Tunisia

 Tunisia  Beach front in Tunisia

Why Tunisia?                                                                      Click here to view video

Diverse enough to cater equally for sun-seekers, historians and adventure travel nuts, Tunisia is a heady hotchpotch of all the things that make North Africa so enticing. From broad beaches to millennia-old ruins and from mazy medinas to rolling desert, it’s a destination that balances a natural serenity with a pulse-quickening – at times turbulent – energy.
 
Tunisia is traditionally seen as being Arabia at its most laid-back: women’s rights are good, alcohol is freely available and the state and its religion are treated as two separate entities. That’s not to say it lacks the fascinating rhythms of the Islamic world, of course – if you’re looking for an evocative taste of this part of the globe, you’re in the right place.
 
Explore the coast, delve into the Sahara, visit otherworldly landscapes, sample colonial cities or just immerse yourself in the spice-scented allure of the Maghreb. The only problem is deciding what to do next.

  • When should I travel?
The areas of northern Tunisia that draw the most tourists have a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, occasionally rainy winters. Along with destinations like Egypt and Turkey, Tunisia has claimed a good slice of the Mediterranean summer holiday market, making June to August a popular time for coastal resorts.  Spring and autumn both offer their own enticements though, both in terms of an appealing climate and a lessening of tourist traffic. Prices are often lowered over the winter months. In general terms, lightweights are advised in summer, with mediumweights and rainwear in winter. The south and centre of the country have an almost Saharan climate, meaning summer temperatures can climb extremely high. The hot, dusty wind blowing in off the desert can affect other parts of the country.

  • Is it safe to travel and are there places to avoid?
Following recent demonstrations, which culminated to the departure of the former President and interim Prime Minister, the political situation remains unstable and further unrest is possible. Tunis city centre was temporarily closed to traffic on 26 February 2012 following violent demonstrations. Those planning to travel to Tunisia should monitor local newspaper reports and keep abreast of any furthter political developments.

  • What money should I take?
The currency is the Tunisian Dinar (TND). Credit cards (mainly MasterCard and Visa) are accepted in a few places in major resorts and towns. American Express and Diners Club are accepted in few places in tourist areas. There are ATMs in most towns and every tourist resort. There are ATMs in most towns and every tourist resort. Almost all of these will accept Visa cards – many also accept Maestro (Switch).  Readily cashed in banks and the usual authorised establishments; the most convenient currencies are Euros or US Dollars.

  • What language will they understand?
The official language is Arabic. French is the second language, English, German and Italian are spoken mainly in tourist resorts.

  • How about my health?
Health insurance is essential. Tunisia's public healthcare system often provides excellent care in larger towns, but you have to pay for treatment, usually in cash. There are a few private 'polyclinics' available in the larger towns, which function as hospitals and provide a range of procedures.

Public Holidays

2012
January 01 New Year's Day
February 05 Mouled (Prophet's Anniversary)
March 20 Independence Day
March 21 Youth Day
April 09 Martyrs' Day
May 01 Labour Day
July 25 Republic Day
August 13 Women's Day
August 19 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
October 26 Eid al-Idha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
November 07 New Era Day
November 15 Hegire (Islamic New Year)

2013
January 01 New Year's Day
January 24 Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad)
March 20 Independence Day
March 21 Youth Day
April 09 Martyrs' Day
May 01 Labour Day
July 25 Republic Day
August 08 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
August 13 Women's Day
October 15 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
November 04 Hegire (Islamic New Year)
November 07 New Era Day

  • Do I need a visa?
Visas are required by South African passport holders and must be obtained prior to arrival.

  • Will I need any innoculations before I depart?
A Yellow Fever certificate is currently not required.