Ghadames Grand Erg Oriental Sand Dunes (with Map & Photos)

Grand Erg Oriental‎ is the largest erg (sand sea of ​​the Sahara). It is located mainly on the territory of Algeria, the eastern outskirts - on the territory of Tunisia and Libya.

Grand Erg Oriental
Grand Erg Oriental

The desert was formed as a result of the deposition of sands deposited from the inner delta of Wadi Igargar. Currently, the erg area is over 100,000 km². Sandy ridges reach a height of 300 m, they are fixed by rare grasses and separated by pebble-clay passages. On the territory of the erg there are oil and gas fields (Hassi-Mesaud, Gassi-Tuil and others). Among the large oases are Tuggurt, Ouargla, Ghadames and others. On the northern outskirts of the Grand Erg Oriental, the ruins of Roman military camps, sections of ancient caravan routes, the remains of olive oil presses and irrigation systems of ancient times were found.

Grand Erg Oriental
Grand Erg Oriental

Flora and Fauna


The flora of the Grand Erg Oriental (outside the oases) is quite ascetic, and yet there are wild grasses, sometimes shrubs, penetrating low dunes with their deep root system, stretching to groundwater to a depth of 20-30 m. At night, gerbils, jerboas, Fenechs (desert foxes), nimble lizards run, monitor lizards, chameleons, horned vipers and cobras move slowly. Someone is hunting someone, but no one neglects sand snails. The main animal of the desert, of course, is the one-humped dromedary camel, a champion survivalist, still used as a means of transportation, because in reliability it will give odds to well-equipped jeeps.

Grand Erg Oriental Map