The Tin Taradjeli Pass

Anyone who’s taken the RN3 down to Djanet in southeastern Algeria will remember the Tin Taradjeli Pass. By the mid-1980s the tarmac may have reached Illizi, but from here a bone-shaking 200-km crossing of the Fadnoun plateau was so rough, steep and bendy, bigger trucks had to take a long detour and there were warning signs at each end of the plateau: Attention; Dangerous Track.

Part of the Tassili N’Ajjer escarpment which stretches over into the Libyan Akakus, the Fadnoun was a notorious, vehicle-wrecking barrier. Suspension problems were common and on various trips I came across a 2CV and a Hilux which were gradually breaking in half and needed the chassis braced.

As I write in Desert Travels, crossing the Fadnoun with a Landrover 101 and a group of bikes in 1989, they’d ride for an hour and then wait hours for me to catch up.

On the left, the 1983 edition of the Paris-Dakar crossed the Fadnoun on its way to Djanet and the Tenere beyond.

A map and few shots of Tin Taradjeli over the years.

Tin Taradjeli: where the green line meets the pink in the middle of the map.

1987 (full story).

1989 with the 101 and some bikes.

A clearer day in 2002, photo by Ian T on his way to West Africa on a KTM 620.

Still sunny in 2003: arriving via the tough Tarat piste (green line on map, above) on Desert Riders.

2007 with a small MAN 8.135 lorry loaded with bikes. Taradjeli now with Armco and cameras improving. Full story.

2018. Armco + white lines. Full story.