Big expedition to Sahara: extraterrestrial Ennedi Plateau and Mbororo Guerewol festival


October 15-29, 2023
Tour to

тур в Дагестан путешествия по России Кавказ восхождение Пабаку Бабаку конное восхождение Кубачи Бурши тур Юждаг Куруш Ерыдаг восхождение Шалбуздаг Базардюзю Ахты Зрых Шиназ Уна Ухул Верхние Филя

Endless desert of Sahara and vast plains of Sahel, giant natural arches and crazy work of unknown artist on Ennedi plateau, spectacular transhumance of nomads and Guerewol festival with Mbororo tribe.

Our expedition by 4WD jeeps will go deep to the north of mysterious Chad in search of traditional cultures and one of the world's most breathtaking landscapes.

Мы заберёмся высоко в горы в аул Бурши и перенесёмся лет на 40 в прошлое. Пройдем на лошадях по красивейшей долине реки Арцалинех и достигнем пирамиды Пабаку. Откроем спрятанные высоко в горах Юждага аулы-призраки, стоя на краю которых захватывает дух! Заберёмся на крайний юг России, достигнем самого высокогорного поселения Европы – Куруш, расположенного в окружении высочайших вершин, и отправимся в путешествие по марсианскому плато Ерыдага.
Забудьте всё, что вы знали о Дагестане! Это настоящее путешествие во времени!
Мы путешествуем в замечательной компании первого и единственного дагестанского восходителя на Эверест Рашида Гаджиясулова!


Dates: October 15 – 29, 2023

Duration: 15 days / 14 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12

Cost per person:
– EUR 3 690 subject to 11 – 12 participants, or
– EUR 3 750 subject to 10 participants or
– EUR 3 990 subject to 8 – 9 participants, based on SINGLE accommodation.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before May 15, 2023)

Everything is included, except for:
– international flight to Ndjamena roundtrip
– Chad visa (to be obtained in Chad embassy in your country at some 150 USD)
– international medical insurance
– two dinners in Ndjamena.

Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Ndjamena – Moscow: EUR 850 – 1100 (to be bought on your own. We consult you).
Estimated cost of international flight Istanbul – Ndjamena – Istanbul: EUR 900 (to be bought on your own. We consult you).

Single supplement: non-applicable. Single accommodation is provided by default.


Day 1. October 15, 2023 (Sunday). Arrival in N'djamena

Arrival by air in N'djamena late in the evening. Transfer to Ibis hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

* Recommended flight:
- with Egypt Air via Cairo, departs from Moscow at 16:55 on October 14, stopover in Cairo 11h10min, arrives in Ndjamena on October 15 at 11:25 am,
- with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, departs from Moscow at 22:00 on October 14, stopover in Addis Ababa 5h05min, arrives in Ndjamena on October 15 at 12:10 pm,
- with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, departs from Moscow at 19:35 on October 14, stopover in Istanbul 19 hours, arrives in Ndjamena on October 16 at 2:00 am,
- any other flight with arrival in Ndjamena any time on October 15 or in the night from October 15 to 16.

Meals included: no
Accommodation: Ibis (nowadays Irrisor) hotel 3*, shower, single occupancy

Day 2. October 16, 2023 (Monday). N'djamena – Camp of M'bororo in Dourbali/Massenya (110 – 180 km)

After breakfast and Police formalities, departure around 9:30 am by 4WD SUVs in the direction via Dourbali. We cross the plain of Chari Baguirmi to reach the camp in the area of Dourbali or Massenya, which is a fallback point for the nomads after the rainy season. We take the opportunity to set up our camp, paying particular attention to the customs and traditions of the M'bororo people, called the "people of the cows". We are in the true season of the Guerewol, when the custom of dances and songs makes the life of this people. We will attend ceremonies of welcome and hospitality during the Guerewol festival. Bivouac under tent. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 3. October 17, 2023 (Tuesday). M'bororo camp

Meetings and exchanges with the young people, songs and traditional dances. It is an ancient tradition, which brings together young people to rediscover the sense of celebration and also to promote intimate encounters in connection with the first love. Today, we will play football with the M'bororo in full dress, this option is not in the tradition, but it is an effort that we will ask this people to share with them. (it is not excluded that the youth will not accept this suggestion).
Visit of the site and the surroundings to close our stay with a common dinner.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 4. October 18, 2023 (Wednesday). M'bororo camp – Ndjamena – Massaguet/ before Bokoro (160 – 350 km)

We leave the camp early and head towards Bokoro. We are now at the end of the rainy season, it is not easy to find the passage between Massenya and Bokoro. The area is normally flooded because of the Chari River. This will most probably force us to return to Ndjamena and get back to the paved road towards Massaguet and Bokoro. In this case we will not be able to drive until Bokoro and stay overnight somewhere in between of Massaguet and Bokoro, and the rest of the way is to be caught up on the next day.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 5. October 19, 2023 (Thursday). Massaguet/Bokoro – Guerra Plateau – Abou Telfane (280 – 430 km)

