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Natural Arches of Ahaggar National Park


Ahaggar National Park was created November 3, 1987. This huge national park is located in the central Sahara, 2000 km distant from the Mediterranean Sea and 1000 km from the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the largest National Parks in the world with an area of 450,000 square kilometers (about 80 per cent of the Wilaya Province of Tamanrasset). The Park is delimited in the south by the Mali and Niger borders, to the north by Tademait and Tin-Ghart plateaus, to the west by the Tanezrouft Desert and to the east by Tassili National Park. Tassili and Ahaggar National Parks combined (as they have a common border) is certainely one of the vast protected areas in the world.

Ahaggar National Park is famous for the Hoggar (Ahaggar) Mountains and the world famous sunset scenes on these peaks from Assekrem Point (photos, video). The highest peak rises to 2918 meters above sea level and it is the highest point of Algeria but not of the whole Sahara Desert. The protected area covers also the peripheral belt of Tassili'n'Ahaggar (including Tassili Ahaggar, Tassili Tin-Missaou, Tassili Tin-Rehroh), the Tefedest, Adrar and Amadror areas, the northern Tassili Ahnet and Immidir, and the petrified wood area near In-Salah (nearly equivalent to the land area of France in all, and larger than California).

The city of Tamanrasset (100,000 people) is the capital of southern Algeria and is located in the heart of the Park. In fall of 2009, a very interesting modern museum opened which is dedicated to the National Park. It is located near the post office in the city center. It is highly recommended to visit the museum before a desert trip. You can find nice displays about flora, fauna, archeology and Targui (Tuareg) culture and informative movies about these in large screen HDTV.

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