Tunisia is a North African country with a total area of 163,610 sq. km and a coastline of 1,148 km on the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Despite its relatively small size that is about the size of the US state of Wisconsin, Tunisia's north-south extent lends it great environmental diversity. The country has a moderate relief.
As observed on the physical map above, the Tunisian Dorsal is a mountain range that runs in a southwest-northeast direction from Tunisia's border with Algeria in the west to the Cape Bon peninsula in the east. This mountain is an extension of the Saharan Atlas Mountains. Further north from the Tunisian Dorsal, the mountains of the Northern Tell (that include the Kroumirie Mountains in the northwest and the Mogods running along the northern coastline) can be found.
In between the Tunisian Dorsal and Northern Tell Mountains lies the Medjerda River valley (shown on the map above). This valley features a series of ancient lake basins and is the country's most fertile grain-producing land. The Medjerda River is the only perennial river in Tunisia and its drains into the Gulf of Tunis.
The High Steppes (in the west) and Low Steppes (in the east) lie to the south of the Tunisian Dorsale. They are cut by mountains running north to south.
As we go further south, there is a series of depressions called chott. Many intermittent rivers flowing through the country end up in these chotts.
Extending inwards from the eastern coastline are large plains called Al-Sāḥil and Al-Jifāra.
Most of the southern part of the country is a sandy desert and much of it is part of the Sahara Desert's Sand Sea, also called the Grand Erg Oriental. Most of the wadis here remain dry all year round and hence, access to water is a major concern here.
Tunisia also has several islands. The Djerba Island marked on the map above is North Africa's largest island. It is located in the Gulf of Gabès.
Mount Chambi (1,544 M) is the highest point in the country. At 17 m below sea level, Chott el Djerid is Tunisia's lowest point.
Tunisia has 24 major administrative divisions called governorates. In alphabetical order, they are as follows: Ariana, Beja (Bajah), Ben Arous (Bin 'Arus), Bizerte (Banzart), Gabes (Qabis), Gafsa (Qafsah), Jendouba (Jundubah), Kairouan (Al Qayrawan), Kasserine (Al Qasrayn), Kebili (Qibili), Kef (Al Kaf), L'Ariana (Aryanah), Mahdia (Al Mahdiyah), Manouba (Manubah), Medenine (Madanin), Monastir (Al Munastir), Nabeul (Nabul), Sfax (Safaqis), Sidi Bouzid (Sidi Bu Zayd), Siliana (Silyanah), Sousse (Susah), Tataouine (Tatawin), Tozeur (Tawzar), Tunis, Zaghouan (Zaghwan).
The governorates are further subdivided into 264 districts called mutamadiyat which are further divided into smaller administrative divisions called shaykhats or municipalities and imadats or sectors.
Tataouine is Tunisia's largest governorate by area and Tunis is the largest one by population but the smallest by area. The capital of this governorate, Tunis, is also the national capital.
Located in the Maghreb region of North Africa, Tunisia hosts the northernmost point in the African continent called Cape Angela. Tunisia is located in the Northern and Eastern Hemisphere of the Earth. It is bordered by only two neighboring nations. Libya bounds Tunisia to the southeast and Algeria to the west and southwest. The country has a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east.
Regional Maps: Map of Africa
|Legal Name||Republic of Tunisia|
|36 48 N, 10 11 E|
|Independence||20 March 1956 (from France)|
|Total Area||163,610 km2|
|Land Area||155,360 km2|
|Water Area||8,250 km2|
|Total Border||1,495 km|
|Bordering Countries||Algeria 1034 km, Libya 461 km|
|Climate||Temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south|
|Coordinates||34 00 N, 9 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||246 m|
|Lowest Elevation||-17 m|
|Shatt al Gharsah|
|Highest Elevation||1,544 m|
|Jebel ech Chambi|
|Ethnic Groups||Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%|
|Languages||Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight)|
|Religions||Muslim (official; Sunni) 99.1%, other (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Baha'i) 1%|
|Currency||Tunisian dinars (TND)|
|GDP Per Capita||$3,317.54|
|Exports||Clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment|
This page was last updated on September 21, 2020