The Salt Caravan
Hundreds of dromedaries and their drivers spend 10 months of the year walking through stone and sand to pick up the treasured salt. In April and May the caravan guides cannot withstand the sun anymore. 50 degrees Celsius in the shade and barely anything there to create shade. The dromedaries are so heavily laden that they would be crushed if they stopped walking. Everything has to be taken with them. The fodder for the animals, the food for the drivers, additional food such as rice tea and sugar to exchange for the white gold: salt. Earlier the government sent all dissidents here. Taoudenni was an absolutely closed area from which practically no one came out alive. From 1990 to 1995 civil war raged in northern Mali. The Tuaregs rose up against the government. 80.000 people fled to the neighbouring countries. They came back slowly to take up their lives in Mali again. Even today the northern part of Mali is not safe. Bandits attack cars. Nobody pays any attention to laws.