Located between el-Hodna Depression, a dry salt lake and the peaks of the high Saharan Atlas Mountains, Bou Saâda is spread along the left bank of the Bou Saâda Wadi and is in pleasant contrast to the nearby barren Ouled Naïl Mountains and the often dry salt marshes.
The town’s old walled quarter of arched, winding alleyways lies north of the modern French-built sector. Farther north, a spectacular sight is the thousands of date palms watered naturally from the steep-banks of its permanent stream.
This lively market town has become a vital caravan centre between the West of Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, Carpets, metalwork and jewellery are traded daily and the most famous of all, the long tapering knives known as bousaadi.
Both Arab and the Amazigh Berber nomads frequent the town to trade and rest, making Bou Saâda a popular winter resort.