Acacus, Akakus, Tashwinet,

Africa Central Asia Europe Ubari Trip Summary Maps-Guides Home Page

Jebel Acacus and Prehistoric Cave Art

General Information

Jebel Acacus, Prehistoric Cave Art
Home Page
and Dates


We offer several trips to the Acacus:
a Camel Trek, a Mountain Trek and vehicle based expeditions such as the Heart of the Sahara.

Jebel Acacus
This is one of the more fascinating and beautiful areas of Libya. The correct name for the range is the Tadrart but the name Acacus stuck after it was miss-named after the main wadi leading into the mountains from Ghat town. The mountains of Jebel Acacus cover a vast area of Fezzan east of Ghat. They contain some of the world's best examples of cave art, some dating back 12,000 years. The scenes depict hunting, festivities, wild and domesticated animals and love making. They suggest there was a higher rainfall and more temperate climate here in the past.

The area appears like an extensive, high, sandstone plateaux that has then been eroded away into hundreds of complex rock formations and wadis. Many days can be spent exploring this magnifcent wilderness. There are several waterholes in the Acacus and occassionally you may encounter a Tuareg with his dog or see their grass hut or their goats. These people have often refused education and better housing preferring instead to live in this wilderness in their traditional manner.

This is one of the better areas for trekking in the deserts, shady wadis wind their way through magnificent rock scenery and some of the mountans may be scrambled up in a short time offering beautiful panoramas.

Wadi Tashwinet or Wadi Tashween, is one of the major wadis of the Acacus. It is about 60 kilometers long with innumerable side wadis leading off. It is popular not only for its scenery but for its concentration of caves with some of the better examples of Acacas cave carvings and cave paintings. It is likely that you will encounter another group in this wadi.

Visitors are required to have a guide with them here. Not only to help them find their way through the intricate maze of wadis but also to help protect the unique treasures of the area. Sadly some of the drawings have already been defaced by souvenier hunters or others trying to make copies.

The rock paintings and carvings were first noted by Heinrich Barth and Gustav Nachtigal in 1850. Only in 1955 did a major expedition led by Fabrizio Mori from the university of Rome come to make a detailed study of them. In all he recorded 1300 sites of interest. For more detailed information about the cave art see In 2006 an EWp expedition carried out a mapping project in the Tadrart Acacus and Awiss as a result of which the Jebel Acacus Tourist Map and Guide (Djebel Akakus Carte et Guide Touristique) was published. This also shows 85 of the rock art sites. See also the related photo gallery.

Extreme Dreams
Are you interested in following in the route of Extreme Dreams with Ben Fogle filmed for the BBC in 2007? Join our special Extreme Dream Trip - the originally planned trip! This included the first ascent of the highest point in the Acacus. Details.

Sunset over Acacus
sunset over Acacus

Upper Tashwinet Gorge
upper Tashwinet Gorge
Tuareg Children
Tuareg children
cave paintings
Akakus caves
cave with paintings


Book Now

Home Booking Prices Asia Caucasus Africa Europe Maps General Pictures Email us Turkey
ALW 23/10/08