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.more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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?more
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...more
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.more
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.more
This remote outpost is hard to find, in more ways than one. In one of the quirks of Arabic transliteration, Ksar Ghilane can be spelled in different ways. Qasr, Qsar, Ksar and Kasr can combine with Ghilane, Ghilan, Gilan, or Gilane. In any event, this Ksar (meaning fort) can be found at the end of a four to six hour trek by four wheel drive...more
In order to prevent sand from invading the track, locals trim together palm leaves to build vegetal barriers. Sand will accumulate behind and from time to time, they have to build new ones. It is done in the same way than in the mountains, the barriers that prevent the formation of snowdrifts.more
In the evening, we usually lit a small fire though we were not able to cook on this fire as the locals did, but that was enough to warm up a little (nights can be cold in the desert in March) and to grill a few slices of the excellent bread that we had bought in the last bakery.more
The menus were not very varied and we always used as much as possible local food. In the evening, we usually cooked rice (not local !) and prepared local hard boiled eggs. At noon, we made a salad with the rice, the hard-boiled eggs and very tasty local tomatoes, possibly added with locally grown fresh onions.more
While the quality of the trail did not make any problem, orientation did. Road signs were very scarce and almost absent. It is amazing to see that there are so many tracks in the desert and sometimes, even with a good, detailed map (1/200,000), it is difficult to choose the best one.more
Where is the next shop ? Ahead, on the right, on the left, who knows ! When the land is flat, the only place from where you can have a wider view is to get on top of the Landrover !
Actually, I am kidding, climbing on the Landrover was to take a photography !
In the desert, water is an absolute need. Depending of the temperature, the wind, etc… each person needs from 6 to 8 liters of water. It is always safer to have a lot more water than what is reasonably needed. We had two 13 liters jerricans set in the front of the car and a 100 liters supple tank inside. That allowed to give water to those who...more