• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    Bahrain
    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    Laos
    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Saudi Arabia

WARNING: Terrorist threats linger in Saudi Arabia, please read this travel warning before going!

Geography

Saudi Geography - Rocks in the desert
Rocks in the desert

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries in the Middle East and it dominates much of the Arabian Peninsula, which is bordered by the Red Sea in the west and the Persian Gulf in the east. Saudi Arabia borders Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait in the north, Yemen and Oman in the south, and the Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the east. The country of Bahrain, an island in the Persian Gulf is also very close to Saudi Arabia and connected by a bridge. Most of Saudi Arabia's western border is on the Red Sea, while a significant portion of its eastern border is with the Persian Gulf.

Saudi Geography - Palm trees on the gulf coast
Palm trees on the gulf coast

Saudi Arabia's western coastline with the Red Sea is fairly mountainous, although dry in much of the range. Further east there is a high plateau running across most of the country north and south; some parts of this plateau are livable, but much of it is sparsely populated. In the far eastern stretches of the country there is little more than sand and desert, including the famed "Empty Quarter" or known to locals as the Rub al Khali.

Weather

Saudi Geography - Red sands in the desert
Red sands in the desert

Saudi Arabia is a fairly large country, but weather extremes from area to area are fairly mild. Almost the entire country is desert, with the exception of the southwest. The greatest variations in the weather patterns come with seasons and regions, as the coastal regions tend to have different tendencies then there are inland. Summers tend to get quite hot throughout the country with internal desert temperatures regularly reaching 120° F (50° C) during the day, but nights falling significantly to the 70s° F (21-26° C). Along the coasts the air is more humid and temperatures rarely get above 100° F (38° C). Winters are only slightly cooler during the day in the desert, while highs along the coast tend to hit about 80° F (27° C). During these months though there is little humidity and with strong winds, evenings can feel cold with average lows of nearly 60° F (16° C) during the winter along the coasts. In the southwest rain is more common and temperatures more temperate throughout the year.

Wildlife

Saudi Wildlife - Arabian horse
Arabian horse

The animal life in Saudi Arabia is very limited due to the desert climate and most of the animals live either off the coast in the seas or in the southwest where there is more greenery. The most notable mammal in the country is the camel, although smaller mammals also exist, like the ibex, goat, hyena, and smaller mammals and rodents. The sea life is primarily limited to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea as these two seas contain incredible sea life and the Red Sea also boasts a number of great corals, which only add to the animal diversity.

Among the birds in Saudi Arabia, most only pass by on their migratory route, but the number of birds on this migratory route is incredibly large. Among the most common birds are flamingos, pelicans, pigeons, and buzzards. There are few amphibians in the country, but a number of reptiles, including lizards and snakes.

This page was last updated: November, 2013