The magic of the desert accessible to all
3 night 4 days
Day 1 : Fascination of the dunes
We will leave Hassilabiad with a guide and a camel driver. The Cherbi erg is at the doorstep of the Oasis inn, the arab dromaderies and Omar Sharif are packed up and join us.
We’ll start walking barefoot on the warm sand in an untouched landscape of orange dunes.
At the break, the guide will use this moment of rest to passionately explain Hassilabiad, the projects being achieved and the objectives of the dynamic organisation.
We’ll then resume walking in a peaceful and fascinating environment until we reach the Hamad erg which hides in the darkness of dusk some low houses.
The Bedouin family will give us a warm and simple welcome and will serve us a delicious couscous in a tent in the middle of nowhere.
The night will be clear and starry from the nomad tent housing us for the night.
This colorful day will be the first time getting to know the desert.
Day 2 : Getting to know the nomads
We’ll start the day by meeting the wild donkeys as they drink at the well. We’ll move at the slow pace of the dromedaries in the dry riverbed of river Talghomt.
The aromatic herbs that usually grow there are few and far between because of the lack of water, only some minuscule chamomile flower survive and roquette that usually grows so high it is used as animal feed is barely there.
At the break we’ll gather wood so the camel driver and talented cook are able to cook a delicious desert pizza in the sand.
Our route will end in the ghost village of Merdani, very picturesque although mostly abandoned because of drought. The few families remaining welcome visitors and provide them with all the necessities for the night they will spend near their house as well as a space for animals to spend the night.
We’ll enjoy a delicious tajine prepared together. The sunset will compete with the sunrise in this improbable place that lets our imagination wander to imagine a past where people thrived in their traditions which is explained in details by our hosts. This second day guarantees a change of scenery.
Day 3 : Immersion in the village
We’ll start a berber omelet breakfast while the sun rise on the mud houses before joining the volcanic route to the abandoned village of Mfis and its abandoned lead mine.
Everything is still in place, except for the mining operation, halted when the French left. The military surveilling the border are the only remaining testament of a vibrant activity that provided a living to several villages, now abandoned.
We’ll explore the excavation, infrastructure and beautiful fossils that can be found there.
Lunch will be shared with a shepherd in transit with his dromedaries and we’ll then leave the reg by following the dry riverbed until we reach the erg and its dunes covered in blond sand.
The trail will take us straight to the village of Khamila, population about 84. The house of our hosts is being renovated by the organisation and even had a bucket shower.
The village spreads on each side of the road and there is a school, mosque and even cultural center where we’ll enjoy a show given by traditional sudanese musicians.
A welcoming well stocked art gallery will open its doors to visitors. Fatima and her husband will serve us a delicious and copious couscous which we’ll happily share.
The day will end in full harmony with the family.
Day 4 : Unexpected nature
This day will take us to the Srij daya, a pond that’s unfortunately which is dry. We’ll therefore move along the erg and into the dunes before coming back to Hassiliabiad. Our lunch break will end with a sand storm which will reshape the dunes and make the mood change. The sun will hide behind the clouds which will filter the light. When the wind calms down and the sky clears up, the guide will say ‘the sand has been cleansed’.
‘It’s gone full circle’ he will add when we say farewell to the camel driver and the dromedaries go back to their rest area.
A 3-generation big family will welcome you for an evening of exchange around a feast. We will learn about the starry sky before our last night in the village. We’ll then enjoy one last day of exploration and friendliness. We will explore on foot in 2 hour hikes or on dromedary back depending on your choice.