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Ubari Lakes

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Lakes of miracles

Ubari Lakes, Libya / Um al-Ma

Umm al-Ma, meaning Mother of Water.

There are at least 11 lakes in this area, deep out into the softest and largest sandy desert. Unfortunately, lower water table is drying up several of them.
The salt levels are extremely high, and can be compared with the Dead Sea. This makes swimming easy, but make sure you have no rash or wounds before jumping in.
Around some of the lakes, there are ruins of old towns. Gebraoun was abandoned in 1991, although there are a few inhabitants still remaining. Gebraoun is also the largest of the lakes, 250 m by 300 m.
All in all, a round trip of the area is about 100 km.

Ubari Lakes, Libya / Mandara

Mandara Lake.

Ubari Lakes / Gebraoun

Gebraoun Lake.

Eat and Sleep
The only sensible way of getting out here is by a tour group. They will provide for you a tent and food.
There are camps near Mavo and Gebraoun Lakes, and even a shop.

Should you head out here with your own 4WD, arrange for a guide from Fjeaj, Germa or Sebha.

Near Gebraoun Lake, there is a sand ski rental. The skis are rather old, though.

Going Next
Heading out west, you have the entire Ubari Sand Sea in front of you.
5 km south: Fjeaj (has a youth hostel)
10 km southwest: Germa
100 km east: Sebha

By Tore Kjeilen