Departure around 8:00 am by 4WD SUVs in the east direction towards Mongo.
For next days we will cover the distance of 2700 km, on some days driving 6 to 8 hours. Passage of the area of the Arab and Boulala, Hajarai nomads and farmers. Meeting with some nomads in transhumance. Bivouac under tent. Meal prepared by our cook. This part of the crossing of the Guerra plateau with its rich granite mountains, with its men and women who perched on donkeys or carts are rushing to the daily with multitudes of activities.
After long day, from Mongo we turn southward and proceed some 50 km to the area of Abou Telfane Mountain. We will reach the place called Source de Taro nearby Fitchari village. Bivouac under tent. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Days 6 – 7. October 20 – 21, 2023 (Friday – Saturday). Abou Telfane – Mangalme – Abeché – Biltine – Arada (550 km)

In the morning, led by the local guide, we explore the cave Source de Taro, which is considered a sacred place among Hadjarai people. Once animists, the inhabitants of this area, the Hadjarai, have kept the tradition of various sacrifices for a part of this population that has remained on the Guerra plateau.
The villages of Hadjarai are very authentic and place reminds Alantika Mountains in northern Cameroon, as well as Hadjarai animists resemble Koma people of Alantika.
Before lunch we leave the Guerra Plateau shortcutting via Mangalme, to head towards Abeché.
Bivouac under tent. Meals prepared by our cook.
Next day continue driving northward. We are now in the region of Ouaddaï, an ancient kingdom once recognized with the commercial link to the present Sudan. Its colorful market is much influenced by Sudanese traditions. Our refueling point before heading back to the desert. Arada is the drop-off point for the Arab and Kereda nomads with their plenty of camels and cows. We are in semi-nomadic zone. Bivouac under tent. Dinner prepared by our cook.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 8. October 22, 2023 (Sunday). Arada – Kalait – Terkei (Gateway to the Ennedi Plateau) (250 km)
After the formalities and shopping in Kalait which is the center and crossroads of the Saharan world, here begins the semi-desert area. The wells used to host hundreds of families of Toubou and Arab nomads who consider Kalait as a buffer zone between the desert and the Sahel. We leave Kalait to return in the part of the plateau, with the first bivouac in the peak of Terkei – gateway to the Ennedi Plateau. Bivouac under tent. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 9. October 23, 2023 (Monday). Terkei – Elephant Arch – Guelta Archei

In the morning we explore open air museum of the Rupestrian paintings in Terkei – one of the most impressive petroglyphs in Africa, situated in the caves.
We keep exploring Ennedi Plateau, visit to the Tokou water well, where closer to midday many animals gather together herded by the nomadic Guran people.
Guran are those who settle only the plateau of Ennedi.
Move to the Elephant Arch, one of the most impressive arches on the Plateau. Visit to the Manda Gueli Cave with the prehistoric Rock paintings. Observing some small dunes on the way.
We will finish this day at the most beautiful place of all Ennedi plateau – Guelta Archei, gathering point of thousands of camel herds and especially surprise habitat of the last crocodiles of the desert. Real cathedral of sandstone sculpted according to the whims of water and wind. Archei has the merit of the circus, grandiose and spectacular. Let's discover this natural wealth. Bivouac under tent. Meal prepared by our cook

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 10. October 24, 2023 (Tuesday). Guelta Archei – Djoulia Arch – Guelta de Bachikele – Aloba Arch

In the morning we will visit grandiose Guelta Archei once again, the time when the light is different and by 10-11 am lots of camels gather together in the guelta.
We drive to the eastern part of the plateau to see one more smashing place – Arco de Djoulia via village of Chebi.
We take a nice walk along the Bachikele guelta.
Drive along the plateau probably meeting the ostriches and gazelles. Arrive in the Aloba arch well before sunset. Sunset and night photography at Aloba Arch. Bivouac under tent. Meal prepared by our cook

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 11. October 25, 2023 (Wednesday). Aloba Arch – Ouaddi Nohi – Bir de Gaulle Labyrinth – Mushrooms plateau – Kalait

In Aloba we will see the largest arch in the world with an estimated opening of 120 m high and 77 m wide. A grandiose work of nature where we crisscross to discover its arches and its corridors around the plateau of Ennedi. The Nohi Valley with magnificent panoramas between dunes and magic shapes. A crazy work of unknown artists. Labyrinths and corridors rich in caves where thousands of paintings are hidden.
A vast discovery of the Ennedi massif before taking the road back to Kalait: impressive Bir de Gaulle Labyrinth and Mushrooms plateau.
We start our return to the plains of Oumchallouba. We let ourselves be guided by the plain which reminds us of life in an empty world. Meeting with some nomads. Bivouac under tent. Meal prepared by our cook.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 12 – 13. October 26 – 27, 2023 (Thursday – Friday). Kalait – Betelgena – Djedda – Ati – Lake Fitri – Ngoura (550 km)

