Algeria


Image from KE AdventureTrekking in Algeria's Hoggar Mountains

Geography

Algeria is situated in between Morocco and Tunisia in northern Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa, and more than four-fifths of which is desert. Its Arabic name, Al Jazair (the islands), derives from the name of the capital Algiers (Al Jazair in Arabic), after the small islands formerly found in its harbour. It has a long Mediterranean coastline. The northern portion, an area of mountains, valleys, and plateaus between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert, forms an integral part of the section of North Africa known as the Maghreb. This area includes Morocco, Tunisia, and the northwestern portion of Libya known historically as Tripolitania.

Electric Supply and Plugs

The electicity supply throughout Algeria is 230v, 50Hz. The most common plug sockets found are the type C 'Europlug' with two round pins and the type F 'Shuko' plug which in addition to the two round pins has two erth clips on the outer edge.

Time Zone

The time in Algeria is GMT +1.

Language

The official language of Algeria is Arabic. This is the first language of around 70% of the Algerian population. For around 30% of the population, one of the Berber dialects is their native tongue. In the Hoggar region, the Tuaregs speak a dialect of Berber known as Tamashek. As a result of the country's colonial history, French is the most widely spoken and understood of the European languages. We do recommend that you take a pocket phrase book and learn some basics such as common greetings.

Climate

The Saharan part of southern Algeria can be very hot in the summer months. However, from mid October through to mid April we can expect to find very pleasant temperatures for travelling and trekking. Daytime maximum temperatures are likely to be between 20 and 30 degrees centigrade, dropping to between 0 and 10 degrees centigrade at night, depending on the time of year. This part of the world receives very little rainfall and we can anticipate fine, dry weather. Visit the World Meteorological Organisation to see climate statistics for Algeria.

Currency

The currency of Algeria is Algerian Dinar. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange most of it on the day of your arrival in Tamanrasset. Sterling, US dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Algeria. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure.

Visa Requirements

A passport with at least 6 months validity is required. Visas are required by UK, USA and most EC passport holders. You must check the individual visa requirements for your chosen holiday. The link to detailed visa information for each trip can be found on the trip page.

Vaccinations

You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A'. Malarial prophylaxis is not recommended for this trip. A very good online resource is the National Health Service Travellers website at fitfortravel.nhs.uk

Additional Sources of Information

Books

Lonely Planet - Algeria. Various authors.

Maps

GiziMap: 1:2,500,000

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