After more than three days of driving through mostly flat Sahelian landscapes, we leave the asphalt behind near Kalait, and continue driving north through flat landscapes. Then, the shape of large rock formations appear at the horizon in the blurry light of the heat of a Chadian desert day. We finally get close to the destination of our journey through Chad. When getting close to the rocks, we get to see their vertical walls, and the curvy shapes at the top. We drive straight towards one of those walls, when suddenly an arch appears, and our drivers steer our Landcruisers through it to find a spot in the shade. We are all excited: we feel that after long days on the road, our journey through the Ennedi now really begins.
We walk through the arch again, into the hot sunlight, and start walking along the dark brown vertical wall on our left. This is the west side of the Terkei massif, the west amphitheatre, and towards the west, we see isolated rock formations like icebergs floating on the ocean. Soon enough, we see a small house, and a woman heads towards us, opens a towel, and shows us a collection of souvenirs for sale. We walk back, I put my backpack on my back, and climb up a wall using hands and feet to work myself up the wall for better views. Next, we explore the narrow canyon in which the cars are parked. We discover ancient rock paintings in which red figures are clearly visible on the rock wall, and a cave with camel saddles a little further up.
After lunch, we walk towards the end of the canyon, and go around the walls of the rock formations. The more we walk, the more holes, caves, and arches we discover. There are some large openings which look like locks, others are a little higher up, and perfect spots for taking pictures. I cannot resist climbing up other rocks, squeeze myself through narrow caves, and get nice views as a reward. It is not yet spectacular, but this is a perfect introduction to the Ennedi region: rock formations in desert landscapes. The formations here whet our appetite for what is coming up in the next week of exploration of this remote region in the northeast of Chad. Our excitement only grows when we board the cars again to continue our journey: we cannot wait to enjoy more of the Ennedi.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Terkei amphitheatre west (Chad). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Terkei amphitheatre west.
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