Discover The Ar mountains Niger

The Ar Mountains are the Tuaregs' traditional home and the last stronghold before the "desert of all deserts". The mountain landscapes, stretching as far as the eye can see, are over 250 miles in length and 150 miles in width, are some of the most breathtaking in the whole of Western Africa. Thanks to the closeness of Sahel, some pockets of life have managed to persevere here, for example you will see the dome-shaped Tuareg huts and some wheat, corn and millet fields. 110 miles North of Agadez, the strange village of Teguidda-n-Tessoum lives off the salt mines. If you are there in September, do not miss out on the salt harvest from the oasis of In Gall that marks the departure of the only salt caravan still crossing the desert. Its four palm groves give shade to a market where Tuareg breeders, Buzu shepherds and some Fulanis are gathered around the Arab merchants. At the foothills of a mountain, the Ifrouane oasis seems as if it has come from the past, since the inhabitants have left it for less hostile regions. It is the starting point of the most fascinating expeditions into the Ar. The Temet dunes are among the most beautiful in the Sahara, and also some of the most awe inspiring since some of them reach heights of 980 feet. 125 miles north of Agadez, the oasis of Timia is lost in the middle of volcanic scenery, shaped by old volcano craters, springs and waterfalls. It is also an important caravan base. The south-eastern part of the Ar is astonishing and its remoteness has enabled the Tuaregs to preserve their ancestral way of life. Going across this region on the back of a dromedary, your journey will take you to Mont Idoukal-n-Taghs, at the gates of the Tnr. The region is well watered and has numerous gardens. In October and December, you will be able to see the preparations for the Azalai, the salt caravan of the Kel Oui people, which crosses the Tnr. In Arlit, more than anywhere else, dust is omnipresent. It is home to a base for the extraction of uranium and is a disconcerting ghost town living to the rhythm of its open air quarry. For travellers though, it is a well-deserved break in their journey where you will find a few shops. The region of the Ar is also rich in rock paintings and engravings, a bonus for those of you who like to dabble in a bit of history.

  • The Ar Mountains, Niger, The Ar mountains, Landscapes, Niger
    The Ar Mountains, Niger

    The Ar Mountains stand in the desert zone of Tenere; the highest peak rises to 2,022 metres. In the photo, camels in the Ar Mountains.

    Sergey Mayorov / 123RF
  • The Ar mountains, Landscapes, Niger
    The Ar mountains
    Sergey Mayorov / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Niger

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