Tassili N'Ajjer, Algeria : Rock art, a sandstone  pillars and a glimpse at a lost Saharan history.

Often overshadowed by its neighbor, the tourism giant Morocco, Algeria - a stone's throw from Mediterranean Europe and a mere three-hour flight London - has recently relaxed its visa policies, allowing for much easier exploration of the country.

While most visitors tend to stick to the coastal north, which contains most of the region's best preserved Roman ruins, Africa's largest country also contains the largest national park.

Virtually unknown to the outside world, Tassili n'Ajjer is eight times the size of Yellowstone in the United States.

At the heart of the vast landscape of Saharan sand and stone lie the deep red dunes and pillars of Tadrart Rouge. 

Accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicle, this astonishingly striking national park is home to thousands of ancient works of rock art, stretching back to when the desert was a thriving savanna, as well as to a very much living nomadic Tuareg culture. [ Marcus Westberg ]


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