Safety Tips in Tunisia

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  • Heavens-Mirror's Profile Photo

    ~ Young Men Offering Drugs ~

    by Heavens-Mirror Updated Dec 20, 2005

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    Beware of young men in the area offering Drugs such as Cannabis, Cocaine & Heroin, whilst out shopping we had a couple of guys approach us & offer us all kinds of drugs, a firm no thank you to them is usually ok. "La Schukran" In Arabic is no thank you.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Water

    by croisbeauty Written Oct 13, 2004

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    Do not drink running water when in Tunisia, it is not recommendable. Everywhere in the country you can buy bottled water which costs around 0,50 euros per litre.
    When buying it out on the streets, make sure the bottle is originally closed!
    The air in Tunisia is very dry and you have to drink a lot of water during the day, at least 5-6 litres, otherwise you cannot survive the heat.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Custom formalities

    by croisbeauty Written Jan 29, 2005

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    In case you have traveled to ex-USSR, the custom formalities on ariving to Tunisia should clearly remind you how it was.
    First you have to fill the paper writing down what is the purpose of your visit, and then you'll wait in a row about one hour to pass the custom and police control. Be patiente, there is nothing you can do about, this people have plenty of time.

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    Scorpions

    by traveldave Updated Apr 18, 2006

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    Scorpions are common in Tunisia in rocky, brushy, and desert areas. They are mostly nocturnal and therefore generally do not pose any sort of threat during the day. However, visitors should not go barefoot or wear sandals in areas where scorpions are present. It is also not a good idea to go poking around under rocks or logs, as these are places where scorpions hide to escape the heat of the day. Anyone camping in the desert should also shake out his or her shoes before putting them on in the morning, since scorpions find an empty shoe a good place to seek shelter.

    All scorpions sting, but most are not fatal. However, the sting of even a non-deadly scorpion can be extremely painful. There are a few species of deadly scorpions in Tunisia, including the yellow fat-tailed scorpion (the most dangerous), the death stalker scorpion, the black fat-tailed scorpion, and the blacktip scorpion. Generally a healthy adult will not die from a scorpion's sting, but children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

    The scorpion in the above picture was found by a ranger at Bouhedma National Park by turning over rocks. After we took a few pictures, it was replaced under the rock and left in peace. I do not know whether it is one of the deadly species, but it looked frightening enough to me.

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    Desert Heat

    by traveldave Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    The Sahara Desert of southern Tunisia can become dangerously hot during the summer. On one of the days during my visit, the temperature reached 90 degrees Farenheit (32 degrees Celcius), and that was only early April. In the summer, the temperature averages around 100 degrees Farenheit (38 degrees Celcius), and the highest temperature ever recorded in Tunisia was 131 degrees Farenheit (55 degrees Celcius). Such heat can quickly kill anyone who ventures into the desert unprepared.

    Those traveling into the desert must take precautions against the extreme desert heat, such as carrying a lot of food and water (enough for a couple of days in the event of a break-down), wearing protective clothing (especially a hat), and applying plenty of sunscreen.

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    The Dangers of Desert Travel

    by traveldave Updated Aug 25, 2007

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    Off-road desert adventures are an activity that is popular among visitors to the Sahara Desert in southern Tunisia. Because of the dangers of desert travel, anyone wishing to participate in an off-road trip should go with an experienced guide. Otherwise, getting stranded in the desert can be fatal. It is easy to lose a sense of direction, especially because in the deep desert, all sand dunes look alike. It is very easy to become hopelessly bogged down in the sand and very difficult to get out. And the intense heat, especially in the summer, can impair the judgment of almost anyone.

    For those who choose to go into the desert alone, there are certain precautions that should be taken to ensure a safe trip. First of all, a plentiful supply of water must be taken. In hot weather, a person needs about four pints (two liters) of water per day. Also, a medical kit is a must.

    For driving in the sand dunes, it is necessary to slightly deflate tires so they will have adequate traction in the sand. An air pump will be needed to re-inflate the tires after leaving the sands. And drivers should proceed at a slow, steady speed. Accelerating and then quickly braking can cause a vehicle to become stuck in sand. A shovel for digging out, and planks of wood or mats to be placed under the tires can be helpful in getting out of the sand

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Sand wind

    by JLBG Updated Nov 13, 2004

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    Beware of sand wind ! This one was only a small one ! Old stories tell that in the desert, sand winds can bury a whole caravan of hundreds of camel. This is not true but in a sand wind, you are like in the fog, cannot see anything and can loose the track. Even when it is mild like this one, you will not loose your way but it is not worth visiting anything : everything is blurry and yellowish. The particles of sand suspended in the air will make you tear and can ruin your camera. When there is a sand wind, put your camera in several plastic bags and forget it until the weather improves !

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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    Be careful what you photograph

    by barryg23 Updated Nov 27, 2006

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    Visitors should not take pictures of anything connected with the Tunisian Military. Even taking pictures of buildings connected with politics might cause you problems. The Presidential Palace at Carthage is a good example of this. Unfortunately this is situated next to the beautiful Roman Baths so it‘s very hard not to point your camera in that direction.

    In some cases buildings will have visible signs outside indicating that photography is forbidden. If you say a soldier or policeman standing guard outside somewhere it’s probably off-limits for pictures as well.

