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List of Deserts in Africa

List of Deserts in Africa

  • Algerian Desert – part of the Sahara located in Algeria
  • Blue Desert – a desert in Egypt
  • Kalahari Desert
  • Karoo – a semi-desert region in South Africa
  • Libyan Desert – part of the Sahara located in Libya
  • Namib Desert – a desert in present day Namibia
  • Nubian Desert – a desert in present day Sudan
  • Owami Desert – a desert in Nigeria
  • Sahara Desert 
  • White Desert – a desert in Egypt

Deserts in Africa

Deserts are in every continent and Africa has few notable ones. The African Deserts are home to variety of animals and plant species. Here we will cover details about few famous African deserts covering aspects like their geography, history, plants, animals, etymology, culture, people, weather and human life, Flora, Fauna and Water.

Africa Main Deserts

African continent has three main deserts spread as follows:

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert covers a vast area of the northern part of the continent of Africa spread over 3500000 square miles which is almost one third of the continent. This makes Sahara desert the largest desert in the world. Sahara Desert is mostly a dry region except the Nile Valley which is fed by the Nile River. The word “Sahara” is an Arabian word meaning desert. The desert is showered with occasional rainfall. The climate of Sahara has fluctuated vastly over several thousand years. The Sahara Desert today has one of the harshest climatic conditions with Sand Storms and sand dusts being quite common. Rainfall ranges from 20 mm to 10 mm and is quite rare but when it happens it is always of torrential nature. Some parts of Algeria even received snow fall in 2012 after the “first in time” snow fall in 1979. The Sahara Desert is doted by animals like Dromedary Camel, Goats, Scorpio, Saharan Cheetah, ostrich, lizards, vipers and foxes to name a few.  The vegetation in this arid region includes, palm trees, acacia trees, succulents and shiny shrubs. The plants have adjusted greatly to the climatic condition. Cities have developed in the Saharan region but population is sparse in the desert region.

The Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert covers the Botswana region of Africa and parts of Namibia and South Africa. It’s a semi-desert region with large tract providing excellent grazing after the rainfall and hence it is doted by larger animal life compared to other African Deserts. The rainfall is usually between 76 to 190 mm per year and summers are extremely hot with temperature ranging between 20 to 50 degrees centigrade. The animal life is in abundance with animals like cheetah, lion, Jackals, giraffe, meerkats, hyenas and springbok to name a few. Similarly, birds are also found in abundance. The desert region is largely inhabited by bushmen tribe.

Namib Desert

Namib Desert is a coastal desert covering coasts of Angola, Namibia and South-Africa. The word “Namib” mean vast area. Namib Desert is mostly uninhabited by humans except for small pastoral groups. The temperature ranges from 20 to 45 degrees centigrade and rainfall ranges from 5mm to 85mm. Mostly animals and plants which can survive on little water are found in this arid region.


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