Within these 2 days long driving from Kalait to Betelgena west to Kouba Olanga, and further to Djedda.
We are now in the transhumance zone of Toubou Kereda and Teda in search of pasture on the way to the South. This arid zone lets us believe that the desert is advancing rapidly. It is the end of rainy season, this occasion allows to see the displacements of the Arab nomadic families who go back to the north for the caravan of Faya. The Kereda and Boulala return towards the agricultural lands, the women on the camels and the men on the horses followed by hundreds of herds. It is called the transhumance – a true spectacle to see.
Our journey will find the city of Ati, the largest commercial center in the region.
The presence of water, apart from the rainy season, is marked by the Lake Fitri, which is an important watering place and the meeting point of all the ethnic groups. It is also a fishing zone that supplies the region of Guerra and sometimes as far as Ndjamena.
Bivouac under tent. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, single occupancy

Day 14. October 28, 2023 (Friday). Ngoura – N'djamena (200 km)

Keep driving back to N'djamena. This is the Savanna. The basin of the old dry lake, which remains the small part named lake Fitri a large hydraulic basin for fishing. Even if the road is impassable because waterlogged to access the lake Fitri in October, but mid-December this area is a corridor of transhumance of thousands of nomads. We find the paved road that will lead us to Ndjamena Picnic lunch.
Arrival in N'djamena, visit to the village of Gaoui, ethnographic center of the Sao culture, which is a large ethnic group. Sao museum and pottery.
Check-in at Hotel Ibis (nowadays Irissor).
In the evening we choose a restaurant in the city for farewell dinner. Overnight.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Ibis (nowadays Irrisor) hotel 3*, shower, single occupancy

Day 15. October 29, 2023 (Sunday). N'djamena – Return flight

Ndjamena short city tour early in the morning. Visit to the craft center for souvenirs.
Transfer to N'djamena airport. International return flight.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation: no

* Recommended flight:
- with Egypt Air via Cairo, departs from Ndjamena at 12:55 on October 29, stopover in Cairo 1h15min, arrives in Moscow on October 30 at 1:25 am,
- with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, departs from Ndjamena at 14:25 on October 30, stopover in Addis Ababa 3h05min, arrives in Moscow on October 31 at 7:25 am (extra night in Ndjamena is needed and to be separately paid),
- with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, departs from Ndjamena at 2:50 am on October 30, stopover in Istanbul 1h10min, arrives in Moscow on October 30 at 14:45,
- any other flight with departure from Ndjamena any time on October 29.

Cost includes:

  • accommodation in hotels according to the program on SINGLE basis (and on DBL basis for couples)
  • SINGLE accommodation in tents (and DBL accommodation for couples)
  • Toyota Land Cruisers 4WD with A/C, fuel and experienced driver (3 passengers in 1 car)
  • all airport transfers according to the program
  • full board meals (breakfast, non-hot lunch and hot dinner), except for 2 dinners in the restaurants in Ndjamena
  • drinking water along the whole route: 3 liter per person per day
  • non-drinking water for hygienic purposes: 6 liter per person per day
  • camping gear: tents, foam mattresses
  • all entry fees and site visits
  • contribution to local communities
  • participation in festivals
  • football and all activities according to the program
  • all formalities and permits
  • visa support
  • governmental taxes
  • accompaniment of very experienced English speaking guide
  • accompaniment of Russian and English speaking team leader throughout the trip

To be addidionally (personally) paid:

  • international flight to N'djamena roundtrip (flight Moscow – Ndjamena – Moscow is approx. EUR 850 – 1100)
  • medical insurance
  • Chad visa (USD 150), to be obtained at the latest 15 days prior to the trip
  • 2 dinners in Ndjamena
  • Photography fees on the way and during the festival
  • alcohol, soft drinks, personal items, souvenirs
  • tips for the crew and local communities

To take with:

  • wear sets fitting weather conditions, one warm set
  • long sleeve wear set
  • repellents (is a must!)
  • mosquito net for sleeping place (is a must!)
  • comfortable closed shoes and opes shoes
  • forehead torch
  • big backpack (or bag, or small suitcase) for luggage
  • small backpack for personal items and camera
  • sleeping bag for warm weather (comfort temperature for +10 degrees Celsius,)
  • sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap)
  • sandblock set: desert glasses, buff/mask (up to you)
  • personal hygiene items (toilet paper, towel, wet tissues, hygiene lipstick etc.)
  • personal medical kit (analgesics, sanitizers, antibiotics, your personal medicine)
  • yellow fever certificate
  • COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that you were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival, OR negative result of PCR COVID test taken at most 72 hours before arrival (this requirement may change)
  • Anti malaria preventive pills (up to you to decide)
  • photo and video camera
  • 2 passport-type portrait photos to be brought for each participant for the police formalities in N'Djamena (mandatory)

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