Where can I find information about the Sahara?

Image: Desert at daytime by Savvas Kalimeris on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 25/06/21


The Sahara in North Africa is the largest desert in the world. It is 9 million square km, and contains a part of Western Sahara, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Chad, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan. During the day the sand can reach up to 77C or more, but once the sun sets the temperature can drop as much as 28C. In winter the temperature can be cold enough so that ice forms at night.

EPIC Resources

EPIC is a collection of online resources that have been put together especially for New Zealand school students. The resources below have lots of information about the Sahara.

Britannica School Middle

This EPIC site has good articles, images, and videos on the Sahara.

  • Enter 'Sahara' into the search box.
  • The article Sahara has lots of information about the desert, how people live there, and what it was like in past.
  • You can change the Reading Level at the top to get more or less information.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Elementary (Gale in Context)

This site has information on many subjects including animals, arts, geography, and technology.

  • Enter 'Sahara Desert' into the search box.
  • Choose the article Sahara Desert (Africa).
  • You can choose to read the quick facts, or select keep reading to read the complete article.
  • This article links to pictures, book articles, magazines, news, and a map of the Sahara Desert if you want more information.

National Geographic Kids

This EPIC site has a huge range of articles, videos, and images from the National Geographic Kids magazine. It also has e-books.

Facts and Pictures

There are several good websites with facts and pictures of the Sahara. Here are some of our favourites.


FactMonster is an online encyclopedia and homework site. It has lots of basic facts and is a good starting point for all sorts of questions. If you scroll down to the bottom of the site, you will see it’s run by Pearson Education, a publisher of educational books.

  • Enter 'Sahara' into the search box.
  • The article Sahara has lots of facts which are separated into different sections.
  • Choose the topic you want to know more about eg climate, water and other resources, people, or history.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

National Geographic Education

National Geographic is known for its magazine. This section of the National Geographic website is to teach kids about the world and how it works. It has photos of the Sahara.

  • Enter 'Sahara' into the search box.
  • The photograph Sahara Dust Layer shows dust sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The article Not all Deserts Are Sandy has a photo of some of the plant life in the desert, and some interesting facts.
Tips: You may see a message about cookies on this website. Cookies are a kind of data collector that is used by some websites to collect information about their users.

Science Kids Country Facts

This New Zealand site has fun, quick facts on a selection of countries.

Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

Articles & videos

These sites have articles and videos about the Sahara.

National Geographic Education

This site also has information about the Sahara ecosystem. An area where plants, animals, and other organisms , work together with the weather and landscape to survive. When different ecosystems connect it is called a biome.

  • Enter 'Sahara' into the search box.
  • The article Ecosystem has information about the different kinds of ecosystems within the Sahara.

Exploring Nature

This site is an online science educational resource. Some parts of the site are only available to subscribers, who can also view it without ads.

  • Enter 'Sahara' into the search box.
  • The article Sahara Desert of Africa has a map, and information about how the animals that live there have adapted to survive the heat.
  • It also lists plants that can be found there.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.

Kahn Academy

This is a free to use site filled with educational videos on a range of topics. To browse, use the search feature or select 'Courses' at the top of the page. Khan Academy does not work in Internet Explorer.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.


There are lots of books about the Sahara, or about deserts that include articles or chapters about the Sahara. Check with your school or local public library to see what they have.

Here are some recommended titles:

SCIS no: 5368748

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