Ouadane, like its fellow UNESCO listed settlements on the edge of the Sahara was
once a major trading point and cultural centre. What UNESCO tends to
omit in its enthusiastic descriptions of these 12th century centres of
cultural significance, is that the "culture" was almost entirely predicated
on slavery and extortion! Now it is almost
abandoned and being slowly engulfed by
Saharan sand and is only accessible over 120km of horribly corrugated
piste from Chinguetti. Less over-hyped than Chinguetti and with less
pestering guides and cadeaux-seekers. As heaps of rocks go, it is not
bad, but unless you are interested in Islamic texts in the library, it is a
bit of an anti-climax with very few authentic buildings left standing.
Again the only decent place to stay has been taken
over by the gendarmerie.
Return to Sahara Itinerary 2008►