The Sahara Desert is the largest desert in the world and it is in the northern part of Africa. It covers sections of multiple countries in Africa such as Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia. The harsh desert is mostly uninhabited. Instead of people, it is full of dunes, or large “seas of sand,” several mountain ranges and even some volcanoes.
• The lowest point in the Sahara Desert is the Qattara Depression in Egypt. It is 436 feet below sea level.
• The highest peak is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano 11,204 feet high. It is in northern Chad and is part of the Tibesti range.
• The temperature can reach 122 degrees.
• The highest recorded temperature was 136 degrees in Libya.
• It is around 3,000 miles from east to west.
• The total area is around 3,320,000 square miles.
• The name Sahara comes from the Arabic word for desert.
• Sand dunes cover approximately 25 percent of the desert’s surface.
• Some of these dunes can reach 590 feet high.
• Most of the Sahara is made of barren rocky earth.
• About 4 million people live in the Sahara.
Even though the Sahara Desert is an exceedingly harsh environment it is still full of life. The people who live in the desert are nomads. People have been living in the desert since 6000 BCE. In addition to people, there are animals and plants that call the Sahara home. There are rodents, reptiles and even larger mammals such as the screw horn antelope and jackals. Life in the desert is difficult, but it is not impossible. There are strong people, animals and plants that adapt to the difficult environment. For example, the screw horn antelope doesn’t need to drink water. Instead, they suck water from the vegetation that they find.