The charm of the Tadrart Desert is its landscapes of rocky mountains meeting with dunes. The dunes change colors by place and by time. The mountains, made of sandstones, are carved by weathering and they form towers, temples and many other strange forms. The mountains look like they are struggling with the dunes which are trying to swallow.

There are flat walls at the riverside of the old dried rivers and Neolithic people left many engravings. At the corners of rivers, caves are formed and they became shelter of Neolithic people who left paintings there. Rock arts of Tassili n’Ajjer are mostly paintings while those of Tadrart are mostly engravings.
(December, 2014)



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The Tadrart Desert is located at 180km from Djanet in a southeastward direction. It is a mountainous desert facing the plateau of Tassili n’Ajjer. The desert is in the border area of Libya and Niger and the closest points of my tour were 20km from Libya and 100km from Niger. The tour of Tadrart is one of the most popular tours but the only tourists I met were local Tuareg people.

100km from the borders of Libya, Niger and Mali are red zones indicated by the Japanese government as the most dangerous area where evacuation is recommended. The French government indicates red zones in the whole Sahara area due to their military operation in Mali. After the terrorist attack last year, the border security was much reinforced. There are number of army camps in the border region and regular patrols are done by helicopters. The southern part of Tassili n’Ajjer has traditionally many illegal travelers from Mali and Niger going to Libya. This part of Tassili n’Ajjer is often closed because of military operations to clean out these illegal travelers. I did not feel so much risk as the army is fully operational. It is really pity that no tourist can admire such beautiful places.