The Hoggar Mountains (Arabic: جبال هقار, Berber: idurar n Ahaggar), also known as the Ahaggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, or southern Algeria, along the Tropic of Cancer. They are located about 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) south of the capital, Algiers. The region is largely rocky desert with an average altitude of more than 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea level. The highest peak, Mount Tahat, is at 3,003 metres (9,852 ft). Assekrem is a famous and often visited point where Charles de Foucauld built a hermitage in 1911. The main city near the Hoggar Mountains is Tamanrasset, built in a desert valley or wadi.
The Hoggar Mountain range is chiefly volcanic rock and contains a hot summer climate, with a cold winter climate (temperatures fall below 0 °C (32 °F) in the winter). The mountains are young—about 2 million years old. Rainfall is rare and sporadic. However, since the climate is less extreme than in most other areas of the Sahara, the Hoggar Mountains are a major location for biodiversity and host relict species. The Hoggar Mountains are part of the West Saharan montane xeric woodlands ecoregion. It is also one of the national parks of the country.
Fauna and flora
Slightly to the west of the Hoggar range, a population of the endangered Painted Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus) remained viable into the 20th century, but is now thought to be extirpated within this entire region.
In scat collections there are records of the presence of these elusive and very rare carnivores.
Prehistoric settlement is evident from extant rock paintings dating to 6000 BC. The Hoggar massif is the land of the Tuaregs or Kel Hoggar. The tomb of Tin Hinan, the woman believed to be the ancestor of the Tuareg is located at Abalessa, an oasis near Tamanrasset. According to legend, the Tim Lam are from the Tafilalt region in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
Panorama of The Ahaggar mountains
- Peter Haggett. 2001. Encyclopedia of World Geography, Published by Marshall Cavendish, 3456 pages ISBN 0-7614-7289-4, 9780761472896
- C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Painted Hunting Dog: Lycaon pictus, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
- Jeremy Keenan. 1977. "The Tuareg: People of Ahaggar", Published by Allen Lane, Penguin Books Ltd., London, 385 pages, ISBN 0-7139-0636-7