Les Gueltates d'Issakarassene


Les Gueltates d'Issakarassene

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    35,100 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    23°23'N 05°42'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


A “guelta” is a wetland type specific to the mountains of Haggar and Tassili, a type of rocky basin or “crater-hole” hollowed out of a riverbed. Either permanent or intermittent, gueltates are often found between 1,000 and 2,000 meters altitude, and their depth may vary between four and 15 metres. Permanent gueltates play a very important role in the lives of the region’s Tuareg nomads and their livestock, and serve as stopovers for migratory birds crossing the Sahara. Issakarassene in the Haggar mountains is a permanent wetland fed by permanent underground sources and sometimes also by rainstorms. The Site supports a concentration of the last remaining examples of formerly thriving flora and fauna, of which several wetland-dependent species have adapted to survive the gradual aridification of the Sahara. They include fish species endemic to the desert, and the vulnerable cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, the dorcas gazelle Gazella dorcas and the Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia sahariensis. Many of the plant species are endemic to the central Sahara: Fagonia flamandii, Myrtus nivellei, Olea lapperini and Lavandula antinea. The rocky, “lunar” landscape supports few human uses except as a source of water for nomads and their animals, and no significant threats are noted, except eventually a possible increase in tourism requiring regulation.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • national park
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Site map