This Old watchtower is located in the midle of the Pansea Camp, it was reciently restored ( i couldn´t get any history of the tower). It´s a four story construction well decorated and with a great viewpoint at the top, and with some of the best views i´ve seen to the immense Sea of Sand of Ksar Ghilane.
One of the most beautiful moments of my stay in Ksar Ghilane, was when we climbed into the old watchtower (now restored) to see the sunset and the train of camels bringing back the tourists to the camp.
The Camel Riding is the main activity in Ksar Ghilane, the place is wonderful, and the ride over the camel with such stunning views and the silence of the desert is something special, of course there are hundreds of tourists but in some way they disappear in such immensity.
Berber is the majority of populaton in North Africa in terms of race (the Arabization of the Berber culture swept away the language and the identity) and represents 60% of the population of Tunisia. They often live in the mountains or in small settlements, and some of them are nomads. We met this friendly small boy with his desert fox in Ksar Ghilane, he was with his family selling water and soft drinks to the tourists.
There are dozens of camels ready to ride the tourists into the vast inmensity of the Sea of Sand, the camel is a cute animal but sometimes they try to bite you or at least they try to spit you when they are angry.
The second largest Sea of Sand in the Sahara (the other one is the Occidental Erg in Algeria), the Grand Oriental Erg starts in Algeria, continues into Tunis and ends in Lybia. Ksar Ghilane is located in the southern shore of the Erg. When you think about the endless sea of sand dunes, you are thinking about an Erg; because mostly of the Saharan desert are arid lands of rock and pebbles.
In addition to what has been written about Ksar Ghilan, photgraphy lovers might enjoy the different contrasts to take great pictures in a quite milieu. Make sure that you take advantage of the Tower in the 5 star hotel to take panoramic pictures. Shooting with a zoom is a bliss. Highly recommended for friends and love birds. Have a question do not hesitate to email me.
Sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you will find between a couple of dunes a dozen of palm trees. Why are they growing in that particular place ? It is a mystery. Of course, they are growing here because they have found some underground water, but the question is why is there underground water here?
Look at these edges of the Bir Soltan well. What do you see ? Thirsty people passing by this place have for centuries thrown a bucket into the well and waited for terrible minutes to know whether the well was wet or dry ! Life or death ! Now you understand why it was so important to get water ! Look at how deep the ropes have carved the edge of the well.
BTW, do not forget that this well is a first class one. Most of them are just a hole in the ground, no "road" sign pointing to them, nothing says it is here but you have to find it, otherwise…
In the desert, there is always wind and even when there is not what is called a sand wind (the sky would look whitish-yellowish), the rim of the dunes can "smoke" sand as it does on this photography (enlarge !) and gusts of sand fly across the track.
In some parts, there is no track besides ours and we have to zigzag between the barkhanes. Of course a good detailed map and a compass are a need. If you take care, this is not dangerous. However, there is a real risk to loose the way. This is why a good supply of water and of gas is an absolute need.
If you do not enlarge the photo, you will think that this is another shot of sand and dunes. If you enlarge it, you will see that there is a village. The houses, made of reed and palms, are half hidden among the barkhanes. When you drive along in this countryside, you can easily miss it.
At first, when you arrive in the oasis of Ksar Ghilane, it has not the classical look of an oasis, with palm trees being the only trees. Ksar Ghilane has many tall tamarisks (called saf-saf) that give it a very special look. Its vegetation is abundant.
Here, the soil is more sandy and less stony. The shrubs are higher and here are the camels, roaming freely and feeding. Their owner have sometimes to walk several kilometers before they find them, when they need them.
On this photo, the undulating landscape is mostly sand and gravel mixed. The countryside is dry but there is a (relatively) abundant vegetation of shrubs that make a perfect feed for camels, goats or sheeps. The track can be seen on the right of the picture.