Ghadames lies roughly 462 kilometres (287 mi) to the southwest of Tripoli, near the borders with Algeria and Tunisia. Ghadames borders Illizi Province, Algeria and Tataouine Governorate, Tunisia.
The oasis has a population of around 10,000, mainly Berbers. The old part of the town, which is surrounded by a city wall, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Each of the seven clans that used to live in this part of the town had its own district, of which each had a public place where festivals could be held.