Desert oasis in Libya
Africa is not only sand of the boring endless desert. A fabulous oasis in the desert of Libya is one of the most beautiful and unusual places on the planet. Ubari Oasis lies between the sand dunes of the desert Idehan Ubari, a Libyan section of the Sahara Desert, in the Targa valley, and includes a number of salt lakes.
These sand dunes exist already more than 100 000 years. Scientists believe that an impressive aquatic ecosystem existed here before, but there are just about twenty small lakes now.
200,000 years ago, it was a moist and fertile region with abundant precipitation and flowing rivers. These rivers fed a huge lake the size of the territory of the Czech Republic in the basin of Fezzan called Lake Mega Fezzan. The lake could reach a maximum size of 120 000 square kilometers in wet periods. Climate changes have led to a gradual drying up of the lake, and between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago, the lake has evaporated. Small lakes Ubari are all that is left of it.
Their aquamarine waters with high sand mounds resemble a real mirage that we imagine when think about the unbelievable infinite deserts. The most beautiful and the most visited lakes are Umm al-Maa (Mother of water) and Gaberun. Surrounded by small islands of greenery, they look very picturesque. Some lakes have a blood-red hue due to salt resistant algae.
On the shores of Lake Gaberun, you’ll find the ruins of the old village, which as well as the lakes attract tourists. There is also a small tourist camp on the beach, including an outdoor patio, sleeping cabins and a souvenir shop. Here you will find the necessary equipment and assistance in the study of the lake waters.
The depth of these extraordinary lakes ranges from seven to thirty-two meters, and the water is very salty. Their salt content is almost five times higher than in the sea. An interesting feature of Ubari Lakes is that the water temperature at the surface is always lower than at depth. Unfortunately, as a result of natural processes and artificial drainage, some lakes gradually dry up. The water of Sahara is limited and each year is reduced by the increased use of water of the aquifer by the increasing number of population.