The mountain chain includes many plains, plateaus, and valleys. The highest peak is located in the Atlas mountains in Morocco, called Toubkal, with a height of 4.167 km above sea level, and is the second-highest mountain peak in Africa after the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
It is a mountain chain located in the continent of Africa in the Maghreb countries, between Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The chain extends about 1200 km from the port of the Moroccan city of Agadir to the Tunisian capital, Tunisia. It is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south by the Sahara.
Geography of the Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains can be divided from west to east as follows:
In Morocco, the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas, and the Low Atlas.
In Algeria the Saharan Atlas.
In Algeria and Tunisia the Atlas Hills and the Aures Mountains.
The majority of the population in the Atlas Mountains is Muslim from the Berbers, especially in the regions of Algeria and Morocco. As for Tunisia, they are Arabs. The population lives in the plains and valleys. As for the mountain peaks, they are classified as harsh areas that are difficult to live in. The population lives in villages and small population centers and some medium cities, the majority of them are farmers, and some are Bedouins who live in mobile tents and work in grazing.
The common language there is the Berber language with its various dialects.
The flora of the Atlas Mountains varies from tall trees to shrubs and herbs, and the following plants abound in those areas:
- Trees: green oak, cypress, pine, cedar, juniper, olive, almond and fig.
- Shrubs: such as tulips, chrysanthemums, oleander, sidr, rosemary, and other plants that dominate the scattered pastures.
- Herbs: such as basil, mint, sewage, oregano and wormwood.
Plants are absent behind the Saharan Atlas Mountains, except in valleys and depressions; Where gum trees grow. Unfortunately, due to human practices, overgrazing, and unpredictable felling of trees, many plants and trees were exposed to extinction, such as: European black pine, Algerian oak, and there are many endangered plants.
The animal life in the Atlas Mountains is very diverse; It contains the Atlantic bear, which is the only type of bear that lives in Africa, tigers, hyenas, deer, mountain goats, foxes, rabbits, and large numbers of various birds, and there are also unjust practices that animals are exposed to that made most of them endangered, and at best made their numbers decline significantly.
The animals that have been declared virtually extinct are the Barbary macaque, the Barbary tiger, the Barbary deer, the Barbary lion, the Carthaginian elephant, the Atlas mountain snake, and the Cuvier deer.
Wealth and Economy
In the Atlas Mountains, there are many natural resources of minerals such as iron, silver, gold, zinc, lead, magnesium, phosphate, petroleum, and many others. Energy sources are diverse, and the local population obtains it from oil, gas, and coal, in addition to renewable energy sources represented by running water, which they use to generate electricity.
The sources of livelihood are confined to agriculture, especially grains such as wheat and barley, olive cultivation, citrus fruits, and animal husbandry, but the return of this sector is linked to the natural conditions and terrain; The profession of agriculture decreases on the slopes of the mountains and is replaced by the profession of grazing. Recently, people’s trips to the Atlas Mountains have become a source of income for local residents, as they are an ideal place for lovers of mountain climbing and hiking, and the Atlantic Mountains contain the most beautiful landscapes.