Atlas Mountains

Background

Atlas Mountains is a mountain range across the northwestern stretch of Africa extending about 2500km through Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The vast mountainous range stretches for more than 2,000 kilometers, from Agadir in Morocco to Tunis in Tunisia. Its coordinates are as follows: 3.0758° S, 37.3533° E

Highlights

The mountains have been home to a number of plant and animal species unique in Africa which include the Barbary Macaque, the Atlas Bear, the Barbary Leopard, the Barbary stag, Barbary Sheep, the Barbary Lion, the Atlas Mountain Badger, the North African Elephant, the African Aurochs, Cuvier’s Gazelle, the Northern Bald Ibis, Dippers, the Atlas mountain viper, the Atlas Cedar, the European Black Pine, and the Algerian Oak.

Vegetation

Altimontane Shrublands, Dwarf shrublands dominated by dense, cushion-shaped, spinous shrubs is one of the most widespread and characteristic vegetation types in the mountains of North Africa. In Morocco it represents the climatic climax from the tree line up to about 3900 m, and is well represented on the summits of the Middle Atlas and the Great Atlas, but in the Anti-Atlas it is only found on the massif of Siroua, and it is absent from the Rif, which is too low. The dominant species in Morocco are Alyssum spinosum, Amelanchier ovalis, Arenaria dyris, Berberis hispanica, Bupleurum spinosum, Cytisus balansae, Erinacea anthyllis, Juniperus communis, Lonicera pyrenaica, Rhamnus alpinus, Ribes alpinum and Vella mairei. There are also numerous endemic plants.

Toubkal National Park

Toubkal National Park is a national park in the High Atlas mountain range located 70 kilometres from Marrakech in central-western Morocco, established in 1942 covering an area of 380 km2.

The park contains a rich diversity of flora and fauna, co-existing with the Berber people, and home to the highest peak in North Africa (Jebel Toubkal 4,165 metres).

The park is home to the mountain goats, wildcat, the porcupine, the genette, the mongoose and other species of the beautiful Holm oak forests.

For the big raptors, some remarkable species are present like the gypaete, the golden eagle, the bonelli eagle, the botte eagle, the circaete, the peregrine falcon, the owl and 30 reptile species like the grass snake of schokar, theAtlas viper, the lizard of Andreanszky, the gecko with thorny eyelids

Organized climbs/treks on Atlas Mountains

  • Trekking Atlas Mountains
  • Tour dust
  • Atlas Trek Shop
  • Trekking in Morocco

Beliefs and stories

  • The Berber people live in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and preserve their traditional way of life.
  • Atlas is the European name for the system[vii], reflecting the ancient Greeks’ belief that it was the home of their god Atlas. In Arabic it is called Djezira el-Maghreb (Island of the West) because it is an “island” of relative fertility in a desert region.

Natural resources

The Atlas are rich in natural resources which include deposits of iron ore, lead ore, copper, silver, mercury, rock salt, phosphate, marble, anthracite coal, and natural gas among other resources.

Dams

The construction of reservoir dams not only has permitted the storage of enormous amounts of water for irrigating the plains but has also made it possible to generate hydroelectric energy. In Morocco efforts have been made in the last half of the 20th century to exploit the potential of the mountain wadis. In addition to the dams across the Wadi el-Abid and the Wadi el-Rhira on the northern slope of the High Atlas, dams on the southern face have been constructed across the Drâa and Ziz watercourses.

Accommodation around the mountain

Hotel/ Lodge Contact
Kasbah Du Toubkal Toubkal National Park, Imlil, MoroccoTel: +212 5 2448 5611

Email: kasbah3@discover.ltd.uk

Website: http://www.kasbahtoubkal.com/

Kasbah Tamado Asni, Morocco                                                                                               Tel: +212 (0)524 36 82 00Email:enquiries@virginlimitededition.com

Website:http://www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com/

Maroc Lodge Maroc Lodge.P.O. Box 16, 42100 Amizmiz, Marrakech, Morocco

Tel : +212 661202537/+212524454969

Email : maroclodge@yahoo.fr

Website: http://maroc-lodge.com/

Sawadi Ouarzazate                                                                                                   P.O. Box 28  45500 SKOURA, MoroccoTel: 00212 524 85 23 41

http://www.sawadi.ma/en/

Les Jardins de Skoura Ouarzazate                                                                                                    Tel. +212 5 24 85 23 24Email: lesjardinsdeskoura@gmail.com

http://www.lesjardinsdeskoura.com/

Dar Ouassaggou ImlilTel : +212 667 49 13 52

Email: Contact@guesthouseouassaggou.com                         

Website: http://guesthouseouassaggou.com/

 

For more reading

http://www.biome-explorer.net/Mountains/Atlas%20Mountain%20Vegetation.html

http://www.trekkingatlasmountains.co.uk/

http://www.tourdust.com/products/africa/morocco?activity=walking-trekking

http://www.atlastrekshop.com/

http://trekkinginmorocco.net/

http://www.rugusavay.com/information-about-atlas-mountains/

 

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