How to get the most out of a physically challenging Sahara desert trek

It sounds like something from the movies – but trekking through the Sahara on a camel is very much possible, and naturally in-fashion.

sahara trek preparation

Tunisia is one of those countries that really takes advantage of this experience and provides it to umpteen tourists every single year. Additionally, and as we’ll soon find out, it’s not all about riding the animal – there are plenty of sights and attractions to see as well.

With some of these tours being days, or even weeks in length, it means that some people really have to prepare well before even considering the experience. It’s for this reason that we have put together this guide, as we take a look at everything which camel trekking in Tunisia can involve, as well as some key preparation advice that you will need to take into account.


What does a Sahara desert camel trek involve?

Let’s start things off with a basic overview of what you can expect when you turn to one of these experiences.

In some ways, it’s a difficult question to answer – but this is only due to the sheer amount of choice that is now available in Tunisia in relation to these rides. In other words, tour operators tend to be happy to provide a one-hour tour – or one that lasts for a couple of weeks.

Naturally, if you opt for the latter, some form of accommodation will be necessary. In a lot of people’s eyes, this is something which actually makes the entire journey. Sure, riding on a camel is a unique experience in itself, but at the end of the day sleeping under the stars is something else. Additionally, a lot of these camping facilities will be strategically set, with many based in Berber villages. It means that as well as the stars, you will be surrounded by some fabulous local culture. You will also tend to sleep in a Bedouin tent during this – so the quality of accommodation certainly won’t be a problem either.

As you will have already seen, the length of your experience is going to have an impact on some of the attractions that you set eyes on. If you do happen to choose a camel trek that lasts more than a day, here are some of the most popular types of tours that providers around Tunisia tend to offer. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should at least paint an accurate picture of what you can expect.


Silk Trade Route

If you’re looking for a bout of history along your camel trek, it doesn’t come much better than the Silk Trade Route. Again, different providers will suggest a variety of routes, but the basic premise of this is to experience the route which was so key for trade many years ago.

Once upon a time tens of thousands of camel caravans went along this route. Now, you have the opportunity to repeat this journey.


Djerbil National Park

In truth, most tour operators will incorporate this in a trek of several days. When you do arrive at Djerbil National Park, you will start to mix with the locals before heading through the hills and towards Timbain (a sacred mountain).


Oasis treks

We’re not going to name a specific oasis here, for obvious reasons. Pretty much every tour across the Sahara on a camel will involve seeing at least one (although usually many) oasis’. For most tourists, they are one of the most interesting sights around and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to use one of them.


How should you prepare for one of these treks?

If you have opted for a short-term tour, it goes without saying that the preparation is going to be minimal.

The nature of the Sahara means that few of these camel treks fall into this category though, and this is where you really will have to prepare yourself in multiple ways before you travel.



The biggest precautions that you will need to take relate to the weather. In the summer, prepare for the hottest temperatures of your life. In the middle of winter, particularly at night, things take a drop for the ridiculous and it’s not been unheard of for water to turn into ice.

All of the above means that it’s absolutely crucial to select the correct clothing. Dressing in layers is paramount as while the seasons will provide some guidance of the minimum and maximum temperatures, what you will find is that these still vary enormously over the course of the day. By opting for a layered approach, you can manage your own temperature very easily.

There is one item of clothing that we are really going to hone in on though – the scarf. For the hot days, it’s something which can offer unrivalled protection to your head as the sun beats down. However, it’s the windy days where this becomes even more important, with a scarf protecting your face from all of the sand that is bound to fly into it at one point.


Health and Fitness

Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of advice revolves around your health. Sure, it might seem as though the camel is doing all of the work, but particularly when you participate in a trip which stretches over a few days you may thank yourself for some preparation beforehand.

We’re specifically referring to your hips, legs and core – all of which should be in “decent” condition before you venture away on the back of the camel. The basis is to have impeccable balance, and strength in these areas will provide more of this and just give you a much easier ride. Traditional exercises will suffice here as well; things like sit-ups are perfect and will make a huge difference when it comes to the crunch. Click here to visit Men’s Answer website to get more information around the subject.

As well as the above, hopefully it should go without saying that having water readily available is a given. It’s worth noting that often you won’t stop overly frequently whilst riding your camel, so always make sure you can gain quick access to refreshment.


A final word on Sahara desert camel trekking

To say that Sahara desert camel trekking varies would be an understatement. As we have explored, all tours can be different, but in the vast majority of cases it’s not just about the actual riding experience. In other words, you will see and experience far more – and this is what a lot of people don’t understand before they research camel trekking in Tunisia more.

Of course, as you are likely to be “aboard” your camel for long periods, there is significant preparation advice that you will have to adhere to. Again, this often comes as a surprise, but in a bid to guard against the conditions and injuries its absolutely essential so you get the most from your camel trekking experience.

