Gara Medouar, Morocco

Gara Medouar
photo © mytouristmaps

Located outside Erfoud, Morocco, along the N12 road connecting Merzouga to  Alnif, the Gara Medouar is a sedimentary rock formation which by the erosion processes had taken on the appearance of a crater.

Gara Medouar map

Nicknamed the Portuguese Prison due to his use as a sheltered area for the slave trade from Africa to Portugal, the rock formation was also used as a Moroccan military base.

Fascinating movie landscape, Gara Medouar has appeared in many films: Spectre (2015), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), The Mummy (1999), The Mummy Returns (2000) and the TV series The Secret of the Sahara (1998).

Darvaza Crater, Turkmenistan

Darvaza crater
 © Tormod Sandtorv

Also known as The Door to Hell, the Darvaza Crater, is a natural gas crater in the Karakum Black Sands desert, Turkmenistan, about 250 kilometers north of Ashgabat.

It was formed after the collapse of a natural gas field into an underground cavern. According to most sources, it is burning since 1971, when Soviet geologists set it alight to prevent the spread of the potentially poisonous methane gas.
The scientists believed that the gas would extinguish within a few weeks, but it is now still burning.

The Canadian explorer George Kourounis was the first scientist descended into the crater, collecting some extremophile microorganisms that live even in that hellish place.

Sahara desert, Morocco

photo © mytouristmaps
In the Sahara desert, you can meet the nomadic people who still live in one of the most inhospitable areas of the planet. Today there are about one million nomads who live in the North of Africa.

Brahim, our Berber guide at the Chegaga Erg (Morocco), lived in the desert until the age of fifteen years, now he lives and works in the “city” of Mhamid; he says that he will return to live in the desert … a nomad can’t live without the sensation of freedom that only the infinity of the desert can give.