Sahara Desert History

The Sahara is the second largest desert and the largest hot desert in the world. Spread over 3,600,000 square miles, this desert covers almost all parts of northern Africa.

Sahara Desert Geography

According to geographical data this desert is so vast that it extends from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. A major part of the Sahara is composed of hard rocky plateau called Hamada, and the rest by sand dunes called erg, gravel plains called reg and salt flats called shatt. Rivers and streams are few and seasonal with the exception of Nile River. Oases and underground aquifers are some of the other water bodies of the desert. Mountains and mountain ranges are a part of this desert landscape with many of them being volcanic.

Eco Regions

The eco regions of Sahara are classified as follows:

  • Atlantic coastal desert
  • The Northern and Southern Steppe and woodlands
  • Central Sahara eco region
  • Saharan Halophytics
  • Tanezrouft
  • Montane xeric Woodlands


Countries Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Djibouti
Highest Point Emi Koussi 11,204 ft (3,415 m)
 - coordinates 19°47′36″N 18°33′6″E
Lowest Point Qattara Depression −436 ft (−132.9 m)
 - coordinates 30°0′0″N 27°5′0″E
Length 4,800 km (2,983 mi), E/W
Width 1,800 km (1,118 mi), N/S
Area 9,400,000 km2 (3,629,360 sq mi)
Biome Desert

Sahara Desert History

Long back in the Neolithic era, that is around 9500 BC, Sahara was a lush green terrain that supported huge populations of humans, animals and plants. Later the desert was occupied by the Egyptians and by 3500 BC, due to exploitation of natural resources, desertification led to the Sahara of today. Phoenicians, Greeks and finally the Berbers occupied Sahara and even to this day Berbers form the majority of Saharan population.

The Sahara: Facts, Climate and Animals of the Desert

To begin with, just simply exactly where is the Sahara Desert? Seize a closer look at far northern Africa on a guide, as well as many of everything you in reality see is the Sahara. From the Atlantic, north to the Mediterranean Sea, and east to the Red-colored Sea, the majority of Africa’s northern gets to have already been swallowed up by the ever-expanding Sahara.

At present, there is certainly little water or perhaps vegetation to maintain life in many part of the Sahara. The modifications happened in relating 1600 B.C., after changes in the Earth's axis improved temperature ranges and diminished precipitation. Even though hot and also extremely dried up today, it is really considered that the Sahara Desert has gone through various climatic changes for the last couple of hundred thousand several years. As an example, during the final glaciations, it absolutely was bigger compared to it is these days because precipitation in the field was low. But yet from 8000 BCE to 6000 BCE, precipitation in the desert improved due to the growth and development of low pressure over ice pack sheets to their north. Once these kinds of ice sheets melted nevertheless, the low pressure moved and the far northern Sahara dried up but the southern sustained to receive dampness due to the existence of a monsoon.

Around 3400 BCE, the monsoon relocated south to that is these days and the desert once again dried out to the situation it is in these days. Additionally, the presence of the Intertropical Convergence Area, ITCZ, in the southern Sahara Desert helps prevent moisture from achieving the area, whilst storms north of the desert prevent before reaching it also. Because of this, the yearly rainfall in the Sahara is below 2.5 cm (25 mm) each year. All across the central part, most arid part of the Sahara Desert, the plant species comprises 500 types. By comparison, in South America's Amazonian Rainforest -- probably the most biologically wealthy region in the world -- the plant community include, according to the estimates of some authorities.

Surprisingly, “Sahara,” in Arabic, signifies desert sand. Consequently, any recommendation to the “Sahara Desert” is a little unnecessary. A number of the works about this substantial together with arid expanse may be fascinating, or completely confounding! The Sahara has got among the harshest climates on the planet. Situated in the trade twists belt, the area is susceptible to winds which are frequently powerful and that spend constantly from the northeast between a subtropical high-pressure cell and also an equatorial low-pressure cell. A worldwide operating team of researchers mention in a study the overlook experienced by the Sahara in saving its biodiversity. Because of this some emblematic varieties have vanished while others are on the verge of extinction.

We looked into the deaths risk related to crossing the Sahara Desert for migrating birds by assessing a lot more than 90 journeys across this desert sand by 4 species of raptors taped by satellite telemetry. Certainly one of the ecosystems in the desert sand is the star sand dune ecosystem, directed ridges and a minimum of slip faces on 3 sides. The Sahara, overlaying a location of over 9,400,000 square kilometers (3,600,000 sq mi), is the biggest hot grasses desert in the world. Kangaroo rats have got long tails and large hind feet with four feet.

They have got large heads with large eyes and also small ears. These are a sandy brown color with a white colored underbelly. A recently discovered water source can supply fifty percent Africa's driest sub-Saharan country with four hundred years of water. The latitude & longitude is 23.0000° N, 13.0000° E. The dew point climate is the high temperature where the air can certainly no longer keep all of its own water vapor, and some of the water vapor has to condense into fluid water. The early people species of Egyptians held the scarab beetle in reverence simply because the insect's infant seemed to look naturally. Berber along with Arab nomads took their caravans of camels across the Sahara, buying and selling goods for example cloth, desert salt, gold and also slaves.

1. It’s Certainly Not the Biggest Desert Sand

In spite of everything you may have discovered in school, the Sahara desert is not really the world’s biggest desert. The biggest desert on earth is…NOT the Sahara! It’s Antarctica! Nevertheless, the Sahara is fairly darn large, and blowing up every day. In just the time seeing that John Glenn very first orbited the world, it offers expanded by an additional 250 ,000 sq mi to right now cover over 3 .6 million box miles.

