SAHARA ADVENTURES
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SAHARA ADVENTURES

Algeria

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Algiers
Main Cities Oran, Constantine
Currency Algerian Dinar
Official Language(s) Arabic, Berber
Widely Spoken French
Main Ethnic Groups Arab-Berber
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +213
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+1
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Algeria for a Saharan safari is March-April or Oct-Nov when the heat of the day is bearable and the nights are less cold than in the middle of winter. Both periods will also allow you to incorporate in your itinerary cities and sites of the Mediterranean coastline – then dry and relatively warm – while October sees the start of the annual date harvest. An added benefit of travelling to Algeria during spring or autumn is far fewer crowds around key cultural attractions and beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Chad

Stunning Landscapes
Aboundant Wildlife
The Tibesti and the Toubou people
Camels of the Guelta d’Archei
Ennedi Rock Art
Colonial Architecture
Islamic Culture
The Wodaabe and the Gerewol Festival

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Capital N’Djamena
Main Cities Moundou, Abéché
Currency Central African CFA Franc
Official Language(s) Chadian Arabic, French
Main Ethnic Groups Sara, Arab, Kanembu, Toubou
Voltage 220v
Plugs Type C, D, E, F
Country Calling Code: +235
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+1
BEST TIME TO GO

The ideal window in which to visit Chad falls between December and April. By this time, the rainy season in the country’s southern and central regions comes to an end. The months of March and April are the best times to visit Zakouma National Park due to the vast numbers of diverse wildlife but the cooler months from December to February also offer their own unforgettable sightings.

RECOMMENDED READING

Told by Starlight in Chad (Joseph Brahim Seid)
The Roots of Heaven (Romain Gary)

Egypt

Treasures of the Pharaohs
Islamic Cairo and Khan al-Khalili
Coptic Cairo
The Western Desert and its Oases
The White Desert
Red Sea Riviera
Superb Scuba Diving
The Nile, Timeless River
The Nubian Villages

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Capital Cairo
Main Cities Alexandria, Giza
Currency Egyptian Pound
Official Language(s) Arabic
Ethnic Groups Ethnic Egyptian (inc. Copt), Abaza, Turk, Greek, Bedouin Arab, Berber, Nubian
Voltage 220v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +20
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+2
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Egypt and include the Western Desert is during Sep-November. During the depths of winter, night time desert temperatures can plummet to just below freezing. Avoiding spring would also mean steering clear of the possible sandstorms as a result of the annual Khamsin wind. That period is also ideal to book a Nile cruise and September is still an excellent time to visit the Red Sea beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Yacoubian Building (Alaa Al Aswany)
Egypt on the Brink
(Tarek Osman)
Akhenaten
(Dominic Montserrat)
The Cairo Trilogy
(Naguib Mahfouz)
A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
(Amelia Edwards)
In an Antique Land
(Amitav Ghosh)
The Pharaoh’s Shadow: Travels in Ancient and Modern Egypt
(Anthony Sattin)
Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt
(Joyce Tyldesley)

Morocco

Nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Scenic Coastal Towns and Imperial Cities
Souks and Medinas
Riads and Kasbahs
Hiking the Atlas Ranges and Berber Culture
Desert Stargazing in the Erg Chebbi
Roman ruins of Volubilis, Lixus and Sala Colonia
Blue Chefchaouen
Spicy Culinary Delights
Christian and Jewish Heritage
Islamic Culture

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Capital Rabat
Main Cities Casablanca, Fes, Sale, Marrakesh
Currency Moroccan Dirham
Official Language(s) Arabic, Berber
Widely Spoken French
Ethnic Groups Arab-Berber
Voltage 220v
Plugs Type C, Type E
Country Calling Code: +212
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+1
BEST TIME TO GO

The best period to visit Morocco and include the desert is Apr-May. Desert dust storms are at their most frequent between February and April while the rest of the country benefit from pleasant weather. This means you would miss the rainy season and it would also allow you to hike throughout the Atlas ranges as the most popular time to do so is between March and November.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Sheltering Sky (Paul Bowles)
The Secret Son
(Laila Lalami)
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
(Laila Lalami)
The Caliph’s House
(Tahir Shah)
Lords of the Atlas
(Gavin Maxwell)
The Spider’s House
(Paul Bowles)
A House in Fez
(Suzanna Clarke)
For Bread Alone
(Mohammed Choukri)
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams
(Tahir Shah)
A Year in Marrakech
(Peter Mayne)
Travels with a Tangerine
(Tim Makintosh-Smith)
Allah’s Garden
(Thomas Hollowell)

Sudan

More pyramids than Egypt
Kushite Architecture
The Western Deffufa
White and Blue Niles
Green and Lush Nuba Mountains
Omdurman Souk
Granite Peaks of the Taka Mountains
Whirling dervishes of Omdurman
Sailing on the Nile
Scuba diving at Conshelf II

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Capital Khartoum
Main Cities Nyala, Port Sudan
Currency Sudanese Pound
Official Language(s) Arabic, English
Ethnic Groups Arab, North Sudan Nubians, Zurga, Copts
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type D
Country Calling Code: +249
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+2
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Sudan is between December and February, when temperatures drop a little to around 30°C, with nights at about half that.

RECOMMENDED READING

What is the What (Dave Eggers)
A Long Walk to Water
(Linda Sue Park)
Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur
(Halima Bashir)
Seasons of Migration to the North
(Tayeb Salih)
They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky
(Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng and Alephonsion Deng)
The Book of Khartoum: A City in Short Fiction
(Ralph Cormack and Max Shmookler Ed.)
The Sudan Handbook
(John Ryle Ed.)
Bakhita
(Veronique Olmi)
Khartoum at Night; Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan
(Marie Grace Brown)
Darfur: A New History of a Long War
(Alex de Waal and Julie Flint)
The Grub Hunter
(Amir Tag Elsir)