Michael Palin continues his series of epic journeys, this time crossing the Sahara - an environment as alien and hostile as any on earth. But instead of emptiness, the Sahara reveals a vast range of peoples, cultures and landscapes with a rich and unique history. The journey begins in Morocco, where Michael must traverse nature's gateway to the Sahara - the beautiful Atlas mountains. Slowly, the mountains give way to the arid Sahara and its thousands of miles of sand, stone, ferocious winds and vast dust storms that sting the face and blind the eyes. From the disputed territory of Western Sahara, through Mauritania on a two kilometre long iron ore train, he makes for Senegal and its old French colonial towns. After paying a visit to Goree Island, from where millions of slaves were sold and sent on to Europe and America, it's on to Mali and a chance to meet the Dogon - a people with a view of the world so unique that it can be tricky to grasp, especially when eating lunch in midday temperatures of I34°F. In preference to a three month wait for the ferry to Timbuktu, a local cargo boat becomes home for the journey up the Niger River. From Niger, Michael heads north over the Hoggar Mountains through the rich gas and oil fields of Algeria and on into Libya, where we have the rare chance to experience a culture long closed to outsiders. His final stop is Tunisia, a country familiar to Michael having been the location for Monty Python's The Life of Brian.