Travels in Libya:

Trekking in the Akakus Area (10 days)
Discover Libya's northwest

Camel Riding in the Akakus Area (15 days)
Discover Libya by a "desert boat"

World Heritage Sites (10 days)
A visit to Libya's ancient past

Quick Facts:


Official Name:

Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya




1,759,540 km²; 679,359 sq.mi.




Libyan Dinar (LYD)

Population figure:

2006 census: 5,670,688


More than half the population is urban, concentrated to a greater extent, in the two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. Native Libyans are a mixture of indigenous Berber peoples and the later arriving Arabs. There are small Tuareg (a Berber population) and Tebu tribal groups concentrated in the south, living nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles.



Government type:

Islamic People's Republic


Archaeological evidence indicates that from as early as the 8th millennium BC, Libya's coastal plain was inhabited by a Neolithic people who were skilled in the domestication of cattle and the cultivation of crops.[ The area known in modern times as Libya was later occupied by a series of peoples, with the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines ruling all or part of the area. Although the Greeks and Romans left ruins at Cyrene, Leptis Magna and Sabratha, little other evidence remains of these ancient cultures. The Romans unified both regions of Libya, and for more than 400 years Tripolitania and Cyrenaica became prosperous Roman provinces. The Ottoman Turks conquered the country in the mid-16th century. Ironically, reunification came about through the unlikely route of an invasion and occupation starting from 1911 when Italy simultaneously turned the three regions into colonies. In 1934, Italy adopted the name "Libya" (used by the Greeks for all of North Africa, except Egypt) as the official name of the colony. On December 24, 1951, Libya declared its independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris. The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled one of the world's poorest nations to establish an extremely wealthy state. On September 1, 1969, a small group of military officers led by then 28-year-old army officer Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi staged a coup d??tat against King Idris. He has been leading the "revolution" since then.

Geography and Climate

Libya is bound to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the west by Tunisia and Algeria, the southwest by Niger, the south by Chad and Sudan and to the east by Egypt.  At 1,770 kilometres (1,100 miles), Libya's coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean. The climate is mostly dry and desert-like in nature. However, the northern regions enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate. The Libyan Desert, which covers much of eastern Libya, is one of the most arid places on earth. In places, decades may pass without rain, and even in the highlands rainfall happens erratically, once every 5?10 years. The temperature in the Libyan desert can be extreme. There are a few scattered uninhabited small oases, usually linked to the major depressions, where water can be found by digging to a few feet in depth. Slightly further to the south are the massifs of Arkenu, Uweinat and Kissu. These granite mountains are very ancient, having formed much before the sandstones surrounding them.

This article is partly based on a free article of the encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is subject to GNU-licence for free documentation. A list of authors is available on Wikipedia