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Sahara Desert Africa

The Sahara is the world's largest dry desert with nine million square kilometers. This equals the area of the entire US or about 26 times the size of Germany. It stretches from the African Atlantic coast to the coast of the Red Sea and forms approximately a trapezium of 4500 to 5500 kilometers in the west and 1500 to 2000 kilometers in north-south expansion. It belongs to the Tropic of Deserts.
 

In the Sahara, there are also mineral deposits. In the Algerian and Libyan Sahara, rich oil and natural gas fields were discovered. Other mineral resources are: salt, coal, copper, gold, manganese, iron, uranium, lead, tungsten, titanium, tin and phosphates. The low native population consists mainly of Arabs, Berbers and Moors. There are also small groups like the Tubu and Tuareg. In addition to livestock farming, the Trans Sahara trade was a major source of livelihood for these population groups, also known as Yallas. The Tuareg is the largest of the Sahara people.


Sixty percent of the Sahara inhabitants are sedentary oasis farmers, 40 percent nomads and half-nomads. Larger settlements are found mainly on the northern edge of the Algerian Sahara. New settlements have formed in the petroleum and natural gas-producing areas of Algeria and Central Libya. In the west and in the Libyan desert, large parts of people are empty.
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