Tibesti Expedition – Exclusive Footage


I’ve put together some video for you of my recent expedition to one of the Sahara’s most remote corners.

Only one previous expedition has reached the Ouri plain in Chad’s Tibesti mountains. That was about 15 years ago, and given the difficulties, I can’t see anyone else trying it anytime soon.

I’m no cinematographer by any stretch, so please don’t expect a movie.

I simply want to give you a sense of what it’s like to travel in this incredibly remote — and incredibly beautiful — part of the Sahara.

You’ll see how challenging it was to get down into the Ouri region, and to get back out…

You’ll experience the silence of the desert, and what it feels like to walk among those massive sandstone spires…

You’ll see prehistoric pottery and rock art from around 8,000 years ago…

And you’ll see some of the routines of expedition life, as we break camp, resupply with water, and get ourselves unstuck with the sand ladders.

So pour yourself a drink, or shake up a classic cocktail. Put up your feet and settle in. And press “play” on the embedded video below:



This video only represents the smallest fraction of our trip.

There’s no footage from the days and days of journeying it required to get from the Sahel to the Sahara, and then deep into the Tibesti mountains.

We only shot a little video of our struggles with the cars. No one even thought about getting the camera out during the more treacherous descents.

We didn’t film people, because the tribes we encountered waved off our cameras, and so we respected their privacy.

And I’ve only given you a taste of the walking and exploring we did as the weeks went on.

But I hope it’s enough.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

And if you missed my previous blogs about this trip, check out the overview in Chad – Tibesti Expedition 2015, and this one on Expedition Food.

This truly was an expedition of a lifetime, even for experienced desert travellers.



Images ©Tomoko Goto 2015


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About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


  • Ryan-
    Nice video. Reminds me of my desert trek to Mt Ararat in Jordan and the trek through the Namib desert. I understand the “natural” feel of the video, however, as a viewer might I make the suggestion for some audio (music) additions to the videos as opposed to the wind blowing through the mic? For myself, a little up-tempo music in a video like that ALWAYS gets my blood pumping and makes me want to get back out on the travel road. Appreciate the video and looking forward to more of them!

    • Thanks for your feedback JP, glad you enjoyed it. I’ve used music on videos in the past (usually with the very kind permission of Steve Kilbey and The Church). But I wanted to let the desert speak for itself this time. And so much of that deep desert experience is determined by wind. When there’s none, it can be brutally hot. And when there’s lots, it blows sand and feels like it’s flaying you alive. Wind is often the only sound you hear out there.

      The sandstone parts of the Tibesti reminded me of Wadi Rum in Jordan too. But Wadi Rum was quite a small area, whereas the sandstone region of the Tibesti is easily as spectacular, and incredibly vast. So much there to explore.

  • ‘This truly was an expedition of a lifetime, even for experienced desert travellers.’

    Perfect sentence.

    Yes, even for me after 13 Saharan trips. Silence, stars, solitude, vastitude – the four addictive factors that always bring me back to the Sahara. We all had in this epic adventure.

    I deeply enjoyed each moment of the expedition. Walking on the yellow sand of the Ouri Basin in total freedom – that’s an experience!


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