France's occupation of Algeria and Senegal created a frontier which was ideal for exploration by the country's travelers and spies on the southern rim of the Maghreb. The country aimed to find a direct means of communication between its two colonial outposts. The French government organized expeditions to this end, encouraging travelers to record and publish their observations. Natural and human barriers, however, prevented a fuller understanding of the area. This was reflected as a major shortcoming of the texts in questions, and many students are today cautious of their contents. Separating the objective reality they are supposed to reflect from the author's subjectivity is difficult; the works often better express the perspective of the period more than of the place they describe. Inevitably, the works end up rehearsing entrenched European stereotypes. This study aims to reexamine this body of texts in a new light.