Fast Facts:

1. It is located in North Africa and is the 4th largest country on the continent.

2. Its capital and largest city is Tripoli. The second largest city is Benghazi.

3. It holds Africa’s largest and the world’s 10th largest proven oil reserves. Its substantial oil revenues give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa.

4. Major languages: Arabic (official), Libyan Arabic, Berber, Italian, English

5. Major ethnic groups: Arab (87%), Berber (10%), other (3%)

6. Major religions: Islam (97%), Christianity and other (3%)

7. Muammar Ghadafi served as president for 42 years, until he was overthrown in 2011 during the Arab Spring and subsequent NATO invasion.

8. More than 90% of the country is covered by the Libyan Desert (which is part of the Sahara Desert).

9. More than 90% of the population lives along the Mediterranean coast and the interior is mostly underpopulated due to the desert and lack of surface water.

10. There are no permanent rivers in Libya, but there is extensive underground water and numerous oases.

11. Tourism has faltered since the Arab Spring and ensuing Civil War, but the country boasts a stunning Mediterranean coastline, desert landscapes, many ancient historical sites, and renowned hospitality.

12. Attractions include prehistoric rock art at Wadi Metkandoush and Wadi Tashwinat, ancient ruins of Leptis Magna, Cyrene, and Sabratha, Assai al-Hamra Castle, Qasr Libya, Roman Libya, Jamahiriya Museum, Freedom Square, Ghadames, the Pentapolis, Berber villages, beaches, camel trekking, sand dune surfing, snorkeling, souk shopping, and exploring caves.

Map of Libya
Map of Libya
Video credit: Top Tourist Places