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For the current region of Chad, see Ennedi Region.

The Ennedi Plateau, located in the northeast of Chad, in the regions of Ennedi-Ouest and Ennedi-Est, is a sandstone bulwark in the middle of the Sahara. It covers an area of approximately 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi), and its highest point is approximately 1,450 m (4,760 ft) above sea level.[1] The landscape has geological structures like towers, pillars, bridges and arches, which are big tourist attractions.

Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape
UNESCO World Heritage Site
24 Kamele ziehen zur Wasserstelle im Ennedi-Gebirge im Tschad.jpg
Camels at a waterhole in a canyon in Ennedi
LocationEnnedi Region, Chad
CriteriaCultural and Natural: (iii), (vii), (ix)
Inscription2016 (40th Session)
Area2,441,200 ha (6,032,000 acres)
Buffer zone777,800 ha (1,922,000 acres)
Coordinates17°2′30″N 21°51′46″E / 17.04167°N 21.86278°E / 17.04167; 21.86278Coordinates: 17°2′30″N 21°51′46″E / 17.04167°N 21.86278°E / 17.04167; 21.86278
Ennedi Plateau is located in Chad
Ennedi Plateau
Location of Ennedi Plateau in Chad



About 40,000 km2 (15,000 sq mi), a large portion of the Ennedi Plateau, was designated as the Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve by the Chadian government in January 2019. [2] African Parks assumed management of this area in partnership with the Chadian government in early 2018. [3] African Parks intends to improve the park's infrastructure and explore the potential for tourism in order to amass support for this landscape and to contribute to the needs of the local people.


The plateau also has a rich collection of fauna, including examples of the West African crocodile, that once existed throughout the Sahara at a time of more abundant rainfall (see Neolithic Subpluvial). A striking characteristic of this population of crocodiles is dwarfism developed due to their isolation, which make them unusual (other such remnant populations are or were found in Mauritania and Algeria). They survive in only a few pools in river canyons in the area, for example the Guelta d'Archei, and are threatened with extinction.[4] The last lions (West African subspecies) in the Sahara also survived here, until they became extinct; the last lion was seen in the 1940s.[5] Also, any surviving scimitar oryx antelopes that might still live in the wild and the vulnerable Sudan cheetahs are likely to be found in the remote regions of the Ennedi Plateau. Through the use of camera traps, an isolated population of North African ostrich was discovered to still be living in the protected area. [6] It has been suggested that the cryptid Ennedi tiger (a supposed surviving sabertooth cat) may live there.[citation needed]

Camels in the Guelta d'Archei, a famous landmark in the plateau


Examples of petroglyphs or rock paintings have been found in the area, for example those at the "lost site" of Niola Doa. Thousands of paintings and carvings of people and animals exist throughout the area and are estimated to be about 8,000 years old. [7]


  1. ^ Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 137. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ de Smet, Klaas (January 1998). "Status of the Nile crocodile in the Sahara desert". Hydrobiologia. SpringerLink. 391 (1–3): 81–86. doi:10.1023/A:1003592123079.
  5. ^ Historical status,
  6. ^
  7. ^

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