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  • Ikaronaut's Profile Photo

    pretty safe country

    by Ikaronaut Written Aug 30, 2004

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    Tunisia is pretty safe country and probably the safest in Africa. Travelers are very respected from the locals as well as from the authorities.
    No special warnings. Just keep in mind that you are in moslem country so you can easyly understand local habits.

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    The so-called traveling diarrhoea

    by csordila Updated Jan 23, 2009

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    The phenomenon of a diarrhoea in the course of the travel is known already since centuries, a diarrhoea occur in the half of the tourists in the first fortnight of the travel averagely at least one times. Generally a mild disease cease automatically within five days usually.

    The countries may assign in three groups according to the risk.
    I. Areas with low hazard are North America, Australia, Japan and the EU, here the frequency under 10%.
    II. 15-20% is the incidence of the illness in the earlier Soviet states, Israel, South Africa, China and Caribbean area.
    III. The third group with a frequency above 20% consist of a big part of Africa, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Latin America.

    In the development of the infections primarily the drinking water, the badly heat treated, warmed foods, fruits properly not washed and not peeled play an important role. Carefully also with the alcohol, since some pathogens hold their infectious ability in the ice-cubes, even the considerable alcoholic beverages (whisky, tequila) may cause disease to us. The shallow of the coastal seas are polluted often with stool , or with not cleaned sewage.

    How should we defend ourselves?
    Do not select primitive accomodations where you cannot observe your washing customs, - Do not walk barefoot, - Bath only on places designated for it, - Eat only well done, cooked foods, avoid salads, never eat raw seafood. - drink only hot drinks such as tea and coffee or bottled liquid, e.g. bottles or cans of soft drink. - never drink tap water, refuse ice in drinks. - always wash the vegetables, fruits bought on street or market in purified water then peel them. - eat, as prevention, living flora yoghurts containing probioticses. - always wash your hands before eating and after using the toilet.

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  • arlequin_g's Profile Photo

    CAMERAS

    by arlequin_g Written Oct 2, 2005

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    If you are in the desert be very careful with your camera, have it well protected cause the sand can get into the lenses and spoiled it, mostly when it's windy . I saw some people who had to buy a new camera cause the sand ruined the cameras they had brought.So if you're not using it keep it inside somewhere.

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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    How to Stay Safe in your Hotel

    by csordila Updated Feb 6, 2009

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    Some safety measures being taken may increase the sucess of your trip without any incident.
    On your arrival do never forget, to locate imediately all the fire exits, elevators and public phones nearby of your room.
    Be sure that your room has a dead bolt, a chain, and a regular door lock. Always keep the door closed and locked and never open it before you do not know who wants to come in.
    Leave the TV or radio on when you want to go out of the room.
    Place all your valuables in the hotel safe and ask for a written receipt what you store.
    The "require maid service" sign on your door may signal, you are out of the room.
    Notify the front desk immediately, if your key has been lost, misplaced or stolen.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Desert
    • Beaches

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  • Catspjm's Profile Photo

    Hi! Did you enjoy your breakfast this morning?

    by Catspjm Written Jan 11, 2004

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    A much employed con used by many of the resort ývendorsý is the following. A smiling fresh faced male approaches you in a friendly and familiar manner in the street. He informs you that he works in your hotel or even that he served you your breakfast this morning. Working on the theory that tourists never pay any attention to hotel staff (sadly this can be true) they gain your confidence and lure you, with the promise of ýspecial deals,ý to their gift shop. Needless to say you are generally conned and the individual in question has nothing whatsoever to do with your hotel.

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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    Young children begging from travellers

    by barryg23 Updated Nov 27, 2006

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    Travellers in Tunisia are often approached by children, who ask for sweets, Dinars, or quite often, pens. (I've no idea why pens are so popular with Tunisian kids)

    Guide books discourage you from giving to the kids as it sends the wrong message out - i.e. of the western traveller who is there to give you stuff. More seriously, some of these kids are sent out by their parents to beg for money from travellers. The parents assume visitors will look more kindly on children asking for things.

    I'm not so sure the situation was as bad as this in Tunisia. Most of the kids who approached us asked for sweets first and money last and they weren't too bothered if we refused. A young boy in Tamerza, after we refused to give him anything, followed us back to our car and stayed there while we were in the restaurant nearby. As we were passing again we saw him throw little pebbles at the car. So perhaps we should have bribed him with a toffee...

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  • kazander's Profile Photo

    Women Be Careful!!!

    by kazander Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    As a women travelling "unescorted", you have to be very cautious in Tunisia. I think this is very important advice especially if you are travelling outside of the normal tourist destinations such as Sousse. The Tunisian men are very forward, apparently they think all American girls are pretty easy and will kiss just about anyone who asks. This happened to us on multiple occasions, and NO we didn't kiss any of them ;) Going out at night isn't highly recommended either. Which wasn't as bad as it might sound. We didn't go out at night much at all. We would have dinner, retire to our room and wake up early the next moring to start our adventures. We saw a different city every day!

    This advice might not be as applicable for somewhere like Sousse, which we just passed through. There seemed to be lots of big hotels and I'm sure there is a lot of nightlife there!

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