MMM's "Everything is Possible"

… … … life trail of a wanderer

Camel Riding and the Touareg

Camel riding and the Touareg

The Shadow


Day two of my visit to Timbuktu was visiting Touareg people.  The visit was with riding of camel.  The camel ride took about one hour to reach their temporary village as they are nomadic people and come to Timbuktu for trading.  Nevertheless their village is in the Sahara Desert


Camel Riding and the Touareg

Ready for camel riding to the Touareg village


The Tuareg or Touareg are a nomadic pastoralist people, and are the inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa.


Camel riding and the Touareg

During my camel riding, I saw tents of Bella People.  They used to works as slaves to Touareg until French stop them


The Touareg people are predominantly Muslim Sunni since the 16th century. They inhabit a large area covering almost all the middle and Western Sahara and the north-central Sahel.  The Sahel (Sahil in  Arabic means, shore, border or coast of the Sahara desert) is a semi-arid tropical savanna region in Africa, which forms the transition between the Sahara desert to the north and the more fertile region to the south. The Sahel runs from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers. The countries of the Sahel today include Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea.


Camel riding and the Touareg

Sahara Desert in Timbuktu


Camel riding and the Touareg

Another view of Sahara with sand dune


The most famous Touareg symbol is the Tagelmust (also called éghéwed in Malian Tamasheq, or referred to as a Cheche, pronounced: Shesh from Berber), an often blue indigo coloured veil called Alasho. The men’s facial covering originates from the belief that such action wards off evil spirits, but most probably relates to protection against the harsh desert sands as well; in any event, it is a firmly established tradition. Men begin wearing a veil when they reach maturity which usually conceals their entire face excluding their eyes and the top of the nose.  The Touareg always referred as the “Blue People” because they always wear their traditional robes and turbans in dark blue colour.


Camel riding and the Touareg

Modern water well complete with hand pump.  Touareg man providing water to the cattle


Camel riding and the Touareg

Touareg woman with the cattle


Touareg’s art is in the form of jewellery, leather and metal saddle decorations called Trik, and finely crafted swords (Takoba), and handicrafts of many beautiful gold and silver-made necklaces called ‘Takaza’; and earrings called ‘Tizabaten’.  Touareg also are renowned and respected warriors. The Touareg warrior attire consists of a Takoba (sword), Allagh (lance) and Aghar (shield) made of antelope’s skin.


Camel riding and the Touareg

The touareg’s tent


Camel riding and the Touareg

Closer view of touareg’s tent, stove and kitchen utensils


Camel riding and the Touareg

Inside view of touareg’s tent.  Too simple and basic


Traditional Touareg music consists of the moncord violin Anzad played often during night parties and a small tambour covered with goatskin called Tende, performed during camel races and horse races and other festivities. Traditional vocal songs called Asak (songs), and Tisiway (poems) sung by women and men during feats and social occasions.


Camel riding and the Touareg

Touareg woman pounding millet for dinner


Camel riding and the Touareg

Touareg woman.  After I bought her jewellery items 



The Touareg are a pastoral people, having an economy based on livestock breeding, trading, and agriculture, though there are also blacksmiths and caravan leaders. Today, some Touareg are experimenting with farming; some have been forced to abandon herding, and seek jobs in towns and cities.


Camel riding and the Touareg

Touareg men in Sahara


The Touareg today are found mostly in West Africa, but, like many in Northern Africa, were once nomads throughout the Sahara.  Following the independence of African countries in 1960s, Touareg territory was artificially divided into modern nations: Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Burkina Faso


Camel riding and the Touareg

At the Western Gate of Sahara Desert


Camel riding and the Touareg

An evening in the Sahara Desert


The Desert Festival in Mali’s Timbuktu is the best place to see Touareg culture, dance and music. The Desert Festival is organised annually in month of January when the weather is cool and low as 15°C at night.  Welcome to Timbuktu’s Desert Festival.


Camel Riding and the Touareg

Riding the camel back to Hotel Bouctou


As you know, the Volkswagen’s SUV Touareg’s name is derived from this nomadic tribe Touareg.




10 responses to “Camel Riding and the Touareg

  1. mamadou September 6, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Dear Ramzi

    That the beautiful of the world and life………Thanks

  2. ramzi September 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    i love this world of touareg life

  3. mamadou January 28, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Dear Majorman

    Thank you for your visit and comment

  4. majorman January 28, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Interesting and informative posting.

  5. mamadou December 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Dear Snjezana

    Glad to know that you have visited this wonderful place on earth. Will you comeback??


  6. Snjezana December 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    It was a longtime ago when I had spent sometime there, it is a land of magic and people are so beautiful and full of wonder.

  7. mamadou July 29, 2008 at 7:57 am


    They would only allow you to sleep in their tent if you are part of their family. I did not see any tent for guest too. Thanks

  8. Zawi July 27, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Good post and beautiful pictures. Will they allow us to sleep in their tent as their guest?

  9. mamadou July 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Assalamu’alaikum Uncle Awang

    Thank you for your compliments.

  10. uncleawang July 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Lovely picture and beautiful scenery of the desert.Thanks for sharing with us and have a nice day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: