BP 96 Zone touristique, Douz, 4260, Tunisia
More about Mehari Zaafrane
The desert, the slow way
The southern tip of Tunisia is part of the Sahara, the world greatest desert. Visiting Tunisia is an easy opportunity to explore the desert.
If you like it to do it the slow way, you can go by camel. We went to Zaafrane south of Douz. If you don't want to travel in the desert for a few days, but like to taste only a little of the desert life, Zaafrane is the place to be. Here you can make a camelride of one hour to a small oasis with palmtrees and a pool. When we made this short cameltrip near Zaafrane, it started to rain ! It was a very special experience to have rain in the desert !
Zaafrane at the edge of the desert
Zaafrane is a small oasistown at the edge of the Grand Erg Oriental, 12 KM south of Douz. In Douz you can find hotels, a bank, the arket and shops. We stayed in one of the large desert hotels just outside of Douz.
For a cameltrip you have to head further south to Zaafrane. On our way to Zaafrane we saw a lot of wandering sanddunes which can cover a garden just in one night. In this area are a lot of date palms.
We made a short cameltrip of only a few hours to a lovely place in the middle of the desert with palmtrees and water. When we came back to the village on our camels, we had a big surprise. It started to rain. For me it was the first time I had rain in the desert.
Travelling by camel
The place for cameltrekking is Zaafrane, 12 KM south west of Douz. Here you can make a short ride for one hour or a oasis-hopping trek of a week.
When you approach Zaafrane from Douz, you will see about 200 camels at the left hand side at th edge of the town. Among the camels you can find the huts of the two local organisations, offering cameltrips.
We did just a short trip. Except a camel you can also hire a scarve and cloak if you like to dress up.
Riding a camel in the Sahara
Definately a touristy thing, but how cool is it to say I"I rode a Camel in the Sahara Desert"? It was amazing being surrounded by all those waves of dunes. The strangest thing was when this man appeared out of nowhere and offered us a Coca Cola. It was as though we were in a commercial!
We took our camel trek out of Zaafrane. We didn't have an exact address but the locals pointed us in the right direction. We did just a short day trip, but you take them for as little as an hour to up to a many day trek.
A word of caution: Camels are not very comfortable to ride on. It's a very bumpy ride! You may want to consider this before booking one of the longer treks
grains of sand
GRAINS OF SAND
Not a single grain of sand. No sand grinding between my teeth. Incredible! The bread is fresh and delicious. The sand is like icing sugar, fine grains cling like a film to my cheeks, palm of my hand, my clothes. The village people seem not to mind. They laugh when I try to shake it off. It proves impossible.This bread is made in my honour. My hostess is kneading the dough and rolls it out to a flat, 2-cm thick, round bread. Meanwhile my host goes outside and digs a hole in the sand. He fills it with brushwood which he kindles. In the glowing ashes he puts the bread and burries it under the sand. We while away the time by looking at each other. We have no common language, only smiles. There is no television to distract us. They have no possessions, nothing, not even furniture. I'm sitting on the floor leaning a cushion propped up against the loam wall. The sun makes patterns on the floor. I look round. They follow my gaze. I smile, they smile. I eat, they eat.How to get to Sabria: Sabria is 3 km off the El Faouar - Zaafrane road, turning off 7 km east of El Faouar. There are irregular pick up trucks going from Sabria to El Faouar and Zafraane.Everywhere around Sabria are sand dunes and vast expanses of sand stretching out in every direction; breathtaking views.>
Zaafrane, camel station
Zaafrane, the hired camels