The sand dunes were turned into snow-covered hills
© Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson
The sand dunes were turned into snow-covered hills
Photographers have taken incredible pictures this morning of ONE METRE deep snow covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra

These bizarre scenes from the Sahara Desert show locals sledging down sand dunes after the heaviest snowfall in living memory.

Photographers have taken incredible pictures this morning of ONE METRE deep snow covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra.

The town saw a sprinkling of snow just before Christmas, when a few flakes settled on the red sand dunes of the world's hottest desert for the first time in 37 years.


People sledging in the Sahara Desert
© Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson
People sledging in the Sahara Desert

But today the snow has been falling steadily and is now waist deep in some parts of Ain Sefra, which is known as "The Gateway to the Desert."

The snow has caused chaos in the town, with passengers stranded on buses after the roads became slippery and icy.

Children are making the most of the rare snow storm and are building SNOWMEN in the desert town and SLEDGING down the sand dunes.

Photographer Sekkouri Kamel, 38, said: "It started snowing at around 1.30am this morning and is now one metre deep in some places. It's absolutely incredible to have so much snow.

The whole area had a peppering of snow
© Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson
The whole area had a peppering of snow

The freak weather has totally changed the look of the place

The freak weather has totally changed the look of the place
Apart from the sprinkling before Christmas, snow was last seen in Ain Sefra on February 18, 1979, when the snow storm lasted just half an hour.

The Sahara Desert covers most of Northern Africa and it has gone through shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years.

Although the Sahara is very dry today, it is expected to become green again in about 15000 years.

It comes after expats who thought they had left behind the cold British winter and moved to Spain were in for a shock this week when Majorca and Benidorm were covered in a blanket of snow .

Brits who have retired to sunnier climes were greeted by the first snow in years with temperatures on the island of Majorca dipping to -2C.

Roads in the small Majorcan village of Valldemossa ground to a halt while on the mainland in Benidorm temperatures dipped below zero despite the average for January normally expected to be a balmy 17C.

Beaches, pools and promenades were covered with a layer of snow as temperatures dipped down to just 7C in the Costa Blanca.