Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ounianga - Desert Lakes

Last week I had the chance to take a small team of Chadian and EU delegates to Bardai, Faya and Ounianga Kebir in the north of Chad. They were there to see what measures are or should be in place to protect and sustain some of the natural treasures and ecosystems which exist in Chad's part of the Sahara. File it under stewardship of the planet if you like but a flight like this comes up very rarely and I made sure to snap some photos of the sites. One of them, a UNESCO world heritage site, was the salt water lakes at Ounianga Kebir...and more incredible in person than the stories of lakes in the middle of the desert that I'd heard since coming to Chad. Feeling very privileged to have laid eyes on this part of creation. To God be the glory.

Flying over the Tibesti - miles and miles of
Grand Canyons that few have ever seen.

Military presence in the north is a given.
These were the 14 guys assigned to guard the plane
over night in Ounianga Kebir.

Desert sunrise over the lakes.

The most striking thing about Ounianga Kebir
is the juxtaposition of so much sand with so much water.
There are 18 lakes in the region in total, although some smaller
ones are covered in vegetation and others are being
slowly filled in by the desert sands. The local
community are hard at work creating sand barriers
to keep the desert from blowing in.

Makes you want to dive right in - although the salt
content felt about 10x that of the ocean.

I couldn't get over the colours

One last look at the lakes on our departure