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Sensei Fun and Knowledge: In geography, an oasis or oases is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source. Oases also provide habitat for animals and even humans if the area is big enough. The location of oases has been of critical importance for trade and transportation routes in desert areas. Caravans must travel via oases so that supplies of water and food can be replenished. Thus, political or military control of an oasis has in many cases meant control of trade on a particular route. For example, the oases of Awjila, Ghadames and Kufra, situated in modern-day Libya, have at various times been vital to both North-South and East-West trade in the Sahara. Oases are formed from underground rivers or aquifers such as an artesian aquifer, where water can reach the surface naturally by pressure or by man made wells. Any incidence of water is then used by migrating birds who also pass seeds with their droppings which will grow at the water’s edge forming an oasis.
Huacachina (Peru): For thousands of years, Huacachina, otherwise known as the ‘oasis of Americas’ – there is only one – has been a beacon of green, hidden deep amid hundreds of miles of barren desert. Huacachina serves as a resort for local families from the nearby city of Ice, and increasingly as an attraction for tourists drawn by the sport of sand-boarding on sand dunes that stretch several hundred feet high. Shimmering beneath the scorching sun of the Peruvian desert is an extraordinary sight – a tiny settlement, complete with lagoon, lush palm groves, carob trees, cafes, neatly clipped lawns, 100-strong population and even the odd swimming pool.
Timia Oasis (Niger): Timia Oasis, located on the Aïr Mountains (northern Niger), is billed as the most beautiful oasis in the country for a reason. It is not quite the image of a pool of water amidst the sand-dunes with a couple of palm-trees on either side. Instead it is a rich network of lush gardens in the middle of some of the most hostile terrain on earth- as true an oasis as you’ll ever find. Oranges and pomegranates hang from branches and can be plucked (for a fee) and eaten on the spot. Date palms and citrus trees, and beneath the cool of the spreading leaves, any number of herbs, cereals and garden vegetables are grown. The Tuareg who tend the gardens export their produce all over the Aïr region- indeed in some cases all over Niger. After the searing heat of the Sahara, the Timia Oasis is the perfect rest-stop for a group of travelers, and time is well spent exploring the refreshing shade of the carefully-groomed orchards.
Chebika Oasis (Tunisia): Chebika belongs to the collection of unlikely desert oases of the mountains north of the great Tunisian chotts. Least famous, Chebika offers perhaps the most effective and dramatic experience among them. Where the mountains rise, Chebika lies. Most of the year it is so exposed to the sun that it once was known as Qasrel-Shams, Castle of the Sun.
Ein Gedi (Israel): Ein Gedi is the largest oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The springs here have allowed nearly continuous in-habitation of the site since the Chalcolithic period. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, and was famous in the time of Solomon (Josh 15:62). Today the Israeli kibbutz of En Gedi sits along the southern bank of the Nahal Arugot.
Ubari Oasis (Libya): Ubari or Awbari is an oasis town and the capital of the Wadi al Hayaa District, in the Fezzan region of southwestern Libya. It is in the Libyan section of the Sahara Desert. It was the capital of the former baladiyah (district) called Awbari, in the southwest of the country. Ubari is in the Targa valley, lying between the Messak Sattafat plateau and Idhan Ubari erg sand dunes and lakes. Native plants include wetland grasses at the natural spring fed lakes’ shorelines, and the native Saharan Date palm . The Ubari oasis settlement is the second center for the Kel Ajjer Tuareg people, after Ghat. Neighboring villages include Germa, and Garran. Source: Sensei Fun and Knowledge