Eastern Desert

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.[1][2] 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.[3][4][5]

Eastern Desert
Arabische Wüste Satellit.jpg
The Nile River and the Eastern Desert
Area223,000 km2 (86,000 sq mi)
CountriesEgypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia
Oceans or seasRed Sea (Eastern border)
RiversNile River (Western border)
Climate typearid


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.[6] 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).[2] 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.[7]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hobbs, Joseph J. (2007). Egypt. New York: Chelsea House. p. 26.
  2. ^ a b Zahran, M. A.; Willis, A. J. (2009). The Vegetation of Egypt. Berlin: Springer. p. 101.
  3. ^ Bard, Kathryn A. (2005). Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. Routledge. p. 46. ISBN 1134665245. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  4. ^ Flora Aegyptiaca, Volume 1, Issue 1. Palm Press. 2000. p. 5. ISBN 9775089344. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  5. ^ Rawlinson, George. The History of Herodotus. p. 9.
  6. ^ "Bibliography", The History of the Peoples of the Eastern Desert, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, pp. 445–484, 2012-12-31, ISBN 978-1-938770-58-6, retrieved 2021-04-26
  7. ^ "Eastern Desert | desert, Egypt". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-04-26.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 27°18′N 32°36′E / 27.300°N 32.600°E / 27.300; 32.600