Geography of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Geography of Western Sahara
Continent Africa
Region North Africa
Coordinates 24°30′N 13°00′W / 24.500°N 13.000°W / 24.500; -13.000Coordinates: 24°30′N 13°00′W / 24.500°N 13.000°W / 24.500; -13.000

Area Ranked 78th
266,000 km2
Coastline 1,110 km
Borders 2,046 km
(Algeria 42 km, Mauritania 1,561 km, Morocco 443 km)
Highest point unnamed elevation
805 m
Lowest point Sebjet Tah, -55 m

Western Sahara is a territory in Northern Africa, bordered by the North Atlantic Ocean, Morocco proper, Algeria (Tindouf region), and Mauritania. Geographic coordinates: 24°30′N 13°00′W / 24.500°N 13.000°W / 24.500; -13.000


Total: 266,060 km², about the size of Colorado

land: 266,000 km²
water: 0 km²

The peninsula in the extreme southwest, with the city of Lagouira, is called Ras Nouadhibou, Cap Blanc, or Cabo Blanco. The eastern side is part of Mauritania.

Maritime claims: contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue



The terrain is mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast.

Elevation extremes:

Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: unnamed location 805 m

Natural resources

phosphates, iron ore, fishing resources on Atlantic Ocean coast

Land use

Arable land: 0.02%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.98% (2005)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Natural hazards

Hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility. Flash flooding occurs during spring months.



Hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew.

Current issues

sparse water and lack of arable land

Extreme points

This is a list of the extreme points of Western Sahara, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

  • Northern-most points – the border with Morocco*
  • Eastern-most points – the northern section of the border with Mauritania/Algeria**
  • Southernmost point – the southern tip of Ras Nouadhibou/(Cap Blanc)
  • Westernmost point - Cape Dubouchage on Ras Nouadhibou
  • *Note: Western Sahara does not have a northern-most point, the border being formed by a straight horizontal line
  • **Note: Western Sahara does not have an eastern-most point, the border being formed by a straight vertical line

External links


  • Map from the United Nations (PDF)

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