Tamanrasset (Arabic: تامنراست) is an oasis city deep in Saharan Algeria. It is the capital of Tamanrasset Province, and has a population of around 100,000 people.
Tamanrasset is an excellent place to explore the Sahara Desert and its many attractions, from its towering sand dunes to its traditional Berber villages.
Tamanrasset is the capital of Tamanrasset Province, one of Algeria's 58 provinces. With a population of about 100,000 residents, Tamanrasset is one of the least populated cities in Algeria.
Tamanrasset has archaeological monuments reaching back 600,000 to a million years.
Entering Tamanrasset by plane is the most efficient and safest way to get to the city. A flight to the city from Algiers should take you 2-3 hours.
- 1 Aguenar-Hadj Bey Akhamok Airport (TMR IATA) (located 7 km northwest of city centre). Domestic airport that serves all the major cities in Algeria. The only airport in the city.
Tamanrasset Bus Station (gare routière) is a 15-minute walk northwest of the city centre. There are daily services to In Salah, which takes 11 hours, Ghardaïa, which takes 19 to 20 hours, and Ouargla, which takes 22 hours. In addition, several private bus companies operate from Tamanrasset to Ghardia and In Salahi, with their offices mainly concentrated in the north-west of the city. These private companies operate mostly with 30-seater minibuses.
Long-distance taxis to Arak, In Salah, Ouargla and Ghardia leave from Emir Abdelkader Street in Tamanrasset. Taxis only leave when they are full. On the road to In Guezzam, on the border between Algeria and neighbouring Niger, about 2.5 km from the centre of Tamanrasset, there is a station from which shared four-wheel-drive taxis depart for In Guezzam. It is possible to hire taxis entirely on your own, or else they will only leave when full. Opposite the four-wheel drive taxi station is the truck station, from which trucks leave for the border town of In Guezzam and Niger. The trucks pick up passengers.
If you have no knowledge of Algerian highways, no command of Arabic, French, or both, and no experience with driving in harsh areas, you should not enter Tamanrasset by road. The roads in the area are unpaved, narrow and winding, making them difficult to navigate.
Additionally, 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 due to its location in the Sahara Desert, temperatures in the area can reach extreme highs during the day, making it dangerous to travel in the area.
Although it is possible and safe to drive to Tamanrasset from Algiers, the two cities are about 1,000 - 2,000 kilometers apart and the journey would take at least two days.
Although it is possible to drive to Tamanrasset from Mali, this is strictly discouraged; foreign governments advise that bandits, smugglers, and human traffickers have a huge presence in areas along the Algeria-Mali border.
Although it is possible to drive to Tamanrasset from Niger, this is strictly discouraged due to the poor state of security in Northern Niger.
Taxis are the most common and convenient way to get around in Tamanrasset. Most of the taxis in the city are operated by local drivers, so it is important to negotiate the price before you get in the taxi.
Tamanrasset is a relatively small city, so it is possible to explore it on foot.
- 1 Maison de la Culture.
- Musée du Hoggar.
- 2 Musée du I'OPNA.
- 3 Assekrem. Known for its unique rock formation and its ancient rock art, which dates back to the Neolithic period.
As Tamanrasset is formed around an oasis, the area grows almonds, citrus fruits, maize, cereals, dates, peaches and apricots, among others. Agricultural produce is sold in the town's markets.
- 1 Restaurant Tassili. Serves up mainly roast chicken and harissa.
Most of the hotels are located a few kilometres from the city centre, but a few hotels are also located in the city centre. In Tamanrasset, overnight stays are often referred to as camping. Despite their name, these places are not camping sites, but offer accommodation in huts or bungalows.
There are relatively few hotels around town.
- 1 Gîte Saharien (East of city centre, on the road towards Aderian mountain), ☏ +213 20 813240, firstname.lastname@example.org. A desert logde on the outskirts of town, made up of several clay brick bungalows, hot showers and WCs are available. The restaurant serves great food.
- 2 Hotel Tahat, Avenu Emir Abdelkader, ☏ +213 29 344272, email@example.com. Large hotel with 148 rooms. DZD 12,000 (for a single room).
Tamanrasset, by and large, is an incredibly safe city.
The only real danger is the extreme heat of the Saharan Desert. Be sure to hydrate often and wear appropriate clothing to deal with the extreme heat.
There are two consulates in Tamanrasset. If you run into any trouble, or need assistance of any kind, head over to Algiers.