The Sahara Desert

| 28 mayo, 2013 | 3 Comments

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world. Exceeds 9.065 million km2, which means it has almost the same size as China. It is located in northern Africa and has more than 2.5 million years. Its name derives from the Arabic translation Sahara means «desert».

The Sahara receives less than three inches of rain in a year (7.6 cm), even in the wettest areas of the Sahara Desert, it could rain twice in a week, and not to rain for years. In the drier areas may take fifteen or twenty years without rain. But here a curious fact: The February 18, 1979 it snowed in the Sahara Desert. It’s the only time you have registered that fact.

The countries covered are Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, Chad, Egypt and Sudan. Because of its high attraction, and its millions of annual visitors, Marrakech is the main port of departure to Morocco Sahara Desert. The two most important areas of the Moroccan Sahara Desert are Zagora and Merzouga.

The Zagora Desert is drier and less Merzouga dunes. The main advantage of Zagora is that it is closer to Marrakech, making it the most suitable for short trips of two days and one night.

From Marrakech to Zagora’s about 360 miles away that it takes to travel about 7 hours. Because there are multiple stops, the journey is interesting and not as heavy as it sounds.

The Desert of Merzouga is the most impressive part of the Desert of Morocco and is what one might imagine when thinking of a desert. Dunes While countries like Algeria and Libya are highly regarded, the dunes of Erg Chebbi, Merzouga south, reach 150 feet tall and have nothing to envy them.

From Marrakech to Merzouga there are about 550 miles away that it takes to travel more than 10 hours, so it is normal to sleep one night halfway both the outward and the return.

If time and budget is not a problem, it is best to take a trip of 4 or 5 days to Merzouga Desert. It’s a nice place and the trip, but is longer, is more relaxed for longer life and the various stops of the journey. The landscapes are traversed during the days of the tour deserve as much punishment as the desert itself. Places like Ait Ben Haddou, the Valley of Roses, the Dades Gorge, the Draa Valley and Todra Gorge are surprising and unknown.

If you want to spend less days against for the tour, visit Zagora is the best or, put another way, the only way to sleep a night in a Bedouin tent in the desert. Since the road to Ouarzazate is the same as to visit Merzouga, on this tour also visit important places like Ait Ben Haddou, so the ride is also very interesting.

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Category: Africa, Natural landscapes, Place of interest

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  1. Stolen dice:

    Western Sahara si not a country !

    1 – Rabat bases its claim on several major arguments:

    – The ties between northern Morocco and its “Saharan provinces” go back to the Almoravid Dynasty of Saharan Berbers who created Greater Morocco in the 11th century, ranging from the Senegal River to the center of Spain.

    – Under the Saadians (1554-1650) Morocco dominated the entire Western Sahara as well as the Niger River belt.

    – From the 16th to the 18th centuries, Moroccan authority extended all the way to the belt of the Niger River.

    – In those times, in Gao and in Timbuktu, Friday prayers were recited under the watchful authority of the Moroccan Sultan.

    – Sultan Moulay lsmail (1672-1727) appointed governors for Touat, Teghaza, and the Emir of Trarza was one of his vassals.

    – At the end of the 18th century, the investiture of this Emir was the responsibility of the Moroccan Sultan.

    – Mauritania is a colonial invention, and its vast desert expanses were under Moroccan influence for centuries.

    – Since Morocco’s real border fluctuated toward the Senegal River, as a result, the Saharan lands further north were therefore Moroccan.

    – In the 19th century, Morocco fell into a period of decadence and the royal power weakened. France took advantage of the situation to take away part of Moroccan Sahara and annexed it to Algeria. In the beginning of the 20th century, this trend amplified and the Spanish made off with all of South Morocco, from Tarfaya in the North all the way to the French territory of Mauritania in the South.

    – The tribes of the western Sahara had ties of allegiance with the Moroccan monarch. These ties were naturally very tight when the sultans exercised great power and they lessened when the sultans’ power weakened. Most of the tribes of the Moroccan Sahara: “[…] have their own attachments to the rest of Morocco, and their ancestors and founders came from the country’s interior. They were generally celebrated marabouts (saints) like Sidi Ahmed Rguibi, the nephew of Moulay Abdelslam Ben M’chich, the great marabout from the beginning of the Hegira, whose tomb is located near Tetouan (North Of Morocco), or Sidi Ahmed Laroussi, originally from Marrakesh and founder of the Larrousiyines.” (Moha, 1990: 76).

    – On October 16, 1975, the International Court of Justice recognized that in 1884, the year Spain began to take interest in this region, it was not terra nullius, and the nomadic tribes who lived there had ties of allegiance with the Moroccan monarch. European powers recognized this allegiance to Morocco because they regularly asked Moroccan authorities to intervene to free shipwrecked sailors or travelers taken prisoner by local tribes¹.

    2 – From an historic point of view, are these Moroccan arguments well-founded?

    There are several very clear arguments in support of Rabat’s position. For instance:

    – In 1889, seven German prospectors were kidnapped by a nomadic tribe in the Saquia al Hamra and the Sultan of Morocco intervened to free them, proof that his effective authority extended beyond the Draa River².

    – The signatories of the secret Franco-British convention on August 5, 1890 held that Morocco’s borders extended from Figuig to Cap Blanc (or Lagwira, or Nouadhibou in Mauritania)³.

    – On November 20, 1961, a commercial treaty between Morocco and Spain was signed in Madrid. Article 38 of this treaty contained the following provisions: “If a Spanish boat is shipwrecked on the shores of Oued Noun or at any other point on the coast, the Sultan of Morocco will use his power to save and protect the captain and crew until they are back in their country […]. The Moroccan king’s governors will in fact assist the General Consul of Spain, the Consul, the Vice-Consul, and the Consular Agent or his delegate in their efforts, in compliance with the laws of amity.”

    – In the past, many bilateral accords were signed, in particular the 1799 accord whose terms allowed Spain to obtain help from the Sultan for the protection of shipping crews who abandoned ship on the part of the coast located from Oued Noun and “beyond”. Through this treaty then, Spain recognized that all of the western Sahara coast was dependent on Morocco since it asked the Moroccan state to guarantee the safety of any shipwreck victims who might land there.

    – When opposing the French presence in Saquia el Hamra and Oued ed Dahab, London justified its opposition by putting forward the argument that these were Moroccan regions.

    HISTORY OF MOROCCO: from its origins to the present day ! By BERNARD LUGAN

  2. Ahmed safi dice:

    The image that was published on your site is owned by Libya, not Morocco (Zagora) This is a lake in the southern Libyan desert, the lake is called red (Trua) water is wonderful and strange for treatment.

  3. Char dice:

    I must say this is a little badly written. I don’t know if it’s translated from another language but some of it makes no sense. Still a good article though.

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