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Tunisia: desert, history and archeology

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Tunisia (Al-Jumhūrīya at-Tūnusīya/Republic of Tunisia) is a presidential republic in North Africa. The country is washed in the east and north by the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered to the south-east by Libya, to the south-west and west by Algeria.


The north of the country is characterized by the eastern foothills of the Atlas mountains. The average altitude of the chain is not high, but it is here, where we find the highest mountain of Tunisia: the Djebel Chambi, reaching 1,544 meters. In this area the river Medjerda flows. It is the main river of the country and the only perennial one, which has its source in Algeria and flows into the Gulf of Tunis.

The central belt of the country is made up of a vast plateau with a height of 600 meters, which descends gradually southward towards the chotts, an area about 350 km wide from west to east. Here are located salty lake basins partially under the sea level. The lowest point is the Chott el Gharsa with 17 metres below sea level and the largest is the Chott Djerid with 7,700 sq km.

The south of Tunisia is dominated by the Sahara desert, which alone accounts for 40% of the whole area of the country. The western part of Tunisia is occupied by sand dunes of the Great Eastern Erg. Tunisia presents 1,150 km of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea. Various islands are located along the east coast, including Kerkenna, Kuriate and the island of Djerba, the largest of all Tunisia with 514 sq km.


Thanks to the beauty of the beaches and the many historical and archaeological sites tourism is an important source of income for the country, thus being one of the most popular tourist destinations of North Africa.

The economy is primarily an agricultural one. Cereals, grapes, tomatoes, olives, vegetables, almonds, citrus fruits and dates are grown. You find the breeding of cattle, sheep and goats. Fishing is important, in particular for tuna, sardines and sponges. Among the natural resources phosphate and oil are worth to be mentioned. The handicraft is developed, particularly the manufacture of carpets and the art of silversmiths.

The climate of Tunisia.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 164,150 sq km: arable land 30,3%, pastures 19%, forests and bushland 4,1%, uncultivated and unproductive land 46,6%
  • Population: 11,500,000 (as of 2018): Arabs 98%, Berbers 1,7%. State Capital: Tunis.
  • Official Language: The official language is Arabic. The French language is widespread.
  • Religion: Muslims 98%, Christians 1%, Jews 1%
  • Currency: Tunisian Dinar (TND).
  • Time Zone: UTC+1 hour, in summer UTC+2 hours.

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