The Libyan area of the Sahara fascinates with its varied landscapes of lakes set amid desert dunes, ancient towns built of mud, camps with straw-covered circular huts, prehistoric rock paintings and amazing multi-shaped stone formations.
For centuries, Ghadames, an oasis town, has been the junction of several caravan routes and thanks to the Mare Spring, it has benefited from a good supply of water. The houses were small but beautifully decorated with red-framed mirrors assisted in the illumination of the main room. The uppermost floors were for women only and they could spend their day unveiled.
Ancient Garma was once the capital of the Garamante Realm, one of the most powerful Berber realms in North Africa and the Sahara. Greek and Roman historians wrote much of the mighty tribe that lived in the desert which, at the height of its power, controlled neighboring tribes and among its arsenal included horse drawn chariots.
The discovery of the Akakus rock paintings in 1850 was made by German explorer and scientist, Heinrich Barth. Protected by huge rocks and hidden in a tangled labyrinth of canyons, the rock paintings remained undiscovered for thousands of years.
Nestled among the huge sand dunes of the Libyan Sahara is one of the most striking natural wonders on Earth, the Mandara Lakes. Some of the 11 lakes have dried out, such as that of the Mandara while others, like the Um El Ma, are at their most impressive. Each lake is surrounded by a green belt in which reed and date palms create what is tantamount to being a biblical ambience.
The Sahara, although scorching hot and untamed by man, has shared with us its remarkable and memorable natural wonders!