Part of the occasional Sahara A to Z series
It takes about 11 days to cover the rough 180-kilometres to the Amguid crater in southern Algeria. The Immidir plateau is inaccessible to cars so the camel caravan carries all our gear and food and the crew draw water from natural waterholes or ‘gueltas’ ever other day. These guetas as well as daily grazing for the camels are key to staging the trek.
Our route follows canyons, dry valleys and escarpments as well as old camel and game trails where present. Along the way we pass several pre-Islamic tombs and often come across Neolithic artifacts, as well as tracks of gazelles, jackals and even a leopard.
The crater is thought to be 100,000 years old and is about half a kilometre wide. It’s filled with rain-washed sand over the millennia and is the only level part of the whole walk!
A day later we rendezvous with the cars on the far side of the Bou Zerafa dune field, about 700km north of Tamanrasset.