Salt Caravan


While driving east out of Agadez one November day, we came across some Tuareg traders setting out on their annual trek across the Sahara to the small town of Fachi. A small handful of men undertake the arduous 29 day journey with camel herds reaching into the hundreds. Loaded on the backs of the camels are provisions for the men and their animals as well as fresh produce and firewood to trade for the large cylinders of salt they bring back to Agadez (pictured below). You can find these same salt cylinders in Niamey’s markets as well. According to Issouf Ag Maha in his book, Touraeg du XXIeme Siecle, the journey is considered a right of passage for young Tuareg men. Navigating through a bleak environment with few landmarks and no sources of food and water for nearly two months is not taken lightly.


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