The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest desert. It covers 9,400,000 square kilometers and is also known to be the world’s hottest desert. The Sahara Desert stretches from the Red Sea which includes a few parts of the Mediterranean coasts till the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean. The Sahara Desert consists of huge sand dunes which reach a height of 180 meters.
The Sahara Desert was earlier occupied by the Berber people. They built a huge empire in the center of the desert and continued to live there. Then later in 6000 BC, the predynastic Egyptians started herding cattle and building houses. Eventually a permanent settlement came into existence.
Since 3400 BC, the Sahara Desert was a dry land like it is today. There were only scattered settlements. The Sahara Desert was gradually occupied by different settlers like Neolithic in 9500 BC, the Phoenicians settled between 1200-800 BC, the Greeks settled in 500 BC and the urban civilization settled in 500 BC.
Sahara Desert Information
|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)|
Sahara Desert Facts
- The Sahara Desert covers an area of 9,400,000 square kilometers and the area is as big as the United States. The Sahara Desert is known to be the world’s largest desert.
- The Sahara Desert goes through continuous land changes and the winds and the rainfall give it that shape.
- Though Sahara is a desert, it gets its annual rainfall in different parts of its region. The desert has different climates like the subtropical climate in the north and a tropical climate in the south.
- The Sahara Desert has an annual temperature of 30 degrees C while the temperature reaches to 50 degree C and it also drops to below freezing points.
- Since the Sahara Desert is changing, experts believe that it may either grow or shrink in size.
- The desert has few species of animals like the Saharan cheetah, scorpions, sand vipers and monitor lizards. Other common animals are camels and goats.
- The Sahara Desert is known to have the tallest sand dunes that reach up to 189 meters in height.
- The Sahara Desert has about 500 species of flora.
Sahara Desert Climate & Weather
The Sahara Desert has two types of sub-climates:-
The subtropical climate covers the north region of the desert. It consists of scorching summers, cold winters, annual high temperature and two rainy seasons. The average temperature of the desert is 55 degree F and the highest temperature is 58 degree F. Rainfall is in the month of August.
The dry tropical climate covers the southern region of the Sahara Desert. Here the annual rainfall is 5 inches and snow in higher altitudes. The average temperature is 31.5 degree F and on higher altitudes it is 5 degree F.
Sahara Desert Things to See and Do
Since the Sahara Desert is covered with thousands of kilometers of sand, very little activity can be done here. One can visit the Tozeur which lies on the western edge of the Sahara region. It is the largest oasis in the town. Then you can also see the Chebika, Tamerza and Nafta which are three different types of oasis. These oasis are popular for their pleasant respite and tranquil. Other than the oasis, one can visit the Chat El Jeri, the Salt Lake.
These are the unique features of the Sahara Desert from extreme weather to beautiful landscapes and oasis.
Sahara Desert Plants
- African Welwitchsia
- African Peyote Cactus
- Date Palm
- Doum Palm
- Olive Trees
Sahara Desert Animals
- Addax Antelope
- Dorcas Gazelle
- Deathstalker Scorpion
- Monitor Lizard
- Sand Vipers