The world’s largest desert, the Sahara occupies parts of ten countries in northern Africa and has an approximate area of more than 9,065,000 sq km (3,500,000 sq mi). Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean eastward to the Red Sea, the Sahara covers a varied geographic region, incorporating sandy dunes, rock-strewn plains, mountain ranges, and fertile oases. The Sahara receives less than 127 mm (5 in) of rain a year; some areas remain without rain for many years. (Reference: Microsoft Encarta) Sahara Desert Map