Libyan Desert

When we think of deserts, we conjure up images of sand dunes, barren, arid regions of great heat, and no where will you find a higher temperature than that recorded at Al 'Aziziyah in the Libyan Desert which reached a record 57.8c or 136.0f in 1922; the highest naturally occurring temperature ever recorded.

Although the Sahara desert is considered one of the least inhospitable places on earth, the Libyan desert which covers most of eastern Libya and forms part of it's north-eastern section, is the most inhospitable of the inhospitable with rainfall that only falls in some areas every five to to years.

Even the few scattered oases are uninhabited and some areas are so dry even the desert Bedouins refuse to enter them.

The Libyan Desert went largely uncharted until 1924 when the explorer Ahmed Hassanein, the grandson of the last Admiral of the Egyptian fleet, undertook a 2200 mile expedition deep into the heart of the desert, discovering the Jebel Uweinat mountain ~ Mountain of Sourcelets ~ on the Egyptian, Libyan and Sudanese border, named after the spring 'Ain Dua' found at the foot of the mountain on its Libyan side.

He also encountered the hostile Senussi, a grouping pledged to fight colonial expansion in the region particularly Italy after their Libyan forays that started in 1911. The Grand Senussi's grandson was later to become King Idris I of Libya in 1951 until he was overthrown in a military coup in 1969 by Colonel Gaddafi. Hassanein adventures were published in 1924 in the National Geographic Magazine and a year later in his book 'The Lost Oasis'.

This video explores the Libyan desert and shows examples of its ancient rock art. After you've watched it why not check out our interactive map of the Libyan Desert below.



 
 
 
 
 

Libyan Desert

Libyan Desert

Libyan Desert

Libyan Desert

 


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About Africa

This article about the Libyan Desert is part of our About Africa series for volunteers. More here!
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Libyan Desert

Libyan Desert


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