Sand Dunes Ksar Ghilane Pictures Photos & Images, Tunisia { 52 images } Created 31 Dec 2015

Pictures, imahes and photos of the Sahar Desert sand dunes near the oasis of Ksar Ghilane, southern Tunisia.

The oasis of Ksar Ghilane is the last watering place before travellers plung into the great Saharan sand dune belt of the Grand Erg Oriental. Ksar Ghilane also marks the southern limit of the Roman Empire and the ruins of the small fort of Tisavar lay near the Oasis. Fort Tisavar was part of a chain of Roman forts that runs along the bounries of the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis.

The Romans liked their luxuries and a posting to the fort must have seemed like such a depressing prospect until soldiers descovered that the nearby oasis of Ghilane has thermal ponds, and there was nothing a Roman liked more than spending the day lying in thermal baths.

An erg is a sea of san dunes coming from the arabic “ary meaning “dune field”. There are several in the Sahara and the Grand Erg Oriental stretches from some 600 km wide by 200 km north to south. The Grand Erg Oriental is mostly in Algeria but it spills over into Tunisia. Winds have swept desert sand into heaps which have formed low hills known as dunes. The common dune of the Sahara desert are known as seif dunes. These dunes have long, sharp ridge lines and cross-winds may alter the height or width of the dunes, with the slope being steep on both sides. Seif dunes often form long rows with parallel ridge lines following the wind's direction.

To the north of the oasis of Ksar Ghilane are flat desert plains with pathces of scrub which camels feed off. Immediately to the south of the oasis the dunes start and it is only the palm trees on the edge of Ksar Ghilane that stop it being buried by the shifting dune belt.

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