Things You Should Know about Sahara Desert, Africa

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Sahara, Northern Africa
Sahara, Northern Africa

Table of Contents

Things You Should Know about Sahara Desert, Africa

The Sahara, meaning ‘The Great Desert’ in Arabic, is a hot desert that covers up a mighty area of 9.4 million square kilometers over the surface of the continent of Africa. Sahara desert, Sierra dessert, African desert, Sahara, Savannah desert are some places which come to one’s mind when thinking of Africa. Its area makes up around 10% of the total area of 30.37 million square kilometers of the continent. Located (and engulfing) most of the North Africa, The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world and the third largest desert. The other two are cold deserts of Antarctica and The Arctic at Southern and Northern poles of the Earth respectively.

The other smaller desserts like Thar, Lut, Karakum and Taklimakan of Asia, Kalahari of South Africa, Somali Chalabi of Central Africa, Arabian Desert of Middle East, Great Sandy, Great Victoria, Gibson and Simpson of Australia, Patagonian and Peruvian of South America, Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mojave and the Great Basin of North America, all stand no comparison to the mighty Sahara Desert of North Africa in terms of its intense hyper- arid climate, and the gigantic area and amount of countries that it engulfs.

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The desert is classified as an eco-region. An ecoregion is a large region (either land or water) that is home to its kind of flora and fauna. The Sahara desert is not only famous for the unique yet vast variety of its plants, trees, animal, and insects, but it is also known to be an eco-region in human communities as well. All these communities and species are geographically as well as characteristically different and contain their distinct attributes and features.

The ten African countries that are covered by the desert are Sudan, Chad, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Western Sahara, Niger, Mauritania, Tunisia, and Morocco. The Red Sea lies to the East of The Sahara, and it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the West. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the North, while its Southern side becomes a Sahel, a place where a desert converts into a semi- arid tropical Savannah.

Central Africa Time Zone & Map

Climate

[ Sahara desert, Sierra dessert, African desert, Sahara, Savannah desert ]

The climate of The Sahara is extremely hot and dry; the hyper-arid type which means that the climate here is parched, extremely hot and dry and consequently, most of the land is barren and unproductive. The average annual temperature is 30 degrees. The hottest months can be as hot as 50 degrees with the highest temperature ever recorded as 58 degrees. Vicious and storms are also very common.

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People

[ Sahara desert, Sierra dessert, African desert, Sahara, Savannah desert ]

Despite the hottest climate on the surface of the Earth, the desert is known to be inhabited by people since as old as 8000 BC. A few people reside on fertile oases, they cultivate different crops and my metal ores such as iron and copper, however, most of the inhabitants are nomads and keep moving throughout the desert. The most spoken language here is Arabic.

Other than this, The Sahara desert offers amazing views of dunes carved artistically by winds, some of which are as high as 152 meters. The place also houses what we call as the ‘sand seas’ or ergss, stone plateaus, dry valleys and salt flats. There are a few oases that offer the most amazing green view, cold water, and coconuts to drink from. A few water wells can also be found there. The Sahara is an amazing place to visit if the harsh conditions of the true desert have to be witnessed.

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