National Parks of Algeria
Algeria, officially known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is the largest country in Africa and is located on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa.
The landscape of Algeria consists of a small coastal area along Mediterranean Sea on its northern border and to the south, high plateaus and the Sahara Desert. Algeria’s coastal plain is narrow and hilly. The Atlas Mountains run from southwestern Morocco through northern Algeria to the eastern edge of Tunisia and separate Algeria’s coastal plain from the vast and barren Sahara Desert found in much of central and southern Algeria. These high plateaus in the north are mainly undulating, steppe-like plains stretching for nearly 400 miles. They rise up approximately 4,000 feet above sea level in the west and drop to around 1,000 feet as you move east. Further south the Sahara Desert covers over 80 percent of Algeria.
The Sahara is the largest desert in the world consisting mainly of rolling sand dunes, rock-strew plains and sand seas that cover almost one-third of the African continent. There is another high plateau in southeastern Algeria, formed by the Hoggar Mountains (also called “Ahaggar Massif”), that rises up out of the Sahara. This highland region averages around 3,000 feet above sea level and is mainly a rocky desert. The Sahara is almost completely without rainfall, although a few underground rivers flow from the Atlas Mountains and irrigate isolated oases within this great desert. In the Sahara, temperatures are hot year round during the day; however, because air is so clear and there is rapid loss of heat once the sun goes down. As a result, nighttime in the Sahara Desert can be quite chilly.
Algeria has a variety of habitats including coastal plains, mountainous plateaus, grassy steppes, and an arid desert that support a wide range of wildlife. Some of the common animals found in Algeria include species of wild boar (Sus scrofa) , golden jackal (Canis aureus), gazelle (Gazella spp.), Atlas (Addax nasomaculatus), Scimitar Oryx (Oryx dammah), Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia), fennec (Vulpes zerda), weasel (Mustela nivalis), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus), Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus), crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), hare (Lepus spp.), jerboa (Jaculus spp.), and Gerbil (Gerbillus spp.). Algeria has a number of feline species including leopard (Panthera pardus), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), caracal (Caracal caracal), serval (Leptailurus serval), genet (Genetta genetta), sand cat (Felis margarita), and wildcat (Felis silvestris), but these animals are not often seen. There are also a number of reptiles in Algeria, including desert monitor lizard (Varanus griseus), boomslang (Dispholidus typus), cobra (Naja haje), horned desert viper (Cerastes cerastes), and saw-scaled viper ( Echis pyramidum). Algeria also has numerous species of birds (see Birds of Algeria – Checklist).
Algeria has 10 national parks. Three of the most popular national parks are Tassili n’Ajjer National Park, El Kala National Park and Tlemcen National Park. Each of these national parks feature spectacular North African landscapes, as well as, some extraordinary species of wildlife and plants. Many of Algeria’s national parks contain relatively remote archaeological sites, or offer have such sites nearby.
Algerian National Parks
Ahaggar National Park
Located in the Ahaggar Mountains (also called the Hoggar Mountains) in southeastern Algeria. The oasis city of Tamanrasset is the closest town near to this national park. Ahaggar National Park lies in a desert mountainous zone within the Saharan Algeria Region where rainfall is sporadic. The Ahaggar Mountain range consists mainly of jagged volcanic rock. Some of the animals found in the national park include cheetah, Dorcas gazelle and Barbary sheep.
Belezma National Park
The Belezma National Park is located near the town of Batna in the northeastern Algeria. The climate in this national park ranges from cool sub-humid to dry semi-arid. The variety of habitats resulting from this contributes to the park’s biodiversity. There are more than 300 species of animals and over 440 plant species in the Belezma National Park. Some of these animals are various gazelles, including endangered two species – Cuizer’s Gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) and Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas), Atlas (Addax nasomaculatus), Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), serval(Leptailurus serval), and wild cat (Felis silvestris). Bird species found in Belezma National Park include Barbary Partridge (Alectoris Barbara), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Spotted Sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus), Red-necked Nightjar (Caprimulgus ruficollis), Egyptian Nightjar (Caprimulgus aegyptius), Levaillant’s Woodpecker (Picus vaillantii), Desert Lark (Ammomanes deserti), Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans), Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata), Tristram’s Warbler (Sylvia deserticola), Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri), White-tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe leucopyga), Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura), Mourning Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens), Red-rumped Wheatear (Oenanthe moesta), Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica), and Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus).
Chrea National Park
The Chrea National Park contains a forest of ancient Atlas Cedar where a small population of the endangered Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus), sometimes referred to as the Barbary Ape, still exists. The world population of this Old World monkey species, Macaca sylvanus, is declining because of habitat loss making it important to preserve its habitat in the park. Chrea National Park is located in the Blida Province of Algeria and includes the mountainous area of the Blidean Atlas. This park also includes the Chréa skiing station, one of the few in Africa that offers snow skiing, and numerous walking trails that allow park visitors to personal experience the natural beauty of this wonderful national park.
Djurdjura National Park
The Djurdjura National Park a variety of wildlife including hyena (Hyaena hyaena), wild boar (Sus scrofa), crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), hare (Lepus spp.), wild cat (Felis silvestris), jackal (Canis aureus), weasel (Mustela nivalis), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus), black vulture, booted eagle, long-legged buzzard, kestrel, golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and peregrine falcon.
El Kala National Park
Gouraya National Park
The Gouraya National Park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve containing Gouraya Mountain and the surrounding ocean waters. The park’s marine ecosystem protects a number of marine mammals including the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus), the Short-Beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the Harbor Porpoise(Phocoena phocoena) and the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The Gouraya National Park has many species of terrestrial wildlife including Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus), Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus), golden jackal (Canis aureus), and wildcat (Felis silvestris).
Tassili n’Ajjer National Park
Taza National Park
The Taza National Park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve with diversity of wildlife and variety of ecosystems.
Theniet El Had National Park
Theniet El Had National Park – For More Information
Tlemcen National Park
The Tlemcen National Park contains many historic sites and natural features including the spectacular Beni Add Caves; the Ifri, Zariffet and Ain Fezza forests, the Mosques of Sidi Boumedienem, Sidi Bou Ishaq Tayar and Mansourah; and Cascades d’el Ourit, a magnificent waterfall.