Ghat is an ancient settlement in Libya.
In historical times, Ghat was a major terminal point on the Trans-Saharan trade route. It was a stronghold for the Kel Ajjer Tuareg federation until 1913, when the city was occupied by Italy as a colony. Italy's control there was precarious for a long time, but became stronger in 1923 (when the Fascist regime started), due to the strong active presence of the brotherhood of the Senussi. To defend their positions, Italians completed a fortress, started by the Turks in the early 20th century, that dominates the city from the hill of Koukemen. This fort is now a tourist destination.
During the Second World War, Ghat was occupied by the French from 1943 until January 1, 1952, when the UN General Assembly passed a resolution stating that Libya should become independent.
Ghat was the stronghold of the Kel Ajjer Tuareg confederation; this traditional entity covers south-western Libya (to Ubari, Sebha and Ghadames) and south-eastern Algeria (Djanet and Alezi).
- 1 Ghat Airport (GHT IATA) (20 km from the centre). is served by Libyan Airlines and Ghadames Air Transport to and from Tripoli.
The town itself is small enough to move around on foot; sites outside of it are numerous and can be accessible by 4x4 vehicles.
Ghat is an important tourist destination due to the neighboring Tadrart Acacus and Tassili N'Ajjer mountains, with prehistoric rock paintings and engravings, and the beauty of the surrounding desert landscapes.
- 1 Fortress of Ghat. First constructed by the Turks in early 20th century. It was completed by the Italians.
- Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus. The Acacus mountains east of Ghat feature prehistoric paintings and carvings that have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ghat is a centre for very off the beaten track trekking into the desert and Tassili N'Ajjer mountains.
- Ghat International Tourist Festival, held annually on December 28th-30th. Participants come from Ghat and neighbouring towns and cities like Murziq, Ubari, Sebha and Ghadamis.
Traditional hand-made jewelry and accessories of silver, leather and/or beads are the best souvenirs to get, though accessories of bigger size and traditional clothing can also be a good choice.
Ghat is famous for its traditional meals:
Fitat, tammasein and ghati cuscus are the most popular.