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Geography of Tunisia


Situated on the northern coast of Africa, Tunisia has an area of 163,610 km² (63,170 mi²), extending 792 km (492 mi) north to south, and 350 km (217 mi) east to west. Comparatively, the area occupied by Tunisia is a fraction smaller than Suriname. It is bounded on the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea, on the southeast by Libya, and on the west by Algeria, with a total boundary length of 2,572 km (1,598 mi), of which 1,148 km (713 mi) is coastline. Tunisia's capital city, Tunis, is located on the northern coast.

The Nemencha mountains (eastern extensions of the Atlas chain) divide the country into two distinct regions, the well-watered north and the semi-arid south. The latter includes Tunisia's highest point, Jebel Chambi, 1,544 m (5,064 ft), near Kasserine. The northern region is further divided into three subregions: the northwest, with extensive cork forests; the north-central, with its fertile grasslands; and the northeast, from Tunis to Cape el-Tib, noted for its livestock, citrus fruits, and garden produce. The southern region contains a central plateau and a desert area in the extreme south, which merges into the Sahara and is characterised by date palm oases and saline lakes, the largest of which is Chott el Djerid. The Medjerda, the most important river system, rises in Algeria and drains into the Gulf of Tunis.

Tunisia consists of two climatic belts, with Mediterranean influences in the north and Saharan in the south. Temperatures are moderate along the coast, with an average annual reading of 18°C (64°F), and hot in the interior south. The summer season in the north, from May through September, is hot and dry; the winter, which extends from October to April, is mild and characterized by frequent rains. Temperatures at Tunis range from an average minimum of 6°C (43°F) and maximum of 14°C (57°F) in January, to an average minimum of 21°C (70°F) and maximum of 33°C (91°F) in August. Precipitation in the northern region reaches a high of 150 cm (59 in) annually, while rainfall in the extreme south averages less than 20 cm (8 in) a year.


Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya

Geographic coordinates
34 00 N, 9 00 E

Map references

total: 163,610 sq km
land: 155,360 sq km
water: 8,250 sq km

Area - comparative
a fraction smaller than Suriname or slightly larger than the state of Georgia, USA

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