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Chad: Teguedei Salt Lakes

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Teguedei Salt Lakes | Chad | Africa

[Visited: November 2016]

We have been driving through desert landscape for days, gazing at seemingly impossible rock formations, climbing orange sand dunes, meeting a camel caravan doing what others have done for centuries: crossing the desert, and we have loved it. But today, we set up lunch under one of the few big trees in this rather hostile environment, and I set out for a walk. I first come across all kinds of small trees and bushes, and then walk on to see red-and-white rock formations. Instead of taking the same road back again, I decide to venture in another direction and make a loop. There are taller trees ahead, which look quite green from a distance, and I walk towards them to see more. When I see a glimmer of water through the foliage, I get more excited.

Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Salt lake mirroring a mountain of rock and sand

Soon enough, I find out that I have just reached a lake, fringed by tall palm trees. Standing at the shoreline of this big body of water, I look over it in awe. There is no wind, and the water acts like a giant mirror, reflecting the tall mountains made of rock and sand in the distance. I try to walk along the shoreline, but it turns out this is impossible, unless you want to get your feet wet. And I do not trust the water. It looks shallow, but there is a distinct smell, and the crusty white ground surrounding the lake somehow makes me cautious. I walk alongside the lake, until the end of it, and find a way towards the water again. With the sun in my back, the views here are even better than before. I manage to walk the shore a little bit, but in the end, I get wet feet after all.

Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Pillar of rock near a salt lake

Apart from the stench coming from the still water, the air is filled with mosquitoes, which makes my stay at the lake a little less pleasant. I am getting thirsty and hungry, so I start walking back to our lunch spot. The sun shines on my head relentlessly, and I am running out of water. Zigzagging through the myriad of trees on and dunes, I make my way back to a deserved lunch. Close to our shelter, a tank still stands in the sand. Given the dry air, it will not rust away; only the sand, pushed along by the wind, will slowly eat at the bulky tank. On our way out of the lunch spot, we pass another pillar of rock, before we are back in the dry desert landscape. Even though I have just seen it, it seems impossible that a lake could exist here.

Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Landscape around one of the salt lakes
Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Still water in a salt lake of Teguedei
Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Trees on sand near one of the salt lakes of Teguedei
Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Rock formation sticking out of the desert sand at Teguedei
Picture of Teguedei Salt Lakes (Chad): Desert with rock formation near one of the salt lakes

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