15 beauty travel hacks to try before your jet away

It would be fair to say that you really have to tap into your creative side when you venture on vacation and look to keep on top of your beauty regime. It’s not possible to take your entire bathroom of products, and more often than not a suitcase just isn’t enough to house everything in.

beauty and makeup tips

Bearing this in mind, we have devised the following hacks. Before you jet away on your travels, take in the following advice to help perfect your beauty regime.


Take moisturizer for the long flights

They might get us from A to B, but airplanes are still far from perfect. From your skin’s perspective, they can be a nightmare and you’ll soon find that your skin completely dries out as you take to the air. As such, take moisturizer with you, and apply plenty of it as soon as you board your flight.


The same rules apply for body lotion

Following on from the above, the same rules apply for the rest of your body. It’s not just your face that is going to dry out, every other part of your body is as well. As such, invest in a mini body lotion bottle. For the typical week-long trip, you’ll probably have enough with a 3 oz. bottle.

Fortunately, these bottles are very easy to obtain free of charge. A lot of companies, with Bath & Body Works being one, regularly send out coupons allowing you to claim your free 3 oz. lotion.


Get your dose of travel-sized makeup

As any keen travelers will testify, one of the big problems is that makeup is so cumbersome to travel with. This is where a travel-sized kit comes into play. Whilst mini in name, and size to an extent, they will still probably last you for a year or so and be well worth the expense. It’s also a chance to experiment with a few new colors.

If spending money isn’t an issue for you, then you can just take only the essentials, and visit a local makeup artist if you are attending any events or having important meetings.


And while you’re at it… turn to travel-size dry shampoo

Another travel-size option comes in the form of dry shampoo. We don’t need to reiterate what the sun and saltwater does to your hair, it can wreak havoc with it at the best of times. If you can at least apply some dry shampoo before bed on an evening, you can wake up with it feeling as good as new.


Mini sunscreen works as well

While it might be tempting to simply purchase sunscreen when you arrive in your destination, try and resist such an urge. Instead, turn to a mini sunscreen face stick, which will make it oh-so easy for you to apply to your face. Additionally, if you opt for a Sun Bum product, you’ll find that it’s eco-friendly (which can’t be said for a lot of sunscreen products).


As does travel perfume

Something else that you should be packing as a miniature version is travel perfume. Fortunately, cost doesn’t have to be so much of a barrier here, courtesy of the samples at Sephora.

This is a store that will conveniently put any perfume of your choice into one of their little spray bottles, before labelling it.

If you are feeling particularly adventurous, consider one of their trial perfume kits. Whilst the perfumes in here are already selected, you do get seven to ten to choose from and also get a voucher for a free full size perfume as well. Ultimately, if you are traveling frequently, this can be another option to consider.


Still exercise caution with free samples

One theme which you might have noticed that was commonplace through this guide is the emphasis on free samples. As we all know, the beauty industry is expensive, and free samples can at least provide some rest bite.

However, exercise caution with these. Don’t be tempted to grab them all, as some just won’t be suitable. If you are going down the free sample route, at least make sure you’ve tried it before and you know that it’s compatible with your skin or hair.


Stick to full size bronzer

Most of the advice thus far has been about packing travel-size beauty products. Well, let’s go against this grain with bronzer; you can comfortably get away with using a full-size version. By simply dabbing it with circle cotton pads, you’ll find that you preserve it easily.


Give yourself the surf look (well, almost)

Whilst on your vacation, it could be argued that the “surf style” is something that is slightly more commonplace and fitting for you. This is where a mini surf spray should be on your shopping list. Whether you make it yourself, or turn to a Bumble & Bumble product, you’ll be thankful you took it along.


The beauty of blotting sheets

It might have its tanning benefits, but from an oil-generation perspective the sun can be your worst nightmare. It can make the oil pile up on your face, and this is where blotting sheets come into play. Make sure you arm yourself with plenty of these and whenever you do feel an excess of oil build up on your face, start dabbing (not wiping) it away.


Develop a cartoon smile with white strips

Even if it’s just for the purpose of those holiday snaps, nobody will begrudge you a cartoon-esque white smile. This is where white strips come into play. You don’t necessarily have to use them year-round, but if you can apply them just for the duration of your getaway it will make a noticeable difference.


Stay on top of your pores

Just because you are exposing your body to the sunlight, it doesn’t mean to say that your pore-problems are going to disappear. This is where you need to turn to a pore strip, to reduce the risk of those breakouts occurring on the top of your skin.


Bring your own nail polish

You never know if there will be an occasion where you will have to do your nails yourself in an emergency abroad, or if the manicure establishment of your choice charges extra for nail polish (this is quite common in Asia). As such, take a mini kit with you, and borrow an emery board from the hotel if required.


