OVERLANDING SAHARA

Less than 52 days to Timbouctu - Transsaharan routes and raids 

One of the most inhospitables areas on the Earth

Extreme climatic conditions 

Space, light and amazing landscapes

Sea of dunes and fascinating rock formations

Silence you can experience only in the desert

Nights under the starry Sky

Millions years aged fossils

World famous sites of the Prehistoric Art

Hospitality of nomad and sedentary tribes populating Sahara

 

Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad

 

Land and People

The Sahara covers large parts of AlgeriaChadEgyptLibyaMaliMauritaniaNigerWestern SaharaSudan and Tunisia. It covers 9 million square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi), amounting to 31% of Africa. 

The Sahara is mainly rocky hamada (stone plateaus); ergs (sand seas – large areas covered with sand dunes) form only a minor part, but many of the sand dunes are over 180 metres (590 ft) high. Wind or rare rainfall shape the desert features: sand dunes, dune fields, sand seas, stone plateaus, gravel plains (reg), dry valleys (wadi), dry riverbeds (oued), natural water reservoirs (guelta), and salt flats (shatt or chott). Unusual landforms include the Guelb el Richat (the Eye of Africa) Structure in Mauritania.

Several deeply dissected mountains, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr MountainsAhaggar MountainsSaharan AtlasTibesti MountainsAdrar des Iforas, and the Red Sea Hills. The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad.

The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation. The northern and southern reaches of the desert, along with the highlands, have areas of sparse grassland and desert shrub, with trees and taller shrubs in wadis, where moisture collects. In the central, hyperarid region, there are many subdivisions of the great desert: Tanezrouft, the Ténéré, the Libyan Desert, the Eastern Desert, the Nubian Desert and others. These extremely arid areas often receive no rain for years.

Important cities located in the Sahara include Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania; TamanrassetOuarglaBécharHassi MessaoudGhardaïa, and El Oued in Algeria; Timbuktu in Mali; Agadez in Niger; Ghat in Libya; and Faya-Largeau in Chad.

The People of the Sahara are of various origins. Among them there are the Amazigh (Berbers) including the Tamashek (Tuaregs), various Arabized Amazigh groups like Hassaniya speaking Sahrawis, whose population include the Znaga tribe, whose name is a remnant of the prehistoric Zenaga language. Other major groups of people include the Toubou, Nubians, Zaghawa, Kanuri, Hausa, Songhai, Beja nad Fula.

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