Geography of Western Sahara – The Ultimate Free Guide 2021

Learn facts and Geography of Western Sahara including Major Geographical Features, Natural resources, Region, area, Capital, Border countries, rivers in Western Sahara.

  • Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa.
  • 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, while the remaining 80% of the territory is occupied and administered by neighboring Morocco.
  • It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands.
  • The population is estimated at just over 500,000, of which nearly 40% live in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.
  • It is the most populous territory on that list, and by far the largest in area. In 1965, the United Nations General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Western Sahara, asking Spain to decolonize the territory.
  • Western Sahara is located on the northwest coast in West Africa and on the cusp of North Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, Morocco proper to the north-northeast, Algeria to the east-northeast, and Mauritania to the east and south.
  • Among the most arid and inhospitable on the planet, the land along the coast is low flat desert and rises, especially in the north, to small mountains reaching up to 600 meters (2,000 ft) on the eastern side.

Geography of Western Sahara

Geography of western Sahara
Figure: Geography of western Sahara


North Africa


Ranked 78th





Bordering Countries:

Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania.

Total Size:


Geographical Coordinates:

24°30′N 13°00′W

World Region or Continent:


General Terrain:

The terrain is mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast.

Geographical Low Point:

Sebjet Tah, −55 metres.

Geographical High Point:

unnamed elevation: 701 metres.


  • Western Sahara has a hot desert climate.
  • Annual average rainfall is below 50 millimeters (2.0 in) everywhere.
  • Atlantic coast, averages high and low temperatures are constant and very moderated throughout the year because cool offshore ocean currents considerably cool off the climate, especially during the day.

Major cities:

  • Cape Bojador
  • Haouza
  • Bir Gandus

Major Land forms:

  • Dunes – Dunes are hills made of sand. Some dunes in the Sahara can reach over 500 feet tall.
  • Ergs – Ergs are large areas of sand. They are sometimes called sand seas.
  • Regs – regs are flat plains that are covered with sand and hard gravel.
  • Hamadas – Hamadas are hard and barren rocky plateaus.
  • Salt Flats – A flat area of land covered with sand, gravel, and salt.

Major Rivers and Lakes:

Major Rivers:

  • Saquia al Hamra
  • Oued el Khatt (Uad el Jat)
  • Oued Tigsert
  • Oued Lejcheibi
  • Oued Terguet
  • Oued Gaddar Talhu
  • Oued Dirt
  • Oued Assaq (Uad Assag)
  • Khatt Atui

Major Lakes:

  • Lakes of Ounianga are a series of lakes in the Sahara Desert, in North-Eastern Chad, occupying a basin in the mountains of West Tibesti and Ennedi East.

Natural Resources:

  • Phosphates, iron ore, and fishing resources on Atlantic Ocean coast

Major Geographical Features:

Biomes & Ecosystems:

Deserts and xeric shrublands.


  • The principal topographical features of the Sahara include shallow, seasonally inundated basins (chotts and dayas) and large oasis depressions; extensive gravel-covered plains (serirs or regs); rock-strewn plateaus (hammadas); abrupt mountains; and sand sheets, dunes, and sand seas (ergs).


Atlantic Ocean

Mountain Ranges:

  • The Sahara can be divided into several regions, including the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, and the Libyan Desert.

See Also:

World Map – The Ultimate Free Guide


Naveed Tawargeri

Hi, I'm Naveed Tawargeri, and I'm the owner and creator of this blog. I'm a Software Developer with a passion for Programming. 

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