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Salt and rebels

It might sound like a good old Tarzan story, but the areas north of Mellit has real salt mines. People excavating the salt, have few other chances of making a living. The salt passes several merchants even before it reaches the city of El Fasher. From there it's transported to the rest of the Sudan. The nature of this region has the typical landscape where rock formations break through the sand and the stones. The effects can sometimes be striking.
People in this region of the Sudan are at the best loosely connected to Khartoum, and seems to be well equipped with products coming down from Libya, even if the borders are 600 km up north. Safety is one issue travellers need to evaluate thoroughly before heading up here. Locals have discovered that central authorities are little to fear as long as everybody does their bit to make life as difficult as possible for its representative. This counts even more for the police.
It's actually advisable not to take refuge with the police, as this only worsen your chances of getting into trouble with local bandits. And the existence of bandits is something that really should make you stay away from here.
It's said that this region could become the next part of the Sudan trying to break away from Khartoum. But this will mean that foreign interests will have to be involved, as there simply are too few money and not enough hiding places in the area, for a liberation war to be conducted.
But at the same time people of this region has closed in the distance between themselves and the surrounding world, and left their own language, in favour of Arabic.
For those disappointed by many of the traditions of the past now gone, Mellit is a good place. There are real caravans leaving in direction north, from this place.

Eat and Sleep
Nothing. You make the food yourself (fairly easy to buy) or eat with locals. The same for sleeping, you either make your own bed somewhere outdoors, or get invited to spend the night at some local's house.

Some lorries, that's really all. Or your own 4WD.

Going Next
60 km south: El Fasher

By Tore Kjeilen