sahelian environment gradually leave the space to desert area. Drive through the Goz region, dunes covered with low vegetation, where nomadic and semi-nomadic herders replace populations of farmers you have met until here.
Reach Kalait and head further north. Now you are in a desert region, on the southern borders of Ennedi, inhabited by populations Gaeda, Tama and Zagawa, semi-nomadic farmers. Enter into this massive following the direction of the Wadi Archei, a gigantic green riverbed, lined and bordered by a magnificent series of sandstone tassillian formations.
The wadi , which winds for about thirty kilometers, ends in a huge verdant and rocky amphitheatre where the real gorges of homonym Guelta begin. This is a permanent water point where you can easily meet Toubou nomads with their herds of camels.
Water point and hub of life, this millennial Guelta is the incredible location of the last living specimens of Saharan crocodiles (Cocodrilus niloticus). In the entire region of Archei, you will find cave paintings which are scattered in natural shelters, executed by unknown ancient cultures.

Day 8

Fada to Mourdi to Ounianga Serir
You reach the track towards Monou, which continues northward as far as Fada, prefecture of Ennedi and a characteristic Saharan village formed by houses made of banco, gathered around the old French colonial fort. The inhabited centre is situated in a verdant oasis with numerous date-palms.

Once having made all the bureaucratic formalities - sometimes very long - you start the crossing of the massif, and continue along a slow and sandy track that will lead you to the Mourdi, a wide region of cordons of dunes and isolated mountainous groups.

Continue on a north/north-east direction, overcoming some difficult cordons of dunes of the Mourdi, following the ancient caravan route that connected the salt-pits of Ounianga region (Demi, Teguedei and Ounianga) to the southern Chadian villages and the northern Libyan oasis.

Continue northward until the Eyo Demi, a reddish sandy formation; at its feet rises the homonymous village, composed by a few palms and poor houses made of sand. This inhabited centre, situated in a background which is absolutely wild and inhospitable, lives of the slight trade of "red salt", obtained with a very rudimentary method of drawing from the open-air salt-pits. This salt is brought to the southern oasis by caravans of the Tébu Ounias and, then, exchanged with millet and sorghum.All along this track it is easy to meet one of these caravans.

From Demi you turn to the West, to the Ounianga Serir, passing through Teguedei, a palm-grove inhabited seasonally for the date harvest, as the small silos made of sand and stones, show. In Teguedei there is the first lake of Ounianga region, situated in a sandy basin surrounded by the palms and rocky sceneries of multicolored sandstones.

Skirting the Nabar falaise, you reach the first lakes of the Ounianga Serir oasis. The landscape is incredible: lakes surrounded by palm-groves that spring up from the sand, rocky formations of multicolored sandstone from the white to the red and golden dunes that descend to the water, are one of the most amazing visions of the whole Saharan scenery. The water is fresh and comes out from the sand but, because of the salty soil, the lakes are very saline with several densities and colorings.

Spend the whole day making excursions on foot along the sandy banks and the palm-groves with the opportunity of a bath in the lakes.

Day 11

Ounianga Kebir to N'Djamena
From Ounianga Serir we head north to reach Ounianga Kebir where, after the visit of the famous Lac Katam (the two colors lake) and Lac Yoa (the largest in the region),we'll visit the village with its small but well-stocked local market.

Once you have completed the last bureaucratic formalities you continue south through difficult terrain to Kora, one of the entrance gates to the Ennedi massif. The initially barren and bleak landscape becomes more appealing with small Tassili and stripes of sand. After crossing the difficult dunes of Kora you will quickly cross the plains that to the well of Ouei and the magnificent sandstone cathedrals of Bichagara. These are stone islands on the west border of the massif, also known for their cave paintings. Continue to Kalait for to collect supplies.

Follow the natural course of the Oued Achim where you have a chance of seeing endemic wildlife including Dorcas gazelles, bustards, hyenas and jackals. The track then follows the desert plateau that will lead to the intersection with the Barh El Ghazal near the village of Koro Toro. The environment is almost devoid of settlements except the few nomadic Arabs encampments. Enter the Bahr el Ghazal, (the river of the gazelles) and follow it south, until you enter the Kanem region.

Arrive in N'djamena where you have a day room available for a shower(3/4 person each rooms). Dinner at your own account and in the late evening you will be transferred to the airport.

Day 15

Fly N'Djamena to Paris overnight

Day 16

Fly Paris to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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