A Journey to Assekrem

The Tamanrasset Province in Algeria is known for two spectacular nature reserves, namely the Ahaggar National Park and the Tassili n’Ajjer National Park. There are a few other attractions in this province that are worth seeing even though a little effort has to be put in to reach them. Just outside the town of Tamanrasset, also referred to as the Capital of Sahara, is a wonderful site to visit. Tamanrasset is the general base camp for those who want to take on the adventure of visiting Assekrem, where challenges and spectacular views are waiting to be enjoyed.

This adventure is most definitely for travelers who are explorers at heart and who enjoy hiking and the thrill of 4X4 tours. The roads are difficult to navigate and it is most certainly a full day excursion. There are also a number of interesting places to stop off and investigate along the way. The mountains, such as Jabal Tahat and Hoggar Mountains, will give you more than enough reason to take a moment to enjoy their beauty. The altitudes are very high, over two thousand meters, and it is the Ermitage de Pere Foucauld that is also a major attraction on the Assekrem Circuit.

The Ermitage de Pere Foucauld was built by Charles de Foucauld in 1910. He made this location his ministry and legacy. Little Brothers of Jesus, de Foucauld’s vision of ministry, only became reality after his death. He spent years working and living amongst the Tuareg people from this compound until his assassination in 1916. The compound is still in use by a small number of monks, and many believers make their way to this site as a pilgrimage. The monks of Assekrem live their lives here in this barren world as tribute to De Foulcauld and are friendly and welcoming. The view from this compound is also spectacular.

Vehicles can only take visitors so far and the rest will have to be on foot. Travelers are therefore advised to take enough food, water and adequate equipment on the journey to Assekrem. They will be rewarded by panoramic views and breathtaking desert scenes.