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Photographer's Note

Picture taken in Ghardaïa while I was travelling (walking) in the Grand Erg Occidental, Central Sahara Desert, Algeria, Africa.

Picture taken using a Nikon F2 and a 300mm f/4.5. Kodachrome 64 scanned using a Nikon coolscan V.

The Sahara Desert is the largest non-polar Desert in the world. It's length spans 3000 miles across northern Africa - from the Atlantic ocean in the west to the Red Sea on the east. It's width spans from the Mediterranean Sea on the north and extends 1200 miles to the south to central Africa. It covers an area of approximately 3.5 million square miles, occupying portions of Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Ethiopa, Eritrea and Somalia

The boundaries of the Sahara are the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea on the north, the Red Sea and Egypt on the east, and the Sudan and the valley of the River Niger on the south. Sahara is divided into western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti massif, the Aïr Mountains (a region of desert mountains and high plateaus), Tenere desert and the Libyan desert (the most arid region). The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi (3415 m) in the Tibesti Mountains in northern Chad. Chad The Sahara divides the continent into North and Sub-Saharan Africa. The southern border of the Sahara is marked by a band of semiarid savanna called the Sahel; south of the Sahel lies the lusher Sudan. Humans have lived on the edge of the desert for almost 500,000 years. During the last ice age, the Sahara was a much wetter place, much like East Africa, than it is today. Over 30,000 petroglyphs of river animals such as crocodiles survive in total with half found in the Tassili n'Ajjer in southeast Algeria. Fossils of dinosaurs have also been found here. The modern Sahara, though, is generally devoid of vegetation, except in the Nile Valley and at a few oases and in some scattered mountains and has been this way since about 3000 BC. 2.5 million people live in the Sahara, most of these in Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. Dominant groups of people are the Tuareg-Berber, the Sahrawis, Moors, and different black African ethnicities including the Tubu, the Nubians, the Zaghawas and the Kanuri. The largest city is Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital. Other important cities are Tamanrasset, Algeria; Timbuktu, Mali; Agadez, Niger; Ghat, Libya; and Faya, Chad.

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
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