Tibesti, last frontier "POST on the travel story".
Trip to Tibesti, the roof of the Sahara
A journey to the most remote and inaccessible part of the Sahara. Tibesti, the roof of the Sahara. The Tibesti massif is a volcanic cataclysm, made up of bare rock mountains, stony plains, rivers of lava, unlikely rock formations, sandbanks, lush oases that have become veritable miracles of nature and winding roads that make it impossible to travel at more than 5 kilometres per hour. All of this is dotted with the most impressive and desolate lunar landscapes inhabited by the dreaded Teda, the toughest of the tough. All this accompanied by an authentic "atmosphere" of gold fever that makes this region a true last frontier.
After almost forty years of tensions in this isolated region, where virtually all travel to Tibesti was restricted, a certain stability makes it possible to explore this remote mountain massif, known as the roof of the Sahara.
Located more than 4 days' hard travel from the capital N'Djamena, Tibesti stretches over an area about the size of Austria in northern Chad, close to the borders of Libya and Niger.
Some 15,000 Tedas, the inhabitants of Tibesti, live in one of the harshest and most remote geographies on the planet.
Lunar landscapes and deep craters in Tibesti
On this trip to Tibesti we will focus on discovering the endless and spectacular landscapes that this part of the Sahara has to offer. A complete and varied range of volcanoes, rock formations, oases, canyons, lava rivers, traditional villages and imposing dune chains await the traveller who joins our expedition.
If infrastructure is generally poor in Chad, it is non-existent in Tibesti. As when we travel to Ounianaga and Ennedi, we will have to carry all kinds of provisions for the journey, but with one difference: during the trip to Tibesti we will spend several days at a time without access to food and any other products.
Exploring Tibesti, the undiscovered Sahara
If the traveller is able to endure long, uncomfortable days of driving, basic cooking, extreme day and night temperatures, uncomfortable wind and a few other inconveniences that may arise during the expedition, he will be rewarded with vast horizons, campfires under the stars, places more like other planets and the pleasure of discovering a region that only a very small group of Westerners have travelled through.
During the trip to Tibesti we will see how the gold fever marks the life of the Tibesti people. Most of the Teda people have long since traded in their camels for Toyotas and satellite phones, and have dedicated themselves exclusively to the gold business.
Many other Africans, originating from southern and central Chad and other countries, seek their chance in these mountains, although many will return empty-handed.
All this is Tibesti, tough people, traders and traffickers, isolated villages, the highest mountains in the Sahara, stunning sandy beaches, volcanic calderas, huge oases and some of the most brutal desert landscapes in the world.
Ounianga Kebir Lakes
We will leave the volcanic massif of Tibesti on its north-eastern slope, passing through the beautiful palm grove of Gouro and then Ounianga Kebir, where we will be able to fill up our vehicles with diesel. We will have the opportunity to visit Yoan Lake and Katam Lake.
Some points of interest on the trip to Tibesti
- Cross the beautiful Sahelian area towards the north of Chad. A landscape dotted with acacia trees, nomads and mud-built villages.
- See the camel herds of Arab shepherds and Tubus in the desert.
- Visit isolated villages during the journey where the Teda of the Tibesti live.
- Abundant rock art at Tibesti, both paintings and engravings
- The incredible rock formations of the Zouar and Quizin canyons and their brutal landscapes.
- Explore the traditional village of Gouro situated in a beautiful palm grove in the middle of dunes and mountains.
- Trou de Natron and the descent into the interior of the caldera
- Countless rock engravings, such as the one at the Gonoa site.
- Walk through the lunar landscapes of the Tibesti, seeing the different volcanoes such as the Tarso Voon, the Tarso Tieroko or the Tousside peak.
- Cross impressive dune chains
- Visit the lakes of Ounianga Kebir (large)
- Crossing the route of the wells
- Mao, the medieval city in western Chad
- Visiting the many remnants of the war with Libya