Peaks of the Tibesti

Chad Tour – Peaks of the Tibesti – a 22 day Small Group Tour.

For years the only Europeans to visit Chad were employed by the French military. Its bullet-ridden and fire-scorched towns and cities were a testament to petty regional disputes stoked into proxy conflicts by big time geopolitical players.

However, times have changed.

Chad is still very much an emerging destination in terms of tourism, but if sand is in your blood, to travel the raw and beautiful landscapes of the Tibesti is an experience that will transcend most others. Yalla!

This is the Sahara’s final frontier. Travel to the remote Tibesti Mountains in the north of Chad, to explore dramatic peaks, including the Sahara’s highest mountain, and meet the Tubu people living here.

Out of bounds for a long time, with a little care and a lot of planning it’s now possible to visit this stunning region. Expect a tough journey as we will be crossing vast empty spaces on our journey from the capital to the north.This is a true expedition.

We head into breath-taking landscapes of the Tibesti, home to volcanic peaks and some of the most isolated settlements on earth. We meet the Tubu people, a fiercely independent group and true adepts at living in such harsh conditions – exploring their settlements we see how they have managed to carve a life for themselves here.

This tour of Chad alsos delves into prehistory, seeing ancient rock carvings and paintings among the stones. Crossing rocky plateaux, tackling vast fields of sand dunes and following the courses of long dried up riverbeds, the landscape here is diverse and constantly changing.

With virtually no facilities outside of the capital we spend our nights camping, immersing ourselves completely in the desert experience. A ground-breaking trip for true Sahara enthusiasts.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Arrive in N’Djamena and transfer to the hotel. Overnight Irrisor Hotel or similar.

From N’Djamena, Chad’s capital city, we follow the road which connects N’Djamena to the important oasis of Faya as far as Massaguet, where we continue east. The path is filled with numerous villages and markets, and we pass through settlements of Ab Toyour, Bitkine, Mongo and Oum Hadjer in the beautiful and lively region of Guera. The landscape is characterized by granite peaks and some of the richest markets in Chad. We continue to Abeche, the ancient capital of Chad, and now the capital of the Ouaddi region and one of the most important centres of the whole country. Overnight wild camping. (BLD)


From Abeche you swap the asphalt road surface for a northbound track towards the village of Biltine. After the small village of Arada, the Sahelian environment transforms more towards the desert with death dunes and low vegetation prominent. We may see nomadic herders along the way. You reach Kalait, a true Saharan crossroads for trade. You are now in a true desert region on the southern borders of the Ennedi, inhabited by populations of Gaeda, Tama and Zagawa nomadic tribes. Continue northwards along the western (and most jagged) edge of Ennedi Massif. In the gorgeous tassilli region of Bichigara witness the sandstone cathedrals of the Ennedi, separated by sandy plains and scattered dunes, an area of unrivalled beauty. Here you will see some beautiful rock art from the Bovidian period. You continue north to reach the oasis of Ouei, an important place for the Toubou clans to obtain water for their herds. Overnights are spent wild camping. (BLD)


We take the trail heading north that takes us to Kora, one of the exit gates  the Ennedi massif. The initially barren and bleak landscape becomes more appealing with small Tassili and stripes of sand. The vehicles puff and struggle in this mixed and challenging terrain. After last difficult cross of dunes of Kora we’ll cross the wild plane that exceeded the Gouro   where dunes and palm groves alternate at the foot of an imposing sandstone cliff. In this oasis it is inhabited by Toubou and represents the meeting point between Tibesti and Ennedi. Overnights are spent wild camping. (BLD)

The journey continues north where the last rocky buttresses of the Ennedi region join the southern ones of the Tibesti. A sandy corridor will take us into the labyrinth of Kozen and its impressive sandstone rock formations. Traversing the mountains, your trail takes you sometimes through natural gorges and other times across stony hills before the drive to Yebbi Bou, a typical Toubou village. Nearby, a deep canyon hosts one of the most beautiful palm groves in the region. Nights are spent in wild camping. (BLD)

Skirting across the gorges of Yebbigué, the track alternates between hard and rocky stretches to long routes into the green ‘enneri’ (wadis) of acacias and tamarisks; you head around the Tarso Voon and Tarso Toon, two imposing volcanic structures. In the Enneri Zoumri valley you will see some green oases. Bardai, situated at 1000m altitude on a ledge of striking mountains, is the main town of the region. This oasis is just emerging from many years of terrible war and starting to take its place once more as an important trading post – although small, it is the only one for hundreds of kilometres.  Overnights are spent wild camping. (BLD)

You ascend in altitude, travelling past the Oudinger Gorges until reaching a height of 2200m. At the top, the crater of Trou au Natron appears. A white surface of sodium covers the bottom of the crater and it is used as a salt pasture for the animals, accompanied there by Tubu, after a precarious descent amongst the crags. You descend on foot to the bottom, then return to meet your vehicles. The track that takes you to the plateau of Enneri Tao at 650m of height is difficult, but the sight on the horizon of the first dunes of the Erg of Bilma and, to the north, the view of the spires of Sissé, more than makes up for it. You head towards Zouar, home of the Dardai, the spiritual and traditional leader of Tubu families of Tibesti. Overnights are spent wild camping. (BLD)

You will arrive at the oasis of Zouar, residence of the Derde, spiritual and traditional leader of the Toubou families of the Tibesti. The Derde represents the highest political and religious authority among the Teda of Tibesti. You should be able to explore the village and the picturesque market before leaving Zouar to traverse rocky buttresses and enter the beautiful region of Marmar, in which isolated high rocky peaks dot the sandy soil. You are now in a magnificent desert environment characterised by beautiful dunes. After exploring this area return to the Borkou region and reach the oasis of Faya, whose palm groves are the most lush and important in the entire region. Overnights are spent wild camping. (BLD)

Your journey south starts with a crossing of around 80km’s of difficult dunes. After crossing the dunes, you  arrive at the beginning of Bahr el Ghazal where clusters of diatom fossils are present, evidence of climatic periods when Lake Chad stretched up to the southern reaches of the Tibesti. Along the Bahr you pass through the village of Kouba Oulanga, also known as the ‘depression of the acacias’. Visit the village of Salal, made up of a few houses constructed from banco arranged around an abandoned colonial fort. The track then follows the Bahr el Ghazal depression also known as the river of gazelles. Groundwater reserves here are close to the surface and as a result there is lush vegetation comprising of different acacia and palms. Take the road for Massakory crossing the savannah where herds of zebu and sheep graze. At this point you take the last part of our journey back to N’Djamena on asphalt road. Overnights camping until arrival in N’Djamena. We should arrive back in N’djamena on the evening of day 22 where day-use rooms will be available until your late evening flight out of N’djamena. Overnights are spent wild camping and day room in N’Djamena is in Irrisor Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 4 travellers.

Please note: this tour operates on the basis of a maximum of 3 passengers per vehicle, plus the driver. Therefore, only 2 passengers will sit on the back seat, which allows for more space and comfort.

Single supplement from £235.

Flights from London to N’Djamena return start from around £550. Please contact us for a quotation.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in N’Djamena costs from £105 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £190 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Mapped itinerary.

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Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (discretionary)

This trip was a spectacular journey. Every day at least one or two amazing nature experiences with fantastic rock formations, sand dunes and surprising finds in the Sahara desert. A thoroughly enjoyable trip which I have strongly recommended to many others.

Cecilia Harlitz, Sweden