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Iconic Land: The Sahara Desert of Algeria

With over 80% of its land occupied by the Sahara Desert, Algeria is a country for the true adventurer. The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world encompassing over 3.5 million square miles, which is roughly the size of the entire United States.

For as long as time can remember people have lived within or on the edge of this land and still today there are many nomadic tribes in Algeria who call the Sahara home. Over 2.5 million people live within the borders of this desert and at times life can be hard. The Sahara is an arid land and some scientists believe it is the driest it has been in over 13,000 years. Most of the nomadic tribes search for an oasis; many have an underground aquifer that provides much needed water for these people and their livestock.

In Southeast Algeria is the national park, Tassili n'Ajjer. A large mountain chain, this park has a unique ecosystem because of its water holding capabilities. The vegetation is much fuller than the surrounding desert. In the eastern portion of the range, one can see endangered species of Saharan Cypress and Myrtle tree. Their existence dates to prehistoric times.

The amazing sites of this mountain range are the preserved rock paintings and archeological finds that are abundant in the area. There are over 30,000 depictions of various wildlife scenes that are date back to prehistoric times. Many fossil fields are in the area and for the lucky few; you may have the ability to assist on a dig.

Bring plenty of water, hire a guide, load the camera full of film, and book your trip early. The Sahara desert is a land of beauty, history, and adventure. For those who are willing the experience her charms, a lifetime of memories will be filled in this land of Algeria.

 



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