The History of the Sahara

Spread over 9,000,000 square kilometres, Sahara is one of the largest deserts in the world, covering most of Northern Africa. Tracing back to the history of Sahara, Berbers, Egyptians, Nubians, Phoenicians and Greeks were a few ancient inhabitants of the Sahara. Berbers, being the oldest inhabitants, have always posed threats to other inhabitants. The urban civilization constituted of the Garamantes, who spread rapidly but eventually crumpled.

Finally, the Arabs settled and trading became popular. With this trading process, the Oasis communities started to live in interdependence with the Arabs. Salt, cloth, gold, manufactured goods, horses and etc. were traded amongst communities. The camel was used as a trading source, which was introduced in the first century (A.D). This trade continued even between different parts of the Europe. The first few European explorers to be in Sahara were Friedrich Horneman and Mungo Park, in 1805 and 1806.

Sahara is known to be a stone desert, constituting of more than 70{5f1badeb208636689578ee7055aafc453681e97b6c712d78b4a854b97df0885d} rocks and gravel and around 15{5f1badeb208636689578ee7055aafc453681e97b6c712d78b4a854b97df0885d} sand dunes. Some of the region of Sahara is still unexplored, while most people travel because of fine routes and roads. Little vegetation is also seen in Sahara in some of its parts. The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad.

Being located in such a place, the Sahara has a warmer climate. The wind blows frequently and at very high speeds. Day temperatures are high and dusty winds blow across the North and South of Sahara. After long durations of dry and warm weather, the desert does have heavy rain falls that last for months and years. Sahara recorded the highest temperature in September, which was 58 degrees. Common temperature at night is 30 degrees.

Sahara has gone though both wet and dry weathers over a few decades that resulted in the contraction of Sahara, drying out its Northern part, while South was saved by heavy rains and monsoons. Today, Sahara is dry as it was decades ago.

A few countries that Sahara covers partly or completely are Algeria, Chad, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara. Some of the Sahara languages include Arabic (all across Atlantic till red sea), afro-asiatic, nilo-saharan, kanuri, Tegada and many more.

Many Highways have also been introduced in Sahara since quite some time now, namely Trans African highways, Cairo Dakar highways, Trans Sahara highway, Tripoli-Cape Town Highway, Cairo- Cape Town Highway etc.

The Sahara also covers many eco-regions, which include Atlantic coastal desert, Sahara desert, South Saharan steppe and woodlands, West Saharan montane xeric woodloands, Tibesti Jebel Uweinat montane xeric woodlands, Saharan Halophytics and Tanezrouft. Around 2,000,000 people are living in Sahara now, including some 700,000 nomads.

Several mountain ranges, many volcanic, rise from the Sahara desert, including the Air Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, and the Red Sea hills. Similarly, many animals like ostrich, sand vipers, camels, lizards, African dog and cheetah live there.