At over 9,400,000 square kilometers (3,600,000 sq mi), it covers most of North Africa, making it almost as large as China or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts to the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, it is delimited by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna that composes the northern region of central and western Sub-Saharan Africa.
Some of the sand dunes can reach 180 meters (590 ft) in height.
The name comes from the plural Arabic language word for desert (صحارى ṣaḥārā [ˈsˤɑħɑːrɑː]).
In the past, the Sahara was once a thriving savannah, stocked to the brim with animals more typical of the Serengeti. Then, a shift in the earth's axis diverted the rains south and the Sahara transformed from a lush, fertile Eden into the burning, sun-scorched wasteland it is today.
In Walking with... SeriesEdit
A part of this episode was set in the late Eocene Sahara. At that time, it was not a desert, but a series of lush mangrove swaps, inhabited by sharks and crocodiles, Apidium and Moeritherium. It was also visited by ocean creatures, such as Basilosaurus.