Tamegroute, Morocco
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Tamegroute

 

Photo by Dominique Ganteille, courtesy of A lovely world

The Moroccan village or ksar known as Tamegroute (also spelled Tamgrout) may be difficult to reach yet it is well worth the journey. This fortified mudbrick labyrinth on the edge of the Moroccan Sahara was for centuries an important center for religion and education. Walk passageways, both above and underground. Visit the Zaouia Naciri, built by the Naciri Sufi brotherhood and home to a marabout or holy tomb, religious institute for boys, and Koranic library. Tour medieval potteries. And if you are here to marvel at the Sahara, travel 5 km to the sand dunes at Tinfou or trek the last stretch of road 78 km to M'hamid.
Desertification of the Sahara
Sand Sune, Great Sand Sea

Sand Sune, Great Sand Sea

Alfredo De Simone

 
Believe it or not the Sahara Desert was once a savannah. It was covered with rivers and trees. And it was home to many animal species including the elephant, lion and giraffe. So how did the green land turn brown? Climate change. But it didn't happen overnight and, unlike global warming, it isn't attributable to man. German scientists think that the desertification of the Sahara was set into motion by a tiny shift in Earth's orbit roughly 9,000 years ago. This shift changed the point of Earth's orbit closest to the sun and caused the weather to change. It increased the number of hot sunny months and reduced the amount of rain in North Africa.
 
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