Algeria Cultural Discovery Tour

Roman Routes to the M'Zab Valley & Tassili N'Ajjer


Take the road less traveled on this incredible adventure in Algeria - one of the least visited countries in the world! Experience the rare beauty of cosmopolitan Algiers, with its historic casbah and labyrinthine old quarter. Then explore the impressive and well-preserved Roman ruins at Tipasa, beautifully situated on the Mediterranean, and the Berber area of Biskra. Travel deep into the heart of the M'Zab Valley and explore its enchanting fortress cities rising from the dunes, then head to the Tassili N'Ajjer plateau with its 15,000-year-old Neolithic rock paintings. With deep history and ancient UNESCO-listed relics at every step, you'll find yourself in a fascinating land wondering why it wasn't on your radar sooner.

17 Days

From: $7,795

Take the road less traveled on this incredible adventure in Algeria - one of the least visited countries in the world! Experience the rare beauty of cosmopolitan Algiers, with its historic casbah and labyrinthine old quarter. Then explore the impressive and well-preserved Roman ruins at Tipasa, beautifully situated on the Mediterranean, and the Berber area of Biskra. Travel deep into the heart of the M'Zab Valley and explore its enchanting fortress cities rising from the dunes, then head to the Tassili N'Ajjer plateau with its 15,000-year-old Neolithic rock paintings. With deep history and ancient UNESCO-listed relics at every step, you'll find yourself in a fascinating land wondering why it wasn't on your radar sooner.

Highlights


  • See the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa and the ancient Pentapolis of M'Zab

  • Marvel at the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, the spectacular bridges of Constantine, and age-old rock art

  • Get a true insider perspective on Algerian life and enjoy delicious traditional cuisine with spellbinding Mediterranean views

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Algeria Cultural Discovery

Start: Algiers, Algeria  End: Algiers, Algeria

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Algiers

    Day 1

    Welcome to Algeria! Arrive in Algiers and transfer to your five-star hotel, located close to the vibrant city center. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.

    Accommodation: El Aurassi Hotel

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Visit Djemila, the Ancient Roman City of Cuicul

    Day 2

    Drive to the small mountain village of Djemila, originally the Roman city of Cuicul, and explore some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa. Originally dating back to the 1st century, these UNESCO-listed ruins include well-preserved baths, temples, and forums, and the impressive Arch of Caracalla - all spread out over a pretty meadow. After the tour, enjoy lunch in Djemila before heading to the atmospheric city of Constantine, where your next hotel awaits.

    Accommodation: Marriott Hotel in Constantine

    Transportation: 5-hours private van transfers

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Tiddis & Constantine

    Day 3

    Set out this morning to explore the Roman city of Tiddis, perched on a bare, red-rock mountainside. Then return to Constantine to see the city's spectacular sights on a guided walking tour. Marvel at its cliff-side location and impressive bridges, including the Sidi M'Cid suspension bridge with its dizzying span over the gorge. Learn more about the city's history with a visit to the Cirta Museum, the Ottoman-era Bey's Palace, and El Kantara - the old Roman bridge. Learn more about the people of Constantine by meeting local copper and brassware makers, and visiting a WWI memorial dedicated to Constantine soldiers. Finish the tour at the Emir Abdelkader Mosque, an architectural gem.

    Accommodation: Marriott Hotel in Constantine

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Timgad & the Berber Village of Rhouffi

    Day 4

    Begin your day at the massive cone-shaped mausoleum of Medracen, built for the Berber Numidian Kings between 200-400 BC. Then explore the UNESCO-listed Roman military colony of Timgad, built during the reign of Emperor Trajan. This 2,000-year-old city has a remarkable grid design and its triumphal Arch of Trajan soars elegantly above Timgad. Next visit the Roman ruins of Lambaesis, a short drive west near the village of Tazoult, and explore the museum. From here, journey to Biskra through one of the most beautiful regions of the country. Marvel at the Berber village of Arris, with its stone houses clinging to the cliff side, and nearby gorges of Tighanimine. Follow the canyon towards Rhouffi and M 'Chounech, and stop to visit of the pottery workshop and the museum of Si El Haouès. Continue to Sidi Okba, a historical and religious city and visit, visit the mosque with its beautiful carved cedar door. Arrive in Biskra, gateway to the Sahara, and enjoy dinner.

