Tunisia is rarely written about and I think I know why.
It seems to cater for package holidays where visitors are happy to spend the week sipping cocktails by the pool and eating western buffet food whilst only leaving the hotel to go to the beach.
Actually, that sounds really good. And that’s the problem.
Tunisia does do the all-inclusive thing incredibly well and you can easily have a wonderful holiday there which doesn’t break the bank and leaves you relaxed and gloriously tanned.
But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Tunisia has SO much more to offer and by missing the opportunity to explore it’s exceptionally beautiful landscapes, incredible history, amazing locals and delicious foods, you’re missing out!
We spent a week in Tunisia and there wasn’t a free cocktail in sight. But that’s okay. Because what we saw was so much better than that and it’s why we think you should visit Tunisia NOW. To get you warmed up, here’s a list of the really cool stuff we did;
Camp in the Sahara Desert
Yes this really was as cool as it sounds. I mean ‘cool’ figuratively because man that desert is hot! But it’s amazing too! We spent a couple of days exploring the desert and when it was time to get some sleep we just pitched our tent and hunkered down for the night. Let me just say, you haven’t seen stars until you’ve seen them in the Sahara!
Note: We had a guide instructing us on safety. Make sure you carry or can access plenty of water and take steps to deter scorpions from bunking down with you!
Ride a camel
Yeah you can do this on most tourist beaches but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t compare to jumping on a camel in the SAHARA and riding it to your next stop because there are no roads and it’s way too far to walk.
It’s a long way up guys and I held on to that camel with all the strength my thighs could muster but it was an amazing experience
Share a meal with a Troglodyte
If you’re wondering what a Troglodyte is that would make me feel lots better. I had no idea what it was until I was invited into one of their homes and I’d like to believe that everyone else has never heard of them either.
Troglodytes are Tunisia’s cave people. They live without any modern amenities in caves in the desert and they are absolutely fascinating. We visited a couple of different homes and got to share a meal which was awesome! The language barrier is definitely tough but it doesn’t lessen the experience which is one of a kind!
Play with a Fennec
I have no idea whether these animals are native to Tunisia or not but it’s the only place I’ve ever seen one. In fact it’s Tunisia’s national animal and you’ll see cartoon drawings of them everywhere you go. The real ones are much cuter though! A mix between a fox and a cat – these are a must see – just make sure you don’t take one home!!!
Visit a huge salt lake
Tunisia is home to the world’s second largest salt lake (second only to Salt Lake City, USA). It’s a pretty odd sight to see a ton of salt as far as the eye can see with no lake in sight. And nearby you’ll likely see you first ever mirage. Is it a lake? Is it an ocean? Nope… it’s just your eyes deceiving you!!
Gaze in wonder at a mountain oasis
Okay so the Sahara is not completely dry, no matter how many people tell you their mouth is “as dry as the Sahara”. There are a couple of very beautiful yet unexplained waterfalls dotted around and they are quite the sight.
After a long day of trekking in 40 degree heat they also make a very welcome swimming pool for baking hot tourists!
An amphitheatre to rival Italy’s colosseum in Tunisia? Yup. And if you asked me, I’d say Tunisia’s is much better.
Talk to the locals
We visited Tunisia during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar where followers are not allowed to eat or drink during daylight hours. Though we worried that we’d made a festival faux par in the timing of our trip, I think it actually made it better.
Getting to see how friendly and helpful the locals were despite being hungry and wilting under the desert heat was my favourite Tunisian experience. And watching them share their food with people who had nothing when sunset finally did arrive just made me fall even harder for the country.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get those flights booked! Trust me, you will NOT regret it.