• The South Algerian Sahara

The Algerian Sahara is a desert located in southern Algeria. It is anything but a sand desert.

The Algerian Sahara is characterized by a high mountain, of which its altitude reaches 3000 meters, the Hoggar, a volcanic mountain range. Before turning into a desert, this desert was a green area, it was covered with lakes dried up nowadays. You may find salty soil containing clay. The Algerian Sahara provides shelter for specific plants such as acacias, tamarisks, the thora thora but also for animals such as gazelles, donkeys, sheep, gerbils, rabbits, birds ... and a large number of insects.

The Algerian Sahara offers contrasting landscapes: besides vast areas of sand dunes, there are large plains of stones, vast plateaus, very high mountains. (Ergs, regs, hamadas, wadis, oases, ...).

Some explanations:

  • Erg: sand desert.
  • Reg: is the most common type of desert, shaped by big rounded stones and gravel. They are considered inhospitable areas; only very few species manage to survive here (Tanezrouft).
  • Hamadas: are large banks of limestone and sand of a height of a few hundred meters, highly eroded. The highest hamadas are called tassili and can reach up to 2000 meters. Arisen from erosion of sandstone plateaus by sand and wind, the tassili have the most beautiful desert shapes. (Main Tassili areas: Hoggar, Ajjers ...).
  • Wadis: are almost always dry beds of rivers and streams. Their formation dates back to a time when the Sahara was not a desert.
  • Gueltas: are deep and permanent wells where fish, frogs and shellfish live.
  • Sabkhas: are large basins of salty soils; residues of ancient dried lakes.


More information on typology (in French)