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Exhilarating Four-wheel Drive to the Richat Structure on Sahara Desert

Not yet published by Vanessa Boiser, Writer

Country: South Africa

The Experience

Do you want to embark on an unforgettable desert adventure? Go on a four-wheel drive to the Richat Structure on Sahara desert. It is located 40km from Ouadane, a thriving settlement in Mauritania. The place is not exactly a building or a ruin as the name might suggest, but it is more of an earth-formation. The Richat Structure on Sahara desert is caused by erosion and it is so big it may also be seen from outerspace. The Richat Structure on Sahara desert was originally thought to be a crater caused by a meteor impact but was proved to be a dome that is being eroded and as a result, ridges as high as 200m form circles around it. Scientists haven’t figured out why the ridges form perfect circles within each other, though. What adds to the appeal of the Richat Structure on Sahara desert is its vastness since it is even used by astronauts as a landmark in navigation!

When to Go

The best time to see the Richat Structure on Sahara desert is on the months of December when the desert is not at its hottest and it may be reached through several access countries like Mali, Niger and Mauritania. Make sure to check on travel advisories concerning travel to these countries as situation can be unpredictable. In case it is safe to travel to the Richat Structure on Sahara desert, one possible route that you may take is travel to Atar, Mauritania. From there, it is more advisable to book a tour to the Richat Structure on Sahara desert although it is more expensive. The reason for this is that travel operators in Atar are more established as compared to those that are operating inland. The tours include four-wheel drive ride to Richat and recently, a hot-air balloon tour that provides an awesome view from atop, has also been established by a tour operator. If you haven’t chosen a tour operator to take you to the Richat, head to Chinguetti and stop over the libraries, then straight to Ouadane which is a town located 40kms near the Richat Structure on Sahara desert. Typically it is much cheaper to start your 4x4 tour from here. Inquire about the prices beforehand. You may opt to stay at the “hotel” located at the center of the Richat Structure on Sahara desert but remember that the accommodation is pretty basic, nonetheless a good respite from the desert’s sweltering heat. This is one adventure that you’ll never forget!

Odds n' Ends

Expect to pay $80-100/head/day for the land rover ride and some more for fuel, which is usually shared with 4 people. Naturally, you should wear desert-suitable clothes with light cotton-material and head cover to protect you from heat and dehydration. Bring lots of water. Food will cost anywhere between $8-12/head/day. The main language used is Arabic but French is also widely-spoken. It is advisable to read travel books on West Africa before getting there to help you get more insights and ideas where you may take your land rover next after the Richat Structure. Useful information on Atar tour operators to the Richat Structure in Sahara desert are provided below:

Essafa Agence
Tel No.: 5295609

Khatratty Voyages
Tel No.: 6646676

Tel Nos.: 6781342/6255182
Website: (French)

Language Guides

Hindi , Portugese are some of the languages spoken in South Africa. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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