Tunisian Sahara
Tunisian Sahara
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
The largest desert in the world, extending between 800 and 1,200 miles and at least 3,000 miles from east to west, covers one-fourth the area of Africa including the lands of Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
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Attractions
1 within 6 miles

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles121 reviews
Excellent
75
Very good
30
Average
9
Poor
4
Terrible
3

quicknigel
Greater London, UK539 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
This was part of a two day couch trip with tui.
We did a sunset camel ride or horse and buggy.
Lots of photo opportunities
Your lead out on a camel to various areas of the desert and every so often horse riders appear wanting you to take their photos for a price
At the end in the camel station, your photo on the camel is for sale 4 td
Well worth a visit
Written January 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Al_Mey1985
Plymouth, UK820 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We recently returned from Tunisia where we stayed for 11 days, before I went I found it difficult to find information about excursions etc so thought I’d write this.

The Sahara explorer was booked through our Thomas cook guide at out hotel, it cost 170TD which is about £80, which does sound a lot, however includes all food for two days, and overnight hotel stay, plus all transport and ticket prices.

We set off at 7am headed down the El Jem to see the amphitheatre which was amazing; having been recently to Rome, I would say that this smaller amphitheatre is more awe inspiring, it’s so much better preserved and still used today for music events etc and also still has the under floor housing intact. After this we headed to Matmata, where the star wars films were filmed, there are some amazing views of the lunar landscape and then a visit to one of the Matmata cave homes and then a trip to the actual Matmata home they filmed star wars.

Later that 1st day we headed to the desert and had an utterly once in a lifetime amazing trip on camels for one hour, which was utterly unforgettable, although you struggle to walk for a bit after it was worth it. We then spent the night at the Sahara Douz which is a lovely hotel, very beautiful but the air con didn’t work which was a shame.

The 2nd day was a 4am start to catch the sunrise on the salt lakes, which again was an amazing sight. Later that day we went on 4x4 land cruisers across the desert to the star wars set, with some exciting off road driving en route.

Then came a trip to a huge oasis and rides on horse and carriages which again was great, and tasting the fruit is a must.

Later we went to see the great mosque in Kairouin which wasn’t great as we couldn’t go inside due to it closing at 2pm.

The trip all in all was utterly amazing and well worth the money, we had an amazing time and took some great pictures. Our tour guides were great and well worth a tip!

N.B. there is an additional charge of 25TD for the camel ride and horse and carriage in total (not each) which I did find a bit cheeky but well worth paying, well actually a must!!!
Written September 17, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marinoonan
Waterford, Ireland123 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Family
The 2 day trip from your hotel to the Sahara and back is full of bum numbing bus journeys, very early mornings and monotony. But if you don’t do it, you may never know the feel of Saharan sand on your skin or even in your mouth – it’s as fine as air and sneaks in everywhere like a thief. You may never hear the frog-loud racket in an oasis pool teeming with tiny frogs. You may never see the sun set over the desert with no horizon or rise over a salt lake that spans unendingly as far as the eye can see. You may never taste the bread of a Berber woman in the coolness of her cave home. You may never hear the screech of a baby desert fox, it’s colour as pale as milk or the silence of a salamander perched on an Arabs shoulder or the hiss of a caged cobra in the Atlas mountains – all presented as disturbing photo ops. You may never despair at the mounds of rubble and rubbish everywhere and the blight of blue plastic bags blooming like fake flowers on so many bushes. You may never compare the architecture of El Jem colessseum built almost two thousand years ago to the decrepitude of the modern buildings, falling down before they’ve ever been completed. You may never be horrified at the slaughter of goats at the side of the road, their carcasses and pelts hung up on hooks outside cafes.
So just get out of your pampered cocoon of a resort and see something even if it is from an air conditioned coach, eating your meals in good hotels along the way and staying overnight in another luxury cocoon.
You may never be more thankful that you don’t live in Tunisia.
Written June 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Farida2022
Doha, Qatar646 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Friends
The day i went for sahara tour was another day in paradise to me u der the sand strom. we pay extra 10 TD for camel riding. It is exteremly wroth to pay for that. Firstly, you will have the riding suite including craft to cover your body,head and face. It is well clean. The guy from the shop helped me to dressed it up. Within 5 mins fully dreeed up a d ready for the ride.
Me and my friend get ali baba and abdul, and his master to guide us. My camel abdul ws so noughty, he often push to ali baba along the way to Sahara. There was a mild sand Strom on rhat day evening. It was amazing riding experience under the strom.
We took lots of pictures there. Our camel guid helps us to take mpre pictures too.
There are some beautiful horses in Sahara. If you like to ride it, thye will offer you the same rate too.
There is one professional photographer there. He will take some picture of you before you take off. Once you come back to the source it is ready. You just dropped 4TD for that.
The view on riding was incredibly beautiful under the sunset, still remaining as a good memories.
Written July 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PrincessBella67
New South Wales, Australia159 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2010
If you get a chance to visit the beautiful country of Tunisia, do not miss the opportunity to take a tour into the Sahara Desert, it is well worth it! I went; experienced the blanket of stars at night and the amazing expanse of desert during the day; rode a camel; dressed like a local; tasted local cuisine and bartered at desert town souqs. Amazing!!

