The Tuareg Tribe of Northern Africa

The Tuareg are the mystical ancient caravan traders of the Sahara desert. They are artists, nomads and musicians and still forge their incredible silver jewellery, leathers and swords by hand. They play a cool desert style rock with electric guitars and they are aptly named the blue people because of the natural indigo they wear, which stains their skin a deep blue. It's an incredible matriarchal culture where women rule and have some of the most incredible hair designs we've ever seen. They are truly special people, and, like all tribes, they love having you as a guest, feeding you and telling you stories, and with the Tuaregs, it's also playing their unique funky electro-rock for you.

The Sahara Desert is Calling  

It started like every other journey before, our souls longing for an adventure into the unknown, being drawn to a place and its people, to a place where free-spirited people still sleep under the stars and live in a simple traditional way.
The Sahara Desert was truly calling. For years we'd seen photos of shimmering purple turbaned men with curved swords on camels and beautiful women with orange painted skin wearing incredible silver jewellery. So as with all ENKI campaigns, the search began to find someone who would guide us in.

Going deep into the Sahara   

A usual, we wanted to go deep into the tribes land and find the Tuaregs who would not usually see many tourists, so we needed to find someone who knew their way around the desert. After seeing some amazing Youtubes, our first choice was the country of Libya. We found a lead, but it soon went cold when we told the guys it was a branded campaign. After digging around, we found a very old blog about a Taureg silversmith named Elhaji from Niger. We reached out to him, and, as usual, things started to fall into place. He told us about a three day Tuareg festival coming up at the oasis of Iférouane in the middle of the Sahara, and if we could make it within a few weeks, he would meet us there and guide us. His well-connected friend Zenit also had a few seats left in his jeep, which was taking a small group of tourists on the long 15-hour drive from Agadez into Iférouane. A military guide would be escorting us in and be present the whole time because apparently the year before, bandits raided the festival and the desert was not always a safe haven for tourists.

Researching Niger 

When researching Niger, it was crystal clear that this wasn't going to be easy with no consulate in Australia for visas and prominent travel warnings. Terrorists could also be targeting places visited by foreigners, including hotels, cafes and restaurants. Were they really though? How much crime does really happen in these so-called red zones compared to large cities around the world? Because from our experiences, these countries are always the safest and most welcoming. The visa issue was the first of the many challenges we would face but in true ENKI style, we completely disregarded the apparent conditions and set our intention on reaching the tribe no matter what it was going to take.

Getting to the festival in the middle of the Sahara

We would first fly to Nyami, the capital of Niger, and take a small plane to the small desert town of Agadez in the Sahara. Elhaji would be picking us up, and at 4am the next day, Zenit would arrive with a military guard and drive us for around 15 hours through the desert to the Aïr Mountains where the festival was being held. We would rendezvous with Elhaji there and stay with the tribe for the whole festival.

Arriving in the Festival de l'Air in the Sahara

We arrived at sunset. The energy was electric, to say the least. It was rocking the drumming and the Tuaregs unique desert pop-rock.

We remeber just being inbetween these increible huge mountains with pristine desert air. Alhaji was there and we jumped straight into his jeep and headed to a watch a group play while the sun was setting, We knew we were in for something special.

The nest few days we're extremely hot and it was just non stop drumming. we felt like it was something out of gladiator the movies it was truly something we will never forget. There was a verusmall group of tourist thee maybe 10 at the most and it just full of 

 

 

It's always incredible how these shoots fall into place, and there's always a huge story that goes with them and this is the very short version of an incredible trip that we we're so lucky to gone on thanks to all the wonderful people that helped in Niger.

 


How di dwe actually get the visa, well...We cant actually disclose that, but we did get it and it wasnt hard and it all cae down to friednly helpful people who just wanted to see us having a great time in the amazing country of Niger.