    Accommodation: Vescera Hotel

    Transportation: 4.5-hours private van transfers

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit the Gardens of Biskra & Journey to El Oued

    Day 5

    Wander among palm trees at Biskra's beautiful Landon Garden this morning, then enjoy the sights and smells of the date market. From Biskra the journey continues to El Oued, through the date-rich Souf region. Overnight in El Oued tonight.

    Accommodation: La Gazelle d’Or

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfers

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore El Oued, City of a Thousand Domes

    Day 6

    Rise to visit of the minaret of the Sidi Salem mosque, the spice market, and the Zaouia des Tidjania, a local religious community. After lunch, take a 1-hour 4x4 excursion through the Grand Erg Oriental dunes. Enjoy sunset on the dunes before returning for dinner and overnight in El Oued.

    Accommodation: La Gazelle d’Or

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Oases in the Great Eastern Erg & Ghardaia

    Day 7

    Head to Touggourt through the Grand Erg Oriental, a wondrous sea of sand also known as the Great Eastern Erg. Along the way, stop off at the salt lakes of Témacine and Tamelhat, and explore the fortified villages and palm groves of Ouargla. Enjoy lunch after a visit to the Saharan museum, and then continue to Ghardaia in the heart of the M'Zab Valley. Experience the unique auction market in Béni Isguen, the holy city of Ghardaia, and transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Ghardaia.

    Accommodation: M’Zab Hotel

    Transportation: 6-hours private van transfers

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Marvel at the Pentapolis of M'Zab

    Day 8

    Explore the incredible UNESCO-listed towns of the M'Zab Valley in the northern Sahara. Known as the Pentapolis of M'Zab, the five fortified towns are a wonder to behold - rising enigmatically from the dunes in terraces centered around a central mosque. On your journey, you'll visit Ghardaia, Melika, age-old El Atteuf, and the holy city of Beni Isguen. Return to your residence in the late afternoon and enjoy a quiet stroll in the palm grove before dinner.

    Accommodation: M’Zab Hotel

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Historic Algiers

    Day 9

    Take an early flight back to Algiers and go deep into the heart of the city on a guided tour, starting at the UNESCO-listed casbah. Explore the labyrinthine alleys of this storied hillside citadel and the historic quarter clustered around it. Visit its illuminating museums and ancient mosques, including the Bardo Museum and 15th-century Ketchaoua Mosque, and see the 18th-century Dar Hassan Pacha palace. Lunch at a traditional house in the casbah before continuing your tour, meeting local artisans along the way. You'll also have an opportunity to explore the Basilica "Notre Dame d'Afrique" and the stunning Test Garden of Hamma - a 94-acre botanical garden dating from 1832. Transfer to the airport and have dinner at the airport Hyatt Regency before flying on to Djanet late this evening.

    Accommodation: La Grotte des Ambassadeurs

    Transportation: 3-hour flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • See Age-Old Desert Rock Art in Djanet & Travel to Djaren

    Day 10

    After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating visit to the oasis of Djanet and explore early rock paintings in "the cave of the ambassadors." After lunch, departure by caravan of 4x4 vehicles to Djaren, journey on to Djaren - the "Gateway to the Tadrart Rouge." Navigate rolling dunes to the first cave paintings hidden among the rocks, including a beautiful depiction of giraffes. Enjoy "Tuareg" tea along the way and first in the desert.

