There’s a reason why Tunisia has become one of the biggest tourist traps in the world over the last few years; it holds countless attractions for all ages. When you couple this with the white sandy beaches and the soaring temperatures, it’s no surprise that it’s become top of the holiday brochures for a lot of travel agents.
Something that has become increasingly popular over recent times are the jeep safari adventures that are provided by various groups.
The south of the country is generally targeted and if you are lucky enough to taste one of these experiences, here are some attractions which you simply must see. Just don’t forget to pick up your car hire insurance!
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Pictures are courtesy of TripAdvisor.
It doesn’t matter whether you have hopped on a safari jeep, or if you’re just looking for someone to visit for a day – El Jem must be placed somewhere on your holiday’s itinerary. It’s one of the premier attractions of Tunisia, with this being one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the world. In its peak it could hold up to 35,000 spectators and unlike most ruins, it’s still possible to wander round and explore the architecture of the monument.
For those that want to get into deep Tunisian culture, Matmata is another area that is frequently visited by the jeep safari teams. It’s a Berber speaking town and with just over 2,000 inhabitants based there, it’s tiny to say the least. Most of the homes there are underground caves although over recent years many of the locals have realised the value of the tourist industry, and it’s now possible to eat in numerous restaurants.
For those Star Wars fans out there, a trip on the jeep to Ksar Hadada should not be missed. This is the derelict location where scenes of The Phantom Menace were filmed and suffice to say, this has made it one of the most popular tourist traps in the country.
With Ksar Ghilane situated approximately 100km into the Sahara Desert, it’s no surprise that this is an attraction which is usually only reserved for the jeep safari experiences. It’s essentially an oasis surrounded by red sands, although for those visitors who want to reap something extra from their trip it’s also possible to go quad and camel riding.
This might appear like something of a bizarre experience, because really it’s as simple as it gets. Bir Soltane is a small coffee shack in the middle of the desert and while this might sound a little mundane on paper, words can’t really give it justice. The local coffee is something else, while admiring the desert sands is even more tantalising.
If you’ve taken the effort to head out on a jeep safari, then a visit to Douz simply has to be in order. This is classed as the “desert capital” of the whole country and anyone who wants to taste Tunisia at its most traditional form, in the way of a local oriental market, won’t be disappointed. There are also attractions for those that want a little more zest as well, with quad biking and paramotor flights available.
Chott El Jerid
This is another one of the filming locations for the Star Wars franchise, although this is not the immediate lure for Chott El Jerid. Instead, it’s the natural beauty of the area, with this being the largest salt lake in North Africa. It’s possible to take umpteen reminders back home with you as well, with many souvenirs such as desert roses and dates being available to purchase.
Fatnasa is known as a Dunes sanctuary and is utterly picturesque. Again, it’s one of those attractions that is only really accessible through a jeep safari and if this isn’t enough for you, we should also point out the fact that it’s possible to have your photo taken with a live scorpion. There are not many other places on earth where that can happen, safely.
This is perhaps one of the most intriguing attractions of the country; especially when most people associate Tunisia with camels anyway. In short, this is a salt lake landscape that has a mountain which resembles that of a camel sitting down. Naturally, it’s gathered plenty of media attention over the years and numerous films have been based with this in the backdrop.
Chebika is another attraction ideal for those who like to bask in beauty. It’s seen as one of the most picturesque attractions around, with the oasis providing tourists the perfect photo-taking location. As well as this, if you wander down the stream a little you’ll pass through the ruins of a Berbers’ village that was destroyed by treacherous rainfall.
Tamerza is very similar to the above and again provides tourists with spectacular views over water. This time it’s in relation to a canyon and waterfall and again, for those visitors that are camera-happy, it can create some perfect photo opportunities.
In the midst of a jeep safari experience, it can be difficult to find some of the religious attractions that Tunisia is quite often famous for. However, this changes in Kairuan, where it’s possible to visit the oldest mosque in North Africa. This isn’t something that just acts as a tourist trap for foreign visitors either, it’s one of the most symbolic places for Tunisian Muslims and subsequently attracts countless locals every year.
To compare hotel prices near Nefta International airport (Southern Tunisia) from the major online booking websites, click here.