Things to see in Libya

  • Libya
    Libya
    Patrick Poendl / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Libya

Landscapes

Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the desert in the south. The coastline is characterised by Mediterranean scrubland and fertile areas, which is where you will find most of the agricultural land and the majority of the population.

The Tripolitania coast alternates between oases and lagoons with lush vegetation and turquoise waters. The Jefara Plain ends 74 miles from the coast at a cliff that forms the Jebel Nafusa, a 968m high plateau.

Apart from the forests on the Nafusa Mountains in the west and the Jebel Akhdar in the east, there is little vegetation. The Sahara Desert covers most of the country. In the south-east near Kufra, the landscapes reflect the pastel colours of the sandstone. The region of Fezzan in the south-west is marked by several high plateaus, huge ergs and countless dunes.

The fauna and flora

The flora differs between the coastal zones and the inland areas with an arid climate, where the flora is very sparse and the fauna considerably reduced. Of the 1,600 recorded plant species in Lybia, 90% are found on the coast.

In the deserts, you will only find bushy vegetation and grasses like esparto. The Jebel Akhdar is covered with plants from the asphodelus family and trees like the tamarind, fig, acacia, arabica and pistachio. The mountains, valleys and gorges of the Jebel Akhdar are very conducive to the growth of vegetation. There are 1,800 different plant species growing here, of which 109 are endemic.

Libya's fauna has lost much of its splendour because of an increasingly drier climate and hunting. It has been reduced to rodents, hyenas, wild cats, gazelles, snakes and scorpions. With regards to the birds, falcons, eagles and vultures are the three dominant species.

Arts and culture

Libya has a rich cultural heritage, especially in the field of architecture. Libya's rich culture stems from the succession of different peoples who lived in Libya over the ages.

Libya has some spectacular Roman ruins, finely decorated mosques and incredible examples of Berber, Saharan and Italian architectural heritage.

Tripoli has several archaeology, natural history, epigraphy, Prehistory and ethnography museums.

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