Sefar: The Lost City of The “Djinns” in The Middle of The Algerian Desert

The wilaya of Djanet is located in the south of Algeria, its capital being the city of the same name. It is located in the extreme southeast of the country and borders Libya and Niger.

The city of Sefar, in Tassili n’Ajjer, in the depths of Djanet, is the largest troglodyte city in the world (listed as a World Heritage Site since 1982). Its secrets are still waiting to be unraveled, and a veil of mystery surrounds its origin.

Sefar, the Eighth Wonder of the World

The experience that the city of Sefar offers to tourists is unparalleled. Cave paintings in red, black and white that date back to 5,000 to 8,000 BC tell multiple stories and legends, constituting an open-air museum.

The city of Sefar seen from the sky

Sefar was inscribed in 1982 on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as it contains the largest open museum of caves and rocks in the world, in addition to the 15,000 inscriptions, drawings and engravings, dating back to several periods of history. The oldest cave paintings date back to at least 12,000 BCE, reflecting the diversity and succession of several cultures and civilizations in the region.

Paradise surrounded by myths and legends

Despite its impressive size, Sefar remains an arid and uninhabited area, making it a privileged environment for several species of rare animals such as bighorn sheep and deer, snakes and scorpions. Some researchers have also suggested the presence of crocodiles in the deep-water pools that border the city.

Rock Paintings Discovered in Sefar

Among the features that make Sefar extraordinary is the abundance of legends and supernatural stories handed down by the inhabitants and their ancestors. Some of these legends claim that the city was once a realm of the jinn, these invisible beings, before the arrival of humanity on earth. Other accounts describe a coexistence between jinn and humans, exemplified by the discovery of prehistoric depictions of humans accompanied by mysterious as yet unidentified creatures.

The “god of Sefar”, an as-yet-unidentified creature present in cave paintings

Regardless of the versions of the narratives, Sefar remains a global tourist attraction that has yet to receive the same media attention as less notable and untouched tourist destinations. Despite this, the magnificent Pearl of Djanet continues to attract many adventurers and lovers of tranquility, who, after exploring its charms, do not fail to recommend others to discover it.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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