How big is the Sahara Desert?
The Sahara, with a size of 8.6 million km², is the world’s largest desert, covering large parts of North Africa. Around 4 million people live here. Its maximum length is 4,800 km, running from west to east, and up to 1,200 km from north to south. Sahara covers most of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Mali, and touches Morocco and Tunisia. To the north, Sahara is bordered by the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea; in the west by the Atlantic Ocean; in the south, the desert zone reaches 16º northern latitude; in the east it is bordered by the Nile. Still the desert continues to the east of the river until it reaches the Red Sea, but this is not considered a part of the Sahara.