Book review: The Most Beautiful Desert of All ~ Philippe Diole

Philippe Diole, 1959 (o/p)

diolePhilippe Diolé (left), a close friend and associate of Cousteau, made a solo camel and lorry journey to the Tassili N’Ajjer and the Fezzan in the early fifties. This was not a journey of science or exploration, it was made for sheer personal enjoyment. The book conveys this beautifully, recalling the impressions, exciting moments and deep moving personal thoughts encountered during the month-long camel trek through the Tassili (including Wadi Djerat), accompanied by a single Tourareg guide. In the second part of the book, Diolé recounts one of the earliest visits to the amazing engravings of Wadi Mathendous.

The book’s main appeal will be to those already having been to the deep desert. It is a beautiful clear distillation of the emotions experienced by true desert addicts, that many of us are aware of, but so few of us have the ability to express in words. It remains one of my all time favourite desert classics. See also this.

Andras Zboray