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Northern Africa's Sahara Desert in one of the hottest and places on the . Endless plains of sloping sand and whipping winds much of the Sahara. The Sahara is the world's largest desert. It nearly 3,000 miles from east to west and up to 1,200 miles from north to south. It's total land is only a little smaller than the United States. Despite its climate, numerous species of mammals and reptiles call the Sahara home. Over 300 of migratory birds can be found in the Sahara at times.