The largest hot desert in the world, the Sahara Desert is situated in the northern portion of Africa. It covers more than 10% area of the continent.
On its east lies the Red Sea, on the north is the Mediterranean and on the west is the Atlantic Ocean. In its south is the Sahel, an area where the landscape becomes a semi-dry tropical savanna.
It is an interesting fact that the Sahara is most certainly the world’s largest hot desert, as by the definition of the word “desert” means an area which receives less than 10 inches of precipitation per year. According this theory the world’s largest desert is actually the continent of Antarctica stretches over 5,339,573 square miles.
Sahara desert is often referred to as an extremely dangerous area because of its extremely high temperature and dry conditions making it unfit for most life forms.
The plant life is sparse, only about 500 species of plants are found there and includes mostly Xerophytes and Halophytes.
There are about 70 animal species which include the spotted hyena, gerbil, sand fox, cape hare, gazelles, antelopes, sand viper and the monitor lizard etc.
In spite of the dry and dangerous conditions, people do inhabit the Sahara desert and have been living there since before 6000 BCE. The inhabitants of earlier times included the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Europeans.
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Most of the inhabitants today are nomads which live in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania and Western Sahara. Many languages are spoken, but the most widely spoken language is Arabic. The dwellers depend on fertile oases, crops and mining of minerals like iron and copper. About 4 million people live here.
Sahara has been a major tourist attraction site. If you are planning to take a tour to the desert, you might enjoy camel riding through the vast lands. The Nile and Niger rivers are major tourist attractions among several other rivers.
Sahara also has many mountains, whose peaks may also get covered by snow in the extreme winter. Nature lovers might find the desert life interesting to study.
The nights at the Sahara is cooler and sand storms are common.
Camels are used as medium of transportation in Sahara desert, you may take a camel tour and reach to the areas where is not possible on vehicles.