Hottest places in Africa

desert town

Kebili ©archer10 (Dennis)/Flickr

Unlike Europe, North America or Asia, which all get their fair share of frost and snow, Africa is mostly warm, and in many places it can get places hellish hot. The Sahara Desert, the largest desert in the world, spreads over a huge chunk of the African continent: there are hundreds of miles where all you can encounter are sand dunes. The desert can get extremely hot during the day, with temperatures often reaching over 50 degrees centigrade. But this is not the only place in Africa where one can experience such extreme temperatures – here’s a list of the hottest places in Africa:

Libya

Like many countries in Northern Africa, Libya’s territory consists mainly of sand dunes. As you travel south through Libya, the landscape becomes more and more arid, and you get closer and closer to the heart of Sahara Desert. There are places in this part of Libya that haven’t seen a drop of rain in years, and they often become so hot that the air is hardly breathable.

fine sands

desert drive ©Space & Light/Flickr

A desert town like Gadamis will sometimes experience temperatures of 55 degrees Celsius. But it is the coastal city of Al Azizia where the hottest temperature in Africa was ever recorded: an incredible 57.8°C! And there were no air conditioners back then….

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is another hot African country. Although Ethiopia has plenty of seaside, its inland areas can be quite arid. Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is not only an extremely arid place, but also a volcanic area.

volcano crater

Danakil volcano ©filippo_jean/Flickr

And if hot, dry air and toxic volcanic emanations are not enough to scare you, let me just mention the the average temperature around here in summer is of 48 degrees centigrade. Danakil Depression is not the kind of place where one would like to spend their summer vacation, but despite the obvious unfavorable conditions, there is still human activity in the area.

Tunisia

Tunisia is a relatively small North African country and former French colony, tucked between much larger  neighbors: Algeria and Libya. Although Tunisia occupies only a tiny part of the Sahara desert, it doesn’t stop it from being one of the hottest places in Africa.

desert town

Kebili ©archer10 (Dennis)/Flickr

Thus, the Kebili Oasis holds the record for the highest temperature in the country,  55ºC. And this is only in the 20th century, when temperatures started to be officially recorded – who knows how hot this place used to get in the ancient times of the Roman colonization?

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