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Camels and Crocodiles

By Linda Tancs

The Guelta d’Archei is a Saharan guelta (oasis) in the Ennedi Plateau in northeastern Chad. Surrounded by towering cliffs, it’s a centuries-old pitstop of sorts for caravans of camels that have been herded to the water to wade and drink. More than just a watering hole, the locale also serves as their bathroom (or loo, if you like), which results in algae blooms for fish to feed on. The fish, in turn, are food for the crocodiles, the other primary animal found there. Trips there usually comprise a four-day journey across the Sahara from N’Djamena. The trek is challenging and there are no marked trails on the hike to the guelta.

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