Kaouar, or Kaouar Cliffs
(Falaise Kaouar, Kaouar-tal) is a
north-south escarpment running some 150
km in north east Niger.
Surrounded by the Ténéré
desert and the dunes of the Erg of
, easterly winds striking the 100 meter high escarpment of
provide easy access to groundwater for ten
on the leeward
side. Its highest point is at the northern tip of the range: the
at 576 meters.
south to north, Bilma, Dirkou, Aney, and Séguédine are the largest towns.
oases are famous for salt and date production, and were along the
route of the great Bornu to Fezzan caravan
trail. This was the major point of contact between
the African Sahel and the Mediterranean civilisations until the 19th century.
Numerous archeological sites and rock paintings attest to human
habitation here reaching back some 10,000 years to when the area
was surrounded by lush grasslands.
the Kaouar was submitted as a tentative candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status as part of
The salt route from Air to Kaouar.
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Tentative Lists Database, La
Route du Sel de l'Air au Kaouar.
- Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger. Scarecrow Press,
London and New Jersey (1979). ISBN 0810812290
- Jolijn Geels. Niger. Bradt London and Globe Pequot New York
(2006). ISBN 1841621528.