It can be hard to find a good local guide, but we loved the one we found:
http://alitouareg.weebly.com/index.html
Written May 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel W
Dundee, UK36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Friends
In two days, you travel 70% of tunisia. 'Nough said.

Within that, you get to climb a date tree, have an hour camel ride in the Sahara Desert, ride in a 4x4 over sand dunes, see the Star Wars set planet tattooine, ride in a horse and carriage, try bread made on a rock (which btw is much better than your local bakery), visit the El Djem and watch the sunrise over the salt lakes which is breathtaking!

It is phenomenal, and a once in a lifetime experience that you need to take!

The tour guide we had was absolutely fantastic! He was so friendly and patient. He speaks english, german and french as well as his first language (and probably more languages) exceptionally fluently.

He had so much knowledge to share with us all and because we were all nationalities on the bus together, hearing him switch from english, to german, to french, explaining time and time again the exact same things just in different languages is just amazing on it's own.

We had more than enough toilet breaks, and it was a long journey to each destination however if you take a pillow with you, you can sleep like a baby throughout the journey, and also watch by the breathtaking landscape of tunisia itself.

Would say the heat didn't make me hungry, so every time we stopped for lunch, I did not have much of an appetite. Also. If you don't like watermelon then I would suggest bringing your own dessert. We stopped by hotels for lunch, we didn't get to choose what we wanted which is the only downside if you are a fussy eater, but that shouldn't put you off the trip.
On our overnight stay at the hotel, it was lovely, there was a cute little pool and a massive bathroom and tidy room. My sister and I did not go down at dinner as we were absolutely exhausted from the early start.

We were in the midst of our trip when we heard the terrible news about the shootings. It did put a damper on our mood and really shocked and upset most of us, but the tour guide more than made up for it by telling the guys driving the 4x4s to ramp it up for more exhiliration.

This trip has shown me a lot, the poverty of tunisia and how lucky it has made me feel to be raised with a roof over my head, money to spend and food to eat. It also has shown me that you do not need a lot to live happily, like the people in the Berber Village. It is a great way to see the culture, see the realistic side and how people really live in the poorer, less developed countries.
Also a good way to make all your friends jealous with the phenomenal pictures you will be taking!
Written June 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mayah T
Derby, UK4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
Trip advisor review- Thomas Cook Sahara Explorer

1. Extras add up
-1 dinar per camera in amphitheatre
-have to pay for drinks at meals
-have to pay for camel and horse ride
-have to tip EVERYBODY
-water etc (tap water not drinkable)
-toilets

2. Food
-promised set menu both times we were 'the exception'
-breakfast abysmal at Golden Yasmin
-very catered to German tastes

3. Our guide warned us about horses in the Sahara and locals wanting to rip us off

We were picked up from the Royal Thalassa in Monastir at 7.15, some people in Port El Kantoui were picked up at six, poor souls. The coach was lovely with air con and reclinable seats. Our first destination was Kairouan, the 4th holiest city in the Islam world. It was only a pit stop, about an hour away from our hotel. We were taken through a very reasonably priced souvenir shop, upstairs to the top of the mosque where you'll witness terrific views of the entire city. Take note- drinks are probably the cheapest here so stock up on water and crisps etc if you're hungry!

Dead on 12 o'clock, we stopped for lunch at a "4* hotel". Having been promised a set menu, we were told we were the exception and were whisked back to the 70s to their buffet restaurant. The chef, who was extremely proud of his cuisine, assured us what we were eating was chicken, when it actually looked like a tiny undercooked pigeon. The German visitors seemed to very much enjoy the food, however for the English guests, watermelon was probably the only food that I was familiar with. Another point, Thomas Cook were keen to hide the fact that whilst food is included, drinks are not and that you'd have to stump up more money at each restaurant you'd visit. I understand that 3dinar for a coke isn't much, but when you've already paid £97, things start adding up.

After we'd boarded the coach again, we were taken to Tozeur to visit an absolutely massive oasis. However, unfortunately for us there was a general strike in the phosphate mines and the worked were having a sit in- on nearly every road to Tozeur. After being stopped by Police many times and getting lost, around we finally arrived in Tozeur, about 5 hours later.

Having had to pay an extra 40 dinar each to take a horse and carriage ride to the oasis and the camel ride the next day, things were definitely starting to add up. The horse and carriage ride was a great experience as you were taken into the depths of the oasis and around the local village.

Upon arriving in the oasis, we were greeted by a local guest, although this wasn't made clear because our guide wasn't with us. The local guide spoke really great English and German, and explained the process of fruit harvesting in the oasis. Be aware, it's also his sales pitch to get you to buy dates and pay a 50 year old man to climb up a palm tree.

After this, we were picked up by the horses again and taken back to the town. Again, we were expected to tip the horse and carriage owner, although we had already paid. (Perhaps I'm coming across as stingy, but seriously, all this tipping is adding up especially when you've already paid. And also, people expect you to just hand money to them just because they're stood there).

