The Tibesti Mountains
are a group of dormant volcanoes
forming a mountain range
in the central Sahara desert
in the Bourkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region
of northern Chad
. The northern slopes extend a short distance into southern Libya
Geography and climate
The mountains are the largest and highest range in the Sahara. The highest peak is Emi Koussi
, 3,415 m. Other summits include Kegueur Terbi
(3,376 m), Tarso Taro
(3,325 m), the active volcano Pic Tousside
(3,265 m) and Soborom
(3,100 m). While the high peaks themselves are all constituted of volcanic material, the mountains stand on broad uplifted
area possibly caused by a mantle plume
The range has a substantially wetter climate than the arid surrounding desert; annual rainfall is estimated at five inches (12 cm) in some of the highest areas of the mountains.
The mountains are known for their ancient cave paintings
, mostly dating from the 5th
to the 3rd millennium BC
, and for the geysers
and hot springs
The area has long been home to the Toubou people which had trading relations with Carthage from the 500s BC. The main town in the area is Bardaï, while Zouar and Aouzou are smaller settlements.
- Gourgaud A. and P. M. Vincent. 2004. Petrology of two continental alkaline intraplate series at Emi Koussi volcano, Tibesti, Chad. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 129(4): 261-290.