Frequency distributions of more than 300 14C groundwater ages from various regions in northern and southern Sahara reflect the alternating sequence of humid and arid periods in the Sahara during the Holocene and late Pleistocene. A broad frequency maximum between 20,000 and 50,000 years bp indicates a long humid period. During this time span, the northern Sahara received rain from the Western Drift, which is concluded from a west-east decrease of deuterium and oxygen 18 of these groundwaters (continental effect). In the time-slice between 14,000 and 20,000 years bp, groundwater formation was significantly lower due to a cool and (semi-)arid period. In the Holocene, the Saharian climate is characterized by a sequence of dry and wet periods.