– When we think of the Sahara Desert, we automatically think of huge amounts of sand, but the desert can sometimes surprise us. Located in the middle of the Libyan Desert, the beautiful Ubari oasis looks almost unreal and misplaced.
Ubari can be found in the Targa Valley, between the Messak Sattafat plateau and Idhan Ubari sand dunes that are over more than 100 000 year-old. The place includes about twenty small salt lakes.
Several thousand of years ago when Sahara was green, an impressive aquatic ecosystem existed here.
About 200,000 years ago, this region was moist and fertile with abundant precipitation and flowing rivers. According to researchers, three ancient river systems, now buried, may have created viable routes for human migration across the Sahara to the Mediterranean region about 100,000 years ago
More Cool Science FactsThese 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 like Ubari are all that is left of it.
The Ubari oasis settlement is the second center for the Kel Ajjer Tuareg people, after Ghat. Neighbouring villages include Germa, and Garran.
It’s a desert climate here, with short, very warm winters and extremely long hot summers. It almost never rains. Average annual rainfall is one of the lowest found on the planet with only 8 mm (0.31 in) and it may easily pass many decades without seeing any rainfall at all.
The Ubari oasis is truly beautiful, but its water is salted and dirty, so one should not swim in it.