Tunisia

Driving Directions Tunisia

TUNISIA is a country in North Africa that lies on the south coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Algeria bounds it to the west and Libya to the south. Several islands, notably Djerba and Kerkennah, lie near the shore. Northern Tunisia consists of hills, plains, and valleys. Inland, the foothills of the Atlas Mountains project into the northwestern part of the country, rising from 610-1,520 meters or 2,000-5,000 feet.

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To the south and southeast, the land descends to a region of salt lakes and salt pans (called chotts), some of which lies below sea level. Beyond these are the fringes of the Sahara Desert, occupying two-fifths of the coun­try’s total land area.

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Fertile, cultivatable valleys and plains occur in the north and along the coast, although fluctuations in the water supply regulate output. These regions also support a variety of vegetation, includ­ing woodlands and grasslands, which are inhabited by several wildlife species. Desert animals include rep­tiles such as horned vipers and cobras.

The northern coastal regions have a Mediterranean-type climate of hot summers and mild winters with moderate rainfall. Conditions are much warmer and drier in the south with very little rain in the desert regions. Agriculture produces wheat, barley, olives, grapes, tomatoes, dates, vegetables, and citrus fruits, and a growing I fishing industry provides mainly pilchards, sardines, and tuna.

About 26 percent of the workforce is engaged in these two occupations, but overall there is a general lack of employment. The mainstays of Tunisia’s modern economy are oil from the Sahara, phosphates, natural gas, and tourism on the Mediterranean coast.

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