We were greeted by our 4x4 driver who was friendly and the leader of the cars. The off roading was brilliant and well worth it. We were then taken to see a set of a Star Wars, the desert planet of Tatooine. This was brilliant as a lot of the set was still in amazing condition. Again there were locals who wanted tipping constantly, not too many though.

After this we got back in the jeeps and were driven to the hotel for our evening meal and overnight stay. On the way, we stopped to watch the sun go down over the salt lakes, which again, was a magnificent sight. The hotel which we stayed in was called the Golden Yasmine, in Tozeur. In all honesty, it wasn't a bad hotel however, once again, the food was abysmal and you had to pay for drinks. The waiters were also slightly rude. The wake up call for the next day is at 4.00 in order to watch the sun rise in the salt lakes.

The next day, after watching the sun rise, we were taken for a camel ride across the Sahara which was great fun. It was about 7.30 when we began the ride which meant it wasn't too hot either. We had such a great time and the ride lasted around 90 mins, I think. Our Tour Guide warned us that there would be sellers in the Sahara when we'd stop and he was correct- there were people with horses asking if you'd like a ride on them and men selling drinks for -what we thought- quite reasonable prices.

After the camel ride, we were taken to Matmata where we had lunch-another not as poor buffet but where you had to pay for drinks- and saw how locals lives in caves. Infact, you even stop at somebody's house and wander round their cave. I found this a little weird and slightly intrusive, but interesting nonetheless. Of course, you're expected to tip on the way out.

We then made our way to El Jem, the amphitheatre which inspired the set of Gladiator which was probably about a three hour journey. Having never been to Rome, we were taken away by the enormity and grandeur of the amphitheatre. You can walk from where the lions were kept up to the highest seating area. Another little bug is that you are charged for taking a camera in which is really frustrating. It's only a dinar or so but its still adding up! Once you finish at the amphitheatre, you are then taken back to your hotel. We were back at around 5.30.

We had an absolutely amazing time on the Sahara Explorer trip, and would truly recommend it. However, Thomas Cook aren't always clear with what is included and what isn't so just be aware!
Written June 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LouInLancs
Manchester, UK108 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
Two days of exploring many miles of Tunisia and the Sahara desert.

HIGHLIGHTS:
You get to:
See El Djem - one of the best preserved coliseums in the world
Go to a Berber house in the caves of the desert
Ride a camel through the Sahara
Take in the tranquillity of sitting there on top of a sand dune halfway through the camel riding
See the sun set that evening
See sun rise the next day
Visit a salt lake
4x4 'scary' jeep ride
Go by horse and cart to an oasis
Take some once in a lifetime photos

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Take some mosquito repellent, an empty water bottle to take some Sahara sand back home, stockpile 3-4 bottles of water from the hotel before you go, binoculars if you have them.
Make sure you take enough batteries and memory card space for your camera!
Take some dinars in small denominations (1s and 5s) for both tips and drinks along the way.

Overnight stay was fine, I actually enjoyed it and wouldn't change anything about it, it was all part of the great memories I have... this wasn't the case for all I see. No, it wasn't quite the luxury of the 5* hotel we left behind, the hotel doesn't proclaim to be. For dinner they sit you on a table next to other people... it made a nice change, you got to chat to someone about the trip. All-in-all the hotel is basic but you're only there for a few hours really as it's an early start the next day at 4am! My only complaint is the air con was not working.

The only thing missing from this trip was seeing the waterfall and pool of water in the oasis that other people did do on this trip. This was missed off ours but in all fairness I didn't check this was promised before the trip... I just assumed after looking at the reviews on here before I went. This would have been the icing on the cake which is why I score the trip 4/5 as I would have loved to have done this and felt it was lacking.

Overall I'm really glad I did this trip. I have some fabulous memories and photos that will for sure need photo frames. Be prepared for segments of the trip that drag on the coach. Remember that it's part of it to cover the 600-700 miles that is needed to travel in these two days. This is truly a once in a lifetime trip and well worth the money.
Written October 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David
Cheltenham, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
The 2 day sahara explorer is well worth the money.
We woke up around 4:30 am and the coach came to pick us up at 5am.
We travelled through the night to our destinations. The following is in order of the trip.
Amphitheater of El Jem
Underground house of the local people
Camel ride into the desert for 1 hour (90 pounds for the camel ride and horse and carriage ride, well worth it)
Overnight stay at a hotel
Saltwater lake with sunrise
4x4 SUV ride to the star wars film set in the desert
Horse and carriage ride to a date plantation (price included with camel ride)
Great Mosque of Kairouan

The tour guide will give you a lot of information about tunisia, so much that it will be hard to sleep throughout the journey.
No one forces you to buy products.
Written September 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pjlroa
Chicago, IL23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Friends
Go to Tozeur..this town is so different from other Tunisian towns and it's also close to the Sahara desert. Rent a 4x4 with a driver and have fun with the Sahara dunes and go to where they filmed star wars. The sets are still there. Stay till sunset. It's amazing.
Written April 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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