The Bibans or Biban Range (Arabic: البيبان, Kabylian: Tiggoura, French: Chaîne des Bibans or Les Bibans) are a chain of mountains in northern Algeria, bordering the south of Kabylie.

View of the Bibans in Sour El-Ghozlane
Highest point
Elevation1,862 m (6,109 ft)
Coordinates36°11′0″N 4°26′0″E[1]
Parent rangeTell Atlas
Topographic map of Kabylia showing the location of the Bibans.


The highest summits are 1862 m high Mansoura (جبل منصورة) and 1832 m high Choukchout (جبل شوكشوط). Located to the east of the Blidean Atlas and to the west of the Hodna Mountains, the Bibans are a subrange of the Tell Atlas, part of the Atlas Mountain System.[2]

The strategic Iron Gates mountain passes are located in the range and gave their name to the Biban Mountains. The main gorge is the deep Bab al-Kabir (Big Door), cut by the Ouadi Chebba, through which the railway line between Algiers and Constantine passes. The Bab al-Saghir (Little Door) of the Oadi Buktun is located 3.5 km to the east.[3]

Some authors claim that the range was known as El Ouennougha before the French colonization of Algeria.[4] Traditionally these mountains have been populated by Kabyle people. In present days the Kabyle populations are found in the centre and the eastern part of the range, while the western end is home to Arabophone communities. Local people use to practice goat rearing and beekeeping, as well as growing olives for the production of olive oil. Ancient oil mills have been preserved in certain villages.[5]

Protected areas

The 200,000 ha Saharan Atlas National Park is a protected area located near Hammam Dhalaa on the southeastern side of the range, 15 km north of M'Sila.[6] Established in 1992, it is a refuge for about hundred Cuvier's gazelles.[7]

See also


  1. Google Earth
  2. L'Atlas Tellien - Chapitre III (Géologie locale)
  3. Charles Nodier, Journal de l'Expédition des Portes de Fer
  4. Youssef Benoudjit, La Kalaa des Béni Abbès : au xvie siècle, Dahlab, 1997, ISBN 9961611322
  5. Ouled Sidi Brahim Les Bibans Algeria
  6. Saharan Atlas National Park - Saharan Atlas, Algeria
  7. David P. Mallon, Steven Charles Kingswood eds. Antelopes: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. p. 27
  • Media related to Bibans at Wikimedia Commons

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