05-2014 Saudi Aramco World

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Last Lakes of the green Sahara

by Sheldon Chad

It's a few minutes after sunup and the old charter plane is completing its descent into Faya Largeau, the largest of the sparse oases of northern Chad. The southern Sahara below shifts from a dark moonscape to reveal the first impression of dunes, just perceptibly orange; then singles, then clusters, then forests of date palms appear as the plane comes in to land.

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