We've all been glued to our screens watching David Attenborough's latest documentary. Daniela Pontis, Product Manager for Africa and our very own Africa expert talks about it in more detail:
Episode Five - Sahara
As the greatest desert on Earth, with a surface that equals the size of the United States and occupies a third of the African Continent, there is no doubt the Sahara fully deserves its own episode in Attenborough's enthralling Africa series.
Dried lakes, ruined cities, petrified forests and rock carvings featuring graffiti of varied wildlife, are evidence of what life used to be like here before the apocalyptic climatic changes that completely transformed the area.
Many animals that used to live here, such as the macaques, had to seek refuge in the near Atlas Mountains as only a few highly specialised species are able to confront these extreme conditions. Following the epic flight of a swallow across the desert, we meet bizarre subterranean creatures such as the naked mole rats, silver ants moving rapidly in the heat to collect victims of the scorching temperatures and plants that roll across the desert for centuries and can "resurrect" when they find water.
However, my favourite sequence has to be the footage of the shifting dunes, whose movement has been captured for two years and that for first time allows us to see their constant change and activity in sequence, resembling the ocean in a storm.
This immense wilderness "that stretches beyond imagination" has fascinated travellers for many centuries. Just a few hours away from the UK, the Sahara can be the ideal destination for a last minute short break to enjoy its peaceful atmosphere or it can be combined with the cultural highlights of the many countries it encounters such as Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Egypt and Algeria.
If you want to follow the footsteps of David Attenborough, take a look at our inspiring trips to North Africa!
If you missed any of the episodes, you can still watch them on BBC iPlayer. Africa is on BBC1 every Weds at 9pm
Read Daniela's articles:
Episode 1 - The Immense Kalahari
Episode 2 - East Africa
Episode 3 - Congo
Episode 4 - The Cape
Episode 6 - The Future