Jewels of the Desert - 15 days  

+ Ghadames Extension - 3 days

Departure: December 21, 2005

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This tour combines the magnificent Roman cities of Leptis Magna and Sabrata with the splendour and excitement of the Libyan Sahara plus the annual festival of folklore, dance and music in the ancient Tuareg town of Ghat.  

Tripoli - Leptis Magna - Nalut - Ghadames - Sabha - Ubari Sand Sea and the Lakes - Germa - Murzuk Sand Sea - Wadi Matkhandoush - Acacus - Ghat - Misrata - Leptis Magna - Sabrata - Tripoli  

Day 1 Arrive Tripoli Airport. Meet with tour guide and transfer to city hotel.   

Day 2 Morning sightseeing tour of Tripoli including the National Museum, Arch of Marcus Aurelius and the mosques and souks of the old town. Afternoon excursion to Sabrata with its stunning colonnaded Roman Theatre.  Also visit the Janzour Museum. Return to  to Tripoli.  

Day 3 Day's drive to Sabha, capital of the Fezzan.

Day 4 Enter the vast Ubari Sand Sea for a thrilling drive over the sand dunes visiting the famous Dawada salt lakes of  Lake Gabraoun and Lake Umm al-Maa (Mother of Waters). Continue to Germa. 

Day 5 Drive via the Murzuk Sand Sea to the mysterious site of Wadi Mathendoush to admire the rock art depicting the fauna that once roamed this area such as crocodile, elephant and giraffe.  

Days 6-8 Exploration of the Acacus with its spectacular scenery and rock art dating back thousands of years. We camp each night wherever our guide takes us on this exhilarating four-wheel drive adventure.  

Days 9-11 Drive to the ancient Tuareg town of Ghat to enjoy the music and dance of the annual folklore festival. 

Day 12 Return to Sabha.

Day 13 Drive north to Misrata on the Mediterranean Coast.
 
Day 14 Excursion to Leptis Magna, arguably the finest and best preserved Roman city in the world. Founded by Phoenician merchants at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, it reached its zenith under the great Emperor Septimus Severus who was born in Leptis Magna in 145 AD. The visit begins at the Severan Arch and continues to the Palaestra or Sports Ground, the Hadrianic Baths, the Nymphaeum, the Street of Columns, the Forum, the Basilica, the Market and the Roman Theatre. Following lunch, we shall visit the Leptis Magna Museum and continue to the Amphitheatre built during the reign of Nero around 56 AD. On our way back to Tripoli we shall visit Villa Celine, a Roman villa overlooking the Mediterranean. 

Day 15 At leisure until transfer to airport for flight home.

Optional Ghadames Extension - 3 days

Day 15 Drive to Nalut in the Jabal Nafusa mountain range where we visit the Berber castle and its fascinating grain store. After lunch in Nalut, we continue to Ghadames where we arrive in the late afternoon.   

Day 16 Sightseeing in the unique and enchanting oasis of Ghadames. Visit the old town with its labyrinthine passages and take lunch in a richly decorated traditional house. In the afternoon, following a short rest, departure in jeeps to watch the spectacular sunset over the great sand dunes. 

Day 17 Drive through the Jabal Nafusa to Kabaw to see another beautiful fortified grain store. Continue to the hilltop town of Yfren. Continue to Tripoli.   

Day 18 At leisure until transfer to airport for flight home.  
  

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Crossing the Ubari Sand Sea

 

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Camping in the Libyan Sahara

 

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Rock formation in the Acacus

 


Ghadames

 


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