The Largest Hot Desert in The World: The Great Sahara

The majestic Sahara desert is one of the most inhospitable places on our planet. It is almost as if Mother Nature is trying to keep people away from this vast, arid expanse of land.

This majestic land is the largest hot desert in the world and one of the harshest places on earth. It covers a big part of Northern Africa, stretching from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

Sahara Desert
Image by Jörg Peter from Pixabay

It has endless stretches of red dunes with scattered acacias and palms. This isolated landscape is home to several hidden gems.

It houses some of the oldest known pyramids in the world. These are those found at Giza and Tiya in Egypt. There are also several unique experiences you can only have in this majestic place on our planet.

The Largest Hot Desert in The World

The Sahara is the largest hot land in the world and has a total area of ​​about 36 million square miles. You can also say it is 92 million square kilometers. It is roughly the size of China or the United States.

The Sahara is a desert in North Africa and Egypt, Sudan, Niger, Chad, Algeria, and Libya are part of this desert. Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, and Western Sahara are also part of the Sahara Desert.

But, Western Sahara is not a sovereign state but is now part of Morocco. The great Sahara was once fertile land, and not too long ago! From this, one can guess how huge the size of the Sahara is.

A sudden climate change caused heavy rainfall over the entire Sahara region. This rainfall happened about 10,000 years ago today and lasted about 5,000 years. Then the present desert form began to appear in the Sahara.

Earth has a position at an angle of 23.44 degrees with its rotation. But, the funny thing is that the value of this angle is not always the same. It fluctuates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees over 41,000 years.

Desertification in the Sahara began when the Earth’s rotation axis shifted. As a result, the Sahara turned from Savannah into a desert the largest hot desert in the world 4,000 years ago.

Environmentalists, thus, speculate that the current picture of the Sahara may change shortly. This great land can expand further, or the green will wake up again in this desert.

But, there is no doubt that the temperature in the largest hot desert in the world is increasing. In 1992, the Sahara region of Libya recorded a temperature of 56 degrees Celsius, which is the highest known till today.

The largest hot desert in the world is warm and is known as the driest place on our planet earth. The average annual rainfall is less than 2 centimeters in about half of the region.

In some areas, even some years may pass without rain. Elsewhere, the average rainfall is above 10 cm. Sandstorms are a common occurrence in the largest hot desert in the world.

But thunderstorms are not uncommon in this land. When it rains in the desert, the brownish-black clouds cover the sky, and in a matter of moments, heavy rain starts with thunderstorms.

During the day, the average temperature of this place fluctuates between 46 and 54 degrees Celsius. But at night the temperature sometimes drops below freezing to 6 degrees.

In some places in the largest hot desert in the world, especially on the mountain tops, snow can be visible in winter! In this hot land, only 30% is sand, and the remaining 80% is gravel.

There is even a large body of groundwater beneath the largest hot desert in the world. Even more important cause is that in the Sahara, an area of ​​about 80,000 square miles is an oasis, which is about 2 percent of its total area.

Groundwater is the cause of oasis awakening. The Sahara is home to about 90 percent of the world’s oases. But, the rivers of the Sahara are seasonal and isolated. There are at least 20 lakes throughout the Sahara.

Biodiversity in this hot land of Africa is low. Even then, a variety of animals can be visible in this place. All they adapted to survive in the harsh environment of the Sahara.

A deer-like animal called Adax can survive without drinking water for almost a year. There are also horned viper crocodiles. Foxes, deer, and even cheetahs live in the Sahara.

This unique hot land of Africa is the name of living loneliness. The weather here is hot – during the day and very cold at night. Life here is uneven and struggling.

In many parts of Chad, Niger, and Sudan, there are still fierce conflicts between tribes over the breeding of camels. Once lost, here is certain death.

There will never be a single person in thousands or even millions of square kilometers to hear the cries of a lost traveler. Life here has passed all levels of endurance.

An Unforgettable Sand Dune Experience

If you’ve ever seen a picture of the great Sahara, then you have seen the dunes that cover a good part of the region. These dunes are made of sand and stand up to 600 feet tall. 

There are many fossils buried within the dunes. While the dunes are beautiful, you can also experience them. 

You can go sandboarding or sand sledding, where you slide down the dunes on a board or a piece of wood. Or, you can go sand surfing, where you ride down the dunes on a board like surfing.

A Desert Filled With Rich History

The majestic Sahara is home to several ancient and rich cultures. Many visitors come to this magnificent region to learn about its history. They want to learn history that has played a part in shaping our world. 

This hot land served as a valuable trading route for the North African and Arabian cultures. It is due to the rich sources of gold, silver, iron, and tin mining in southern Egypt and Nubia. 

desert
Image by 💙♡🌼♡💙 Julita 💙♡🌼♡💙 from Pixabay

Later, the Romans traded with these cultures as well. There are several ancient cities worth visiting in the Sahara Desert. It includes the famous walled city of Tazout in Morocco, which dates back to the 10th century. 

Other notable cities include Timbuktu in Mali, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Oualata in Algeria. Romans once occupied this city.

Travel Through The Desert On a Camel

A unique way to experience the majestic Sahara is by camel. You can travel through the desert on a camel to see the sights from a different perspective. Several tour companies offer desert camel rides, which last from a few hours to several days.

These tours are great for families with kids, as they provide a great way to see the sights of this magnificent place without walking through the harsh terrain.

These tours include everything you need, such as a guide who knows this place, food, and water. They also offer neat and clean accommodation. If you want to do something more daring, you can also take a camel trek.

This tour can give the experience of this hot land and its people up close by staying with them. You can stay in their homes. It can give you an insider’s view of the people who live and work in the great Sahara.

Watch The Sunrise Or Sunset From A Tent

If you want to experience the majestic Sahara Desert but are not quite up for a dune adventure or a camel ride, you can do it from the comfort of a tent.

Desert safaris offer different tour packages. These tours include hot air balloon and dune tours in the majestic land. These also include sunset and sunrise tours. 

Go on a sunrise tour to experience this majestic place when it is most serene. Sunrise is the best time to photograph dunes and other sights in this place of Africa.

This great hot land change from serene to magical at sunset, and you will be able to enjoy it. The sunset paints this majestic place in different shades of red and orange.

Do not forget to stay in a Bedouin tent if you want a more authentic experience. It can give you the experience of what it is like to live like the local people in the great Sahara.

Conclusion

The majestic Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world and one of the harshest places on earth. But it has many things to offer to the people who love to see and enjoy the magnificent variation of our beloved planet.

There are several unique experiences anyone can only have here. These include traveling through the desert on a camel. These also include watching the sunset from a tent or seeing the stars at night in this unique place. 

A man with an adventurous mind and capability may never miss the chance to visit the great Sahara. It is a valuable part of the mother nature of our planet.