December 2017 (Full)

Tunisia Rose of Sahara

December 17 - December 29
13 Days
RM 6700
13 Pax

Price

Date: 17/12 - 29/12/2017 (13 days)
Fee: RM 6,700
Register before: 17/9/2017
Travel style: Road trip
Tour status: Recruiting


Terms & Conditions

  1. Fee includes:
    • Accommodation (In cities standard hotel room, twin-sharing; D7 Desert Camp, 2 in one tent, shared bathroom with toilet; D8 & D9, cave dwelling, 2-3 in a room, shared bath and toilet)
    • Partial meals (limited to breakfasts and dinners from D5 to D10)
    • Chartered transport (minibus, four wheel drive, Tunis airport transfers)
    • D5 horse drawn carriage fee
    • D6 Red Lizard Train ticket
    • Entrance tickets (as per itinerary)
    • Tunisian driver and tour guide (English-speaking)
    • Travel insurance (only for Malaysia-based tour members, the point of embarkation and return must be Malaysia. Overseas based members, please acquire own policy, the charges included in LevArt’s costing shall be deducted from tour fee)
  2. Fee excludes:
    • Flight (round-trip Air Saudi KL-Tunis estimated airfare RM 2,900 – RM 3,100; once the trip is confirmed ON, LevArt shall provide flight details for members to buy own tickets online)
    • Photography fee (some tourist sites impose fee for taking photos or video, usually about 1 Dinar/ camera, equivalent to about RM 2)
    • Expenses during free and easy
    • Optional activities (such as camel ride or Quad bike at desert camp)
    • All lunches and dinners for D1-D4 & D11
    • Tips (for Tunisian guide and drivers)
    • Additional cost due to unforeseen calamity (acts of god).
  3. Group size: minimum 10 pax per group, maximum 13 pax.
  4. Booking fee: a non-refundable deposit of RM 2,700 is payable to secure tour booking. The deposit can be returned if the tour is cancelled due to insufficient number of participants, or unforeseen calamity (acts of god).
  5. Balance tour fee: full payment upfront upon registration deadline or when tour is fully booked.
  6. Tour cancellation: Fully paid tour members who pull-out due to unavoidable circumstances with valid reasons, may get partial refund based on a case-to-case review. RM200 administrative fee applied.
  7. LevArt reserves the right to alter the fee in the event of a significant spike in fuel prices, airfares and foreign exchange rates.
  8. Itineraries are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond LevArt control. Every effort will be made to operate tours as planned, but alterations in accommodation arrangements and itinerary may occur when deem necessary.

Reminders

Reminders

  • In desert region, the day and night temperature gap is huge. In December, temperature in Tunisia range between 10°C and 18°C.
  • Please observe modesty in dress code when visiting religious sites, avoid wearing shorts, miniskirts, sleeveless tops, tight-fitting clothing; for ladies, it's advisable to bring a scarf to cover the head when entering holy sites.
  • For D6, the operator of the Red Lizard train may cancel trip if tourist volume is insufficient, please be mentally prepared.
  • Malaysian and Singaporean could visit Tunisia visa-free.

Hardship Level

  • The desert region in the south of Tunisia is dry and arid, huge gap of day and night temperature, amenities limited and poorer facilities.
  • D6 enter the sand dune area with four wheel drive, no paved road, bumpy journey.
  • In the itinerary, one to two days involve long drive.

Tour Map


Tour Leader

To be confirmed

Itinerary

Tunisia – the smallest country in North Africa – has coastline measuring some 1200km, while tucked inland is the vast Sahara Desert, forming the unique half-sea-half-desert landscape. Tunisia has many historical ruins, including Carthaginian, Romans, Byzantine, Arabs, Ottoman, and the more recent French Colonial period.

Every Tunisian city has an old quarter known as the “medina”, packed with a maze of labyrinths, and at its center stands the open-air market called souk, selling colourful merchandises and bustling with activities. For sci-fi film series Star Wars fans, Tunisia is a pilgrimage destination, as film sets scattered across the desert in the south, the home of the Berbers, the indigenous people of North Africa.


DAY 01 : Kuala Lumpur – Tunis (20h30m flight)

Evening departure from Kuala Lumpur International Airport with Air Saudi, transit in Jeddah, arrival in Tunisian capital city the following morning.


