Shadows in the Sahara

Sand dunes in the sands of the Sahara, Morocco (Abigail King)

The Sahara, Morocco

The Sahara

The Sahara Desert has a name that lives up to its reputation. Not simply because it sounds rippled and mysterious, but because the very word Sahara derives from the Arabic for…wait for it…desert. My first encounter with the almighty sands came in the form of particles scattered across the windscreens of windswept Britain in the aftermath of the 1987 hurricane.

My second experience, however, took the more traditional route: along the dunes in Morocco.

Clouds over sand dunes in the Sahara

The Sahara: My Second Encounter

Borne along by a scratchy, lurching, cantankerous camel, I rose and fell with a rhythm more suited to a choppy night on the ocean than a daylight trek across ever-so-dry land.

The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world (with Antarctica qualifying, rather bizarrely, as the largest desert in the world with its lowest annual levels of precipitation.)

The Sahara spans 3.6 million square miles and scorches across North Africa from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.

There was no way my camel was going to be able to manage that. Nor my pelvis and sandblasted face. Instead, we trekked for a few days, tried our luck at sand-boarding and took photographs that I hope you’ll enjoy.

Line of camels trekking across a sand dune in the Sahara

Travel by Camel: Slow Progress


Black and white line of camels in the Sahara

Travel by Camel: Uncomfortable Progress


Shadows in the sand of the Sahara

Shadows in the Sand


Footsteps in the sand

Sandboarding – A Little More Speed Required


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24 Responses to Shadows in the Sahara

  1. Jim O'Donnell November 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    I first encountered the Sahara in Morocco too. I was stunned by it. Understand that I’m from the desert SW in the USA and had previously traveled in the Atacama. But there was something magical and powerful about the Sahara that stunned me. I would love to someday right the old salt caravan route down to Timbuktoo and the pilgirmige route to Mecca. Great shots, BTW!!

    • Abi King July 11, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      So interesting to hear that those deserts have so many differences between them. I haven’t seen the US deserts…although I did trek and sandboard in the desert in Peru. To me, the desert is the Sahara but I will obviously have to broaden my horizons!

  2. Hai March 1, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    In Central Vietnam,we have beautiful sand dunes as well.But these photos are amazingly gorgeous.

    • Abi King July 11, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      I never knew that…That’s something for me to check out!

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