It can sometimes come down to your choice of pillowcase

This next suggestion might sound as though it is bordering on the ridiculous, but give us time. When you sleep on a standard pillowcase, your face has the habit of becoming scrunched up. The knock-on effect of this is that wrinkles are more likely to develop, and dry skin will form.

This is where a silk pillowcase steps in. It doesn’t absorb as much moisture, meaning that your skin doesn’t become anywhere near as dry. Furthermore, it can just be thrown onto a standard hotel pillowcase for the desired effect.


Finish things off with a face mask

By the end of your trip, your body (or your face specifically) needs some TLC. This comes in the form of a face mask.

This is one of those items where you might need to invest in, as it can be quite difficult to obtain the freebies that sometimes don other types of beauty items. However, to instill that elusive freshness into your face, it’s completely worthwhile.

7 tips and tricks before visiting Tunisia

Few would disagree that Tunisia is well and truly back on the map when it comes to tourism. Following a few turbulent years, it’s now becoming more prominent than ever in the travel brochures, with tourists desperate to lap up the glorious beaches, fantastic history and of course the hot temperatures.

tips and tricks

However, this isn’t like your standard exotic getaway. Tunisia is a little different to the typical vacation, and through the course of today’s guide we will supply you with seven tips and tricks which can help your plight when you visit there. (You can find the French version of this article by following the link below / Vous pouvez trouver la version Française de cet article ici).


Tip #1 – Know your routes

A lot of tourists are targets for locals who are looking to “show them the way”. They will approach you, attempt to show you the “right” way to a place, before concluding the relationship by asking for a tip.

Suffice to say, you can avoid this if you plan accordingly. Then, if they do start to pester you and ask to show you the way, simply smile and carry on walking. As long as you show confidence that you know where you are going, they will leave you alone and attempt to entice someone who perhaps isn’t quite as sure.


Tip #2 – Be wary of the dress code

You might be coming from a country where nobody particularly bats an eyelid about what you are wearing, but let’s not forget that Tunisia is a Muslim country and you are a guest to it. Ultimately, you need to obey their dress codes.

Unfortunately, the rules become a little more stringent for women and the key message you need to keep in mind is to be as conservative as you possibly can. It would be fair to say that you probably won’t have quite as many problems when it comes to the larger cities, but if you start showing off a lot of flesh in smaller areas it might cause offence.


Tip #3 – Stay local

This is something that has changed a lot over the years. Once upon a time Tunisia was quite segregated, in the way that locals and tourists would tend to be located in completely different areas of the country.

Now, this has changed. There are absolutely no problems in venturing off the beaten track, within reason at least, meaning that the older areas of Sousse, Hammamet and Kairouan are all completely open to everyone. Try and find local restaurants and really become ingrained in Tunisian life; it’s a lot different to the “tourism” option.


Tip #4 – Beware of the pickpockets

Every country has them and unfortunately, Tunisia isn’t any different. The main rule to think of in relation to pickpockets is that they tend to stay in the crowded areas. It means that if you are heading to the souks, or anything else that attracts the crowds, just be aware of your surroundings and make sure you tuck everything away.

On the flip side, in the quieter regions of the country, crime tends to be very low and tourists don’t usually encounter any problems.


Tip #5 – You are expected to negotiate

It might not be commonplace in every region of the US, but when it comes to Tunisia you are well and truly expected to negotiate and barter in most stores that you come across. Chances are, the first price that you set eyes on isn’t the “real” one, and the store owner is going to expect you to make a lower offer.

Of course, if you happen to be in particularly premium stores, this might not be the case. In every other case, start with your lowest offer.


Tip #6 – Taxis are the preferred method of transport

Most tourists who have been to Tunisia in the past are more than happy to recommend the use of taxis. The fact that these tend to cost no more than 80 dinars an hour means that they are exceptionally cheap – and you can let the driver of the cab deal with the local driving etiquette which is most probably a little different to what you are used to. Sure, hiring a car can sometimes be tempting, but for the simplicity-factor alone a taxi is by far and away the best choice for you.

On a side note, if you are really against the use of taxis, it’s worth giving a quick mention to the train system. Particularly if you travel through the countryside of Tunisia, you will be greeted with picturesque desert scenes. This option is of course preferred if you are travelling between cities where a taxi probably isn’t practical.


Tip #7 – Don’t change any money in the hotel

It might seem like the most reputable establishment for changing money, and there’s no doubt that it is utterly convenient, but hotels charge a fortune for this service. It’s not been unheard of for some hotels to charge as much as 15% more than a bank – which certainly adds considerable expense onto your getaway.

As such, banks should always be your first port of call. If we were going to recommend a specific one, the Central Bank of Tunisia always tends to offer good rates and is of course reputable.