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Navel of Sahara

Tamanrasset, Algeria

Tamanrasset was up until the civil war of Algeria started, the most important place for travellers doing Sahara. And even if this is in the middle of the World's largest desert, there are almost 40,000 people living here. And tourists doing the Sahara can't avoid stopping in Tamanrasset. So when the civil war ends in Algeria, and tourism can start over again, this place will once more have several vehicles stopping here, every day.
Tamanrasset is by itself a fantastic place to stop. The city is the biggest Tuareg city there is, and it holds lots of charm. Every day has an afternoon market, there are many enough places to eat, and boarding is easy.
Among the main attractions of Tamanrasset is the vicinity to Hoggar, the enormous mountain range, giving shelter for people and animals, through a sparse shower now and then. Hoggar is just as beautiful as it is far away. It's consisting of brown and yellow mountains, ranging from the softest ones to crude mountains peering up from the ground. These crude mountains are the leftover cores after volcanoes that has evaporated. With Tamanrasset 1400 metres above sea level, giving it a mild temperature, and the highest mountains of Hoggar ranging almost 3000 metres up, and the whole of Hoggar 600 times 400 kilometres in size, there is plenty of room for drama in this place.
But it is compulsory to bring your own transportation, with plenty of space for water bottles, whenever you head out into the wilderness.

Tamanrasset, Algeria

Eat and Sleep
Very good eating. Hotels are medium priced, but good value. Budgeters could consider camping, and there are a couple camp sites here.

Air flights to many places in Algeria. Good bus connections, but the state of the roads can sometimes stop the trips north.

Going Next
700 km north: In Salah
400 km south: MALI

By Tore Kjeilen