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 built a fortress (started in the 19th century) that dominates the city from the hill of Koukemen. This fort still standing is a tourist destination of the city.
During the Second World War, Ghat was occupied by 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 the south-western Libya (to Ubari, Sebha and Ghadames) and south-eastern Algeria (Djanet and Alezi).
Ghat Airport is served by Ghadames Air Transport to and from Sabha.
Ghat is an important tourist destination due to the existence in the neighboring Tadrart Acacus and Tassili N'Ajjer mountains of prehistoric rock paintings and engravings, in addition to the beauty of the surrounding desert landscapes. The city itself is the site of the Fortress of Ghat.
This a centre for very off the beaten track trekking into the desert and Tassili N'Ajjer mountains.