Explore Algeria in Africa

Algeria
Country Guide

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Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service suggests to reconsider your need to travel to this country. Take this advice seriously - check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Algeria with its capital Algiers is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 2,381,741 square kilometres (slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas) with 33,739,000 citizens. Arabic is the language commonly used by the people in Algeria. Niger, Western Sahara, Libya, Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco and Mali are bordering countries.

Algeria is an Arab and Berber country in North Africa. It has a mediterranean sea coastline in the north. Much of recent Algerian history has been dominated by civil wars and subsequent warlordism. That said, the country is gradually restoring order and will prove an interesting - if difficult - destination. The official language is Arabic. Generally, only the young generations in Algeria can understand some English, but most people are able to communicate in French. As in all of North Africa, the dominant religion in Algeria is Islam. Be respectful. If visiting a mosque, for example, be sure to be dressed conservatively and remove your shoes before entering it.

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Pictures from the Algerian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Algiers is like. We have selected more pictures from Algiers on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism Office

Website: Algeria Tourism

2 Rue Smail Kerrar
16000 Alger
Algeria

Phone: +213 21 71 30 60
Phone: +213 21 71 30 59

The landscape features mostly high plateau and desert with some mountains and narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. The average density of population is about 14 per km². The climate in Algeria can be described as arid to semiarid with mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast, drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau, sirocco being a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer. Potential threats by nature are mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes or mudslides and floods in rainy season.

To reach someone in Algeria dial +213 prior to a number. There are 2,576,000 installed telephones. And there are 32,730,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".dz". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 230V - 50Hz.

Learn more on our Algerian Facts page.

Description of the flag of Algeria

Two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness.

National administrative regions of Algeria

Historical background information

After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent. He was reelected to a second term in 2004 and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009, after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qa'ida to form al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies. Parliamentary elections in May 2012 and municipal and provincial elections in November 2012 saw continued dominance by the FLN, with Islamist opposition parties performing poorly. Political protest activity in the country remained low in 2012, but small, sometimes violent socioeconomic demonstrations by disparate groups continued to be a common occurrence. Parliament in 2013 is expected to revise the constitution.

Learn more on our Algerian Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.