In 2003, in the Christmas holidays, I travelled trough the Fezzan, a vast desert province covering Libya's south-western quarter. A major attraction of the Fezzan are the great sand seas, where off-road vehicles can race, dip and plunge across endless rolling dunes, some as much as 300m high. Hidden in the Ubari Sand Sea are postcard-perfect desert oases with pools of clear water, surrounded by green palm trees.
Date palm trees surround Um el Ma lake in the Ubari Sand Sea (Edeyen Ubari), Fezzan, Libya
4WDs crossing the desert, Fezzan, Libya
Desert landscape, Akakus Mountains (Jabal Akakus), Fezzan, Libyan Desert
FEZZAN 4WD TOUR, 2003
The Fezzan has all the main desert features you can think of, from vast sand seas to rock plateaux, oases and eroded sandstone mountain massifs. Must-visits include the Jabal Akakus (aka Tadrart Akakus), the Messak Settafet, the Ubari and Murzuq dunes and the legendary oasis town of Ghadames.
FEZZAN ROCK ART
The rock paintings and carvings of the Jabal Akakus provide a unique record of life in the Sahara thousands of years ago. The empty, pebbly plateaux were once grassy savannah, grazed by elephants, giraffes and curvy-horned cattle. Some fine examples of prehistoric rock art can be found in the Wadi Teshuinat area.
LEPTIS MAGNA & SABRATHA
In Tripolitania, Libya's western province, the sprawling ruins of Roman Leptis Magna, near Khums, and Sabratha, halfway between Tripoli and the Tunisian border, are among the most extraordinary ancient sites in the Mediterranean. Leptis Magna was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1982.
This tour in 2003 was organized by Hauser Exkursionen, Germany, and led by German tour guide Uwe Weimer and Libyan tour guide Jalal Azzabi.
Sitting on top of a huge dune at sunset, overlooking the seemingly endless sanddunes of the Murzuq Sand Sea in south-western Libya