General Information

Officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country. Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa since South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011.

Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea.

The varied vegetation of Algeria includes coastal, mountainous and grassy desert-like regions which all support a wide range of wildlife. Many of the creatures comprising the Algerian wildlife live in close proximity to civilization. The most commonly seen animals include the wild boars, jackals, and gazelles, fennecs (foxes), and jerboas. Algeria also has a small African leopard and Saharan cheetah population, but these are seldom seen. A species of deer, the Barbary stag, inhabits the dense humid forests in the north-eastern areas.

A variety of bird species makes the country an attraction for bird watchers. The forests are inhabited by boars and jackals. Barbary macaques are the sole native monkey. Snakes, monitor lizards, and numerous other reptiles can be found living among an array of rodents throughout the semi arid regions of Algeria.

The mountain regions contain large forests of evergreens (Aleppo pine, juniper, and evergreen oak) and some deciduous trees. Fig, eucalyptus, agave, and various palm trees grow in the warmer areas. The grape vine is indigenous to the coast.

In the Sahara region, some oases have palm trees. Acacias with wild olives are the predominant flora in the remainder of the Sahara.Camels are used extensively; the desert also abounds with venomous and nonvenomous snakes, scorpions, and numerous insects.

There are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Algeria including Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad, the first capital of the Hammadid empire; Tipasa, a Phoenician and later Roman town; and Djémila and Timgad, both Roman ruins; M'Zab Valley, a limestone valley containing a large urbanized oasis; and the Casbah of Algiers, an important citadel. The only natural World Heritage Site is the Tassili n'Ajjer, a mountain range.

Despite the dominance of the Berber culture and ethnicity in Algeria, the majority of Algerians identify with an Arabic-based identity, especially after the Arab nationalism rising in the 20th century. Berbers and Berber-speaking Algerians are divided into many groups with varying languages.  

Algerian cuisine is rich and diverse. The country was considered as the "granary of Rome". It offers a component of dishes and varied dishes, depending on the region and according to the seasons. The cuisine uses cereals as the main products, since they are always produced with abundance in the country. There is not a dish where cereals are not present.

Algerian cuisine varies from one region to another, according to seasonal vegetables. It can be prepared using meat, fish and vegetables. Among the dishes known, couscous, chorba, Couscous, Rechta, Chakhchoukha, Berkoukes, Shakshouka, Mthewem, Chtitha, Mderbel, Dolma, Brik or Bourek, Garantita, Lham'hlou, etc. Merguez sausage is widely used in Algeria, but it differs, depending on the region and on the added spices.