Top 10 Largest African Deserts

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Having gone through school, you probably know deserts as geographical areas that get rainfall that is 10 inches and even lower each and every year. Africa, the second largest continent in the world has a lot of land covered by desert. It is estimated that over 25% of African land is covered by deserts. Given the little amount of rainfall that deserts receive, you would expect to find no one living in these areas. However, despite the harsh climatic and dangerous living conditions, the deserts in Africa are not without life. Many ears of adaptation to the harsh climate has made it possible for plants and even animals to survive in the harsh environments. That said, let us have a look at the 10 largest African deserts.

See Also: 10 Greatest Landmarks on Map of Africa

1. The Sahara Desert

Largest African Deserts
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This is probably the popular desert in the whole world. It is not only the largest Africa desert but also the largest desert in the world occupying 3.3 million sq. miles and still growing larger. It extends over 25% of the continent and occupies many countries including chad, Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Morocco, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania and Tunisia. Its landscape includes salt flats, dry valleys, sand dunes as well as mountains.

2. The Kalahari

The Kalahari

Even before the desert featured in the movie, “The Gods Must Be Crazy”, it had already created a name for itself. The movie only gave insight to the lives and the culture of the Botswana nomadic people, hunters and gatherers, who live in the region. The Kalahari is 362,500 sq. miles in size and its aid and hostile climate not only affects Botswana but also South Africa, and Namibia.

3. The Namib

The Namib



This is a coastal desert found in the southern part of Africa. Its name means vast place. The desert stretches for over 2000 kilometers along the coast of Namibia, Angola and South Africa. It is the oldest desert in the world. Its life is dated back 55million years ago. It consists of gravel plains, scattered mountains and sand seas at the coast.Although the desert is for the most part barren and does not have any vegetation, you can find succulent plants and lichens along the coast.

4. The Nubian Desert

The Nubian Desert

It is located in the eastern part of the Sahara desert and occupies about 400,000km2 of land to the north of Sudan and between the Red Sea and the Nile. It is for the most part a sandstone plateau and has no oasis whatsoever. Its traditional inhabitants are the Nubians. It is known for turtles crossing in its path.

5. The Libyan Desert

The Libyan Desert

The Libyan Desert covers an approximate area of 1,100,000km2 and has the shape similar to that of a rectangle. Like the Sahara desert, it has a stony plain, sand and Hamada. It has no rivers draining into and out of it.

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