One year I was holidaying with my family in Tunisia, when a shady looking man standing by a sign that read ‘Camel Rides – 30 Dinar’ sidled up to my father, scratched his nose and muttered “2 Camels for your wife”. He simply laughed and we continued our way through crowded market stalls. A little worrying but nothing out of the ordinary; the locals were always scaring us like that, using funny jokes and phrases in an attempt to coax us over to their stalls.
Tunisia is a very interesting country. The vendors there are hilarious, using jokes and English phrases to sell their wares, which makes it a fun country. Hundreds and thousands of tiny markets spring up everywhere, and hotel complexes normally have one or two of their own as you walk down the hallway to just get your breakfast. They sell a huge range of things including fake ‘real’ Prada bags, sandals, pottery, glassware, children’s swimwear and naturally a plush animal or two.
Visiting Tunisia is an experience in itself. You need to keep your wits about you as there are always people trying to sell you things. Try not to look too interested in anything if you don’t like talking to people, as they love tourists. However Tunisia has a vast range of fantastic activities for anyone looking for a culturally rich holiday.
From visiting carpet factories to camel rides to vast animal reservations, Tunisia is a great country to holiday in, as there is something for everyone. Camel rides are a highlight of Tunisian holidays as the camel is such a strange animal, it is almost impossible to sit on it comfortably without fear of falling off. Either you feel way too high for comfort, or your seat is actually placed to the side of the camel, like a strange human seesaw, and you sway precariously left and right with each step the camel takes. Still it is a fantastic, breathtaking experience.
The zoos and reservations of Tunisia are not to miss, the most iconic being Friguia Animal Park. The park is easy to get to, a mere 15 minute drive by hired car from Sousse city centre, Friguia has a huge collection of animals with a number of activities, including dolphin swimming, available to those daring holidaymakers. Plus Friguia offers an evening of entertainment with a traditional Zulu three course meal followed by dancing and singing.
For the more casual tourists, a simple walk along the beach is relaxing and beautiful. Many of the larger hotels in Tunisia are located along the coast, with the swimming pool and relaxation areas normally backing onto the beach itself, so it doesn’t take long at all to get to the sea.
The locals are generally very friendly, and the stunning desert vistas you will experience both through camel rides and through simply driving around are surprisingly beautiful in their bleakness. If you are looking for a different destination from Hawaii or Ibiza, but still want the fun and the sun, Tunisia is the place to go.