The Magnificent Country of Algeria
Situated between Morocco and Tunisia on the Northern coast of Africa, Algeria is nearly three times the size of Texas. The country has a green coast, beautiful mountains, alluring but mostly dormant or extinct volcanoes and breathtaking oases. It also has a people who are of Berber origin and who have a strong and fascinating sense of cultural identity. Unfortunately, Algeria has also been the site of many wars and conflicts. These conflicts were more prolific in the past when the struggle for government and self rule were at the height of national attention. However, while the country is slowly starting to recover, there is still hostility in certain regions.
Algeria is definitely not for the faint of heart. Hopefully, in time, the political situation will settle and the country will gain the reputation it truly deserves. Until such a time, it is best enjoyed by those who are adventurous enough to take on the challenges involved in traveling the country. Those who are brave enough will find a fascinating North African culture, the alluring Sahara Desert and much, much more. Ancient Roman (among others) ruins abound and many of the cities have an intriguing and ancient history. Truly, Algeria would be on par with Morocco were it not for the internal problems the country is experiencing. Given time, the country is likely to get better and better.
If you are planning to go to Algeria on anything other than business, it is usually a good idea to contact a travel agent as these are well informed regarding the best places to visit as well as the best places to avoid. Customs and traditions are different here and you will need to be informed about them so you can know what to expect. In general, it is advisable to stay out of the southeast and northwest regions where conflict and certain other crimes are a problem. Otherwise the rest of the country is virtually your oyster. Years of war have resulted in a high unemployment rate and this means you will likely find many self-sustaining rural communities. It is also a good idea to stay away from political establishments as these are most often targeted by criminals. Use your common sense and take every opportunity you get to soak up the sights and take pictures with your camera… and bring a lot of spare film for your camera, you are going to need it!