The site includes eighteen interconnected lakes in the hyper arid Ennedi region of the Sahara desert covering an area of 62,808 ha. 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 km apart. Ounianga Kebir comprises four lakes, the largest of which, Yoan, covers an area of 358 ha and is 27 m deep. Its highly saline waters only sustain algae and some microorganisms. The second group, Ounianga Serir, comprises fourteen lakes separated by sand dunes. Floating reeds cover almost half the surface of these lakes reducing evaporation. At 436 ha, Lake Teli has the largest surface area but is less than 10 m deep. With their high quality freshwater, some of these lakes are home to aquatic fauna, particularly fish.
Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site
|vii||To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.||All|
|Cave of Swimmers||2020||703.3km||site_ao|
|Camels and Crocodiles Share the Black Waters of this Stunning Saharan Oasis||2019||274km||site_ao|
|Waw an Namus||2019||710.4km||site_ao|
|The ‘Whirling Dervishes’ of Sudan||2017||1325km||site_ao|
|Memorials To an Egyptian Actor and Desert Explorer Are Scattered Around the Sahara||2017||723.3km||site_ao|
|A Mostly Abandoned Desert Oasis||2018||1118.3km||site_ao|
|Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape||2016||265.9km||site_whs|
|Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae||1979||1212.5km||site_whs|
About the source: UNESCO
Within UNESCO's broad remit, this specialised agency of the UN works towards international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage, designating venues of exceptional value as World Heritage Sites.