Tunisia is a stunning country. I was so surprised by the level of natural beauty. The Grand Erg Oriental, which are the dunes of the Sahara, and the Palmeraie of Tamerza are only a couple of the areas that I had never heard of prior to my visit. However, the highlight of natural beauty in Tunisia was its stunning salt lakes or Chott El Jerid.
Chott El Jerid sits in the west of Tunisia. This area of 5000 sq km is part of a system of salt lakes that run across the entire region. It is a startling landscape which shimmers in the light and makes it difficult sometimes to see the difference between land and horizon. It is an amazing area and so worth visiting. You may recognise it from the very first Star Wars movie – Luke contemplated the two moons here!
I had always associated salt lakes with Bolivia and had never heard of Tunisian salt lakes. Chott El Jerid is located literally by the side of the road! No real signage, no entrance. You will need a car to visit so either hire or one or grab a cab. You can then stop by the side of the road and start exploring. Chott El Jerid is a photographer’s dream with the light causing amazing colours and shadows and textures against the minerals.
You can stay in either Kebili or Tozeur to visit Chott El Jerid. I would recommend Tozeur as it is a nicer town, you can visit the Palmeraie (200,000 palm trees!) and you can then do a half or full day trip to some of the Mountain Oases towns that are about 75km away. Tamerza is not only a gorgeous old village it also has several lovely waterfalls. Mides is only 6km away and features a stunning gorge.
Chott El Jerid Useful Links:
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Also published on Medium.