Idehan Ubari (Ubari Sand Sea) Travel Guide

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Lake Gebraoun, before dusk

Lake Gebraoun, before dusk

Howard Banwell

Idehan Ubari (the Ubari Sand Sea) is another enormous expanse of sand that is similar in size to Idehan Murzuq – it stretches almost to Ghadhames, 500km to the northwest. It seems to have a different topology to Murzuq, with vast panoramas of smaller dunes rolling like the waves in a Hokusai print, but it is every bit as breathtaking. In the late afternoon sun, the shades of colour change constantly depending on the angle of the light and the shape of the dunes. Some 50km up Wadi Gebraoun is the area of the Ubari Lakes, their beautiful stretches of water surrounded by reeds, date palms and tamarisk trees nestling under high ridges of sand. Sunrise in Gebraoun is stunning – cool, with translucent blue dawn skies, and nothing in motion except perhaps a lone brown crow flapping along the top of a dune as you wait for the sun to rise over the distant water lying amidst its palm trees in the valley below.

The most usual start point for exploring the Ubari desert area and the lakes is Tekerkiba, a couple of hours drive along the Wadi Al-Hayat from Sebha which is 800km south of Tripoli.  There are daily flights to Sebha from the capital, or it is a full day's drive.

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March 21, 2006 change by virgosg (2 points)

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