Tassili n’Ajjer National Park is located in southeastern Algeria near the border of Libya. It is part of the larger Sahara Desert. The national park encompasses an area of 28,000 square miles (72,519 sq km).
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is naturally, historically, and culturally significant. The park protects aspects of the Sahara Desert while also preserving one of the most significant prehistoric cave art discoveries in the world.
This archaeological site features parietal works of rock art and cave art dating back as much as 12,000 years. Antelope, cattle, crocodile, and other large wild animals account for the majority of the 15,000 cave art drawings.
Some of the other pieces of art reflect human interaction with dancing, hunting, and friendship. With the approximately 15,000 drawings and engravings, the density makes this an incredibly special cultural and historical treat.
The park is located on a large plateau with a height of 7,080 feet (2,158 m). The landscape displays rock formations, sandstone erosion, and related geological features that lead people to imagine the surface of the moon or some other celestial location.
Almost the entire park is comprised of sandstone. Rock formations and arches have been created because of erosion creating amazing landscapes. There are approximately 300 naturally occurring rock arches as well as other astounding rock formations. It is amazing to witness the power of nature working upon itself as the wind serves as the sculptor of these inspiring sandstone and mountainous landscapes.
Canyons, arches, rock forests, and other geological rock formations can only truly be appreciated with multi-day excursions into the wilderness of the park.
Having an opportunity to experience such an array and dense collection of prehistoric cave drawings and engravings is truly a bewildering encounter with history. The spectacular collection of archeological cave art drawings is the focal point of the park. Without question, the park offers one of the most amazing cultural and historical discoveries.
This is also a unique experience within the Sahara Desert, which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The rock forests almost appear like something that would be found on the moon. These geological marvels can be seen for many miles (kilometers) across the region.
Tassili n'Ajjer National Park Trails:
Because of the heat from the summer months, the best time to hike and explore the national park is during the months of October and November and then again during February and March.
Tassili-n'Ajjer National Park was created to protect the striking Sahara Desert landscapes as well as one of the world's best collections of prehistoric cave drawings. The cultural significance of the prehistoric paintings also earned the national park area UNESCO World Heritage status as well.
It is important for the global community to come alongside the Algerian government in recognition and protection of this historical treasure.
Tassili n'Ajjer Highlights
- Cave drawings and engravings
- Sahara Desert
- Atlas Obscura, Tassili n’Ajjer, https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/tassili-najjer, retrieved October 2109.
- Natural Arches, The Natural Arches Tassili National Park, http://naturalarches.org/tassili/, retrieved October 2109.
- Traildino, Tassili n’Ajjer National Park, https://www.traildino.com/trace/continents-Africa/countries-Algeria/regions-Tassili_n'Ajjer_National_Park, retrieved October 2019.
- UNESCO, Tassili n’Ajjer, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/179/, retrieved October 2019.