Lakes of Ounianga

Lakes of Ounianga site has been given UNESCO Natural world heritage site status in 2012.

  • Country : Chad
  • Location: Ennedy Region of Sagara Desert
  • Area 62,808 Hectares

Lakes of Ounianga site is a network of 18 interconnected lakes in the hyper arid Ennedi region of Chad in the Sahara Desert covering an area of 62,808 hectares. The stunning site comprises two groups of lakes 24 miles apart: the saline-based Ounianga Kebir lakes contain only algae and micro-organisms, while the freshwater Ounianga Serir lakes are home to a huge range of fish.

It constitutes an exceptional natural landscape of great beauty with striking colours and shapes. The saline, hyper saline and freshwater lakes are supplied by groundwater and are found in two groups 40 kilometres apart. Ounianga Kebir comprises four lakes the largest of which, Yoan, covers an area of 358 hectares and is 27 metres deep. Its highly saline waters only sustain algae and some microorganisms. The second group, Ounianga Serir, comprises 14 lakes separated by sand dunes. Floating reeds cover almost half the surface of these lakes reducing evaporation. At 436 hectares, Lake Teli has the largest surface area but is less than ten metres deep. With their high quality freshwater, some of these lakes are home to aquatic fauna, particularly fish.