Welcome to the other side of the Mediterranean!
These North African countries welcome you, stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco on the west coast all the way to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Visited by every empire and/or European (as well as Arabian) civilization you can think of, this world region is brimming with tradition and history.
To survive in North Africa, you have to accept the desert as your master, and then overcome it! Scientists say that at some point in the past, a long, long time ago, the are used to be wet and green. But not these days, it’s as dry as they come.
What is considered North Africa?
The term may be self explanatory, the northern region of Africa; but as is the case with everything else in life, things are that simple. Even scholars debate what nations should officially constitute this nation, and there are something along the lines of 3 scholarly accepted definitions.
That being said, here are the nations that make up Northern Africa; which would be pretty hard to argue against if you were to state as much.
Covering an area of 2,381,741 sq. km, Algeria happens to be the largest country in Africa. Most of this land space is covered in sand. Despite this, Algeria is inhabited by a population of over 40 million inhabitants with the majority being of Arab-Berber ethnicity.
The economy is largely built around hydrocarbons with Algeria having the second largest oil reserves in Africa. Algerian also has the l largest defense budget in Africa. The government is working to diversify Algeria’s economy in order to protect the country if there is a drop in oil revenue.
Related: Facts about Algeria
One country, two continents. That country is the Arab Republic of Egypt. It occupies 1,010,407.87 km2 of land area that spans North Africa and Southeast Asia. Its 92 million inhabitants, majority observing the religion of Isla, make Egypt the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab World.
Like Algeria, desert covers most of Egypt. Despite this, Egypt has a thriving economy centered around its agriculture, media, natural gas, and tourism sectors.
Related: Facts about Egypt
The North African nation of Libya covers 1,759,541 km2 of land area. Ninety percent of this land area is covered in the Libyan Desert. Despite its size, Libya has a small population relative to other African nations. The 2013 estimate showed that 6,411,776 persons lived in Libya.
The economy of Libya is largely dependent on the oil industry. Revenues from oil make up 80% of the country’s GDP and 90% of its export revenue. It is also classified as an Upper Middle Income country by the World Bank and it has the largest reserves of oil in Africa.
Related: Facts about Libya
The Kingdom of Morocco is a nation located in North Africa. Morocco occupies 710,850 km2 of land area characterized by desert and mountains. Morocco is the only African country that has its long coastline washed by both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The type of government that exists in Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. The King rules over a population of over 33 million citizens. The country has a very diverse economy with its largest earner of foreign exchange being its phosphate industry.
Related: Facts about Morocco
The Republic of Sudan is almost known as North Sudan since its split from South Sudan in 2011. Occupying 1,886,068 km2 of land space, it is the third largest country in Africa and the Arab world. Sudan has an estimated population of over 30 million people who speak over 400 different languages and dialects.
Its large population has to adhere to the laws set out by the Islamic Sharia law. Its economy is largely dependent on the oil production. Despite having one of the fastest growing economies in the world, a fifth of the population lives below the poverty line.
Related: Facts about Sudan
The Mediterranean Sea borders the nation of Tunisia on its east and north side by the Mediterranean Sea. It has the northernmost tip in Africa, Cape Angela. Its population of over 10 million inhabitants inhabits a land area that covers 163,610 km2.
Tunisians government consists of a president who is head of state and a Prime Minister who is head of government. Tunisians have a diverse economy which continues to enjoy growth in the current economic climate. The largest sector is the services industry which contributes 62% of the GDP.
You might like: Must see places when visiting Tunisia
Western Sahara is just a small territory in North Africa covered mostly in desert. It has an estimate of 500,000 inhabitants. People living in the Western Sahara are known as Sahrawis, “Southerners” or “Southern Berber.” The two dominant economic sectors in the territory are fishing and phosphate mining.
Note: This is still a disputed land subject to ongoing conflict.
Final say on North African nations
There you have it, the countries of North Africa all in one place. Planning a visit to one? Morocco seems to be all the craze with tourists these days, but the others have much to offer in their own unique ways as well.
Of course you know about the Egyptian pyramids, but did you know that Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt? Like, a lot more! Tunisia has some beautiful beaches as well. Many hail Algeria as a must see place on this planet too; you get the point, they all have something to offer! 🙂
But do your research before heading out, especially clothing wise. The desert landscape is one of the toughest to navigate and endure, best of luck!