Explore Algeria’s Coastal Reserves

With eleven national parks and a number of nature reserves, Algeria is intent on conserving its natural heritage for future generations. Along the Algerian coastline there are three national parks – Gouraya National Park, El Kala National Park and Taza National Park, each of which has its own special characteristics, making it worthwhile to visit all three.

Gouraya National Park takes its name from the majestic mountain located within its boundaries. Standing at a height of 660 meters, Mount Gouraya is a dominating feature in the park, which is listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The clean beaches and sparkling ocean are a huge attraction for visitors, and dolphins and whales may be spotted in the park’s protected waters. The mountainous vegetation and forests offer ideal habitats for a wide range of animals, some of which are considered to be endangered. Visitors can keep an eye out for jackals, wild cats, Barbary macaques and a host of bird species while exploring Gouraya National Park, as well as threatened plant species such as Aleppo pine, kermes oak and prickly juniper.

Also recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is the Taza National Park in Algeria’s Jijel Province. Although the park is the smallest of Algeria’s national parks, it is abounding in wildlife and uncommon vegetation, as well as having some interesting geological features. Its stretches of sandy beach, dense forests, stark cliffs and fascinating grottoes provide habitats for a range of animals and birds, including the endangered, and often elusive, Algerian Nuthatch (Sitta ledanti). The park’s temperate climate is well suited to the stately Algerian oak tree (Quercus canariensis) and the more compact Montpellier maple (Acer monspessulanum).

El Kala National Park has an astounding variety of ecosystems and is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. The park is home to some forty mammal species and ninety-eight bird species, many of which are listed as endangered by IUCN. Bird watchers will appreciate the many viewing towers and bird-hides in the park, while the entire family will enjoy the eco-museum and mini-zoo.