- For the current region of Chad, see Ennedi Region.
Camels at a waterhole in a canyon in Ennedi
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Official name||Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape|
|Criteria||Cultural and Natural: (iii), (vii), (ix)|
|Inscription||2016 (40th Session)|
The Ennedi Plateau, located in the North-East of Chad, in the Ennedi Region, is a sandstone bulwark in the middle of the Sahara. It is assailed by the sands on all sides, that encroach the deep valleys of the Ennedi. It covers an area of approximately 60,000 square kilometres (23,000 sq mi), and its highest point is approximately 1,450 metres (4,760 ft) above sea level.
Only the caravans manage to cross it and this makes the region an area subject to multiple influences. The landscape has structures like towers, pillars, bridges and arches. They are a great attraction for tourists.
The plateau also has a rich collection of fauna, including examples of the Desert 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. The last lions (West African subspecies) in the Sahara also survived here, until they became extinct; the last lion was seen in the 1940s. 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. It has been suggested that the cryptid Ennedi tiger (a supposed surviving sabertooth cat) may live there.
- 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.
- 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.
- Historical status, Lionalert.org