On this page of Interesting Africa Facts we provide information on another amazing African landform, the Atlas Mountains. Below we have listed several facts about these mountains, which are located in north-western Africa, including what animals live there, how high these mountains are, and how long the range is. This information is written for both kids and adults.
Atlas Mountains General Facts
The mountain range stretches approximately 1,600 miles (2,500 kilometers) across Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
The mountain range separates the coastlines of the Mediterranean and Atlantic from the Sahara Desert.
Toubkal, located in Morocco, is the highest mountain in the range, and in North Africa. It is 13,671 feet high (4,167 meters).
The second and third highest peaks in the Atlas range (after Toubkal) are on the mountain Ouanoukrim in Morocco. The two summits are Timzguida which is 13,415 feet (4,089 meters) high and Ras Ouanoukrim which reaches 13,396 feet (4,083 meters).
The mountains attract many tourists. It is a great travel destination for people who enjoy hiking and mountain climbing. It is also a place where tourist can enjoy incredible views. There are also many places where one can enjoy a relaxing vacation.
The slopes of the High Atlas and Middle Atlas ranges have thick forests containing many trees including pine, oak, and cedar trees.
Mineral deposits found in this mountain range include gold, silver, zinc, lead, and iron.
The mountain range has several passes that provide routes between the coast and the Sahara Desert.
The Berber people have lived in the Atlas Mountain range for thousands of years. In fact, they have been traced back to at least 3000 B.C.
Regions of the Atlas Mountains
The Atlas mountains are divided into four regions:
The first region consists of three ranges, all located in Morocco. They are the Middle Atlas, High Atlas, and Anti-Atlas ranges. The High Atlas range (also called the Grand Atlas) is the highest range in the Atlas Mountains.
The second region is the Saharan Atlas located in Algeria.
The third region is the Tell Atlas located in Algeria and Tunisia.
The fourth region is the Aures Mountains in Algeria and Tunisia. They are at the eastern end of the Atlas mountain range.
Atlas Mountains Animal Facts
The mountains were home to the Atlas Bear which is now extinct. It was the only bear native to Africa. It was hunted extensively. It is believed the last one was killed or died in the late 1800's.
The endangered Barbary Leopard lives in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria. Compared to other leopards through out the world, Barbary leopards have thick coats of fur which help it survive the freezing cold climate of the Atlas Mountains.
The Barbary Lion, of the Atlas Mountains, is extinct in the wild and may be completely extinct. There are few lions in captivity which may be classified as Barbary Lions. These lions are believed to be the largest lions in the world.
The North African Elephant was an inhabitant of the Atlas Mountains until becoming extinct in ancient roman times.
Many different types of birds can be found in the mountains. These birds include Woodchat Shrike, Rollers, Alpine Choughs, Lammergeier, and the booted eagle.
Other animals that inhabit the Atlas mountains include Barbary Sheep, Barbary Macaque, Barbary stag, Atlas mountain viper, and the Atlas Mountain Badger.