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City Guide: SebhaSabha is located in the southwestern part of Libya. It was the capital of Fezzan, one of the oldest regions in Libya. The city is usually the first stop of visitors who are traveling to the Sahara. Departing from here, you can proceed with your travel in the endless Sahara. Due to political reasons, the Libyan government has restarted issuing touristic visas. However; for visiting the southern part of the country, there are still some ongoing problems in visa applications. For this reason; prior to entering the country, it is necessary for the Turkish Embassy to be informed.
The best time to visit Sabha is between the months of March and May. During the summer months, the temperature is unbearably hot. As a desert climate dominates, it is advised that you keep warm clothes with you even during the summer. Female visitors are expected to wear clothing that is deemed appropriate according to traditions. In accordance with Islamic beliefs, there is a necessary dress code especially for visiting holy places. It would be beneficial to obtain permission before taking photographs as well.
Medina is an old town located near Sabha. It is worth seeing with houses made of mud and quite narrow streets and passages.
In addition to Medina, Souk is also a popular place to visit. The market here, is ideal for buying leather goods, carpets, and jewellery. Souk is a very exciting and lively spot to explore.
Culture & Entertainment
Museums, Public Squares, Historical Locations, Monuments
Sabha is the largest city of the Sahara. The fortress, known as the oldest building of the city, is used as a military base today. The fortress, which overlooks the city, has a majestic appearance. It is not open to visitors.
The city has two main streets that are Sharia Jamal Abdul Nasser and Sharia 5 October. These two streets, which lie parallel to each other, make up the center of the city. You can find everything you are looking for, on these streets.
Parks, Games, Events, and Natural Areas
Fort Elena is another architectural structure that evokes admiration. As there are government offices located within, it is closed to visitors; however you can visit the area surrounding the fort.
The most popular place to visit in the district of Sahara is “Ubari Lakes.” Sabha is the main stop for transportation to the lakes. To visit the lakes; after Sabha, visitors depart for Tekerkiba. The region, where there are approximately 20 lakes, is virtually a miracle in the midst of the desert. The lakes that are surrounded by palm trees provide a truly extraordinary scenery. The salinity levels of the lakes are quite high. Some of the lakes, which lie along Wadi Al-Hayat (Al-Hayat Valley) are in danger of drying up for reasons such as agricultural activities. Mafo, Gebraoun, Mandara, and Umm al-Maa are the primary lakes that are watery year-round. The best and most secure way to explore the lakes is to seek assistance from a travel agency. This way you can safely camp out, as well as travel comfortably with off-road vehicles. We also recommend that you depart with the necessary medications, supplies, and clothing against mosquitoes and other insects.
The lake that is situated closest to Tekerkiba is Mafo, located 40 kilometers away. The lake, surrounded by palm trees, is a good starting point to go to the other lakes in the valley. Gebraoun, one of the largest of the Sahara lakes, is located east of Mafo. There is a small town with two mosques, on the west shore of the lake. Another characteristic of the lake is that the color of its waters constantly changes during the day. Umm al-Maa, the name of which means “the Mother of Water” is the lake with the best landscaping among others. You can take a break to eat here. In the surrounding area, you can find some local salesmen. Your next stop is Mandara Lake. However, there is information that the lake has recently been drying.
SABHA IN ONE DAY
Sabha is a small city. Therefore, you can easily visit it in one day. You can obtain all the supplies necessary for traveling to the desert, here.
CITY TOURS AND TRANSPORTATION
Sabha Airport is located 4 kilometers southeast of the city. The best way for transportation to the center is using a taxicab.
The most secure transportation vehicle in Sabha is the taxicab. However, it would be useful to board the taxicab from a safe central area. Public transportation is usually provided by share taxis. The number of buses is quite low. Camel trekking is organized for tourists in the city.
Germa is a city that is located 150 kilometers southwest of Sabha. The largest city of the valley owes its fame to the ancient city of Garama. It is situated on Garama Msak Settafet Hill, one of the most important ancient cities of Libya. Here, there is also a small museum.
Food & Drink
The cuisine of Libya is mostly based on meat. Meals usually start with soup. In the traditional cuisine, soup is made with lamb meat and noodles. Soups are enriched with local spices. Meat and chicken dishes that are prepared as the main course, are served with couscous or pilaf. In small local restaurants; a type of food that is similar to the Turkish “pide” and made of finely chopped chicken and tomatoes in bread, is a popular snack.
The Libyan equivalent of sausage is “Osban”. There are finely chopped minced lamb meat, liver, tomatoes, and various spices in it. It is served fried.
Rishda is another popular dish. Thick noodles and chickpeas are cooked with caramelized onions and tomatoes. It is served with meat added on top.
Bread holds a significant place in the food culture of Libya, like Turkey. Especially once you get out of the big cities, you can find various kinds. Particularly; if you go to the countryside, “matruda” is a commonly consumed breakfast food. Chopped bread is placed in a bowl, full of hot milk, and served with the addition of honey and butter.
On the coastal areas, you can find a variety of fish.
In terms of beverages; mint teas, dark coffees, and instant coffee are among the main options.
The region of Fezzan is famous for its handwoven rugs. Tourists that come to Libya do not leave without buying these unique rugs with local motifs embroidered on them. These rugs, particularly with animal motifs, are famous for their lively colors. Pottery is also quite advanced in the country. Plates adorned with colorful designs and vases provide numerous options for souvenirs. Also, long local clothing is another favorite souvenir item. Especially for the ladies, there are a variety of this clothes. Silver jewellery and other ornaments of the Tuareg culture, are in high demand. In Sabha, shops and stores are located on the main street of the city.
Ticket Sales Offices: Sebha
Sebha: Airport Map Information
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Sebha: Airport Map Information
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|Monetary Unit||:||Libyan Dinar|
|Phone Code||:||In order to make a phone call to Sabha, + 218 and 71 must be entered.|