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Chad: Abaike Tassili

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Abaike Tassili | Chad | Africa

[Visited: November 2016]

We drive through spectacular scenery, and there is one point at the end of the afternoon when some of us are really disappointed that we do not stop and camp. But our convoy continues, and after driving through some less interesting landscapes, we suddenly enter a huge area with hundreds of rock pinnacles. While they all have more or less the same height, they vary in shape. Some of them seem impossible: a very thin middle with a much heavier part on top. How can they keep balance, why don't they collapse? It is only half an hour before sunset that we finally park, and most of us rush towards the sunlight. We see an amazing amount of stunning rocks, and given the little time we have left before darkness, it is hard to decide where to go.

Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Sunrise with silhouettes of Ennedi landscape in the foreground

After passing several rocks resembling elephants with a heavy load on their backs, and with slender trunks stuck to the ground, I see an oddly shaped rock in the distance. I walk as fast as I can, meanwhile looking at the other rocks I pass. I come to a plain, and then, stand still, and watch the sun sink behind the row of pinnacles. From rocks, they turn into silhouettes, getting always darker, until they turn black. They now look like a bunch of haphazard black fingers sticking into the deep orange sky. The next morning, a few of us are up well ahead of sunrise, and we walk towards the west this time. There is an orange glow at the horizon, and we make our way towards a group of pillars we have not seen the day before, and wait for the sun to rise.

Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): View through a rock

When the first slice of sun finally pops up above the horizon, I position myself so that the sun rises directly behind one of the slender pinnacles. On either side of the pillar, there is a slice of sun, moving up, until the full, bright yellow disk seems to stand exactly on top of the pillar, like a huge lightbulb on a lamp. But it soon breaks loose, and starts the day by rising higher and higher. After breakfast, we explore the plains again, look through the holes in the rocks, admire some weird pillars we have not noticed before. Enjoy the morning sunlight on the wide plains with their strange, rocky decorations. Somehow, the strange beauty of the landscape is touching, it makes me emotional. It feels like I could walk around here for many hours. Reality is: we need to move on. But not after we take a picture of the scorpion that was killed by one of the staff - the only scorpion we would see in two weeks. When we drive off, we realize that this was the most beautiful camping spot of the entire trip.

Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Plains of Abaike Tassili
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Sunset with bizarre rock formation in the foreground
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): View of a plain with scattered rock formations through a hole in another rock
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Collection of rock formations at Abaike Tassili
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Rock formation with resemblance of a religious statue
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Herdsman with camels with rocky mountains close to Abaike Tassili
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Plain full of rock formations
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Early morning light on a rock formation resembling a kissing couple
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Plain with pinnacles in the morning light
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Rock in the shape of an elephant on the Abaike Tassili plains
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Collection of rock pinnacles standing on a plain at dusk
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): Rock formations standing firm on a plain of Abaike Tassili
Picture of Abaike Tassili (Chad): One of the many rock formations of Abaike Tassili in the late afternoon

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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