Richat Structure

Also known as: Guilb er Richat, Richât, Richat dome, Qalb ar-Rīšāt, Bull´s Eye, Eye of the Sahara, Eye of Africa

Feels like the Martian

The heart of the Sahara lies near two valleys. Or in other words: Richat Structure is only 30 km away from Ouadane. Guelb (from Arabic qalb: heart, center) is the Saharan name for an inselberg, an elevation in the middle of flat land. The Richat Structure is a ring mound of sedimentary rock measuring 45 km in diameter. Its rings are only a few dozen meters high, but are visible even from space. Therefore, the guilb is also used by astronauts as a landing marker. The rings were formed by deposition, superposition and consolidation of differently composed loose masses. The origin of the Richat Structure is not yet completely clarified. For a long time the theory prevailed that the structure was formed by a meteorite impact. Some researchers are also of the opinion that a volcanic eruption was the cause of the stone ring walls. It remains scientifically exciting. There are good reasons to visit the Ringwalls, after all, the rocky, rugged landscape with its concentric rings is quite unique in the world. Drone enthusiasts will get their money's worth, although it is quite windy here. But what else is stabilization in video post-production for? By the way, even the journey to Guelb is exciting, after all, it's 4x4 over sandy tracks for more than an hour.


  • Landscape
  • Ruins of Fort Agouedir
  • 4x4 experience
  • Ouadane (in proximity)

Adventure trip and a rest of Portugal

Did you know? Very close to Guilb er Richat are the remains of the former Portuguese fort of Agouedir (also: Aghouedir). Built in the 15th century, it represented, along with the fort of Arguin, the only Portuguese possession in the territory of present-day Mauritania. The short detour to the western edge of the Richat structure is worthwhile for the handcrafted artifacts offered there alone.

The Guilb er Richat is embedded in various tours that lead into the Adrar. In principle, we always recommend combining a visit to Ouadane with the Guilb, as this is an entertaining trip with a worthwhile natural destination.

To get an impression of the breathtaking landscape, we recommend this video:

 Tours including Richat Structure

Adrar Tour (Standard)
Terjit, Chinguetti, Ouadane, Guilb er Richat and a train ride like no other
6 Day(s)
13 Destinations
2350 km
3 Languages
Adrar Tour (Extended)
The classic cities, the most beautiful oases and finally the ride on the train
13 Day(s)
20 Destinations
2600 km
3 Languages

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Richat Structure

Is it true that the Guilb er Richat was only discovered by a NASA mission in 1965?
No, contrary to what is claimed in the video linked above, there are mentions of the Richat structure before that. As early as 1916, a description was made by the French military. The first researcher to systematically study the Guilb was the Frenchman Théodore Monod in the 1930s. It is certain, however, that it was only through the NASA missions that the space perspective so widespread today could be printed.
Are excavations still taking place at the Guilb today?
Yes, absolutely. For example, there are numerous relics of the Paleolithic Acheuléen culture in and around the Guilb er Richat that still attract archaeological interest today.
Is there a road that leads to the Richat structure?
No, from Ouadane the whole way is offroad. It is a funny ride!