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7 Most Amazing Deserts Around the World

By Samantha Scott
August 10, 2017

You enter the desert - vast stretches of seemingly monotonous landscape soon reveals nuances and beauty. Warm breezes, expansive sky, and the sounds of the wildlife that makes this environment their home.

Thousands of desert dwellers who have grown used to the harsh conditions seem to posses a mystery only revealed to those who travel there.

Deserts are frontiers that have been traversed by explorers and nomadic peoples for centuries. The vast open space provides visitors a sense of serenity and solitude. Upon arrival, travelers are provided with an authentic outdoor adventure and offered endless opportunities for discovery.

Commonly defined by their climate and lack of annual rainfall, deserts are divided into four categories: coastal, sub-tropical, polar and cold. The subtropical desert regions makes up the majority of the deserts in the world.

Each sub-region is tremendously diverse, with temperatures ranging from extremely hot to frigid. The hottest region, subtropical, is responsible for the majority of deserts in the world, whereas the coldest region, polar, is responsible for the least.

Tours to explore the world’s deserts have become a lot more common for travelers. Check out all the desert tours we have on Stride! If you're not quite ready to choose, see our top 7 list below for top tips and destinations.

In celebration of the world's most beautiful and mysterious deserts, here are our Top 7 Most Amazing Deserts to Visit in the World:

1. The Sahara Desert

Sahara desert camel ride

Often known as “The Great Desert”, the Sahara is the third largest desert in the world, equivalent to the size of the United States. Stretching from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, the Sahara Desert covers 7 countries and encompasses much of the land in North Africa. Every day and night spent in the Sahara Desert is astoundingly beautiful. The landscape is unique and yet also classic, with enormous sand dunes, wells and dry oases.

Family Sahara tour with IntrepidSahara Family Holiday with Intrepid

2. The Namib Desert

Dunes of the Namib Desert, Africa

Extending along the Atlantic Coasts of Namibia, Angola and Southern Africa for about 1,200 mi, the Namib Desert is the oldest and one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. The Namib is home to a diverse group of animal and plants species, some which don’t exist anywhere else in the world. A trip to this desert is perfect for history buffs - the Namib contains a lot of evidence of humans living through time expanding back to the early stone age era.

Namib Desert Namib Lodge Safari with Explore!

3. The Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert in Chile

Located in northern Chile between two mountain chains (the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range), the Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. The average rainfall in the Atacama is about 1 mm per year, with some locations that have never experienced any rainfall.

With more than 300 days of clear skies in the year, the Atacama provides an incomparable stargazing experience. You can see thousands of stars and even make out the milky way with the naked eye.

Fun Fact: the Atacama Desert’s unique geography makes it a perfect filming location. Movies such as Motorcycle Diaries (2004), and Spy Kids (2001) were filmed among the breath-taking landscapes.


4. Kalahari Desert

Kalahari Desert

Southern Africa is home to the great Kalahari Desert, extending around 360,000 square miles, covering nearly all of Botswana.

Kalahari originates from the native word ‘waterless place’. This definition is deceiving though! The Kalahari Desert receives more rainfall than a typical desert, with an annual average ranging between 5 and 10 inches of precipitation. The desert is part of the 970,000-square-mile Kalahari Basin, which includes wet areas such as the Okavango River Delta.

kalahariClassic Kalahari Safari with Classic Africa

5. Antarctic Desert

Penguins on Antarctic desert

This might be surprising to some, but the cold tundra of Antarctica is actually considered a desert. In fact, it is classified as the largest desert in the world, a result of such little moisture falling from the sky. Antarctica obtains an average of only two inches of precipitation annually.

Unlike most other deserts, however, Antarctica contains 90 percent of all of the ice on the planet - covering an area around half the size of the United States. Smaller organisms, such as algae and bacteria, and larger mammals including penguins and seals can be found in Antarctica.

antarctica Antarctic Classic with G Adventures

6. Gobi Desert

Gobi Desert in Mongolia

Although it is only the fifth largest desert in the world, the Gobi is the largest arid region in Asia. The desert covers parts of northern and northwestern China and southern Mongolia. Visitors hike and ride camels through the iconic sand dunes, learning about this area’s local plants and wildlife.

The Gobi Desert is full of rich history, home to many fossil discoveries, including the first fossilized dinosaur egg ever discovered. It was also the home of the great Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous Empire in history, during the 3th and 14th centuries.

Gobi DesertLand of the Great Khan 

7. Arctic Desert

Arctic Desert

When people talk about the Arctic, the word desert doesn’t usually come to mind. Many wonder how a desert can have an ocean. However, Arctic temperatures are so low that the ocean is frozen. The air is as dry as it would be in any other desert. Thus, the Arctic is identified as a desert. Embrace your inner Eskimo discovering unique human cultures and wildlife like arctic foxes and walruses!

Arctic Realm of the Polar Bear - Expedition with Explore!


Ready to embark on your own journey to explore the depths of the world's jungles? Search here to find your perfect trip: 

 
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Comments
By John Kumar
August 18, 2017 at 10:40 PM
I have read your article and I like deserts list with tour packages links.
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