Algeria Discovery Guide

Overview

The Silent Jewel of the African Continent

Algeria is one of the biggest countries in the African continent and the eleventh largest in the world. It is bordered by Niger (South-East), Tunisia (North-East), Mali and Mauritania (South-West), Libya (East) and the Mediterranean Sea (North). The country has an approximate population of almost 40 million, making it one of the most populous nations in Africa. The capital of the nation is Algiers. Algeria was one of the French colonies in the continent. It became independent only in 1962 when the National Liberation Front campaigned for its independence through guerilla campaign beginning in 1954. Then-French president Charles de Gaulle resented to the weight of things, granting independence to Algeria.

The Diverse Landscape and Climate

Algeria’s topography has a very huge bearing on the climate. The coastal areas are hilly, allowing very few natural harbors. Nonetheless, Algeria possesses several great port cities such as Oran. Just like neighboring Tunisia, Algeria is also covered by the Atlas mountain range. The south of the country is dominated by the Sahara desert’s western fringe. In between the northern coastal areas and the arid region to the south are plains and valleys that are very suitable for agriculture. The climate is also varied. In the southern region, it can be uncomfortably hot in daytime but becomes unbearably cold at nighttime.

The Interesting Economy

Unlike most African nations, despite a part of the country being on the fringes of the Sahara desert, the entire country is noted for the productivity of its soil: a marked contrast especially if compared with other countries in the Saharan belt. For this reason, agriculture is a major source of livelihood for Algerians, accounting for 25 percent of the population being employed in that sector. Oil production is another major source of revenue, accounting for over 90 percent of export earnings.

The UNESCO Heritage and Tourist Sites

When traveling to Algeria, one will get a taste of a happy mix of European, particularly French influence, along with Arabic and Islamic cultures. Moreover, there are also a number of popular tourist attractions in Algeria, to wit:

The ruins of Roman buildings in Timgad at the northeastern part of the country. This is all that’s left of the traces of the Roman empire that easily spread into Algeria.
The Hanging Bridge of Constantine. There may not be that many hanging bridges in the world, but in Constantine, a hanging bridge spans across a part of the sea that is absolutely a picturesque beauty.

UNESCO heritage sites such as Tipasa, which was formerly a part of the Phoenician and Roman empires; Djemla, which is a Roman ruin; M’Zab Valley, which features a limestone valley; and Al Qal’a of Ben Hammad, a former capital of the Hammadid empire.


Getting There and Going Around

Access to Algeria is easy. Major airlines fly between European capitals and Algiers on a daily basis. Moreover, because it has access to the Mediterranean, Algeria is on the regular ports of call of most luxury liners and cruise ships roaming around the Mediterranean. The interior is also well provided with roads most of which are in excellent conditions; and with a good number of public transportation units available, going around should be done with ease.

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