Imagine being in the middle of a vast desert in northern Africa, hills of sand and rock that stretches millions of miles to the south – as far as the eye can see. No sign of fauna, no greeneries, no water, and the only shadows that you see are your own. As you traverse this monotonous landscape southwards you notice something different, a big brown rock in the distance, Mount Chebika.
The Chebika Mountain range looks as barren and desolate as the surrounding great desert, but it contains something truly benevolent – an oasis, a rare fertile desert ground where water flows through the rocks or seep through the ground, and plants grow to root themselves deep. Old abandoned buildings scatter around the oasis, relics of a simpler time past, it is said that a disastrous flood took place back in 1969 and forced its inhabitants to leave for tunis to the north, or settle themselves at a higher plateau where the waters won’t reach. Today, around 100 people live in settlements around the Chebika Oasis, they are a more modern equivalent of the once crowded stone village.
The Chebika Oasis was also the set of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’s Tatooine (The planet with the Jawas, where Luke Skywalker and his Father were raised : P) The story goes that the oasis was named after one of the characters, Chewbacca.
The Chebika Oasis is certainly a good place to stumble upon when you find yourself lost in the Saharan desert… lots of water around (: