The Sahara Desert is Calling
It started like every other ENKI campaign, having this strong desire to explore again, the souls longing for an adventure into the unknown, being drawn to a place and its people, to a place with the free-spirited people of the Sahara who still sleep under the stars of the and live in a simple traditional way.
The Sahara Desert was calling. For years we'd seen photos of shimmering purple turbaned men 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.
The Tuareg Tribe of the Sahara Desert
The Tuareg or blue people, because of their beautiful blue stained skin from the indigo they trade, are nomads of the vast Sahara Desert that including in the North African countries of Mali, Niger, Libya, Algeria and Chad. The Tuaregs are part of the Berber group of people. Much of Tuareg art is in the form of jewelry, leather and metal saddle decorations, and finely crafted swords.
A usual we wanted to go deep and needed to find a guide, our first choice was the non touristc country of libya after seeing several incredble youtubes of the country. We found a lead there, however it went cold and we were then drawn to Niger the bordering country.
Getting into the Sahara
Do not travel to Niger due to the unpredictable security environment and continuing potential for disorder and violence. Terrorists are planning attacks against foreigners in Niger, including in Niamey. Terrorists could target places visited by foreigners, including hotels, cafes and restaurants.
Because of the travel warnings its illegal to get out in to the middle of the sahara without a military guard.
we were lucky enough to travel in the back of a 4x4 with a very small group of adventurers who were going to the festival
Agadez Region, northern Niger, and roughly ten hours from Agadez city by road, the town of Iferouane is home to the popular Festival de l'Aïr.
The photo shoot
So who are the Tuaregs you ask? They are a semi- nomadic Berber tribe spread across Niger, Mali and Algeria. Traditionally they were caravan traders selling their wares across the Saharan dessert.
It is a matrileneal society that trace their lines through the mothers side. The women are highly valued and are independent even when married, often owning their own tent & camel. Tuareg divorcees call the men they have divorced ‘Ohasis’ meaning freed from any obligation.