Saharan Algeria is the vast desert — dotted with oases — in the south of the country.
|Adrar Province (Adrar, Reggane)|
The second largest province in Algeria, roughly the size of California.
|Bordj Badji Mokhtar Province (Bordj Badji Mokhtar)|
Sparsely populated and remote, this province connects Algeria to Mali. Until 2019, it was a part of Adrar province.
|In Guezzam Province (In Guezzam)|
The southernmost and the least populated Algerian province, serving as a vital link between Algeria and Niger. Until 2019, it was a part of Tamanrasset province. Has a huge Nigerien migrant population.
|Tamanrasset Province (Tamanrasset)|
The most populous province in Saharan Algeria. The main entry point for travel in this vast region.
|Tindouf Province (Tindouf)|
A resource-rich province with a huge Sahrawi population. Connects Algeria with Mauritania and Western Sahara.
|In Salah Province (In Salah)|
|Illizi Province (Illizi)|
|Djanet Province (Djanet)|
|Timimoun Province (Timimoun )|
- 1 Tamanrasset (Arabic: تمنغاست) — the largest town in Saharan Algeria; the main entry point for those wishing to explore the vast region
- 2 Djanet (Arabic: جانت; Berber: ⵊⴰⵏⴻⵜ) — an oasis city with a huge Tuareg population
- 3 El Goléa
- 4 Ghardaïa
- 5 Ouargla
- 6 Reggane
- 7 Timimoun (Arabic: تيميمون) — one of the smallest towns in all of Algeria, known for its red ochre buildings
- 8 Tindouf (Arabic: تندوف) — border town in the southwest, with a large Sahrawi population that escaped the conflict in nearby Western Sahara
- 9 In Guezzam (Arabic: عين قزام) — Algeria's southernmost city and a border town connecting Algeria and Niger
- 10 Bordj Badji Mokhtar (Arabic: برج باجي مختار) — a border town connecting Algeria and Mali
- 1 Hoggar Mountains
- 2 M'zab - a valley with extraordinary, singular architecture; a UNESCO World Heritage site
- 3 Tassili n'Ajjer National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Air Algérie offers flights to almost all Algerian cities. It's the only carrier that serves the Saharan region.
Some of the biggest airports in the area include the following:
- 1 Aguenar-Hadj Bey Akhamok Airport (TMR IATA). The largest airport in the region. Mainly serves the city of Tamanrasset.
The Trans-Sahara Highway is the main route from Algiers to Tamanrasset. The road is paved and in good condition, however, you need a durable, sturdy vehicle as the climatic conditions of the desert are harsh.
Due to the immense size of the area, the harshness of the Saharan desert, the lack of adequately developed infrastructure, and the uncertain security situation, the safest way to get around the area quickly is by plane.
The airport in Tamanrasset offers flights to many cities in the region, including cities like In Guezzam.
Unless you have experience driving in harsh conditions, it's not wise to get around the region by car. Due to its remote location, there is little to no access to medical facilities and the risk of becoming stranded is high. It is also important to note that in the Sahara Desert temperatures can reach extreme highs during the day, making it dangerous to travel in the area.
- 1 In Eker test site (about 150 km north of Tamanrasset). France, the fourth country to produce a nuclear weapon conducted some of their early tests in Sahara as much of Western Africa still was a French colony into the 1960s. On May 1, 1962 an underground test at In Eker went wrong and observers including soldiers and government officials were exposed to radiation. If you happen to drive north-south across Sahara along the road from Algiers to Tamanrasset, you will pass right next to the area.
Perhaps the biggest danger is the extreme heat, which should come as no surprise because the entire region is covered in deserts. Be sure to hydrate often, wear appropriate clothing to deal with the heat, and do not be out for long.
Governments advise against travelling to areas near the borders with Libya, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania due to terrorism and banditry concerns. Generally speaking, tourists have little reason to go to those areas as they have very few attractions that interest tourists. If you absolutely must go to the border areas, be aware of your surroundings at all times. The exception to this is the Tadrart Rouge section of the Tassili n'Ajjer National Park, roughly 130 km southeast of Djanet. This is a major tourist attraction near the Libya-Niger-Algeria tripoint, and that area of desert is guarded by the military and safe for guided travel.
If you plan on staying in the continent for long, you may wish to visit some of Algeria's closest neighbours. Some of them share a culture similar to that of Algeria. As the security situation is rather uncertain, it's often not recommended to travel overland. The best thing to do is to return to Algiers and hop on a flight that will take you to Algeria's closest neighbours since none of the airports in the area offer international flights. However, should the adventurous traveller wish to travel overland, they should consider travelling with an armed escort or someone experienced.
- Morocco - Travelling overland and by air to Morocco is not possible from Algeria.
- Mauritania - Travelling overland and by air is possible from Algeria.