- Humans have lived on the edge of the desert for almost 500,000 years. During the
last ice age, the Sahara was a much wetter place, much like East Africa, than
it is today.
- 2.5 million people live in the Sahara, most of these in Mauritania, Morocco and
Algeria. Dominant groups of people are the Tuareg-Berber, the Sahrawis, Moors,
and different black African ethnicities including the Tubu, the Nubians, the
Zaghawas and the Kanuri. The largest city is Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital.
Other important cities are Tamanrasset, Algeria; Timbuktu, Mali; Agadez, Niger;
Ghat, Libya; and Faya, Chad.
- The history of the desert dates back to 3 million years ago.
- Geographically, Sahara desert is rocky, with varied elevation. It contains
underground rivers, which sometime penetrate the surface, resulting in oases.
- There are some sand dunes in the desert which reach a height of about 180
- The center of Sahara desert is excessively dry, with little or no vegetation.
There is sparse grassland and desert shrub with trees and tall shrubs, where
- Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Sahara region, from the
Atlantic to the Red Sea.
- The northeasternly winds can reach up to hurricane level and often rise to sand
- Many ergs, which are large areas of shifting sand dunes, with some of them reaching 590 feet. However, most of the Sahara is considered a rocky hamada, a type of desert landscape that has very little sand and is made up of primarily barren, hard, rocky plateaus.
- Lastly, the Nile River crosses the desert from its origins in central Africa to empty into the Mediterranean.