    Accommodation: Algerian Desert Camp

    Transportation: 1-hour transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Travel to Moul Ennaga Desert Camp

    Day 11

    After breakfast, continue to Moul Ennaga, marked by gigantic rock spires and a spectacular network of dunes. Sip a refreshing cup of tea before heading to your desert camp. Dinner and overnight under the stars in Moul Ennaga.

    Accommodation: Algerian Desert Camp

    Transportation: 3-hour transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to Bouhediane & Tin Merzo

    Day 12

    Travel through dunes and ocher-colored canyons on today's journey to Tin Merzouga. Along the way, explore the interesting engravings and paintings at Bouhediane. Stop for a picnic lunch and tea before reaching the colossal red sand dunes of Tin Merzouga - among the highest in the Sahara! Watch the sunset over the magnificent landscape including Libya's Akakus Massif. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the camp in Tin Merzouga.

    Accommodation: Algerian Desert Camp

    Activity: 2 hours walking to visit rock sites

    Transportation: 5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Engravings at Tessaketa

    Day 13

    Awake in the desert, then journey across the sand and through rock-strewn gorges to find more rock paintings and engravings, including those at Tessaketa in Djaren. Stop for tea on the way. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the camp in Tessaketa.

    Accommodation: Algerian Desert Camp

    Activity: 2 hours walking to visit rock sites

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Erg of Admer & Return to Djanet

    Day 14

    Begin the day with a drive to Tagharghart in the Erg of Admer. Amidst this vast ocean of sand dunes and wind-sculpted rocks, you'll find 10,000-year-old rock engravings - including the famous "crying cow." Marvel at the skillfully engraved ancient art before a picnic lunch and Tuareg tea at the foot of the rocks. Contemplate sunset over the dunes and return to Djanet for dinner at the hotel.

    Accommodation: La Grotte des Ambassadeurs

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tour Djanet & Return to Algiers

    Day 15

    Start the morning with a tour of Tassili N'Ajjer Park Museum, housing 15,000 rupestral rocks dating from 6,000 to 12,000 years ago! Then explore Djanet's oasis and market, where Tuareg artisans sell locally crafted wares. Bid farewell to the desert after lunch and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Algiers. Settle into your luxury hotel and enjoy dinner at your leisure, on your own.

    Accommodation: El Aurassi Hotel

    Activity: 2 hours walking to see sights

    Transportation: 2-hour flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Ancient Wonders of Tipasa & Cherchell

    Day 16

    Head to Tipasa for an unforgettable look at its UNESCO-listed complex of ruins, including a beautifully situated ancient Roman city - one of Algeria's most impressive archeological sites. Explore the amphitheater, basilicas, and forums while taking in dazzling views of the Mediterranean. Then visit the monumental Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, the resting place of Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony's only daughter. Enjoy a seafood lunch in the town of Tipasa before exploring the small fishing port of Cherchell. Tour the archeological museum, home to many well-preserved ancient artifacts from the region. Return to Algiers for dinner at the hotel.

    Accommodation: El Aurassi Hotel

    Transportation: 3-hour transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Algiers

    Day 17

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your homeward journey.

    Meals: Breakfast

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:


2023 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $8,395 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $7,995 per person double occupancy

8 to 10 guests from $7,795 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:


Internal Airfare: $225

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted in the Trip Planner)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Kader Bensalah

Kader Bensalah

Kader developed his love of history by studying archeology in Greece before returning to his home in the ancient city of Cherchell, Algeria. He has been guiding for over 15 years, introducing people from around the world to all regions of this beautiful, historic country. You can meet Kader on MT Sobek's adventures through Algeria. 

Karim Souiki

Karim Souiki

Born in Constantine, Karim worked at the Cultural Institution where he learned about his passion for teaching by helping manage the Cirta Museum, Palace of the Bey, Tiddis, and the Mausoleum of Massinissa. He has been guiding groups in Algeria for over five years, introducing tourists from around the world to his country. 

