The Sahara, or Great Desert as mentioned in atlases, is indeed probably the first desert of the globe in terms of size and aridity. It embraces the entire northern half of the African continent. » (Gautier, 1928). This desert comprises a series of large plateaux covered with clusters of dunes (ergs) or gravel (regs). It also bears major mountain ranges – Tibesti, Hoggar and Aïr – of volcanic origin. Several wadis come out of these massifs, especially the Moroccan High Atlas, and supply various oases. In very uneven density, these palm groves cover an insignificant part of the Saharan area. However, their existence has allowed some species to expand their distribution range much southward of the Mediterranean coasts and semi-desert steppes bordering the desert, such as the Algerian Highlands.


Wetlands, while very scarce in the Sahara, can be very extensive, yet these brackish lakes (chotts) are often completely dry. In 2009, Flamingos however bred successfully in El Goléa.

Life has not deserted the Sahara. The following wildlife accounts provide a few examples of the tenacity of the Living in facing extreme environmental conditions.


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