Heart of the Sahara


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Every week throughout the winter, caravans of up to fifty camels arrive bellowing and snorting in Timbuktu. They are at the end of a three-week, 450-mile trek and each carries four huge slabs of Taoudenni salt, the ‘white gold’ of the Sahara. Taoudenni is Mali’s remotest and most primitive settlement – a posting from Hell. With three camels and a Moorish guide, John set off from Timbuktu to find stunning desert landscapes and a life lived much as it was a millennium ago, when salt was, literally, worth its weight in gold.

“Gather your breath . . . then tell us all about it!”
(Aldro School, Surrey)

Follow John’s journey as it happened through his regular updates:

9th December 2005 23rd December 2005 12th January 2006 20th January 2006 18th February 2006 9th March 2006

First updateLast update

Taoudenni trip – practical info

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Read or listen to John’s From Our Own Correspondent piece for BBC Radio 4.


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View details of talk  Heart of the Sahara   (Right-click to download)


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