Tenere Desert Travel Guide

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The Tenere desert is 500 km north of Agadez and about 300 north of the Air Mountains . It has incredible beautiful sand dune areas, and those disappointed bytheir first desert experiences should absolutely come here to see this one.

This is quite a remote area, so you need at least about a week to see the desert, starting from Agadez . The best thing to do is to travel in a group of cars and you would probably be wise to hire at least one guide as well. The road to Bilma (not always a road in the western sense of the word) crosses the Tenere desert from west to east, and offers the best possibilities for exploration of this beautiful region.

If you don't have you own 4x4 and you can't afford a guided tour, you can travel by freight truck through the Tenere to Bilma. You will see these heavily loaded Mercedes trucks departing from various autogares around Agadez. Drivers always take passengers - many of whom are on their way to Libya to work - so there's no reason they won't take you. You could try asking around at the autogares, but it's best to get a recomendation for a driver from a friend in Agadez. While most drivers are fine, the trip can be dangerous so it's best to be in a truck with someone you can trust.

Be prepared for three to five days of travel, sleeping on the sand at night and very basic food. Buy a 20 liter water jug and a heavy synthetic blanket for sleeping at night. (both sold all over Agadez). Be prepared as well for break-downs, delays, and inexplicable stops (all of which you will be used to if you've travelled around Africa for a while).

Although traveling by truck isn't exactly the height of luxury, it's by far the best way to see the desert. You take a leisurely pace, you ride up top in the open air, and you get to experience a vital part of desert life today.


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