(Djanet) “Inner peace”, “total rest”: Djanet, oasis of the Algerian Sahara attracts more and more foreign tourists, eager to recharge their batteries and discover a unique desert landscape in the world.

Since the establishment in 2021 of a visa-on-arrival system, more than 4,000 foreigners, according to local media figures, have visited Djanet, 2,300 km southeast of Algiers, and its surroundings, including the Tassili n’Ajjer, a magical site listed by UNESCO.

Tassili n’Ajjer National Park is characterized by a lunar landscape, punctuated by “forests of rocks” of eroded sandstone, geological formations with colors oscillating between orange and black, which are a delight for photographers at sunset. .

“We come to Djanet once, we have to go back. This is exactly what happened for me. There, I am with two friends, they have only one desire, it is to come back as soon as possible ”, confides to AFP Karim Benacine, a 57-year-old French tourist, working for the music group Universal Music.

“I would like to go there often because it refreshes me, I will need it. Now that I’ve known that, I think I’m going to do it regularly, “says her compatriot, Antonine De Saint Pierre, 49, met by AFP at the end of July.

The Tassili, a vast plateau of more than 70,000 km2, is also home to “one of the most important sets of prehistoric rock art in the world, with more than 15,000 drawings and engravings”, explains UNESCO on its site.

These paintings make it possible to follow from 6000 years before Jesus-Christ until the first centuries of the Christian era, “the changes of the climate, the migrations of the fauna and the evolution of human life on the borders of the Sahara”, underlines the ‘UNESCO.

In 2021, during the COVID-19 epidemic which weighed heavily on the world tourism industry, the Algerian authorities decided to promote Saharan tourism, by allowing foreigners to have their visa at the airport of arrival in the south of the country, and by opening a direct Paris-Djanet line.

In 2022, more than 2,900 foreigners of 35 different nationalities, mostly Westerners, stayed in Djanet, compared to 1,200 the first year Algeria made it easier to obtain visas.

To these visitors, last year, we must add 17,000 Algerians who succumbed to the charm of this desert town.

For Samira Ramouni, 41, a psychologist from Algiers, staying in this oasis, “it’s (finding) inner peace, it’s total rest, it’s being disconnected, in search of calm, c It’s also learning new things, recharging your batteries, recharging the batteries so that you can start the obstacle course again”.

Abdelkader Regagda, director of a tourist agency in Tamanrasset, an important locality in southern Algeria located 700 km west of Djanet, is grateful to the authorities for having opened “a great line of tourism from Europe to the south” Algerian.

In Djanet, “the circuits are numerous and diverse”, explains to AFP this guide, organizer of excursions around the oasis.

In 1982, Tassili n’Ajjer was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site and a World Natural Heritage Site. In 1986, UNESCO also added Tassili n’Ajjer to the list of biosphere reserves.