PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 12:00am

Man's Heritage: Sahara, The English Patient's Desert

Pearl, 8.30pm

The Sahara spans some of the Earth's most remote, dry and extreme areas and can deter even the most expert survivalists. But this hostile region was once a lush Garden of Eden. One of the first Europeans to travel the Libyan desert extensively was Hungarian adventurer Ladislaus Almasy, who discovered rock paintings in the heart of the desert which depicted a paradise-like world populated by Africa's big animals, with rivers, lakes and people bathing. His drives along old caravan roads and his flying expeditions, in the course of which he discovered the forgotten oasis of Zazura and ancient drawings in the mountains of Gilf Kebir, provide the route for this natural history of the Libyan Sahara.