Tunisia

Quick Facts

Region: Middle East & North Africa

Population:
10,378,000

Area (sq. km):
163,610 square meters

Time:

GMT +1 October-April GMT +2 May-September

When To Travel

Tunisia is a mixture of a Mediterranean and an African climate. The north The climate of northern Tunisia is very similar to the Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and quite pleasant winters. Temperatures in July and August are very hot with up to twelve hours of sunshine per day. The South Southern Tunisia is even hotter, with temperatures reaching mid-forties Celcius mid-year. During the winter there are approximately 5–6 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures are in high teens or low twenties.

You can visit Tunisia year-round but remember that July-September is very hot and best avoided.

Useful Travel Facts

Telephone:

Country code is 216. IDD is available in major coastal towns and cities. The outgoing international code is: 00. The telecommunications system is being modernized; a mobile cellular telephone system was established in 1996 and is now quite widespread. Mobile phones work well along the coastal strip and there are internet cafes in all cities. Telephone calls, especially international ones, can be expensive when made from a hotel. We suggest you check the price first. If you have a mobile phone it should be a relatively simple procedure to arrange 'global roaming' with your service provider, however charges are generally high so be sure to check this option thoroughly.

Electricity:

220V, reliable supply 2 pin plugs – same as Europe

Food:

Tunisian cooking is a blend of European, oriental and desert dweller’s culinary tradition. Its distinctive spicy fieriness comes from neighbouring Mediterranean countries and the many civilisations that have ruled Tunisian land: Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Turkish, French, and the native Berber. Unlike other North African cuisine, Tunisian food is often spicy. There is an old wife’s tale that says a husband can judge his wife’s affections by the amount of hot peppers she uses when preparing his food. If the food becomes bland then a men may believe that his wife no longer loves him. However when the food is prepared for guests the hot peppers is decreased to suit the more delicate palate of the visitor. The Tunisian cuisine was enriched throughout the centuries by the contributions of the people who came in the country. For example, the Jewish community’s impact is very significant as were the Berbers who brought couscous to Tunisia. Tunisian cuisine is based on olive oil and spices whose suitable mixture and erudite proportioning achieved miracles, transforming simple and inexpensive products into refined dishes. Like all Mediterranean countries, Tunisian cuisine depends not only on olive oil, spices and tomatoes but also on great assortment of fishes and meats. Happily for some, although Tunisia is a Muslim country, alcohol is not prohibited, in fact Tunisia produces reasonable table wines, beers and liqueurs

Visa:

Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel. At the time of writing, Australian and New Zealand passport holders require a visa for Tunisia and this can be obtained on arrival. British, Canadian and American passport holders do not require a visa for stays of up to 3 months. All other nationalities should check with the Tunisian Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information.



For Australian and New Zealand passport holders, the cost of the visa on arrival has increased considerably for arrivals after 1 April, 2013. For stays of from 7 days to 3 months the cost has increased to 400 Tunisian dinars (that’s approximately $260 as of 15 May, 2013). However, a visa for a stay of up to 7 days is only 100 dinars (approximately $66), and on departure you pay a penalty of 20 dinars for overstaying the 7 days. Our local operator assures us that there are no additional consequences other than having to pay the 20 dinars, so on arrival you should say that you are staying 7 days and pay 100 dinars.



A new tourism tax is being levied by the Tunisian Authorities.

From 01st October 2014 all customers departing Tunisia will have to pay 30 Dinar departure tax to exit the country.
This stamp can be bought either in resorts/hotels or at the airport, and is in the form of a stamp affixed to the passport.

This is approximately AUD20 per person, and includes adults, children and infants.



Alternately, you can also obtain a visa prior to departure for $150 from the Tunisian embassy in Canberra.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading

Lonely Planet - Tunisia Lion Mountain by Mustapha Tlili – Fictional account of the cultural impact of tourism. The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi