INFORMATION ON TUNISIA

 

Tunisia, the smallest of the Maghreb states, is located north of the African continent. It is separated from Europe by a distance of 140 kilometers at the level of the Sicily canal.

 

With an area of ​​163,610 km², the country is bounded to the west by Algeria with 965 km of common border, to the south-east by Libya with 459 km of border and to the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea with 1,298 km of coastline.

 

The Sahara Desert occupies an area between 33% and 40% of the territory depending on whether it is defined according to its aridity or according to landscape characteristics. The area of ​​agricultural land is estimated at ten million hectares, divided into five million arable lands, four million natural routes and one million forests and scrublands.

 

Tunisia has a contrasting relief with a northern and western mountainous part, the Tunisian ridge, located in the extension of the Atlas mountain range; it is cut by the plain of Medjerda, the only river in the country that is continuously supplied.

 

The highest point in the territory is Djebel Chambi, which rises to 1,544 meters. To the east, a plain stretches between Hammamet and Ben Gardane, via the Tunisian Sahel and the Djeffara.

 

The southern part of the country, mainly desert, is divided between a succession of chotts (Chott el-Gharsa, Chott el-Jérid and Chott el-Fejaj), rocky plateaus and the dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental.

 

The coastline dotted with tombolos and lagoons stretches over 1,298 kilometers, of which 575 are sandy beaches. Some islands including the Kerkennah and Djerba dot the coastline.

 

The climate of Tunisia is divided into seven bioclimatic zones, the big difference between the north and the rest of the country being due to the chain of the Tunisian ridge which separates the zones subjected to the Mediterranean climate from those subjected to the typical desert and hot climate of the Sahara, the largest warm desert on the globe.

In between, we find the warm semi-arid climate with characteristics common to the country's two main climatic regimes.

 

Due to its geographical location, the Tunisian climate is influenced by various types of winds: the north coast is exposed to mild and humid sea winds blowing from the south of France, which causes a significant drop in temperatures and an increase in precipitation , and the south of the country with hot and dry continental winds, such as the sirocco blowing over large desert areas and the plains, causing a brutal rise in temperatures and a marked drying up of the atmosphere.

 

The country also benefits from a significant rate of sunshine exceeding 3,000 hours per year and which reaches peaks in the desert south, near the Algerian and Libyan borders.

The temperatures vary according to the latitude, the altitude and the proximity or the distance from the Mediterranean Sea.

 

While it can be a few degrees below 0 ° C in the Kroumirie mountains in winter, the maximum temperature often rises to around 50 ° C in desert regions in summer.

 

Average annual rainfall also varies by region: from about 1,000 millimeters in the north to about 380 mm in the center and up to less than 50 mm in the far south.

 

Djerba, sometimes spelled Jerba, is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located east of the eastern Tunisian coast. Largest island on the coasts of North Africa, located south-east of the Gulf of Gabès which it borders by its eastern and northern coasts, Djerba closes the Gulf of Boughrara to the south.

The main cities are Houmt Souk and Midoum.

 

Formerly called Gerbi or Zerbi, Ulysses would have crossed it, the Carthaginians founded several trading posts there, the Romans built several cities there and developed agriculture and the port trade there.

 

Passed successively under vandal, Byzantine and then Arab domination, Djerba has become since the 1960s a popular tourist destination. It remains marked both by the persistence of one of the last Tunisian Berber languages, the adherence to Ibadism of a part of its Muslim population and the presence of a large Jewish community whose tradition traces the coming to the destruction of the Temple of Solomon.

The island is connected to the mainland, to the southwest by a ferry that leads from Ajim to Jorf and to the southeast by a seven-kilometer route, the first construction of which dates back to the end of the 3rd century BC. AD, between the locality of El Kantara and the Zarzis peninsula.

 

The climate of Djerba is of Mediterranean type but with semi-arid tendency because it is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and Saharan air masses. The average annual temperature is 19.8 ° C, the monthly averages hardly exceeding 30 ° C nor falling below 8 ° C.

In summer, the maximum average reaches 32.7 ° C but the heat is attenuated by the sea breeze, while in winter, the monthly averages are above 12 ° C.

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