Ahaggar is a highland located in the south of Algeria, in the central part of the Sahara, east of the city of Tamanrasset. Ahaggar is the foundation of the Sahara platform, which came to the surface 2 billion years ago. Within the highlands, young lava plateaus also stand out: Tassilin-Adjer, Tassilin-Adrar, Tassilin-Anakhev, Tassilin-Atakor and Tassilin-Tahalra.
The unusual cliffs of Ahaggara always amazed the people and created mysterious legends. The indigenous inhabitants of the highlands, Tuareg, believe in jinn, who, fighting to the last, petrified in the form of rocks. A more humane version of the legend says that the remnants are traces of the battles of giant creatures.
In fact, the solution of Ahaggar lies in the fact that it consists of volcanic rocks. At first, the highlands were elevated to a height of up to 2 thousand meters and broken by deep cracks. Lava flowed into the faults and volcanoes were formed. Then the desert winds destroyed volcanoes, leaving rocky outcrops in the form of towers, obelisks and cones.
The highest point of Ahaggar is Mount Tahat with a height of 2918 meters. Not far from it were found cave paintings created before our era.
Flora and fauna
The hard, sharply continental climate with rare scant rain made Ahaggar a unique place. Plants and animals that are here, you will not find anywhere else in Algeria! They are collected in the Ahaggar National Park and carefully guarded.
The flora is priceless due to relict Neogene flora and endemics. On the Ahaggara you will see olives, cypress, mastic, acacia, dum-palm, oleander, wormwood, date palmate, thyme, ephedra.
The fauna of the reserve is also very diverse. Only mammals here are about 60 species! These are representatives of the subfamily of the sand lance, jerboa, the Cape hare, the Ethiopian hedgehog and others. In the open spaces of the park you can also find a maned ram, gazelle-dorkas, cheetah, mouflon, saber-antelope, spotted hyena and common jackal. Birds of prey are African owl and barn owl, desert and trubasty crows.
If you are lucky enough to travel in the highlands before sunset, then you will witness amazing optical phenomena! The rays of the setting sun emphasize and enrich the relief of the rocks, so they begin to resemble sculptures of an eccentric artist. they become even more delineated, and some basalt columns resemble sculptures created by an eccentric artist.
If the heart of the Sahara can be called Ahaggar, then the heart of the Ahaggar is the Ain Sapah oasis. On this cozy corner of nature, you can admire the clock. The graceful, picturesque oasis is bordered by a jagged wall of pink rocks, buried in a light haze. At first, she appears out of nowhere and quickly moves to the rocks. The majestic wall is barely visible, but this mysterious picture is fascinating. And suddenly, the haze disappears and a surprising spectacle opens before you, which can hide from minute to minute!
In the Tuareg language, Ahaggar means “noble”. They learned to survive in specific conditions, saving rainwater in rocky recesses. Tuareg Ahaggaras created a distinctive culture, they profess Islam, but matriarchy reigns in their everyday life – a legacy of Berber people. Travelers are amazed by the fact that here girls choose their suitors at “fairs”, the word of the oldest woman in the family is law, and if a girl is taught to read and read from a young age, then for boys it is not at all necessary.
The best way to travel around Ahaggar is in an SUV. Tourists are usually offered to get to Mount Assekrem height of 2728 meters. From here you can fully enjoy the panorama of the stones and sands of the Sahara, and then visit the monastery.
We recommend the following sights: Tamanrasset, the cliffs around Mertutek oasis, Mount Assekrem, Foucault Monastery, Uxem Crater, Cave with rock paintings and Ahaggar National Park.