Climate of Western Sahara
Western Sahara is an area in western Africa that is not a country but a disputed territory. After being a colony of Spain for nearly a century, Morocco took control of the area in 1975. Morocco therefore sees Western Sahara as the southern province(s) of the country of Morocco. A second party claiming that this territory belongs to them is the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (ADRS). This republic is recognized by several dozen countries. In fact, they control the eastern part of the area.
Western Sahara is one of the most arid and inhospitable areas on Earth. There is a warm desert climate, with moderate temperatures along the coast due to relatively cool seawater, which means that serious heat in the coastal areas is rare.
Hot and dry
Precipitation is relatively rare in Western Sahara. In the southern regions, rain sometimes falls, but in the arid north the number of precipitation days is limited to 5 to 20 days per year, in which there is only about twenty to one hundred millimeters of rain per year. The dry climate is accompanied by sometimes quite high temperatures inland. The dry heat ensures that the landscape mainly consists of sand and rocks. Moisture can occur along the coast due to fog drifting into the land from the sea.
An annoying natural phenomenon in Western Sahara is the sirocco, which blows hot and dry air into the area that is full of sand and dust. This wind from the Sahara severely restricts visibility, irritates the airways and makes it very unpleasant when this wind blows. The name for the sirocco that reigns here is harmattan.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month|
Best time to visit Western Sahara
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Western Sahara? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Western Sahara is a disputed territory in the northwest of the African continent. Both Morocco and the Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara lay claim to this area of more than a quarter of a million square kilometers. If you would like to travel to Western Sahara, you will have to deal with one of the driest areas in the world. There is a maximum of about 50 millimeters of rain per year. That is less than there is in an average month in the Netherlands. The dry conditions, together with fairly high temperatures, ensure that there is a warm desert climate.
If you want to travel to Western Sahara, you have to take the temperatures into account. In the summer it can get quite hot inland. Think of temperatures of 35 to 40 degrees during the day or even higher. On the coast, the climate is a lot milder. The maximum temperatures in summer are on average around 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. The best time to travel to Western Sahara is from November to April if you also want to visit the interior.
Do you want to enjoy sun, sea and sand in Western Sahara? Then we would like to indicate another period as the best travel time, namely summer. From May to September it is wonderful to stay in the coastal areas of Western Sahara. During the day, temperatures are often above the summer limit of 25 degrees Celsius, while the number of really hot days is limited in the coastal regions. The sun is out in full force and there is rarely any rain in the summer. What you have to take into account is that the seawater along the coast of Western Sahara is relatively cold due to the cool sea current that is present here. The average sea water temperature in summer is between 20 and 22 degrees. In the southern coastal areas, the sea is slightly warmer. There the sea water temperature peaks with an average of 24 degrees in August and September.
If you want to travel to Western Sahara, it is advisable to view the current travel advice. The conflict situation between Morocco and the ADRS can create security risks. The border areas with Mauritania and Algeria can be dangerous for tourists.