The Sahara Desert
It’s a common misconception that the Sahara is the
world’s largest desert
. In actual fact, it’s the largest hot desert behind the Arctic and Antarctica, which are both cold deserts.
The Sahara Desert spans some
8,600,000 square kilometres
. However, this changes over time as the actual area of the desert expands and contracts with the seasons.
Scientists estimate that the Sahara’s overall size has grown to be 10% larger than it was nearly a century ago.
the Sahara reaches a total of
. These include Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Western Sahara and Tunisia.
The Sahara gets its name from the Arabic word
, which means ‘desert’.
Sand dunes and sheets cover only around 25% of the Sahara’s actual surface.
this desert’s highest point is an extinct volcano called
in Chad, which has an elevation of 3,415 metres.
Sahara is home to a variety of
that has adapted to a life of extremes. Alongside camels and goats, desert species include cheetah, gazelles, ostrich, Fennec fox and monitor lizards.
Around 2.5 million people also call the Sahara home, most of which have Berber or Arabic roots.
Saharan trade routes played an important part in the economies of Ancient Africa. Goods such as copper, salt and gold were transported using camel caravans
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