The Eastern Desert is the part of the Sahara desert that is located east of the Nile river, between the river and the Red Sea. It extends from Egypt in the north to Eritrea in the south, and also comprises parts of Sudan and Ethiopia. The Eastern Desert is also known as the Red Sea Hills, the Arabian Desert, and the Arabian Mountain Ranges because to the east it is bordered by the Red Sea and because it was originally inhabited by Arabs in Pre-Islamic Egypt, respectively.
|Area||223,000 km2 (86,000 sq mi)|
|Countries||Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia|
|Oceans or seas||Red Sea (Eastern border)|
|Rivers||Nile River (Western border)|
The Eastern Desert's main geographic features are the western Red Sea coastline—with the "Red Sea Riviera"—and the Eastern Desert mountain range that runs along the coast, the highest peak of which is Shaiyb al-Banat (2,187 m). Other notable ecological areas are Wadi Gamal National Park, Gebel Elba and the Wadi Dib ring complex. The Eastern Desert is a popular setting for safaris and other excursions.
The Eastern Desert has an arid/semi-arid/hyper-arid climate. The region usually receives less than 25mm of rainfall per year in infrequent patterns. Most of the rainfall occurs during the winter months and it typically falls around the mountains. The presence of the mountains can create a rain shadow, for the rest of the Desert, contributing to the arid environment.
Average temperatures of the Eastern Desert is between 14 and 21 °C (57 and 70 °F) in winter (November - March) and 23.1 and 46 °C (73.6 and 114.8 °F) in summer (May - September). The weather is typically sunny however, sandstorms can often occur, usually between March and June. The storms (khamsins) are caused by tropical air moving up from Sudan, accompanied by strong winds and an increased temperature. 'Khamsin' comes from the Arabic word meaning fifty, as the storms occur on an average of fifty days in a year.
Early morning with the Eastern Desert mountain range on the horizon
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