The rugged Tibesti Mountains are as far as you can get from civilisation in Africa. Situated in the centre of the Sahara, in northern Chad, it’s a long four-day 1 500km journey from the capital, N’Djamena, much of which is on tracks, or pistes, that is not for the faint-hearted. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the area attracts only a few hundred determined adventurers a year and, in 2016, I was to be one of them!

From Johannesburg, I travelled by Ethiopian Airlines to N’Djamena with a night stop in Addis Ababa. Arriving in N’Djamena, I met up with my fellow travellers; like me, they also wanted to travel to the middle of nowhere in search of raw adventure with Milan-based tour operator, Spazi D’Avventura.

Meeting Pierot, Tibesti connoisseur

After breakfast, we met Pierot, our guide – a short, thickset guy, sixtyish with greying hair and a face covered with a good growth of stubble showing that it had not seen a razor for several days. A chain smoker, with a pipe in his left hand, he would spend much of the time on our trip in deep thought presumably planning his next move – where to go and set up camp. Like a detective, he would be on the lookout for clues in choosing the best place to camp – the amount of shade, protection from the ever-present wind... And, during lunch breaks, he would be in his element sitting cross-legged in the sand, face downwards, in deep conversation with one of the drivers. Most days he seemed to wear the same garb – a whitish peaked cap and a beige jacket, which fitted in well with the colour

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