Khibba Dahou

Khibba Dahou

As an experienced guide in the Algerian desert, Khibba knows everything about the region's geology, flora, fauna, and historic wonders. He also has a deep understanding of the traditions and customs of the local Tuareg people. Khibba is excited to share the hospitality and sustainability of desert camp life, including serving you ample amounts of Tuareg tea.

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Explore the incredible UNESCO-listed towns of the M\'Zab Valley in the northern Sahara. Known as the Pentapolis of M\'Zab, the five fortified towns are a wonder to behold - rising enigmatically from the dunes in terraces centered around a central mosque. On your journey, you\'ll visit Ghardaia, Melika, age-old El Atteuf, and the holy city of Beni Isguen. Return to your residence in the late afternoon and enjoy a quiet stroll in the palm grove before dinner.

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Take an early flight back to Algiers and go deep into the heart of the city on a guided tour, starting at the UNESCO-listed casbah. Explore the labyrinthine alleys of this storied hillside citadel and the historic quarter clustered around it. Visit its illuminating museums and ancient mosques, including the Bardo Museum and 15th-century Ketchaoua Mosque, and see the 18th-century Dar Hassan Pacha palace. Lunch at a traditional house in the casbah before continuing your tour, meeting local artisans along the way. You\'ll also have an opportunity to explore the Basilica "Notre Dame d\'Afrique" and the stunning Test Garden of Hamma - a 94-acre botanical garden dating from 1832. Transfer to the airport and have dinner at the airport Hyatt Regency before flying on to Djanet late this evening.

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Awake in the desert, then journey across the sand and through rock-strewn gorges to find more rock paintings and engravings, including those at Tessaketa in Djaren. Stop for tea on the way. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the camp in Tessaketa.

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Begin the day with a drive to Tagharghart in the Erg of Admer. Amidst this vast ocean of sand dunes and wind-sculpted rocks, you\'ll find 10,000-year-old rock engravings - including the famous "crying cow." Marvel at the skillfully engraved ancient art before a picnic lunch and Tuareg tea at the foot of the rocks. Contemplate sunset over the dunes and return to Djanet for dinner at the hotel.

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Start the morning with a tour of Tassili N\'Ajjer Park Museum, housing 15,000 rupestral rocks dating from 6,000 to 12,000 years ago! Then explore Djanet\'s oasis and market, where Tuareg artisans sell locally crafted wares. Bid farewell to the desert after lunch and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Algiers. Settle into your luxury hotel and enjoy dinner at your leisure, on your own.

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Head to Tipasa for an unforgettable look at its UNESCO-listed complex of ruins, including a beautifully situated ancient Roman city - one of Algeria\'s most impressive archeological sites. Explore the amphitheater, basilicas, and forums while taking in dazzling views of the Mediterranean. Then visit the monumental Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, the resting place of Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony\'s only daughter. Enjoy a seafood lunch in the town of Tipasa before exploring the small fishing port of Cherchell. Tour the archeological museum, home to many well-preserved ancient artifacts from the region. Return to Algiers for dinner at the hotel.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 3-hour transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 36.58 [Longitude] => 2.452 ) [16] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 17 [DayTo] => 17 [Headline] => Depart from Algiers [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your homeward journey.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 2. Driving and walking tours of historic and culturally significant sights. Expect some narrow, steep, and/or bumpy paths
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 12

2 hours walking to visit rock sites

Day 13

2 hours walking to visit rock sites

Day 15

2 hours walking to see sights

Accommodations


Comfortable hotels and luxurious 4- or 5-star hotels with elegant rooms and scenic locations - all carefully selected by our Africa experts. Simple stone bungalows at retreats in the oasis town of Djanet and basic desert camping at Moul Ennaga and Tin Merzouga.

