Grand tour of the Tenere desert Aïr/Ténéré Tour by arbre du Ténéré Aïr-Adrar Chiriet Trek trough Aïr by foot or camelback
Aïr/Ténéré in seven days Aïr mountains Camelback in Aïr 12/14 days River Niger in dugout canoe, Tapoa Park

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Agadez - Goûgaram - Iférouane - Tezirzek

Early in the morning, we leave Agadez in 4WD vehicles and take the road to Arlit. Two hours later, the convoy turns east, crosses the Talak Plain and enters the Aïr at Goûgaram. The track winds around rocky outcrops, skirts low hills, crosses dried-out oueds whose tree-lined banks provide the sole respite from the sun. At the foot of Mount Tamgak, stunningly green gardens surround the banco huts of Iférouane. We stop there to visit to the village’s metalsmiths and craftsmen.

Tezirzek Well - Izane - Illekane - Arakao

Near Tezirzek Well, a hill covered with rock paintings evokes the rich fauna that roamed the Ténéré when the desert still bloomed. All those species have disappeared, along with the cultures whose life depended on them. The track zigzags through high dunes along the Tezirzek Oued. Past Tchoum-Adegdeg Well, we follow the tree-lined Tchioulmas Oued to avoid the uncrossable Tebet Dunes. North of Faris Well, the multicolored dunes of Izane bar the horizon across a wide plain. Islands of white and blue marble suddenly rise out of the sand : Illekane is in sight. Among the gold, silver and pink dunes, delicate flowers and animal tracks hint of a secret life amazingly well adapted to its harsh environment.

Crossing the Issaouane Oued — To reach Arakao, we must meet the challenge of giant dunes and move away from the massive Takolokouzet before we can come back to its base and enter the ten-kilometer-wide crater shaped like a crab claw.
Arakao gathers the Ténéré sand through a large breach in its high walls, forming a gigantic sand buttress against the Takolokouzet. An unforgettable night under the desert stars awaits you there.

Zagado Valley - Tchintoulous - Assodé

The Zagado Oued has given birth to an extraordinarily wide valley that we explore at leisure while driving upriver among marble mountains. Watch for gazelles in this area. Tuareg herdsmen also roam the valley where their livestock easily finds pasture. They are the builders of Tchintoulous, a village we encounter at the foot of Mount Aguerâguer, on the banks of the Zilâlet. This dried-out river leads us back to Assodé.
Tales of the flourishing past of Assodé abound. The ancient capital of the Aïr is now a ghost town where only a few walls still stand, but pottery shards strewn all over the site testify to its once thriving economy.

Timia - puits de Malletas

The road winds through small, chaotic valleys and crosses numerous oueds in an arid mountain landscape before reaching a sand-filled kori lined with gardens.
Bright green against the ochre expanse of sand, the Timia Oasis offers a striking contrast to the somber lava range that surrounds it. Kel Oui farmers still water their gardens with the wooden pulleys used by their ancestors. They raise corn, wheat, a wide variety of vegetables, even grapes.
Downstream from Timia, a lovely waterfall cascades through a series of basins toward the guelta.

After an arduous journey through a series of oueds along a mountain track, we finally reach Malletas well and sleep in the open near Guissat oued.

Elméki - Dabaga - Azel - Agadez

In Elméki, Tuaregs still extract tin from ancient cassiterite mines. Arid moonscapes and emerald-green oasis, volcanic pillars and well-tended gardens, light-footed gazelles and flowering acacia trees: on this stretch of track, surprises and contrasts abound, to the unending delight of the traveller.
Following the Telwa oued, we go through Azel, a charming village of settled Tuareg farmers and herdsmen, before spotting on the horizon the tower of the Agadez mosque.

PRICE for the five-days tour from Agadez for a party of

2 = 1325 Euros (8.700 FF) per person
3 = 900 Euros (5.900 FF)
4 = 685 Euros (4.500 FF)
5 = 565 Euros (3.700 FF)
6 = 480 Euros (3.150 FF)
7 or more = 425 Euros (2.800 FF) per person

Prices include:
* two 4WD vehicles and fuel
* drivers, guide and cook
* full board, cookware, tableware and one foam mattress per person
* local taxes and route approval (required for desert travel)

Prices do not include:

* drinks and personal expenses
* plane tickets and airport taxes
* food and lodging in Agadez
* travel insurance (trip cancellation, lost luggage, emergency return for health reasons)
NOTE: these prices apply to the 2002/2003 season, save for an abnormal rise in local prices.