Sahara Desert Tourist Attractions and Travel

The Sahara is the biggest desert in the world. Its parched, forbidding landscape took shape over thousands of years, but even today, the Sahara is constantly changing. The Sahara, with a size of 8.6 million km², is the world's largest desert, covering large parts of North Africa. Around 4 million people live here.

Sahara Desert Tourist Attractions

Its maximum length is 4,800 km, running from west to east, and up to 1,200 km from north to south. Sahara covers most of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Mali, and touches Morocco and Tunisia.


To the north, Sahara is bordered by the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea; in the west by the Atlantic Ocean; in the south, the desert zone reaches 16º northern latitude; in the east it is bordered by the Nile. Still the desert continues to the east of the river until it reaches the Sahara Desert travel Red Sea, but this is not considered a part of the Sahara.

Sahara Desert picture

Sahara Desert attractions


About a quarter of Sahara consists of mountains. The highest peak reaches 3415, being Emi Koussi in Chad. Some mountain peaks may even have snow in the winter. The main mountain ranges are Hoggar in Algeria; Aïr/Azbine in Niger; and Tibesti in Chad. The Sahara's lowest point lies in the Qattara Depression in Egypt, at about 130 metres below sea level.


Sand sheets and dunes represent about 25% of the Sahara; the other parts are mountains, stoney steppes and oases. Pyramidal dunes can be as high as 150 metres, while mountainous sand ridges as high as 350 metres.Tunisia


There are several rivers running through the Sahara, of which the Nile River and Niger River are the only permanent ones. The rest being seasonal, involves that most of the time, there is only a dry river bed, which may carry water for Sahara Desert tourism brief periods following uncommon rainfalls. There may be years in between this happening.


A vast desert of northern Africa extending east from the Atlantic coast to the Nile Valley and south from the Atlas Mountains to the region of the Sudan. During the Ice Age (about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago), the Sahara was a region of extensive shallow lakes watering large areas of vegetation, most of which had disappeared by Roman times. Introduction of the camel (probably in the first century a.d. ) led to occupation by nomadic tribes who moved from oasis to oasis in search of water.


The Sahara Desert has been a novelty since the beginning of time, spanning over 3000 miles north to south, and across the entire northern cap of the African continent to Morocco. But, what remains the most amazing and mysterious part of this magical land is: how did they get all that sand there in the first place? Did they truck it in? And where did they get it? Aliens, I'll bet. Actually, it turns out that the area used to be lush with green forests and lakes. But, a massive climate change (probably due to the green house effect that the dinosaurs caused with their aerosol experiments in the early pre-historic times) caused the whole place to dry up. Wind and erosion turned the petrified land into sand. Anyway, despite its mystery, beauty and serenity, the desert is not an accommodating environment: the difficult terrain, the heat, the dry climate, and bad-smelling camels—it's not the place for everyone. Although, I must admit, there are some benefits: my sinuses were clear, there are no street lights, no television, and above all, school shootings are mostly unheard of. Of course, you can't completely escape Western society. Even in this remote area where there are very few Starbucks stores.


Sahara has a subtropical climate in its northern parts, and a tropical one in the south. Winters in the north are cold to cool; in the south, mild. Summers are hot all over the desert. The highest temperature every recorded is 58ºC in Aziziyah, Libya. There is very little rain in the Sahara Desert attractions northern parts, virtually nothing in the east, although more in the south. Most rain falls throughout the summer, followed by some scarce winter rain.


Sahara is very dry but there is an annual rainfall in most regions, although just a few dozens of millimetre.


Imagine a place on Earth that gets so hot that you could only go without water for four hours. Pretty scary, uh? You would walk hundreds of miles and see only sand.  This is the Sahara Desert, the largest desert in the world!


The Sahara is located on the continent of Africa.  It runs through 11 countries and a part of Africa known as Western Sahara.


The word "Sahara" means "desert" in the Arabic language.  The Sahara is one of the hottest places on earth.   September, 1922, the temperature in the Sahara soared to 136 degrees F.  At night the temperature can drop below freezing.


