48 Hours in Ennedi: How to Make the Most of a Short Trip

Ever heard of the Ennedi Plateau in Chad? No? Well, buckle up, because you’re in for a wild ride! Imagine a place where towering rock formations look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, and where you can find hidden pools of water that look like Mother Nature’s own swimming pools. Yeah, it’s that awesome.

“But wait,” you’re probably thinking, “I’ve only got a weekend! Can I even get a taste of this amazing place in just 48 hours?” You betcha! I had the same question before I took the plunge and decided to explore this jaw-dropping area for myself. And let me tell you, it was totally worth it!

So, let’s get this adventure started, shall we? In this guide, I’m gonna lay out a super-duper 48-hour plan to help you catch the best sights and have the most fun. We’re talking rocks that look like they belong on Mars, hidden oasis spots, and maybe even some local wildlife if we’re lucky.


Before You Go To Ennedi

Before we dive into the awesome rock climbing and oasis hopping in Ennedi, there are some nitty-gritty details we gotta go over first. Trust me, a little prep now means a lot more fun later!

Visa and Travel Requirements

If you’re not from Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Republic of Central Africa, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, or Niger, you’re gonna need a visa to get into Chad. You gotta pay to visit Cad, and getting a visa isn’t free (unless you’re a diplomat; then you’re living the dream!). Here’s the breakdown if you’re applying from the USA:

  • 1 Month Single Entry: That’s gonna cost you $150.
  • 3 Months Multiple Entry: This one’s $200.
  • 6 Months Multiple Entry: If you’re going for the long haul, this one costs $250.

And heads up, folks—check your closest embassy for how long it takes to process the visa. In the U.S., for example, it usually takes about a week.

Read more: What Are Three Big Tourist Attractions In Chad?

Packing List

When packing for your epic Ennedi adventure, think smart and light. Definitely bring sunscreen, because the desert sun is no joke, and a reusable water bottle is a must for staying hydrated. A hat and some snazzy sunglasses are also key for protecting yourself from those intense rays. Now, let’s talk shoes: go for something comfy and durable, because blisters are definitely not the kind of souvenir you want. Don’t forget your camera or smartphone for all those amazing photo ops, and toss in some snacks like granola bars to fend off the hangry monster. Last but not least, a small first aid kit with essentials like band-aids and antiseptic wipes is a good idea because, hey, you never know.

ennedi massif

Getting to Ennedi

Alrighty, getting to Ennedi can be part of the adventure. The closest big city is called Faya, and from there you’ve got a couple of options:

  1. Public Transport: Public buses or shared taxis to Ennedi aren’t really a thing. The closest you might get is a bus to Faya, the nearest big city, but from there, you’re kinda on your own. You might find some local guides who can take you the rest of the way, but this isn’t your regular bus-stop kind of destination.
  2. Private Transfer: If you’re starting your road trip from N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, you’re looking at a drive of about 900 to 1,000 miles. Yep, it’s a long one—think 30 to 48 hours if you’re going non-stop. But hey, who goes on a road trip without a few stops, right? So, realistically, you might want to break it up over a couple of days.As for the cost, that can vary a lot based on gas prices and your type of vehicle, but ballpark? Expect to spend around $150 to $200 on fuel alone. If you’re thinking about renting a 4×4, which is a good idea given the terrain, rental prices start around $100 per day.
  3. Chartered Flight: If you’ve got some extra cash, this is the fastest way. You can take a private charter flight to Archei natural airstrip. But expect to pay a few thousand.

Heads Up: No matter how you choose to get there, the ride can be bumpy and, well, kinda dusty. But hey, that’s part of the charm!

Proposed Itinerary

Alright, adventurers, buckle up! We’ve got a jam-packed 48 hours ahead of us in Ennedi, and trust me, you’re gonna want to squeeze every last drop of awesomeness out of this trip.

Day 1

9:00 AM – Arrival & Bag Drop: Just landed or drove in? Cool, cool. First, let’s get you settled in your guesthouse or campsite. Drop those bags and grab some water!

10:00 AM – Hubaike Sandbanks: Now that you’re lighter, let’s start easy. A quick trip to the Hubaike sandbanks will ease you into the Ennedi vibe.

12:00 PM – Lunch: Grab a bite because you’ll need the energy.

1:00 PM – Uimina Peaks: Ready for some ‘wow’ moments? Off to the Uimina peaks! Perfect for those Insta shots.

3:00 PM – Djoulia Arch: Still got some juice? Great, let’s head to Djoulia Arch. Try not to drop your camera; the views are jaw-dropping!

6:30 PM – Sunset at Bachikele Canyon: Quick, to Bachikele Canyon! You won’t want to miss the sunset here, I promise.

djoulia arch

Day 2

5:00 AM – Wake-Up Call: Yup, you read that right. Rise and shine, sleepyhead!

6:00 AM – Sunrise at Chigou Dune: Trust me, it’s worth the early wake-up. Snap some pics and take in the view.

9:00 AM – Noi Valley: This valley is like something out of a fantasy book in the morning light.

11:00 AM – Aloba Arch: This arch is steeped in local legends. Get ready for some epic storytelling.

2:00 PM – Oyo Labyrinth: Mind the maze! It’s like Mother Nature’s own puzzle.

4:00 PM – Free Time/Chill: You’ve been on the move. Sit, relax, soak it in.

6:00 PM – Last Meal in Ennedi: Savor some local flavors or just make something simple as the sun sets.

8:00 PM – Stargazing: Close out your trip by gazing up at the universe. It doesn’t get better than this.

And there you go! That’s how you rock 48 hours in Ennedi. It’s a whirlwind, but hey, that’s what makes it an adventure, right?

Iconic Ennedi Massif Places

Journeying to the heart of Chad’s Ennedi Massif reveals a rich tapestry of geological wonders and breathtaking vistas. It’s a testament to nature’s artistry and time’s relentless chisel. Here’s a more detailed description of the places recommended on the itinerary, so you can know what to expect.

ennedi massif arch

Hubaike Sandbanks

So, first up are the Hubaike Sandbanks. Don’t let the word “sandbanks” fool you; this isn’t a chill beach vacation. Imagine walking on a landscape crafted by Mother Earth’s own hands. The sand here tells a story that’s thousands of years old. You’ll feel like a tiny blip in time—and trust me, that’s a cool feeling.

Read more: The Ultimate Chad Travel Guide

Uimina Peaks

Next, let’s talk Uimina Peaks. These are the kinds of peaks that’ll make you say, “Wow, I really am in the middle of nowhere, and it’s amazing!” They’re tall, they’re majestic, and the view from up there? Forget about it. It’s like your personal IMAX nature documentary, only better because you’re actually in it.

Djoulia and Aloba Arch

Okay, imagine two massive stone arches that look like they were carved by giants. Djoulia is the rough and tough one, while Aloba is like this elegant queen reigning over the desert. Both are equally mind-blowing, and you’ll want to take like a thousand photos. Good luck picking just one for Instagram!

guelta d archei

Bachikele and Bechike Canyons

These canyons are so massive they make you feel like you’ve stepped into a scene from an adventure movie. The walls tower over you, and you half expect to see Indiana Jones swing by on a rope. Whether you’re looking for killer views or some serious rock climbing, these canyons have got you covered.

Chigou Dune

Yup, it’s a mountain, but made entirely of sand. The Chigou Dune is both bizarre and beautiful. Early morning is the time to go because when the sun hits that sand, it’s like the whole world turns to gold. You’ll feel like you’re on another planet.

Noi Valley

Now, how about a change of scenery? Among all these rocks and sand, Noi Valley is like a hidden garden. It’s lush, it’s green, and it’s a total 180 from the rest of Ennedi. It’s where you go to remind yourself that, yup, life finds a way, even in the harshest places.

Oyo Labyrinth

Last but not least, Oyo Labyrinth is the place where you can truly get lost—in the best way possible. It’s like a maze built for giants, where every turn takes you deeper into Ennedi’s past. But don’t worry, you won’t need breadcrumbs to find your way out. The thrill of exploring is what it’s all about, right?

Bottom Line

If you’ve made it this far in the article, I hope you’re as pumped about Ennedi as I am. This isn’t just a trip; it’s a journey into a world that most people don’t even know exists. From the towering Uimina Peaks to the mesmerizing Oyo Labyrinth, each spot in Ennedi is like a chapter in an epic tale. And the best part? You can be the hero of your own adventure story!

Now, real talk. Visiting Ennedi is not your average vacation—it’s a bit of a trek to get there, and you’ll need to be prepared. But trust me, every effort you make is going to be worth it tenfold. The landscapes are out-of-this-world cool, and the experiences you’ll have are the kind that you’ll be telling your grandkids about one day.

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