Photo expedition to Sahara: extraterrestrial Ennedi Plateau and M'bororo Guerewol festival


October 17 – 28, 2024
Tour to Chad
our 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 M'bororo tribe.

Our expedition by 4WD jeeps will go deep to the north of mysterious Chad in search of traditional nomadic 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 17 – 28, 2024

Duration: 12 days / 11 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost per person:
– 2 850 EUR subject to 12 participants, or
– 2 990 EUR subject to 10 – 11 participants or
– 3 290 EUR subject to 9 participants or
– 3 490 EUR subject to 7 – 8 participants.

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
– 1 dinner in Ndjamena.

Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Ndjamena – Moscow: 900 – 1400 EUR (to be bought on your own. We consult you).
Estimated cost of international flight Cairo – Ndjamena – Cairo: from 500 EUR (to be bought on your own. We consult you).

Single supplement in hotel: 75 EUR (provided along the entire itinerary).

Single supplement in tents: 50 EUR (provided along the entire itinerary).

TRAVEL PROGRAM: tour to Chad

Day 1. October 17, 2024 (Thursday). N'djamena – Guerewol festival of M'bororo in Dourbali/Massenya (110 – 180 km)

Morning arrival by air in N'djamena. Meet the guide and waiting for the guide to fulfill the
immigration and registration procedures. Lunch not scheduled, in the meantime, while waiting for Police formalities, we can have simple lunch of sandwich and drink.
Early afternoon, departure 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 season of the Guerewol, when the custom of dances and songs makes the life of this people.
Expected arrival at the mobile camp in the evening. We will attend ceremonies of welcome and hospitality during the Guerewol festival.
Bivouac under tent. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals: packed lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

* Recommended flight:
- with Egypt Air via Cairo, departs from Moscow at 2:30 am on October 17, stopover in Cairo 1 hour 35 minutes, arrives in Ndjamena on October 17 at 11:25 am,
- with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, departs from Moscow at 22:05 on October 15, stopover in Addis Ababa 4 hours, arrives in Ndjamena on October 16 at 12:10 pm (extra night in Ndjamena is needed and to be separately paid),
- any other flight with arrival in Ndjamena on October 17 in the morning, but no later than at 11:30 am on October 17.

Day 2. October 18, 2024 (Friday). Guerewol festival at 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. In this even, we can arrange the horse racing).
Full day and night with M'bororo celebrating Guerewol.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 3. October 19, 2024 (Saturday). M'bororo camp – N'djamena – Massaguet – Massakory (200 – 330 km)

After breakfast, final morning photo session and farewell from M'bororo. We leave the camp and drive to north east, via Ndjamena. For next 9 days we will cover the distance of 2500 km, on some days driving 6 to 8 hours.
After 3 – 4 hours driving, arrival in N'djamena. Lunch on the way. Continue driving 100 – 150 km more by good tar road, up to Massakory area. We stop somewhere in between Massaguet and Massakory.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Days 4 – 5. October 20 – 21, 2024 (Sunday – Monday). Massakory – Moussoro – Bathandjenna – Kalait (some 600 km)

Within these 2 days we cross the desert zone in Bahr Al Ghazel and Batha provinces, cobering at least 600 km across southern part of Sahara – the largest desert on Earth.
After reaching Moussoro, we drive along Bahr el Ghazel, an ancient river of Chad that flowed in a south/north axis. The basin of dead dunes and basins of the old dry lake. Strong concentration of Kereda-Arab families who share this area before reaching the town of Salal.
Continue to Bathandjenna area, the nomadic area where we have chance to admire wells with numerous camels and where we stay overnight.
Next day we proceed driving eastward. It will be easy to spot numerous gazelles along the Wadi Rime'.
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 Sahara 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.
Bivouac under tent in the area of Kalait. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 6. October 22, 2024 (Tuesday). Kalait – Wadi Achim – Bachikele – Djoulia Arch (some 200 km)

We start from Kalait, which is the center and crossroads of the Saharan world. The wells here used to host hundreds of families of Toubou and Arab nomads who consider Kalait as a buffer zone between the desert and the Sahel.
After the formalities and shopping in Kalait, we drive to north-east through Wadi Achim in order to enter the Ennedi plateau from the south-eastern part, the area of Bachikele.
The Ennedi Plateau is is a truly unique place. It is considered a part of the group of mountains known as the Ennedi Massif. It is a sandstone bulwark in the middle of the Sahara , which was formed by erosion from wind and temperature. The Ennedi makes up an area of approximately 60000 square km, as large as Switzerland.
We start exploring Ennedi from the eastern part of the plateau. We put our camp in one of the most smashing places – Arco de Djoulia.
Photography session before sunset and at night with the starry sky.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 7. October 23, 2024 (Wednesday). Djoulia Arch – Guelta de Bachikele – Aloba Arch – Elephant Arch – Labyrinth de Gaulle (Oyu) – Manda Gueli Cave – Guelta Archei

After sunrise at the true natural masterpiece – Djoulia Arch – we have breakfast and take a nice walk along the Bachikele guelta, where a this season we can find some water squeezed by the canyon walls.
Short drive via Chebi village to the huge Aloba arch. In Aloba we will see the largest arch in the world with an estimated opening of 120 m high and 77 m wide.
Today is very intense day and we are eager to explore the grandiose work of nature – its arches and its corridors around the plateau of Ennedi. Drive along the plateau, probably meeting the ostriches and gazelles, and arrive at the place called Three Arches. This cliff has a unique form shaping as medieval gallery arcade. In this part of plateau we admire with the work of nature, finding also the rock called Bottle of Champagne.
Today is definitely a day of arches! The Elephant Arch, one of the most impressive arches on the Plateau, indeed resembles an elephant with a trunk.
We discover the small and big labyrinths of Ennedi – impressive Labyrinth de Gaulle (also known as Oyu), a crazy work of unknown artists. Labyrinths and corridors rich in caves where thousands of paintings are hidden.
Visit to the Manda Gueli Cave with the prehistoric Rock paintings. Observing some small dunes on the way.
We will finish this day arriving before sunset at the most beautiful place of all Ennedi Plateau – Guelta Archei. First acquaintance with Archei, undoubtedly the most beautiful guelta in Sahara.
Bivouac under tent. Meal prepared by our cook

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 8. October 24, 2024 (Thursday). Guelta Archei – Tokou wells – Terkei – Eye Glasses and Mushrooms Plateau – Kalait

Wake up early to meet sunrise and have early breakfast.
Today we have trekking (takes up to 4 hours) to grandiose Archei Guelta – gathering point of thousands of camels and especially surprise habitat of the last crocodiles of the desert, the last female species of disappearing crocodiles. Explore this 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!
Daily by 10-11 am lots of camels gather together in the guelta, the best time for photography.
Farewell from Archel at 11 am or so. 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.
Proceed to Terkei – the gateway to the Ennedi, where we explore open air museum of the Rupestrian paintings – one of the most impressive petroglyphs in Africa, situated in the caves.
On the edge of the plateau locates one of the most impressive places of Ennedi – the Eye Glasses cliff surrounded with the 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. Probable meeting with some nomads.
Bivouac under tent. Meal prepared by our cook.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 9. October 25, 2024 (Friday). Kalait – Arada – Biltine – Abeché (260 km)

After breakfast, we start driving back from the area of Kalait. Here begins the semi-desert area.
All day driving southward. 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.
Arada is our refueling point after coming back from the desert and the drop-off point for the Arab and Kereda nomads with their plenty of camels and cows. We are in semi-nomadic zone.
Passing Biltine and in the area of Abeche bivouac under tent.
Dinner prepared by our cook.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 10. October 26, 2024 (Saturday). Abeché – Mangalme – Beyond Mongo (some 450 km)

After breakfast, we keep driving westward. After shortcutting via Mangalme, we head towards Mpngo.
Today we are 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.
We pass bizarre shaped Abou Telfane Mountains inhabited by Hadjarai people. Once animists, the Hadjarai, have kept the tradition of various sacrifices that has remained on the Guerra plateau.
Bivouac under tent beyond Mongo. Meals prepared by our cook.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents

Day 11. October 27, 2024 (Sunday). Beyond Mongo – Bokoro – N'djamena (some 450 km)

Early departure for N'djamena. Passage of the area of the Hajarai farmers, and then Arab and Boulala nomads. Meeting with some nomads in transhumance.
Passing Bokoro. We are now at the end of the rainy season, and this area is normally flooded because of the Chari River.
Arrival in the capital by 2 pm or later. Visit to the craft center for souvenirs. Transfer to Ibis hotel for rest.
In the evening we choose a restaurant in the city for dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Ibis (nowadays Irrisor) hotel 3*

Day 12. October 28, 2024 (Monday). N'djamena – Return flight

After breakfast, transfer to N'djamena airport. International return flight.

Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: no

* Recommended flight:
- with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, departs from Ndjamena at 3:35 am on October 28, stopover in Istanbul 3 hours 10 minutes, arrives in Moscow on October 28 at 18:40,
- with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, departs from Ndjamena at 14:00 on October 28, stopover in Addis Ababa 3 hours 30 minutes, arrives in Moscow on October 29 at 7:40 am,
- with Egypt Air via Cairo, departs from Ndjamena at 15:55 pm on October 29, stopover in Cairo 1 hour 10 minutes, arrives in Moscow on October 30 at 1:45 am (extra night in Ndjamena is needed and to be separately paid),
- any other flight with departure from Ndjamena not earlier than at 22:00 on October 27 or any time on October 28.

* The order of visits and excursions can be modified according to local conditions (i.e. state of roads, market days, ceremonies etc.). If some visits and/or tours could not be done due to external conditions, they will be replaced when possible.

** The participant of expedition to Chad must be motivated to be respectful to the culture of local tribes, be aware of the objectives of the trip and possible program changes depending on weather or road conditions, security conditions and any other reasons, be able to adapt to the new environment and culture.
Cost includes:

- accommodation in hotels according to the program on TWIN or DBL basis
- DBL accommodation in tents
- Toyota Land Cruisers 4WD with A/C, fuel and experienced driver (3 passengers in 1
- all airport transfers according to the program
- full board meals (breakfast, non-hot lunch and hot dinner), except for 1 dinner in the
restaurants in Ndjamena
- mineral 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
- Photography fees during the festival
- 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

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

- international flight to N'djamena roundtrip (flight Moscow – Ndjamena – Moscow is
approx. 900 – 1400 EUR)
- medical insurance
- Chad visa (USD 150), to be obtained at the latest 15 days prior to the trip
- 1 dinner in Ndjamena
- Photography fees on the way
- 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
  • no COVID-19 requirement applied (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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