Timimoun is a small oasis town of 30000 inhabitants in central Algeria. It lies in the Gourara region, south of the Grand Erg Occidental desert at an altitude of 288 metres. It is along the Trans-Sahara highway, a paved road connecting the mediterranean coast with southern Algeria, and is connected by paved roads to Ghardaia and Bechar. The urban centre of Timimoun itself doesn't have much in terms of attractions: there is a mosque, a cultural centre, a main road with shops and some restaurants. The reason to visit Timimoun is the desert landscape around it, which consists of rocky and sandy desert and some oases and ancient villages. Some people in Timimoun are black, the descendants of African slaves of the past when Timimoun was a slave trading centre.
Tours across the desert start and end in Timimoun. In the map to the right, the blue line represents the desert tour we did in one day (77km in total). Starting from the hotel we initially drove to a ridge in the desert from which there was a good view of the desert and the oasis. After that we stopped at the ancient Ighzer adn Aghlad village, then continued to the ruins of a ksar, an old desert fortress. We then drove to the oasis around the Ouled Said village. Before driving to the sand dunes area west of Timimoun we stopped at another desert fortress. Finally, before getting back to the hotel, the driver brought us to a dromedary rental place.
How to get to Timimoun
Timimoun is accessible by car or bus and has an own airport.
Accommodation
There are a few hotels in Timimoun, but only the relatively upmarket Gourara is bookable through the international hotel booking portals.
01 Timimoun post office 02 Rue 1er Novembre street 03 Rocky desert landscape
04 Rocky desert landscape
05 Ouled Said oasis
06 Ouled Said oasis and date palms 07 Empty desert
08 Car in the desert 09 Cave in Ighzer village 10 Cave in Ighzer village 11 Ighzer village ruins
12 Ighzer village ruins 13 Ighzer adn Aghlad village 14 Ighzer village ruins
15 Desert landscape with oasis 16 Desert landscape with oasis
17 Desert landscape with oasis
18 Desert landscape with oasis 19 Rocky desert landscape
20 Rocky desert landscape 21 Rocky desert landscape
22 Date palm oasis 23 Desert highway
24 Ancient Ksar fortress 25 Ancient Ksar fortress 26 Desert pond
27 Desert pond 28 Desert pond 29 Irrigation channel in Ouled Said
30 Tents and date palms in Ouled Said 31 Irrigated fields with date palms in Ouled Said 32 Irrigated fields with date palms in Ouled Said
33 Dates palm 34 Ksar fortress 35 Ksar fortress 36 Ksar fortress
37 Ksar fortress 38 Sand dunes
39 Grand Erg Occidental sand dunes
40 Sand dunes 41 Man on sand dune
42 Sand dunes near Timimoun
43 Grand Erg Occidental sand dunes 44 Sand dunes
45 Grand Erg Occidental sand dunes 46 Sand dunes little planet view
47 Sand dunes and 4WD car 48 Dromedary rental area
49 Tourists on dromedaries 50 Tourists on dromedaries 51 Dromedary rental area
52 Capterre cultural centre 53 Shops in Timimoun 54 Pottery for sale
55 Souvenir and handicraft market 56 Souvenir and handicraft market 57 Timimoun mosque
58 Mosque at dusk
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©Copyright Alfred Molon