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Leaving for the Sahara ?

Take the time to read this short record and find out a few attitudes and simple tips in order to travel in a responsible way to the Sahara, respecting and preserving its natural and cultural heritage. By your own responsible behavior you contribute to the protection of a delicate legacy.

Why getting information about the saharan legacy?

Because you could unwittingly endanger this fragile environment, depriving your children of the pleasure of enjoying such beauties.
Because the Sahara’s ancient arts and the prehistoric mineral deposits are the single files left that may enable us to understand the environment, the everyday life and the imaginary of North Africa’s first inhabitants. Protecting these files is essential in order to allow the researchers to continue to study the African and Mediterranean ancestry.



  • A few simples moves in order to keep the Sahara's natural legacy protected.

    Leave all the wrappings from your recently purchased equipment at home before leaving. You should also carry a few watertight bags with you.

    You should avoid camping thoughtlessly. Follow only your guide or driver’s indications.

    Wood for domestic use is rare at the Sahara and its regeneration is very slow or simply null. Use as much as possible gas or deadwoods, the autochthons that accompany your journey know how to find and choose. Let them handle this vital resource for the everyday life of the nomads.

    Avoid pulling out plants, since they can retain water and are among the most endangered species of the world.

    Drinking water is a rare element that might be imperatively not polluted and used with parsimony. The survival of the Saharan depends on it. During a year a Saharan uses the equivalent of the monthly consumption of a European tourist! Putting aside the drinking water, which is physiologically vital, and your daily personal hygiene (in a small basin), you should reduce as much as you can your water consumption. Do the washing at the oasis, not at the desert!

    Keep yourself from going to stool thoughtlessly anywhere, as much as near the water spots! Remember always making a twelve inches depth hole and cover it with sand before leaving.

    Before leaving any camping spot, make sure your temporary place of activity is intact and not soiled. Take with you all of the waste (including that supposed to be biodegradable such as fruit or vegetable peelings…). Keep lyophilized food, cans, packs of cigarettes, cigarette ends, lighters, batteries, aerosols, photo films wraps, ointment tubes, video and audio cassettes or wraps and DV’s in the watertight bags you brought. Burn anything that might be burnable, especially papers, Kleenexes, tampons, paper towels (after having them dried beforehand).

    If you don’t intend to go camel trekking, make sure you use a well-functioning vehicle in order to avoid any eventual pollution.

    Favor small groups from 5-6 to 10-12 people for your hiking excursions, in the company of the Tuareg (desert inhabitants) or properly trained desert guides, so that you’ll be exerting less pressure on the environment and leave the landscape intact.

  • A few simples moves in order to respect the Sahara's Cultural Legacy

    Keep yourself from touching or altering the engravings or cave paintings. By putting your hands above or by wetting them, you systematically awake the microorganisms that had been sleeping above for several thousand years. Then the latter starts to calcify or sulfate the paintings’ surfaces erasing them. By sprinkling some of the most beautifully decorated Tassili N’Ajjer walls in order to better photograph or raise them, people, including researchers, has weakened or made disappear hundreds of prehistoric paintings.

    Wait for the right moments of the day, like those of the early morning or the late afternoon, for taking nice and well lit up pictures. Otherwise you may use a light-reflector (Lastolite type).

    Avoid moving or raising any archeological object from the surface’s deposits you may find: Studies on these artifacts are only pertinent at their own natural and paleo-cultural context. Only official archeological missions, with the concerned country’s agreement, are allowed to take samples for laboratory research.

  • Be carefull wiht the souvenirs!

    Think well before bringing with you any souvenir, prehistoric object or natural geologic curiosity with you. The current international laws schedule very heavy sanctions for anyone who might have collected archeological deposits or plaster cast, collected, altered or rubricard ancient art walls. On the other hand, international agreements for the protection of the species forbid the introduction of vulnerable or endangered species as much as of any kind of item manufactured from them.

    Remember that the most beautiful souvenirs are not material. They’re all the emotions and images that the Sahara has to offer by its inexhaustible natural and human richness. A natural and cultural legacy that is still preserved and that the future generations must be able to enjoy.

  • Let’s keep in mind these Saharan words: “I leave the world such as I found it for those who shall come”



Si vols més informació per viatjar a Walatta, escríu-nos:
Projecte realitzat per: Amb la colaboració de:
  FNSAV Fundació Solidaritat UB              
Amb el suport de:
Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional
Generalitat de Catalunya                                  Ajuntament de Sant Feliu de Llobregat
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Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons.