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Chad: Tokou massif

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Tokou massif > Chad > Africa

[Visited: November 2016]

After leaving the wells of Tokou behind us, we drive through desert landscape, dry plains with a bush here and there, and rock formations scattered around us. Every now and then, we see a group of camels, a few nomads, perhaps on the way to the wells we have seen before to fetch water? Some of the rocks have weird shapes; we are driving through a landscape of towers and walls. And then, finally, we stop: straight ahead, we see a bottle-shaped rock. We get off, walk closer, admiring this amazing tall tower of vertical rock, shaped in such a curious way. Continuing our journey, we come across other towers, other walls, and the question comes back again and again: how were these rocks shaped the way they look now?

Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Bottle of Bamena, rock formation in Tokou resembling a wine bottle

Then, we arrive at a big arch, in the shape of an elephant with its trunk attached to the ground. We walk through it, admire it from all sides, look up, and some enter one of the small caves or crawl through a hole in the rocky wall. A little further, we park in the shade of a big rock formation, and set off on a short walk. There is a big arch in a wall of rock, and walking through it, we arrive in a wide space with yet more rocks. We backtrack, admiring the arch from all sides, and walk in the shade. We come to an area where slender spires with wide ends stand on solid rock formations, like candles on a birthday cake. And these birthday cakes float on the light brown sand of the Sahara desert.

Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Rock pillars and walls in Tokou

Around the corner, we find a necropolis: a collection of pre-Islamic tombs, piles of blackened stones, scattered around the plains between the rock formations. Little is known about these graves, as far as we understand, no research has been done, no tomb has been opened. We also find remains of stone tubes, which once had volcanic liquids inside, and which have over time dissolved into bits and pieces. Driving away from the area, we see small sand dunes at the foot of rock formations with slender spires. After driving through a narrow, shady canyon, we reach a spot for lunch, and explore the secluded area in which we find yet more elephant-shaped rocks, and a formation that looks like the index finger and thumb giving an OK sign. The shapes of the rocks are certainly inspirational!

Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Huge arch in the Tokou area
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Arch in the Tokou area
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Rock pillars with sand dune
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Rock formation with elephant-like shape in Tokou
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Vertical rock walls at Tokou
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Group of rock formations in the landscape of Tokou
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Rock formation resembling an elephant in the Tokou massif
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Wall of rock in the desert at Tokou massif
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Group of vertical rock walls in the Tokou massif
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Looking up one of the dramatic rock formations of the Tokou massif
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Volcanic tube lying on the ground
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): Pre-islamic tombs in the foreground and a rock formation behind
Picture of Tokou massif (Chad): One of the many pre-islamic tombs in the Tokou massif

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