Tunisia Otherwise

Ichkeul, Boukournine & Chikly National Parks

This package was coordinated by MEET project parnter IUCN-Med and created by the managers and the people of the protected areas of Ichkeul, Boukournine & Chikly Island National Parks, with the support of the Director General for Forests in Tunisia (DGF).

The tour is provided by the local tour operator  Tunisia Ecotourism.

This test tour is a result of the MEET project’s objective to develop an integrated strategy to settle an Eco-Tourism Development Model for the Mediterranean Protected Areas that boosts a better seasonal distribution of tourism flows. By participating in this tour you will be part of a small group contributing to the development of a new sustainable travel concept which aims to support conservation and benefit the local communities…

Open your mind to the North and North West of Tunisia, where you will discover historical monuments, pristine coastlines, local traditions and customs, and wander through the rich fauna and flora of Ichkeul and Boukournine National Parks. Your guide will be the perfect link to help you mingle with the local population for a deeply unique and enriching experience.

Country Profile: Tunisia

Tunisia is a country on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, offering remarkable ecological diversity. Be amazed by the variety of animal and plant species present in its national parks and nature reserves. Rarely such small  country will offer such remarkable ecological diversity.

Located in the southern Mediterranean basin, the country is at the crossroads of ancient civilizations that exist throughout the basin, a feature which has enriched the country’s diversity, particularly its species diversity, due to various exchanges and introductions that have occurred over time.

Tunisia comprises wetlands (5%), cultivated land (32%), forests (almost 13%), urban land (0.5%), as well as unexploited land (50%). The desert comprises between 33% and 40% of the latter, according to the definition of aridity (the surface situated south of 100 mm isohyets), or according to certain landscape features (e.g. Grand Erg Oriental). Altogether, protected areas categories cover around 6% of the total land area. There are currently 44 designated sites, including 17 national parks and 27 nature reserves.

The MEET test tour in Tunisia

This trip makes you reach out people of Tunisia in a spirit of true humanity and solidarity. Share Tunisians wild world wonders with people from diverse cultures in a way that appreciates the local people, local cultures, physical environment and the wildlife.

The Protected Areas

Ichkeul National Park is an important stopping-over point for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds each year. It is located in northern Tunisia near the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Among the lake’s visitors are ducks, geese, storks, and pink flamingoes. The park is home to two endemic plant species: Teucrium schoenenberger and Limonium boitardii.

Who you will MEET

Mr Akili: an eclectic multi-lingual local guide raised in Bizerta and knowledgeable of the innermost secrets of this beautiful town.

Individuals from the Bizertan Heritage Conservation Association(ASMB). an association that has done a great job throughout the years at preserving and restoring beautiful historical buildings such as the Medina (oldest Casbah) Mosque.

Professor Bouaitta, one of the most prominent specialists of Andalusian Heritage (according to his availability).

The role of MEET in Tunisia

The MEET project supports basic local initiatives at Ichkeul Park, such data collection of the park’s fauna and flora inventories, as well as the implementation of community development programs, benefiting the Ichkeul National Park communities.

Ecotourism in Tunisia is very much a developing field. The MEET project has helped bringing together existing information on the park’s fauna and flora inventories, identifying potential wildlife and flora on the field identify the historical and cultural attractions of the local communities of the Park (traditions and customs), as well as identify potential sites and themed circuits (hiking, biking, equestrian, Botany, Ornithology, Spelunking, Climbing, … Traditional accommodation) for ecotourism activities.

Conservation Opportunities & Threats

Up until the revolution (Arab Spring), the Ichkeul park area was a model of sustainable development and integration of the communities did not cause any major complications. Currently, there is some conflict occurring between outsiders related to land use and over grazing, especially regarding  competition with the water buffaloes. MEET aims to contribute to finding a balance between the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and to improve the lives of the host populations.

PRE DEPARTURE GUIDE

Before you depart, please consider the following:

You should have with you:

  • Passport
  • Air/travel tickets
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Visa (if necessary)
  • Pre-departure information
  • Local Currency

Visa requirements

Please check the visa requirements relevant to your country of origin.

Pick-up and Drop-off

Pick up and drop-off will be organized individually with the tour operator.

Currency

The unit of currency is the Dinar and it can only be obtained in Tunisia. Cash or travellers cheques are readily exchangeable in banks, hotels and ‘bureau de change’. Receipts need to be kept to change leftover dinars back. Google Currency Converter

Weather Conditions

The weather is rainy and cooler, with temperatures ranging between 10 ° and 19 °

Clothing tips

  • backpack
  • warm clothes and a raincoat (which houses both the hiker and the bag), if the weather turns bad.
  • Shoes: it is imperative to equip a good pair of ankle boots with notched soles that absorb shock.
  • Long pants are preferable to shorts to avoid scratches and sunburn.
  • Equipment to observe animals without disturbing (binoculars).
  • Advice: the weight of the backpack should not exceed 10% of the body weight.

Insurance, Health & Safety

It is advised that all guests take out personal travel and safety insurance to cover any unforeseen expenses (especially medical or accidental) that may occur.

Important cultural or religious knowledge/awareness

98% of the population are Muslims, the remaining 2% are Jews, Christians and other denominations. Due to the recent terrorist attacks, we suggest you make reference to your country’s embassies warnings.

Electricity/adapters

Information on electricity and adapters:

Residential voltage: 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Plug type: C, F, L

Plug standard: CEI 23-34 CEI 23-50

 

LOCATION


ON ARRIVAL

Final Tour Itinerary

MEET Tunisia Otherwise_final programe

Map of the route:

 

map of the route.

Accommodation

Built by the beach, it offers peace (except pool side in the summer) and exceptional panoramic views over the Mediterranean. Its large apartments, from 2 to 4 rooms, extremely bright and well maintained, all have a separate kitchenette.

Food

Tunisian cuisine, typically Mediterranean cuisine, the result of an ancestral tradition of gastronomic culture in Tunisia and reflects the successive cultural heritages (Berber, Punic, Arab, Jewish, Turkish, Italian, etc.)

Tunisians make daily use of spices and fresh or dried chillies, used in powder or paste such as harissa; Moreover, aromatic herbs are used in abundance as well as to flavor dishes in the form of infusions. Tunisians are also almost daily use of eggs present in the preparation of brik, tajine, the ojja, the Chakchouka, cakes and desserts or to garnish salads and serving other dishes. The eggs are also consumed for breakfast, boiled, scrambled or both calves that kind turmeric.

Shopping & Local Products

During the trip, there will be some opportunities for shopping in the traditional souks, where it is advisable to buy local products.

Your MEET Tour Leader

Your MEET tour leader will meet you upon your arrival and be with you until your departure. They will be the connection between you – the traveller – and the local people & territory, sharing their local knowledge and advice on how best to enjoy your unique experience. Their role is to ensure that all aspects of your trip run smoothly. It sometimes happens that unexpected situations may occur, in which case your leader will keep you well informed and may require your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, they are there to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Thank-you and enjoy your MEET experience!