north-central African region
Africa > North Africa > Algeria > Saharan Algeria

Travel Warning WARNING: Travel within 30 km of Algeria's southern and eastern borders is not safe and should be avoided. There remains some possibility of terrorist attacks anywhere in the country.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated Sep 2020)

Saharan Algeria is the vast desert — dotted with oases — in the south of the country.

tracks
Sand Dune at the Cultural Park of Ahaggar in southern Algeria

CitiesEdit

 
Map of Saharan Algeria
  • 1 Chenachene  
  • 2 Djanet
  • 3 El Goléa
  • 4 Ghardaïa  
  • 5 Illizi  
  • 6 Ouargla
  • 7 Reggane  
  • 8 Tamanrasset — largest town in Saharan Algeria; the main entry point for those wishing to explore the vast region
  • 9 Timimoun — one of the smallest towns in all of Algeria, known for its red ochre buildings
  • 10 Tindouf — border town in the southwest, with a large Sahrawi population that escaped the conflict in nearby Western Sahara
  • 11 Touggourt  

Other destinationsEdit

UnderstandEdit

 
Beni Isquen in the M'zab Valley

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

Air Algérie offers flights to almost all Algerian cities. It's the only carrier that serves the Saharan region.

Some of the biggest airports in the area include the following:

  • 1 Aguenar-Hadj Bey Akhamok Airport (TMR IATA). The largest airport in the region. Mainly serves the city of Tamanrasset.  
  • 2 Ain Beida Airport (OGX IATA). An airport serving Ouargla, a city in the Ouargla Province.    

By carEdit

  • The Trans-Sahara Highway is the main route from Algiers to Tamanrasset. The road is paved and in good condition, however, you need a durable, sturdy vehicle as the climatic conditions of the desert are harsh.

Get aroundEdit

By planeEdit

Due to the immense size of the area, the harshness of the Saharan desert, and the uncertain security situation, the only way to get around the area quickly is by plane. This is not to say that it's entirely safe, but it's still a better alternative to travelling overland.

By carEdit

Unless you have experience driving in harsh conditions, it's not wise to get around the region by car.

SeeEdit

  • 1 In Eker test site (about 150 km north of Tamanrasset). France, the fourth country to produce a nuclear weapon conducted some of their early tests in Sahara as much of Western Africa still was a French colony into the 1960s. On May 1, 1962 an underground test at In Eker went wrong and observers including soldiers and government officials were exposed to radiation. If you happen to drive north-south across Sahara along the road from Algiers to Tamanrasset, you will pass right next to the area.    

DoEdit

EatEdit

DrinkEdit


Stay safeEdit

Perhaps the biggest danger is the extreme heat, which should come as no surprise because the entire region is covered in deserts. Be sure to hydrate often, wear appropriate clothing to deal with the heat, and do not be out for long.

Areas near the borders with Libya, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania are unsafe due to terrorism and general lawlessness. Generally speaking, tourists have little reason to go to those areas as they have nothing that interests tourists.

Go nextEdit

If you plan on staying in the continent for long, you may wish to visit some of Algeria's closest neighbours. Some of them share a culture similar to that of Algeria. As the security situation is rather uncertain, it's often not recommended to travel overland. The best thing to do is to return to Algiers and hop on a flight that will take you to Algeria's closest neighbours since none of the airports in the area offer international flights. However, should the adventurous traveller wish to travel overland, they should consider travelling with an armed escort or someone experienced.

  • Morocco - Travelling overland and by air to Morocco is not possible from Algeria.
  • Mauritania - Travelling overland and by air is possible from Algeria.
This region travel guide to Saharan Algeria is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!