Gerewol Festival, Ennedi and Ounianga (Oct 2022)
On this trip to Chad we will combine attendance at the Gerewol festival, one of the most impressive in Central Africa, with the northern route exploring the Ounianga lakes and the Ennedi plateau.
The Wodaabe and the Gerewol Festival in Chad
September, end of rainy season. Every year in the surroundings of Dourbali, about 120 kilometers from the capital of Chad, two large Wodaabe family clans (the Sudosukai and the Japto) come together for an impressive beauty contest known as Gerewol.
The Gerewol Festival is a ceremony where the men dance and compete to be the most beautiful and the women are judges and can choose their future husband.
A unique opportunity to relate and find a partner, before these families of nomadic shepherds, separate their paths in search of better pastures.
For the Wodaabe or Bororo there are three essential reasons in life. The first relates to their personal appearance, the second to their cattle and the third to their family and relations with their clan.
The Wodaabe consider themselves the most beautiful people in the world.
We'll see how the Wodaabe are an unmistakable ethnicity. Men wear robes and turbans and women wear black robes. Both wear numerous geometric facial tattoos.
Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape
In the northeast of the country, the sandstone Ennedi Massif has been sculpted over time by water and wind erosion, into a plateau featuring canyons and valleys that present a spectacular landscape, marked by cliffs, natural arches and pitons.
In the largest canyons, the permanent presence of water plays an essential role in the Massif’s ecosystem, sustaining flora and fauna as well as human life.
Thousands of images have been painted and carved into the rock surface of caves, canyons and shelters, presenting one of the largest ensembles of rock art in the Sahara.
The site includes eighteen interconnected lakes in the hyper arid Ennedi region of the Sahara desert covering an area of 62,808 ha.
It constitutes an exceptional natural landscape of great beauty with striking colours and shapes.
The saline, hyper saline and freshwater lakes are supplied by groundwater and are found in two groups 40 km apart. Ounianga Kebir comprises four lakes, the largest of which, Yoan, covers an area of 358 ha and is 27 m deep. Its highly saline waters only sustain algae and some microorganisms.
The second group, Ounianga Serir, comprises fourteen lakes separated by sand dunes. Floating reeds cover almost half the surface of these lakes reducing evaporation.
At 436 ha, Lake Teli has the largest surface area but is less than 10 m deep. With their high quality freshwater, some of these lakes are home to aquatic fauna, particularly fish.
Please visit our blog for know more about awesome Ounianga lakes
If you want to know more about the Wodaabe and the Gerewol Festival of Chad, visit this post of our blog