Roger Frison-Roche (1906-1999) was a French mountain guide that wrote a lot of books on the Alps, the Sahara and the Arctic.
Altogether, he wrote about 10 books on the Sahara, all bestsellers translated in different languages. Several of these bestsellers were situated in the Tassili. Reading the books of Frison-Roche was one of the reasons for my interest into the Sahara in general, the Tassili in particular.
1935, L'Appel du Hoggar.
1937, En skis et à chameau à travers le Grand Erg Occidental.
1941, Sur la Piste d'Empire.
1950, Bivouacs sous la lune, tome 1 : La Piste Oubliée.
1950, Le Grand Désert.
1952, Bivouacs sous la lune, tome 2 : La Montagne aux Écritures.
1954, Le Rendez-vous d'Essendilène.
1961, Sahara de l'Aventure.
1961, Mission Ténéré.
1965, Carnets Sahariens.
1976, 50 ans de Sahara.
1978, Djebel Amour.
1985, L’esclave de Dieu.
For the centenary of his birth there was in 2006 an commemorative expedition in the Hoggar with his children, lead by Jean-Louis Bernezat (next tip).
Luggage and bags:
This trek in the Tassili was organized by a small travel agency "Hommes et Montagnes du Sahara" created in 1969 by Jean-Louis BERNEZAT and Odette BERNEZAT and run by half a dozen mountain guides from France that had chosen to live half of the year in the Sahara (Hoggar and Tassili) with the Tuaregs and like the Tuaregs.
Photo Equipment: Jean-Louis BERNEZAT and Odette BERNEZAT have written several books on the Sahara. The photos have all been taken by them.
Immidir, la tassili oubliée, Jean-Louis Bernezat (printed in september 2004, ISBN : 2723446263)
Hommes et vallées du Haut-Atlas, Odette Bernezat, Grenoble, Glénat ed., 1987, ISBN : 2723408833
Hommes des montagnes du Hoggar, Odette Bernezat, Grenoble, 4 Seigneurs ed, 1975, ISBN : 2723405370
Mémoires sahariennes, Odette Bernezat, Grenoble, La Boussole ed., ISBN : 2915592012
La caravane, Jean-Louis Bernezat, Odette Bernezat
Touareg au fil du temps, Odette BERNEZAT, Grenoble, Bernezat ed., 1975
Miscellaneous: Jean-Louis Bernezat is now retired and has sold in 2001 his travel agency, now run by a different group and called Hommes et Montagnes, as it has extended its area outside the Sahara. I do not know if they have kept the spirit of its founders. They claim they do.
Luggage and bags:
When I was a kid, I had a book that told the precious and unlikely story of a French boy that had been "stolen" by gypsies (the old myth of kids being stolen by gypsies!), found by his "oncle d'Amérique" (the old myth of the uncle that has emigrated and made big money in America!). The uncle collects together with his nephew a "stolen" girl that had become his friend during their kidnapping. He brings them back to America in his own plane that has to land in the Sahara to fix a mechanical problem. When they take off, they forget the girl (Futée, which means crafty). She is taken in by Touaregs and the whole book is about her life in a Touareg band living in the Hoggar. Of course in the end, her friend and his uncle found her, they go and live in America, the boy and the girl marry and have a lot of children, etc…
Miscellaneous: I had never noticed until now that the cover of the book showed a two humps camel, the true camel but not the dromedary called camel that lives in the Sahara!
Anyway, this book was certainly one of the reasons why I had always wanted to go to the Sahara!
Photo Equipment: The book of Mario Fantin "Tuareg, Tassili, Sahara", printed in 1971 in Bologna, is one among many other books about the Tassili but it might be one of the first with high quality photos and pictures. It is a wealth of information on the Tassili. I recommend reading it if you can find it second hand.
Pierre BENOIT (1886-1962) was the son of a colonel. His father was mostly garrisoned in Algeria and Tunisia. Since his youth, Pierre BENOIT was familiar with the Sahara. He began in 1918 to write novels. The main ones are listed here :
Le Lac salé (1921),
Les Suppliantes (1921),
Mademoiselle de la Ferté (1923),
La Châtelaine du Liban (1924),
Le Puits de Jacob (1925),
Le Soleil de minuit (1930),
Le Déjeuner de Sousceyrac (1931),
Les Environs d’Aden (1940),
Les Plaisirs du voyage (1950),
Le Commandeur (1960).
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Not really "Camping / Beach / Outdoor" but that was the only place available!
He became member of the "Académie Française" in 1932. His numerous novels (one each year) are all adventure stories, often celebrating the woman. The name of his heroines always begins with an A.
Several of his books take place in the desert but the most famous of all is “l'Atlantide”.
Miscellaneous: To locate Atlantis in the middle of the desert appears very improbable, it is however this assumption, most contrary with the writings of Plato (dialogs of Critea and Critias) that will provide the most famous of the novels written on Atlantis: "l’Atlantide" of Pierre BENOIT. However, the idea is not from the novelist, but was presented in 1874 by BERIOZ, a very serious geographer.
Pierre BENOIT borrowed the idea and used his knowledge of the Sahara to locate it in a secret city, hidden in the middle of the Tassili with a mysterious queen, Antinea, at its head.
In this lost kingdom, she attracts handsome men like a spider in the middle of its web. Each time, once she has made love with a new one, she makes a mummy of him, covered with orchicalque, the mysterious metal of the Atlantis and adds him into her collection.
The book was immediately a bestseller and the theme was borrowed by theater, music-hall and film. There are half a dozen different cinema adaptations.