Land Forms


The Sahara Desert has many  different landforms.  Parts have sand dunes.  A sand dune is a mountain of sand.  Some dunes can be as high as 600 feet.  These dunes are found in huge areas of shifting sand called ergs.  Regs are another type of landform found in the desert.  regs are broad plains covered with sand and gravel.  Regs make up most of the Sahara.  Hammadas also make up a large part of the Sahara.  These are areas of flat, raised land that are also known as plateaus.  There are volcanic mountains in the Sahara in the country of Chad.  Emi Koussi, a peak in the Tibesti Mountains is 11, 204 feet high and the highest point in the desert.




The rain in the Sahara is less than 10 inches a year.  People cannot survive without water.  There are few lakes.  Most of these anyway are saltwater lakes.  People cannot drink from them.  Lake Chad is the only freshwater lake in the desert.  Rivers once ran through the Sahara.  We know this because dried up riverbeds, called wadis, still exist.  When it does rain in the desert, these wadis fill up with water and become active rivers for a short time.


Sandstorms are very common in the desert.  Brown clouds of sand cover the sky as wind blows sand everywhere.


The soil in Sahara is low in organic matter, and often biologically inactive. The soil in depressions is often saline. Animal life is limited to gazelles, antelopes, jackals, foxes, badgers and hyena.


Other sorts of vegetation include scattered concentrations of grasses, shrubs and trees in the highlands, as well as in the oases and along river beds. Some plants are well adjusted to the climate, allowing them to germinate within 3 days of rain and sow their seeds within 2 weeks after that.


Animal life of Sahara include gerbil, jerboa, cape hare and Sahara Desert travel desert hedgehog, barbary sheep, oryx, gazelle, deer, wild ass, baboon, hyena, jackal, sand fox, weasel and mongoose. The bird life counts more than 300 species.


Many desert animals search for food at night, because it is cooler.


Of the Sahara's around 4 million people, most live in Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya and Egypt. Dominant groups of people are Sahrawis, Tuareg and Negroids. The largest city is Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital. Other important cities are Tamanrasset in Algeria, and Sebha and Ghat in Libya.


Why is this desert so important to Africans? How do people survive its harsh, dry climate? And is the Sahara getting bigger, or smaller?


By studying satellite photos, some scientists have come to believe that the Sahara regularly shrinks and grows. In the early 1980s, the Sahara's southern edge expanded into the Sahel, a dry band that separates the desert from the savanna. But by the mid-1980s this area was green and wet again.


The Sahara receives less than three inches of rain a year; Chicago's annual precipitation, its combined rainfall, snow and sleet, is 33.34 inches (84.68 cm). Even in the Sahara's wettest areas, it may rain twice one week and not rain again for years.


For centuries caravaneers have traveled through the Sahara desert. Even though there are many oases in the Sahara, the desert is so immense that travelers may go for days to reach them.


Oases make trade possible between the ports of North Africa and savanna markets further south. Without these wet rest stops for Sahara Desert attractions humans and animals, crossing the desert would be almost impossible.


As the world's biggest desert, the Sahara covers a third of the African continent-an area about the size of the United States.


The Sahara is one of the hottest places on Earth. Even though temperatures there may rise to 136 F (57.7 C), its dryness, not heat, that makes a place like the Sahara a desert. The frozen continent of Antarctica is so dry that some scientists consider it a desert, too.


As the Sahara Desert tourism world's largest desert, the Sahara receives less than three inches (7.6 cm) of rain a year. Even in its wettest areas, rain may arrive twice in one week, then not return for years.


Only 200,000 km² of Sahara are fertile oases, where dates, corn and fruits are grown. The few fertile regions today are fed by underground rivers and underground basins. Many of Sahara's oases rests in depressions (areas under sea level) allowing water to surface from underground reservoirs; artesian wells.


Metallic minerals are very important to most Saharan countries. Algeria and Mauritania have several major deposits of iron ore, while smaller deposits are found in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Western Sahara and Niger. Copper is found in Mauritania and manganese in Algeria. Small deposits of uranium are widely distributed in the Sahara, while Niger has the largest deposits. Phosphates are found in great quantities in Morocco and Western Sahara, and Sahara Desert travel are already well-exploited. Algeria's phosphate production is smaller, but large enough for exports. Oil is mainly found in Algeria, and is of great importance to the economy of the entire country. While the mineral exploitation has led to economic growth in Sahara, this has rarely helped the indigenous population, as skilled workers have been brought in to the different fields.

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