Libya is located on the North African coast of
the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered on the east by Egypt, on the south
by Sudan, Chad and Niger, and on the west by Algeria and Tunisia. It is
the fourth largest country in Africa and is roughly twice the size of
There are three main geographical regions in Libya: Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. Tripolitania is in the northwest part of the country, where the capital, Tripoli, is located. Near the coast is an important agricultural area, where fruits and vegetables are grown. In the south part of Tripolitania, the land rises to a rocky plateau. Cyrenaica is in the northeast. The cities of Benghazi, Darnah and Tobruk are in this region, which includes the area along the coast, as well as a plateau called Al-Jabal al-Akhda (Green Mountain), extending south from the coast to the Sahara Desert. Fezzan is the desert region in the south. The land includes rocky plateaus, ergs (sand dunes) and a few scattered oases.
Rivers in Libya do not flow all year round. Wadis (dry riverbeds) fill with water during the rainy season. In some parts of the Fezzan region, years may pass without any rain. The discovery of water in huge underground aquifers in the southeast resulted in the construction of a water pipeline called The Great Man-Made River. It carries water to the coast for agriculture and industry. Environmentalists are concerned that pumping the water out of the aquifers, which feed the oases, will eventually dry up the oases. The water in the aquifers took many centuries to collect. Experts estimate there is now only enough water to last approximately 50 years.
Libya's climate varies from region to region. The annual
rainfall averages 40 cm along the coast and less than 2.5 cm in the desert.
Along the coast, summers are humid and the mean temperature is around 30°C.
Winters are rainy and cool. In the desert, the temperature may reach 50°C
during the day in summer, although the nights are cool. Winters can be bitterly
cold, with temperatures below 0°C. Frost and snowfalls sometimes occur in
Gazelles, wildcats, lizards, snakes and scorpions live
in the Libyan desert. The fennec (a small desert fox with large ears) also
survives in the desert climate.