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SAHARA SOJOURN A JOURNEY TO CHAD’S TIBESTI MOUNTAINS

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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