To follow the tourist route known as Walata and the Empire of Ghana
we can choose between different variants, according to which way
we are going or whether we choose to travel by car or by air. To
begin with, we have decided on a route which gives us the chance
to enjoy the beauty of the suggestive landscapes of this area.
We land in Nouackchott,
the capital of Mauritania, and head for Djouf, the first oasis on
the symbolic Road of Hope. From there we are in reach of Kiffa and
Tamchaket, which look down on us from a dune. In fact, this spot
acts as a distribution point for our visits to the ruins of Awdagost,
a historic city which lay on the route taken by the caravans crossing
the desert between Timbuktu and Siyilmasa. From the ruins of this
city we go on to the little palm grove at Togba, an oasis of cool
where we freshen up and recover our strength for the onward journey
Walata is a city that needs a few days to itself. We will be seduced by the warmth of its inhabitants and see the great beauty and cultural wealth that have earned it its listing as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. After a few days, when we leave behind us the red houses of Walata with their spectacular decoration, we shall continue to go deeper into the remains of the Empire of Ghana with a visit to its former capital of Koumbi Saleh, which we reach from Timbedra. Here we will be struck by the extent of its archaeological site and its mosque, restored after the excavations between 1972 and 1981.
Of course, a complete tour like this one has to include at least
one excursion to places of great natural and historical wealth like
Akreijit, Tichitt or Titdjitdja. Undoubtedly, the magical sight
of these places will make us want to come back here time and again.