Towering Rocks of Ennedi Desert in Chad, Africa

Sep 29, 2012 2 comments

The Ennedi plateau or the Ennedi desert as it is sometimes called is located in the north-eastern area of Chad in one of the most inaccessible region in the middle of the Sahara. Travel to this area is difficult and dangerous due to the country's poverty, lack of tourist facilities, political unrest, and highway banditry. At one time only the nomadic caravans could manage to cross it but now it is accessible by 4x4 vehicles though there are no regular roads in the area.

The region is full of interesting sandstone formations - graceful fingers of rock and many hundreds of natural arches, including the great Aloba arch, which has a height of nearly 120 meters and is one of the most spectacular arches in the world. Apart from the geological attractions, examples of petroglyphs or rock paintings are abundant in the area. Many of the rock art represent all kinds of animals that the first inhabitants of the desert had.

In the southern area of the Ennedi are present some gueltas (desert ponds) of which the Guelta d’Archei, near the town of Fada, is a popular one. The lake is a major source of water in the desert often visited by many people and endless camel trails. The lake also has the endemic Sahara desert crocodiles that feed on fish and poo left by the visiting camels!


In 2010, a team of climbers lead by veteran Mark Synnott and young climbing stars Alex Honnold Briton James Pearson, Tim Kepler, and Renan Ozturk, became the first mountaineers to scale Ennedi’s biggest arches.



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Sources: 1, 2, 3,


  1. "Travel to this area is difficult and dangerous due to the country's poverty, lack of tourist facilities, political unrest, and highway banditry."

    That's not absolutely true. Travel is difficult as everywhere in the Sahara. Those who want to go there, must get used to this. Lack of tourist facilities: who cares! In the Sahara this is normal. Sahara Desert is not an alpine ski centrum but the largest desert of the Earth. If someone needs tourist facilities in Africa, should go to Namibia, not Chad. I hope Chad will never be like Namibia.

    The country is poor, but the people in the villages are peaceful to visitors. Chad is not Egypt, where the visitors are exploited by local people.

    As per political unrest, at present times (2015-16) Chad is the most safe Saharan country. Comparing to Libya, Egypt, Niger, Mali Chad is an island of peace. No banditry along the main roads.

    I took three long trips in this country sinces 2014 and I have only good experiences.


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