Photo report: Ice covers desert town of Ain Sefra — The Gateway to the Sahara, Algeria


Ice has covered deserts around the Algerian town of Ain Sefra — The Gateway to the Sahara — on December 31, 2019. This is the third winter in a row we receive snow or ice reports from this area.

Some of you hardcore watchers will remember Ain Sefra and amazing imagery made by Karim Bouchetata on January 7 and February 5, 2018, when his images and story of a small Algerian desert town covered in snow made international headlines.

Karim has sent us another set of amazing images and a video he took on December 31, 2019. Both rare and amazing…

Snow and ice cover desert town of Ain Sefra, Algeria on December 31, 2019

All images copyright Karim Bouchetata. Used with permission.

 Related articles: 

Snow covers northern Algeria's desert for the second winter in a row

January 8, 2018

Snow covers desert town Ain Sefra for the second time this winter, Algeria​

February 6, 2018

Heavy snowfall blocks multiple major roads in Algeria

November 14, 2019

Before 2018, Ain Sefra saw measurable snow in 2016, 2013 and 1979. To the surprise of many, on February 18, 1979 snow was reported in the country's south, far away from Ain Sefra. It was the first time in living memory that low altitude areas of the Sahara desert recorded snow. Several Saharan mountain ranges, however, receive snow on a more regular basis.

Ain Sefra (Aïn Séfra) is a town and municipality in western Algeria. The region it is located in is known as "The Gateway to the Desert." It is situated in the Saharan Atlas Mountains, 45 km (28 miles) east of the border with Morocco. The town lies in a broad valley between Mount Aïssa and Mount Mekter. 

Featured image credit: Karim Bouchetata


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules.

One Comment

  1. This is a piece which should be either on Discover or National Geographic for more to see.
    Quality photography, unique situation, one-of-a-kind photos and lots of culture here. Few realize it snows in the Sahara Desert now. Karim is recording the changes in weather.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *