analog extreme


a travelling artists' residency

desert trek in mauritania, 18-28 february 2019


Digital detox for artists

In an age where online activities overshadow many other forms of human experience and interaction, you may have felt the need for occasional digital disconnection and for establishing a more direct, physical relationship with your environment. If travel is something else than chasing material for rapid digital interaction, will it change our experiences and our creative processes?

With this in mind, Waaw has set up the Analog Extreme programme, which is open to artists and creatives of all disciplines. Participation is limited to 10 people. The tour is arranged in collaboration with an experienced local tour operator.


A desert trek

Analog Extreme is a 10-day tour including a 6-day desert trek in the Adrar, one of the most beautiful areas in the Sahara. The landscape is varied – in one day, you will come across dunes and rocks, flat areas and hills. At the same time, it is minimalist – you may be able to draw a view in a few single lines. It is pleasing to the eye and the mind, and walking, even if at times challenging, will soon take on a meditative dimension. The desert is empty – you may trek for a full day without seeing other people than your trekking companions. The desert is huge, and you will feel small. For spoilt Westerners, it may at times be challenging: water, other than for drinking, is limited. The desert is silent – most of the time, you will not hear a bird, not even a cricket, just the wind and your footsteps. After dark, we gather around the camp fire, massaging our sore feet, watching the moon rise and see the Milky Way appearing brighter than you have never seen it before.


There will be approx. 6 hours of walking for 5 days. The trek also includes one day when you are free to explore the area around our camp, for fully taking in the environment, and documenting it, or engaging in other creative activity, should you wish.


For the desert trek, accommodation is arranged in simple Mauritanian traditional tents for 2-5 people. Camels will carry tents and baggage. In addition to your English-speaking residency hosts, you will be accompanied by a French-speaking Mauritanian guide, a cook and camel drivers. In the desert, the fare is simple and mostly vegetable-based, but you will not go hungry.


Go analog

Since the fundamental idea behind the Analog Extreme tour is to deconnect, we will all leave our phones in the capital Nouakchott. In fact, there is no phone network available in most parts of the desert anyway! Only the guide will keep a phone for urgencies. You may also consider using non-digital means of documenting what you see and hear – we will leave that decision to you.


























Programme overview

Day 1 - 18 February: Arrival in Nouakchott; overnight at hotel

Day 2 - 19 February: Transport by minibus to the Adrar region (8 hrs). Visit the old town of Chinguetti, overnight at simple hotel

Days 3-8 - 20-25 February: Desert trek Zarga - Mhaïret - Tergit

Day 9 - 26 February: Transport by minibus to Nouakchott; overnight at hotel.

Day 10 - 27 February: Nouakchott. Visit art centre, meet cultural activists. Departure.



The price per person is 550 euro (to be confirmed). It comprises two hotel nights in Nouakchott, bus transport Nouakchott-Chinguetti and Tergit-Nouakchott, and the actual 6-day desert trek, which is all inclusive. You need to calculate with the cost for the international flight to Nouakchott, meals on days 1 and 10 as well as in the evening of day 9.


For reaching Nouakchott by air, please check offers by Air France, Royal Air Maroc and Turkish Airlines.


One option is to fly to Dakar in Senegal by 16 February, from where we would be happy to arrange shared transport for you via Saint-Louis. This would cost you approx. 300 euro return, incl. overnight accommodation in a hotel near Dakar airport (16 February) and two nights at a B&B in Saint-Louis (17 and 27 February).


Citizens of most countries need a visa to Mauritania. A single-entry tourist visa will cost you €55 at the airport or at the Senegalese border.


We would like to have your registration by 20 July 2018. Please send us an email at info{at] with your contact information, date of birth, profession/present occupation and a description in a few lines why you would like to join us for the Analog Extreme tour.











A new destination

The Mauritanian desert has been off the radar for tour operators for 10 years, but since 2017 is no longer classified as a ”red” zone by the French foreign ministry, and with charter flights from France, tourists are flocking to explore these unexploited areas. Security is not taken lightly in Mauritania; the eastern desert is covered by radar stations and our drive from Nouakchott to the Adrar desert region will be interrupted by at least 5 checkpoints.

Desert and Sea: combining Mauritania and Senegal, 14 February-31 March

The Analog Extreme programme is organised by Waaw, an artist residency based in Saint-Louis on the Senegalese coast, just across the border. You can combine the Analog Extreme with a regular one-month residency at Waaw, seeing the best of two countries, and allowing your impressions time to transform into creation. In this case, you book your flight to Dakar in Senegal.