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Enclave – Glossary Definition

Enclave – Glossary Definition

Summary:

Want the definition of enclave? Learn the meaning of enclaves, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

Wondering about the definition of enclave? Keep reading to learn the meaning of enclaves, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

Lesotho map as an enclave example definition of an enclave
Lesotho, a country completely within and surrounded by South Africa, is one of the few examples of enclaves (true enclave example) in the world, as far as countries go. Screenshot from Google Maps.

What is an Enclave?

An enclave is a nation or portion of a nation that is completely within and surrounded by another nation.

The best enclave examples are San Marino and Vatican City, both micronations which are entirely within Italy. Another small country (but not a micronation), Lesotho, is an enclave completely within South Africa.

More on Enclaves

A semi-enclave is an enclave which is almost completely surrounded by another country, where the remaining border is a body of water. Gambia, Monaco, and Brunei are all examples of semi-enclaves.

A true enclave must be a territory completely within and surrounded by only one other territory. If it is wedged between two countries, such as Andorra (between France and Spain), then it’s not considered an enclave.

An enclave differs from an exclave, which is a portion of another country completely cut off from the “mainland” by being surrounded by one or more other countries. Exclaves may also be enclaves, but enclaves can not be exclaves, as an exclave is never the “mainland” of a country, just a part of it.

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