Lakes of Ounianga - Chad
The site includes 18 interconnected lakes in the Ennedi region of the Sahara Desert covering an area of 62,808 hectares. It is the largest lake complex in a hyper arid environment anywhere and constitutes an exceptional natural landscape of great beauty with striking colours and shapes. The lakes – saline, hyper saline and freshwater - are supplied by groundwater and are separated into 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 10 metres deep. With their high quality freshwater, some of these lakes are home to aquatic fauna, particularly fish.