Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert is not lush in vegetation, only in the Nile River Valley, a few Oasis and in the Northern Highlands. Many thousand years ago the Sahara was a green home to water loving animals, like Hippo's. About 10,00 years ago, the climate changed, which turned most of the Sahara into a Savannah-type environment. This was caused by Monsoon rains sweeping onto the Sahara, transforming the region into a habitable area, swiftly settled by the Nile dwellers. Then after 5,500 years ago the rains stopped and the desert returned, then the people had to return to the Nile River Valley or the Oases.

The Sahara Desert is the worlds largest hot desert, it is located in Northern Africa, it is known to be the hottest place on earth. Due to the climate change of thousands of years ago, today rising and falling winds pull moisture away from the desert, but they rarely bring rain. Sand dunes make up only 15 per cent of the desert, the size of the desert is about three and a half million square miles, even a single dune can be enormous and the rainfall reaches less than three inches a year. The desert covers a third of the African continent, it is almost the size of the United States. The Sahara Desert has just two permanent rivers and they are the Nile and Niger River's. The Oases are referred to as "Distant Islands", left behind by the sea.

There are several Oases in the Sahara Desert, without these Oases these wet stops for human and animals, crossing the desert would be almost impossible. An Oasis is the product of fresh water being available from underground reservoirs, rising to the top causing large pools. Many Oases are fertile, due to a constant supply of water and sunshine. These Oases are very beautiful and very large, the population can vary from a few hundred to a few million people. They make their living on agriculture, such as dates and olives, in recent decades tourism has been a vital source of income. In the Siwa Oasis it was discovered what maybe the world's oldest human foot print, it was discovered in 2007, it dates back over three million years. Progress has been made by roads built to the Oases, they no longer are isolated.

Water in Egypt take different forms, the royal river flows on the surface and water hidden in the depths, swelled with rain that falls in faraway lands. The royal river (Nile) is confined to the valley and can't water the desert and the Oases. The underground water was stored deep inside the earth in some distant, long-forgotten time, when the climate was rainy. This water flows deep, becomes fossilized, it is held captive, hidden; and yet it brings life and the possibility of survival to the oases.

When I had my heart attack a few years ago, my wonderful son and granddaughter bought me Egyptian books, lots of them from Barnes & Noble. While I was mending I read them all, I fell in love with the mystery of Egypt and her Pharaohs, Queens, people, building temples, tomb's, pyramids and the Valley of the King's & Queen's. This is fascinating reading and I recommend it to everyone.


  1. I learned some neat things about the Sahara Desert from your nice review, Margaret. Very interesting!

    How is the weather in Michigan? We're having ice storms. Everything is trecherously slick outside. If I were younger and had ice skates, I'd be out there enjoying that ice.

    Take care and hugs,


  2. Hi Margaret,

    There was a time when I was also fascinated with everything Egypt, mostly because of Arabian horses. :-) I wanted to visit the pyramids and float down the Nile! Now there are many other places I want to visit first. Still...maybe someday....

  3. You spent your recovery learning about another country. That is a worthwhile thing. Thank you for sharing some of what you have learned. You would make a great book reviewer!!!! :)

  4. Hello Ms. Margaret, first time visit here..

    I am following your blog now, so I can come back some more..

  5. Thanks again for stopping by, I did enjoy reading all those books.

  6. I've always been fascinated by Egypt, too. When we got to travel there it was awesome to see all those incredible places for myself.

  7. Hi...started following you today...want to come back for more. till thn enjoy

    Bye..Take Care!