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Sahara Desert Transportation Information

Sahara is the largest desert in the world which is located on the continent of Africa and occupies approximately 10 percent of the African Continent. From north to south the Sahara is between 800 and 1,200 miles and is atleast 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from east to west.

It runs through 11 countries and a part of Africa known as Western Sahara. Sahara covers most of North Africa and on the west, Sahara is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the Red Sea, and to the north are the Atlas Mountains and Mediterranean Sea.

No railway penetrates more than a short distance into the desert, and only a few roads make the crossing from north to south. Trucks and buses are being used increasingly for although the traditional camel caravans are still used. Many goods and passengers are transported by air, and a number of the larger oases have scheduled air service.

To reach Sahara desert, there are three primary routes that can be considered: RN1, which runs from Algiers to Tamanrasset and is by far the most popular (from north to south, it passes through Ghardaia, El Golea and In Salah). RN6, which runs from northeastern Morocco and western Algeria through the western Erg Desert to Mali; and RN3, which goes from Tunisia/Constantine to Djanet and other points southeast.

Many parts of the roads are cemented or hard surfaced, but other parts are mere sand tracks, so check in Algiers to make sure your vehicle is adequate for the journey prior to setting out. It’s best to join an organized and guided tour through Algeria's parts of the Sahara.