Jebel Acacus and Prehistoric Cave Art
The area appears like an extensive, high, sandstone plateaux that has then been eroded away into hundreds of complex rock formations and wadis. Many days can be spent exploring this magnifcent wilderness. There are several waterholes in the Acacus and occassionally you may encounter a Tuareg with his dog or see their grass hut or their goats. These people have often refused education and better housing preferring instead to live in this wilderness in their traditional manner.
This is one of the better areas for trekking in the deserts, shady wadis wind their way through magnificent rock scenery and some of the mountans may be scrambled up in a short time offering beautiful panoramas.
Wadi Tashwinet or Wadi Tashween, is one of the major wadis of the Acacus. It is about 60 kilometers long with innumerable side wadis leading off. It is popular not only for its scenery but for its concentration of caves with some of the better examples of Acacas cave carvings and cave paintings. It is likely that you will encounter another group in this wadi.
Visitors are required to have a guide with them here. Not only to help them find their way through the intricate maze of wadis but also to help protect the unique treasures of the area. Sadly some of the drawings have already been defaced by souvenier hunters or others trying to make copies.
The rock paintings and carvings were first noted by Heinrich Barth and Gustav Nachtigal in 1850. Only in 1955 did a major expedition led by Fabrizio Mori from the university of Rome come to make a detailed study of them. In all he recorded 1300 sites of interest. For more detailed information about the cave art see http://www.acacus.it/eng/ricter_arte_ru1.htm. In 2006 an EWp expedition carried out a mapping project in the Tadrart Acacus and Awiss as a result of which the Jebel Acacus Tourist Map and Guide (Djebel Akakus Carte et Guide Touristique) was published. This also shows 85 of the rock art sites. See also the related photo gallery.