Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve

Camp Warda

Camp Warda

Images courtesy SVS

Warda Camp is the Ennedi Massif’s first and only semi-permanent camp, with the region newly accessible following the introduction of caravan flights that connect capital N’Djamena to the airstrip at Fada.

Overview

Partly the brainchild of Rocco and Tomaso Ravà, Italian desert guides whose parents were regional experts and who have been guiding here so long they are virtually locals themselves, Camp Warda comprises a group of well-spaced canvas tents centered on a communal tented area. The feel and décor combine touches of luxury – proper tablecloths, comfortable seating, quality glass- and tableware – with the kind of stripped down aesthetic and local arts and crafts that are appropriate for the location.

‘We awoke to the sound of camels. The light in Warda glows orange on the sandstone walls. Today we visit the d’Oyo, a labyrinth of sandstone pinnacles and sand paths. Falcons perched on ledges. My highlight was a three-hour walk down a hidden valley to access Guelta d’Archei. Probably the most iconic setting of the Ennedi where herders bring their camel to drink water — although not today given the healthy rain across the region. We were blessed to see such a crocodile — only one of four left in the Ennedi. And then lunch in the shade of a tree.’ Fieldnotes, Will Jones (2024)

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Food & service

Camp Warda’s culinary offering is of a very good standard, offering a mix of the western and the local. Service is attentive and – above all – friendly and welcoming.

Rooms

Each of Camp Warda’s eight tents has a private shower and field toilet and offers a small pocket of hotel-like comfort in the midst of true desert wilderness. Beneath the canvas roof and within the roll-up sides of the tents is found western-style bedding and décor that combines the local and the colonial, combining rugs and reed mats with lamps and metal trunks. Do note that that Camp Warda also functions as base camp to a variety of fly-camping trips. On nights away, the amenities are fewer but the modern dome tents feature comfortable foam beds and the same standard of freshly prepared food is the norm.

Activities

Daytrips and overnight fly-camping expeditions take place across Ennedi. Guided one of Société de Voyages Sahariens’s guides, these will variously include trips to Terkey and its famous cave-paintings, the Oyo labyrinth, the Arche guelta, the towering Arch of Aloba, the Mourdi depression, and much else. Substantial four-day fly-camping expeditions can be arranged to the Niola Doa rock-carvings or to the Ounianga Lakes.

‘A full day to Guelta de Bachiguele, a permanent water source for the desert nomads of the Tubu, Zaghawa and Bedeyat peoples. We walked down the stream backed by steep red sandstone walls dotted with rock-splitting figs. Camels waded across metre-deep streams fed by recent good rains and freshwater springs. An air of contentment in an otherwise harsh but beautiful landscape.’ Fieldnotes, Will Jones (2024)

 Impact

Société de Voyages Sahariens have been in operation here for more than three decades, and their knowledge and care for the area, its wildlife and its people are beyond doubt.

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