Oases are often in the most inhospitable places on Earth — the last place you’d think of going on purpose, the real estate of dreams rather than reality.
Business owners understand the heavy symbolism inherent in the word, and many use “oasis” as part of a company name to make promises.
But for some people and animals, oases are home.
About 75 percent of the Saharan Desert population lives by oases, according to NationalGeographic.
The location of oases has been critically important to trade and transportation routes in desert areas, according to Wikipedia. Caravans must travel via oases so that water and food can be replenished. Political or military control of an oasis often means control of trade on a particular route. For example, the oases of Awjila, Ghadames, and Kufra in modern-day Libya, have at various times been vital to trade in the Sahara Desert.
The Sahara doesn’t have the market on African oases. Check out these stunning African oases that aren’t all in the Sahara.
Sources: NationalGeographic, wiki
Parts of this article by Mark Rausch first appeared in AFKTravel. Dana Sanchez contributed to this report.
Wilderness Safaris’ new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp accesses the remote Hoanib Oasis in the Namibian desert.
The vast coastal desert sees about four inches of rain annually. Its unforgiving surf is responsible for centuries of shipwrecks — and the coastline’s forbidding-sounding name. The eco-tourism company Wilderness Safaris established its 11th camp in Namibia, a fly-in-only destination with access to remote Hoanib Oasis in the Kaokoveld Desert. Cost per night at the eight-tent camp starts at $550 per person.
The oasis on the Hoanib River — which is usually a river of sand — supports wildlife including oryx, elephants, zebras, giraffes, and hyenas, according to the RobbReport.
Sources: RobbReport, ExpertAfrica
Timia is a small town of about 14,000 people in Central Niger living near an oasis at an altitude of 1100 meters (3609 feet) in the Aïr Mountains. The mountains are part of the West Saharan mountain woodlands eco-region. In most Saharan regions of Niger, there are few fruit trees except near the banks of Timia, where palm, date, and citrus grow.
In the Targa Valley in Southwestern Libya’s Saharan region is the oasis city of Ubari, capital of the Wadi al Hayaa district. The water of the oasis is salty like the Dead Sea, but it supports life, and is surrounded by date palms and tall grasses.
Located in the Ziz Valley of the Sahara Desert, Tafilalet is the largest oasis in Morocco, up to 30 miles long and encompassing the villages of Erfoud, Arab Sebbah du Ziz, Seffalat, and Jouf. Dates from the palm trees along the banks are a major source of export revenue for Morocco.
In the Sabha municipality of the Libyan Sahara is a large oasis that was once the site of a Bedouin settlement, Now only its ruins remain. The water is salty, but tourists swim in it and camp along the banks.
Chebika Oasis is in Western Tunisia at the foot of the Djebel el Negueb mountain. In olden days, it was a Roman outpost, and later a refuge for the Berber people. Because of its constant exposure to the sun, it is also called Qasr el-Shams, or Castle of the Sun.
In the foothills of the Atlas Mountains is the village of Tinerhir, and there are two desert oases nearby. One is Todra to the north, and the other to the east is Tinerhir.
A protected UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Algeria, the town of Ghardaia offers some of the most beautiful and extraordinary examples of medieval Arabic architecture. The oasis of M’zab is dotted with palm groves, and here, the oasian way of life still exists.
Despite its desolate appearance, Namibia’s Sossusvlei Desert teems with wildlife, including onyx, antelope, springbok, zebras, kudu, baboons, and giraffes, according to the RobbReport.
The remote luxury resort, &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, is part of Namibia’s private 445,000-acre NamibRand Nature Reserve.
Silence, tranquility and romantic luxury don’t come cheap. Yes, you’ll get the intimate picnics in the desert and check out parched animals drinking at a serene desert oasis, but it will cost you from 5250 rand ($442.95 USD) per person per night.