This itinerary, set in the far south of Tunisia, offers an opportunity to ride along huge sand dunes of the Big Erg region with a morning camel trek to watch the sunrise from the top of the highest dunes. Camp beside your horse in the desert each night and watch the Bedouin pass with their flocks. Enjoy the magnificent sunsets while the camp staff prepare delicious meals each day. The horses are Barb and Arab Barb crosses, sure-footed and used to the terrain and pace of riding.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from PL of New York on 20/02/2020
Arrival at Djerba airport for a group transfer to Duiret, approximately a 2-3 hour drive. You will be staying in a Bedouin camp, with dinner around the campfire.
Today you will visit the ruins of Duiret villages with a picnic lunch. This former Ksar, which is over eight hundred years old, is still inhabited by some families and its traditional olive oil plant still works. You can visit the Ksar and the tombs of the 7 giants as well as the small tilting mosque outside the village. In the afternoon you will go riding in Chenini for about 2 hours to visit the mountain village Chenini. Dinner in a small oasis near Chenini. 2 hours riding.
You continue through the mountainous landscape today. Taking in the changing views over lunch as you reach the desert regions, where you can enjoy lovely canters through dried river beds in the afternoon. Along the way you will meet local Bedouin with their camels and flocks of sheep. You will stop for dinner and camp in the middle of nowhere. 6.5 hours riding.
Stroll through the desert landscape of the Great Oriental Erg, with desert as far as the eye can see, stopping for lunch in the sand dunes. After some long canters, you reach the oasis Ksar Ghilane, where hot springs have made a green paradise from the yellow sand in the middle of the desert. There is the opportunity to bathe in this natural bathtub, and to have a warm shower after. Then we join the camp in the oasis for dinner and a well-earned rest. 5-6 hours riding.
Today you ride to a French fort built on the Roman ruins and this will be our lunch stop. The afternoon is free, so you can swim in the hot springs and visit the bar. Dinner and overnight at the oasis. 2 hours riding.
Today will be a long ride through the dunes of the Grand Erk Oriental until we arrive for lunch at the Cafe El Bibane. After lunch we will continue on our way to our camp at Cafe du Park in Jerbil.
Morning ride to Jerbil National Park (8kms) where we will enjoy a visit and hopefully see some gazelles! After we will return to Cafe du Park and then depart to Djerba for the final night.
Transfer to the airport. Departure.
25th April - 2nd May 2020 - please note that on this date the ride will run in reverse.
Single tents when camping are available free of charge.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The horses are Barb and ArabXBarb ranging between 14.2hh - 16.2hh. They are very willing, sure footed and perfectly adapted to the pace and terrain. Their temperaments vary from steady to more lively. They are ridden English style with a loose contact as is common on long distance rides. A choice of trail or English saddles is available.
The riding starts in the mountains and finishes amongst large sand dunes, a fast pace is maintained when the countryside opens up. The pace of this ride is faster than average, but walking is usual where the terrain is rocky. When walking, side-by-side is common, but trot and canter is done single file for safety.
Riders must be secure in walk, trot and canter as long distances need to be covered - canters of up to 5 miles are common. Riding times of up to 6 hours are encountered on some days. Riders are encouraged to groom and saddle the horses as part of the bonding process. A reasonable level of fitness and the ability to mount and dismount unaided is required. There may not be convenient mounting blocks in all parts of the desert.
This trail is not suitable for children under 15 years old.
The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
On the camping portion of the ride, small dome tents are utilised. The camp is prepared by the camp staff and single tents can be requested for no extra cost. Facilities available while camping include a long drop toilet. In the desert, the main purpose of bathing is to remove dust, not sweat due to the dry climate. Warm water can be requested for washing every evening and one night you will camp at a hot spring.
The last night is spent in a comfortable, middle of the range hotel with twin or double beds and ensuite bathrooms.
Meals are prepared by the chef and are typically North African: lamb dishes, couscous, tagines, salads and traditional sweets with fresh fruit. Vegetarian food is available on request, however it is not possible to accommodate other dietary requirements at this time. Please check with your travel consultant if you have any questions regarding this.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
UK citizens require a passport valid for 6 months after date of return and must be in a possession of a return ticket.
UK citizens do not need a visa but are required to fill in a form (inbound given on the aeroplane) for length of stay and destination. This is required both inbound and outbound and you will not be allowed to leave the airport without filling it in.
Non-UK citizens should contact the local Tunisian embassy / consulate for clarification.
The Tunisian Embassy in the UK can be found at:
29 Prince's Gate, London SW7 1QG Telephone: (020) 7584 8117
The address of the British Embassy in Tunisia is:
Rue du Lac Windermere, Les Berges du Lac, Tunis 1053. Telephone: (216) 71 108 700
Desert climates frequently feature large temperature changes from day to night. At the times this ride is offered the days will be sunny and warm to hot while the nights can be very cold. Temperature changes quickly, as soon as the sun comes up the air warms almost within minutes. Likewise at night, as soon as the sun sets, the air temperature drops quickly.
You are advised to contact your local GP surgery for up-to-date advice on vaccinations required for this area of North Africa. Currently, vaccination is advised against Hepatitis A, Tetanus and poliomyelitis.
Tunisia has a well-developed, if somewhat limited, public health service. There are a few private ’polyclinics’ available in the larger towns, which function as hospitals and provide a range of procedures. Some doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payments before treatment. Insurance to cover hospital bills is recommended.
Riders need to be relatively fit to cope with the riding and desert climate. Don't forget the sun block!
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz. Electric Plug Details: European plug with 2 circular metal pins. Voltage is similar to the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
Electrical equipment such as video and digital cameras cannot be charged during the trail. You should ensure an adequate supply of batteries to last the camping portion of the holiday.
This riding holiday can involve long hours in the saddle, riding at speed and in the heat, so clothing should be comfortable and well-tested. A broad-brimmed hat is a useful addition and high-factor suncream is essential. Boots suitable for riding and walking are advised. Temperatures can drop at night in the desert so a sleeping bag is required but unfortunately it is not possible to hire these. Blankets can be provided and are used in addition to a sleeping bag.
A few saddlebags are available but it is recommended that you take your own. The evenings are informal round the campfire, no change of clothing is required.
Short boots and half-chaps
Warm loose clothing for sleeping in
Sleeping bag and liner
Socks and underwear
Torch (essential for ablutions)
This is an 8 days/7 nights programme with 6 days riding available on set dates. Other dates are available on request for groups of 4 or more.
2021: 13 Feb; 10, 24 Apr; 9 Oct.
Other dates on request for groups of 4 or more.
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For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com
Large herds of wild camels roam the desert and will be frequently encountered. There are flocks of sheep and goats under the care of shepherds and dogs as there are wolves in the mountains. Birds of prey such as eagles and hawks can also be spotted.
There is a well preserved Roman history in Tunisia.
Languages spoken - Arabic, French widely spoken, English only in tourist areas. Muslim festivals (eg Ramadan) are observed. Theft is rare. The time zone for Tunisia is GMT/UTC +1 and the dialling code is +216