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Douz

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Douz

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Douz is a small town in south-central of Tunisia. Referred to as the "Gateway to the Sahara", Douz is a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the desert, either by camel or four-wheel drive.

Douz is the base for camel trips into the desert, ranging from a short ride to overnight expeditions.

Understand

The town of Douz has grown up around a large palm oasis that stands on the northern fringe of the Sahara. Surrounded by little other than desert and dry scrub land, historically it was an important stop on the trans-Saharan caravan routes. Today tourists come in numbers, many on organized coach tours from the coastal resorts, to get a taste of the mighty Sahara for themselves.

Get in

By car, Douz is about 1hr30m drive west of Matmata on a good road, or 2hr to the east of Tozeur. Much of the drive from Tozeur is along a causeway that crosses the Chott El-Jerid, a vast lake covered in a thick crust of dried salt.

Get around

See

  • The annual International Festival of the Sahara. Held towards the end of each year, the four day festival showcases the local desert culture, including camel and horse riding displays, poetry readings and traditional music and dance.
  • The Museum of the Sahara - a small but interesting collection portraying traditional Saharan life. Open 9:30-4:30 (closed Mondays).

Do

  • Take a camel trip out into the Sahara with one of the many tour operators based in the town center.
  • Other tours into the desert can be arranged, including by motorbike or 4-Wheel-Drive, usually by the same tour operators.
  • Visit the Chott al-Jerid. A vast dry salt lake with a thick crust of salt which sparkles in the sun. Look closely and you may see some mirages.

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

If you take an overnight camel trek, you will get to sleep out in the desert (and hence save the cost of a night's accommodation!). Be warned though - despite pictures in the tour offices of luxury Bedouin style tents, in practice the shelter is somewhat more basic and bathroom facilities non-existent. Still, it is a great experience.

Get out

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