Following on from recent Western Sahara trip reports and mammal watching ventures it seems pertinent to warn of the dangers of land mines in the area which have been omitted from recent reports. The whole of Western Sahara is mined (it’s the most heavily mined country in the world) and the densities are highest around the berms (sand walls). Whilst most folk consider this to be the huge berm in the east there are old berms all over the mammal watching areas including along the Aousserd Road (nr km150 to Aousserd for instance), Negjir, and multiple berms along the Bir Anzirane road. The mines are both anti-personnel and anti-tank and are still active. Areas such as the Leglat massif are mined around the base of the massif and the valley entrance, as are the base of the Adrar Soutouf massifs. There are also mined areas around Dakhla Bay including close to the White Dune and all around Imlili. There are of course plenty of areas that aren’t mined such as Dereman massif NW of Oued Jenna, and Oued Jenna itself. Driving off-road is not recommended unless you follow very well used tracks and even then there is some movement of landmines during heavy rains and sand storms. The last trip report also mentioned a road between Bir Anzirane and Aousserd however this is a 4×4 track which links Bir Anzirane and Gleibat el Foula and then onwards to Aousserd.
The area is possible to do independently but if you are keen to head off-road and explore the more mountainous areas I would thoroughly recommend one of the local ground agents who know the area.
Access along the roads has become much easier in recent years and food and fuel in Aousserd make mammal watching for an extended period a possibility, after all its probably the best place in the world to see Sand Cat, but its only going to take one ‘tourist’ incident to shut the area down again so I’d urge any mammal watchers to enjoy the area with some degree of caution and sense.