Tunisia is a country in the northern point of Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean sea to the north and east, Libya to the southeast and Algeria to the west. The majority of Tunisia comprises fertile land, though about 40 per cent is desert. The north of Tunisia is dominated by fertile mountain ranges; the central plain is hot and dry, while the semi-arid south joins up with the famous Sahara Desert.
The climate various in Tunisia, though in general, visitors can expect a blend of African and Mediterranean climates. Summer is hot and dry (with temperatures sometimes rising to over 40ºC), while winters are mild in most areas (averaging at around 12ºC). In the south, summers are particularly hot and humid, and in the desert, the temperature is always hotter. A comfortable time to visit Tunisia is between October and May, when the temperature hovers between 12ºC and 29ºC.
The Phoenicians settled in Tunisia in the 12th century B.C.; by the 6th century BC, the historic state of Carthage was founded, dominating the western Mediterranean area. Carthage was destroyed by the Punic Wars, the second of which saw Roman general, Scipio Africanus, wrest victory from Carthaginian military commander, Hannibal. Carthage was completely destroyed and subsequently fell under Vandal, and was then subjected to Roman rule, until the Arabians took over in the mid-7th century A.D. The Turks took Carthage to form part of the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th century. In the late 19th century, it became a French protectorate. In 1957, Tunisia was declared a republic, and its people elected Habib Bourguiba as its president..
Some must-see spots in Tunisia include Carthage (known for the important role it played in events such as the Punic Wars), Douz (where visitors never miss the chance to enjoy a camel ride) and El Djem (one of the most impressive exponents of ancient Roman architecture). Tunisia is also well known for seaside escapes such as the island of Djerba, whose old town area (Houmt Souk) offers a plethora of shopping experiences, as well as the chance to enjoy Tunisia’s tempting cuisine. Cliff-top village, Sidi Bou Said, meanwhile, is known for its stunning whitewashed homes and alleyways, the perfect setting for a romantic getaway for two.
Tunisia boasts various micro-climates, and comprises sandy deserts, salty lakes and coastal areas. In the northern part of the country, the flora is of a Mediterranean type, with various sub-tropical plants such as colourful hibiscus and bougainvillea, fragrant citric and jasmine trees, and verdant olive trees. In the north, there are beautiful oak forests, while the Mogod Mountains are covered in heather and broom. In coastal Tabarka, poplars and willows make up romantic landscapes, while the Atlas area is populated by vertiginous Aleppo pines. In Sahel, date palms exude a lovely scent that is said to stir the emotions of even the most casual passer-by. The fauna of Tunisia is equally impressive, with everything from wild boars to foxes and quails calling the Tabarka region home. Sadly, animals such as the Atlas lion, panther, and oryx antelope, have become extinct and various other species (including the striped hyena and buffalos) are dwindling in number.
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