In some deserts, groundwater reaches the Earth’s surface and accumulated on the lowland area of the desert surface, forming permanent pools and lakes.”Guelta d’Archei” is a wetland that has created that way, located in the center of the Sahara desert. The Guelta d’Archei Wetland, or ancestral land, belongs to the State of Chad. This wetland is located on the Ennidi plateau, in the northeastern part of Chad.
Geography of the Guelta d’Archei
The wetland of Guelta is covered by giant mountains formed by sandstone, which are endemic to this area. Sandstone Mountains are middle Holocene remains, and those indicate the paintings on the walls. Due to the towering mountain cover, evaporation is reduced, and water on the pools and lakes is protected despite the high heat of the desert climate. This makes the area cool and keeps the surrounding environment wet.
Camel’s Oasis of the Sahara Desert
Every day, hundreds of camels arrive at the Guelta d’Archei Wetland for an escape from the heat of the harsh desert. Camels play and drink black water by dipping their bodies in knee-deep pools—their shout and grunts echoing around the Sandstone Mountains walls. Waters of Guelta Lakes have turned black due to the dumping and accumulation of the Camel’s dung over the hundreds of years by thousands of Camels.
Fauna Of the Guelta d’Archei wetland
The lakes are also home to a species of Western African crocodiles known as the “Nile crocodile.” Guelta d’Archei is one of the last colonies in the Sahara desert where Nile crocodiles are live. The Nile Crocodiles feed on the fish that live on these lakes while fish feed on the algae that live in the Camels dung-fed algae rich water. Desert Frogs are inhabited to the area, and desert Antelope can be seen near the clear water pools. This Guelta d’Archei is an enriched ecosystem with interrelations between species where we can find in a Desert area.
Itinerary of the place
Guelta d’Archei is one of the least visited attractive places in the Sahara desert. It is not an easy task to arrive or visit this area, but it is at least a 4-day drive across the desert from the Chad’s capital, N’Djamena. You need to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to pass the track and then a few hours trekking to arrive the wetland itself. However keep in the mind that leave only your foot print there and bring only the memory of that precious place.