The easiest way to see everything of Tunisia is to book an organised tour. With this 2-Day tour to Southern Tunisia we travelled from Hammamet all the way to Douz, a town in the south of Tunisia on the border of the Sahara desert. Most of the tour we travelled by bus but we also travelled by land rover and even dromedary.
The first stop was El Djem. This town hosts the largest colosseum in North Africa. This amphitheatre could hold up to 35,000 spectators. The ruins of this amphitheatre are very impressive and while walking around this large construction it is not difficult to imagine the grandeur of ancient Rome.
Here we visited the Berbers. These people are the pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa. Originally they were nomads but to protect their territories they eventually built villages. In Matmata the Berbers have built their homes inside the hills and underground to protect themselves against the heat. For me, it was very interesting to see their way of living. They live very traditionally surrounded by their goats. During this tour we had a traditional Berber lunch in the Berber hotel nearby. I did however, feel a bit like it was a show for the tourists. I believe that the lady that showed us around her home is not really living there anymore and only comes there to show the tourists around. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see the Berber culture.
Douz is a town in the South of Tunisia. Here the Sahara desert starts. We arrived here around sunset and could ride on the back of a dromedary. I enjoyed this very much. The desert looked beautiful during sunset and the dromedaries looked well taken care of. After our ride through the desert we went to our hotel for that night, the beautiful 4-star hotel El Mouradi.
Chott El Jerid
Very early in the morning we visited Chott El Jerid, a big, almost completely dried up salt lake. As the sun was rising we saw a moonlike landscape with reddish, white and blue colours. Every now and then a small pile of salt had formed and some locals had made statues of salt. It was more spectacular than I expected. There is a chance you will see a fata morgana, but I did not see one.
Tozeur, Chebika & Tamarza
These towns are based around oases in central Tunisia. Tozeur is around a date palmoasis and Chebika and Tamarza are oases in the mountains. We walked through these oases by foot. It’s kind of strange to see water and plants growing in the middle of such a dry land. For locals these oases are an important place to rest before or after a trip into the desert.
The last stop of our tour was in Kairouan. It is the fourth most holy city of the Muslim faith and an important destination for pilgrimage. The city is an UNESCO World Heritage site because of its culture and mosques. During this tour we only visited very shortly to see The Great Mosque. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside but you can still admire the architecture and look inside through the doors which are left open.