El Aurassi Hotel
El Aurassi Hotel

With its breathtaking views of the Bay of Algiers and excellent location near the city's most impressive landmarks, including the Great Mosque, El Aurassi is the perfect first stop on your Algerian adventure. Its rooms are elegantly furnished, and come with contemporary features and luxury extras. Take a dip in the state-of-the-art outdoor pool and enjoy spectacular vistas from the lounge.

Algerian Desert Camp

Revel in back-to-basics desert camping in the Algerian Desert. Sleep in individual or double tents with a mattress and blankets (and your own sleeping bag). Eat hearty breakfasts, picnic lunches, and hot camp meals made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Mineral water is provided in sufficient quantities and refreshing "Tuareg Tea "is prepared by the team during desert exploration. Washing and basic showers are possible at the camp water point.

M’Zab Hotel
M’Zab Hotel

The prestigious M'Zab Hotel was previously a historic fort before the recent renovation into a hotel inspired by both French and Algerian architecture. The courtyard and gardens boast lush palm trees, a terrace and swimming pool for relaxation.

La Gazelle d’Or
La Gazelle d’Or

Delight in the palatial La Gazelle D'Or, a dreamy hotel surrounded by palm trees and golden dunes. Rest up in the hotel's comfortable rooms, elegantly styled with Oued Souf décor, and enjoy free complementary Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and air-con. After a day of exploring, La Gazelle D'Or offers relaxing amenities such as massage services, a pool, sauna, and gym. In the evening, you can take a stroll on the dunes—camel rides are a bonus!

Vescera Hotel
Vescera Hotel

The Vescera Hotel is the perfect first stop on your Algerian adventure, located a short distance from the heart of Biskra. Enjoy the hotel's spacious and well-appointed rooms, featuring refrigerators, minibar, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and much more. While you are there, dine at the comfortable onsite restaurant or get breakfast in bed with room service! Then step outside to explore shops, eateries, and beautiful Landon Park.

Marriott Hotel in Constantine
Marriott Hotel in Constantine

The gorgeous Constantine Marriot Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel and guest favorite, complete with comfortable beds, modern décor, and deluxe touches. The hotel boasts spectacular service, a night club and bar, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, spa, and hot tub. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service. Nearby you'll find popular landmarks such as the beautiful Ahmed Bey Palace.

La Grotte des Ambassadeurs
La Grotte des Ambassadeurs

This hotel is located in the Ifri district of Djanet. During your stay, you will enjoy comfortable amenities, including air conditioning, plasma TV, fridge, desk and Wi-fi. Guests can enjoy meals at the restaurant, a garden area and complementary hot water, which is available 24 hours a day.

Weather


Algeria's coastal areas have a typical Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers. The desert can reach temperatures into the 100°Fs during the day the drop to the 50°Fs at night.

 
Feb
Apr
Sep
Oct
Algiers 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Algiers
63
42
71
48
86
64
80
57
Ghardaia 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Ghardaia
66
46
81
58
95
73
84
63

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

An MT Sobek representative will meet you on arrival at Houari Boumediene Airport International Airport in Algiers.

Do I need a visa to travel to Algeria?

Yes, American citizens need a visa to travel to Algeria. You must apply for a visa through the Algerian Embassy or Algerian Consulate closest to you.

Is there wifi at all the accommodations?

Yes, there is wifi at all the accommodations except for the desert camp.

Is there any special dress code for this trip?

In Ghardaia and the Pentapolis of M\'Zab in order to respect local customs, no shorts should be worn by men or women, no smoking and we must respect the distance between men and women.

How do I get to Algeria?

Many airlines, including Air France, Lufthansa, Air Algerie, United and Turkish Airlines fly to Algiers, connecting in European cities like Paris, Frankfurt, London or Istanbul.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag for the desert camping experience?

Yes. Guests need to bring their own sleeping bag.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


"We have traveled throughout the world, but never experienced a level of service and attention to detail as we did with MT Sobek."

Dennis G.
MT Sobek Guest

"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."

Jane B.
MT Sobek Guest