Chad: Tibesti

A Special Portfolio by Peter Felix Schaefer

Whereas the most numerous and spectacular natural arches in Chad are in the Ennedi region, arches can also be found in the Tibesti region. The Tibesti Mountains are the largest and highest range in the Central Sahara. They consist of a series of inactive volcanoes and cover an area of approximately 100,000 square kilometers. Located in the very north of Chad, the Tibesti Mountains are among the most remote ranges in the world. Starting in the capital city of N'Djamena, it takes five days of (partly difficult) off-road driving to reach its southern border. In this area one needs a local guide because of the many land mines which originated from the war with Libya in 1988. These mines, as well as long-lasting rebel activities, are the reasons why the Tibesti was completely closed for tourism for many years. In 2009 the southern part of the range was opened again. We used this chance in 2011 for a seven day camel-supported traverse of Emi Koussi, the highest mountain of the Sahara. Numerous photos of this trip are available on my website More or less accidentally we ran into the 11 arches reported below. I'm sure there are many more!

Tibesti 1a

Above and below: two views of NABSQNO 34Q 0214885 2153106 Chad (19-foot height).

Tibesti 1b

Tibesti 2a

Above and below: two views of NABSQNO 34Q 0212156 2159047 Chad (6-foot span).

Tibesti 2b

Tibesti 3a

Above and below: two views of NABSQNO 34Q 0211450 2176990 Chad (13-foot span).

Tibesti 3b

Tibesti 4a

Above and below: two views of NABSQNO 34Q 0214220 2177176 Chad (35-foot span).

Tibesti 4b

Tibesti 5

Above: Natural arch in Tibesti, Chad (5-foot span).

Tibesti 6a

Above and below: two views of NABSQNO 34Q 0215986 2151443 Chad (18-foot span).

Tibesti 6b

Tibesti 7a

Above and below: two views of NABSQNO 34Q 0211742 2161391 Chad (20-foot span).

Tibesti 7b

Tibesti 8

Above: Arch close to the one below (10-foot span).

Tibesti 9

Above: NABSQNO 34Q 0212060 2167659 Chad (18-foot span).

Tibesti 10

Above: NABSQNO 34Q 0210438 2172799 Chad (15-foot span).

Tibesti 11

Above: Arch close to the previous arch (10-foot span).

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