Waw an-Namus


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Waw al-Namous Lake Volcano


Name: Waw an-Namus
Summit Elevation: 547 meters (1,795 feet)
Type: Caldera
Latitude: 25.05°N
Longitude: 17.55°E



Waw an Namus , also known as Waw al-Namus or an-Namous, is one of the remotest destinations in Libya, located deep in the Sahara desert, south-east of Sabha and south of the Harouj volcanic field. The name also appeared as Uau en-Namus as a title of a book by the Italian geologist Angelo Pesce (Uau en Namus, South-Central Libya and Northern Chad, published by the Petroleum Exploration Society of Libya, 1966).

Waw n-Namus volcanic field is about 4 km wide, with 100-meter-deep caldera, with yellow sulphur deposits around its 150-meter wide crater. The volcano is surrounded by an area of black deposit of ash between 10 to 20 kilometres wide, which gave it its name: the Dark Spot, as it appeared in Google Earth.

Waw an-Namous Volcano

Waw an-Namous is often referred to as the eighth (natural) wonder of the world - a title also assigned to Libya's Man-Made River. There are 3 small lakes in the area, which are an attractive destination for many travellers.



The name Waw an-Namus means   the "Oasis of Mosquitoes", or according to other interpretation "The Crater of the Mosquitoes" , from the fact that the surrounding small lakes are infested with mosquitoes, and therefore camping nearby requires nets or repellents. It was said that ating raw garlic (crushed in olive oil) keeps mosquitoes at bay -- just as it is a well known fact that garlic and onion plants in the garden keep mosquitoes and other insects away.

However, there are two solutions to this: the first is to camp at the top of the volcano, near the mouth of the volcano, where there are no mosquitoes; and the second is to camp in a site located around 40 kilometres before reaching Waw an Namous. It is a sand site, usually used for camping before reaching Waw an Namous.

map of roads around Sabha and to Waw Annamous