2. Very few call it home

The continental U.S. is residence to 300 million people. The Sahara, overlaying the same property area, is near to home for just 2 million. That’s a human population density of just 1/150th of this of the U.S.

3. The Sahara was previously rich, fertile farmland

The Sahara was not at all times this large, poorly heavily populated sandbox. As lately as 6,000 BC, grains as well as millet were grown across huge what on earth is now the Sahara. In reality, prehistoric cave pictures are actually discovered in areas of the Sahara that really depict the vegetation as green and also thriving.

4. The Sahara? Brrrrr . . .

Even though a lot of people think of the Sahara desert since a giant oven, a minimum of from December to February, the insufficient humidity in the Sahara brings about nighttime temps to plunge, frequently to freezing and then below.

Also, akin to the hills in Antarctica, certain sand dunes in the Sahara could get snow-covered. There can be no ski hotels however!

5. Areas of the Sahara are rich and also fertile, right now

Plants grew right here in great quantities 8, 000 in the past, be aware of? Hidden rivers that stream out of the Atlas Foothills to the west bubble to the surface area in places, as well as lush oases sometimes result . In reality, there’s regarding 80, 000 sq mi of oases across the Sahara. That is definitely; over two % of the Sahara is included by oases. An additional section is fertile because of irrigation. In Egypt, near the Nile, infinite miles of the Sahara are actually changed by irrigation.

6. Over one thousand species of crops grow right here

Really, the number is nearer to 1, 200. The extremely driest section of the Sahara, the southern Libyan Desert, harbors not many of those. Nevertheless, the numerous oases keep an eye on loads of different plant varieties.

The harsh situations found in the Sahara Desert also have played a part in the existence of wild life in the Sahara Desert. In the main and driest section of the desert there are certainly around 70 various animal species, twenty which are large mammals such as the spotted hyena. Additional mammals consist of the gerbil, sand fox and Cape hare. Reptiles such as the sand viper as well as the Zebra and snakes can be found in the Sahara also. The animal species include, for a few examples, Barbary sheep, oryx, anubis baboon, spotted hyena, dama gazelle, sand fox; the birds-ostriches, secretary birds and various raptors; the reptiles--cobras, chameleons, skinks.

People and Culture

Arabic is the commonest language of the Sahara, in addition to Berber and Beja.


The most common fauna of the Sahara are the goats and dromedary camels. The dromedary camels are still the most widely used mode of transportation in this vast desert. They are known for their speed and endurance. Some of the other animals found here are varieties of fox. Pale fox, Fennec fox and Ruppell’s fox are the common ones. Gazelles, white antelopes, cheetahs, wild dogs, monitor lizards and hyrax are some of the other typical fauna of the Sahara. African silver bill, Ostrich and Black-throated Fire finch are some of the peculiar birds of this desert. Some of the smaller reptiles that inhabit the Sahara are Sand vipers and death-stalker scorpions.


There exist about 500 different species of plants in the central Sahara. Most of these are shrubs or palms. Acacia trees, succulents and grasses are the other commonly found plants that have adapted to the desert conditions by staying shorter, having thicker stems and longer roots, thick or spiny leaves all aimed at conserving and optimizing the scarce water available in this climate.

Tourist Attractions

  • Fayoum Oasis, Sahara – Embark On A Journey Through Time
  • White Desert Tours – Discover A World Like No Other
  • Wadi Al Hitan – The Fascinating Desert Valley Of Whales
  • Temple of Hibis – A Resurrected 26th Dynasty Roman Temple
  • Temple of Qasr Dush – A Fascinating Relic Of Roman Strength
  • The Dakhla Oasis – Tropical Paradise Of The Western Desert
  • Black Desert Tours – Discover The Isolation Of Naked Egypt
  • Farafra Oasis Tours – Visiting The Ancient “Land Of The Cow”
  • Bahariya Oasis Tour – Visiting A Land Where Dinosaurs Roamed
  • Siwa Oasis Tours – A Cultural Journey Of Discovery
  • Western Desert Egypt – A World Of Dunes, Canyons And Oases
  • Valley of El Haiz – Natural Beauty And Unspoiled Marvel Await
  • Temple of Nadura – A Mysterious Roman Temple Left To Die
  • Deir El Hagar Temple – An Ancient Wonder Preserved By Nature
  • Amun Temple Siwa – Oracle Antiquity Hidden In Isolation
  • Temple Of Ain El Muftella – Chapels Devoured By The Desert
  • Qasr El Labeka – Ancient Aqueducts; Temples And Tombs Await
  • Qasr Al Farafra – A Town Untainted And Frozen In Time

List of Cities

Cairo Hassi Messaoud
Tripoli Ghardaia
Libya El Oued in Algeria
Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania Timbuktu in Mali
Tamanrasset Agadez in Niger
Ouargla Faya-Largeau in Chad.

Sahara Desert Images / Photos

Sahara Desert Dune
Sahara Desert Dune
Sahara Desert on Egypt Map
Sahara Desert on Egypt Map
Sahara Desert Google Map
Sahara Desert Google Map
Sahara Desert on Africa Map
Sahara Desert on Africa Map
Sahara Desert On World Map
Sahara Desert On World Map