DAY 02 : Tunis

Morning arrival in Tunisian capital, transfer to downtown hotel. Explore Tunis medina (old town), getting lost in time amidst a maze of crooked labyrinths, lined with ancient monuments like mosques, madrassas, and mausoleums. The most impressive is the great mosque of Djemma ez Zaitouna (means olive tree mosque), nearly 1300 years old, with towering minaret, and a rooftop richly decorated with colourful tiles. The medina souk (market) is a great place for shopping. In the new town, broad boulevards are lined with French colonial style architecture, including centuries-old cathedral.


DAY 03 : Tunis

Drive to city outskirt to visit Carthage ruins. The UNESCO heritage site dated back to 814 BC, an ancient seafaring city founded by the Phoenicians. Excavated structures include city walls, palace, temples, bathhouse, theatre, horse racing ring, pier, and cemetery. Later, visit Bardo Museum, showcasing a wonderful collection of Roman and Byzantine mosaics art. Late afternoon back in Tunis downtown, free & easy. At night, you may opt to take a local short distance train to the seafront for dinner, or enjoy a steam bath and scrubbed down at hammam (public bathhouse).


DAY 04 : Tunis – Kairouan (160km)

Drive to Kairouan, visit the Great Mosque of Uqba, one of the most impressive and largest Islamic monuments in North Africa. The fortress-like mosque, built between AD 670 and 675, is regarded as the forth holiest Islamic site (after Mecca, Media, and Jerusalem). Later, visit Zaouia Sidi Sahab, the centuries old complex consisting a mosque, madrassa, and mausoleum, richly decorated with tiles art. Afternoon, take leisurely stroll in the medina, lined with whitewashed old residential homes and shops, decorated with colourful wooden carved doors and windows, full of local vibes.


DAY 05 : Kairouan – Tozeur (300km)

Morning drive to Sbeitla, visit the Roman ruins dated back to the 2nd century. The ruins have the world’s most well preserved Forum of Roman temples. Other interesting ancient remains include pubic bath, theatre, fountains, triumphal arch, and city gate. Later, drive to the oasis town of Tozeur, surrounded by palmaraie (palm groves), its medina was featured in the acclaimed movie “English Patient”. Take a horse carriage to tour the oasis and learn more about life in oasis.


DAY 06 : Tozeur

Morning take an excursion on board “Red Lizard Train”, former royal train, a gift by the French to Bey of Tunis. Embark from bustling market town into the lower reaches of Atlas Mountains. The train chugs through spectacular scenery of desert, canyon, amazing pink, red, and yellow rock formations. Afternoon visit filming location of Star Wars movie series, including Mos Espa and Lars Homestead, where the sci-fi movie props and sets still remained, appearing like mirage in the desert.


DAY 07 : Tozeur – Sahara Desert Camp (200km)

Drive towards desert campsite via Chott El DJerid, the largest salt pan in Sahara Desert. The salt lake is located in very dry and hot region, most of the time its waters evaporated under high heat, exposing a vast white plain of salt deposit. This is also one of the shooting locations of Star Wars film series. Lots of photo opportunities at the salt lake. Later, continue driving to oasis town Douz for lunch. Afterwards, change into four wheel drive suitable for negotiating sand dunes, and head towards the desert camp. Arrival around sun set. At night, gather around bonfire for stars gazing.


DAY 08 : Sahara Desert Camp – Matmata (150km)

Leave the desert camp for Matmata, another Star Wars film series shooting location, and known for its cave dwellings, still resided by the indigenous people of Northern Africa, the Berbers. Matmata has a unique lunar-like landscape, its rolling hills dotted with man-dug pits for making underground homes. Today, Matmata is a “pilgrimage site” for Star Wars fans. Overnight in cave hotel.


DAY 09 : Matmata – Chenini (200km)

Today continue heading south, en-route visit Medenine, known for its ancient Berber fortified granary, which was featured as the slave quarters in Star Wars films. The granary was also used as the exterior of Anakin Skywalker's home. Later, journey further south to Tataouine, the planet Tattooine in Star Wars got its name from this town, visit traditional fortified complex such as Ksar Hadada and Ksar Ouled Soltane. Lastly stop in Chenini, a fortified Berber village perched on hilltop. Overnight in cave hotel.


DAY 10 : Chenini – Sousse (430km)

A long road trip today back to the north of Tunisia, en-route visit El Jem, where a well preserved Roman amphitheater is located, which could hold a capacity of 35,000 spectators, step back in time and learn about Tunisia’s rich history. Later, drive to Sousse for overnight stay. The port city of Sousse is known as the pleasure garden of the Mediterranean, it has the oldest and biggest fortress built by the Arabs in Northern Africa named Monastir (8th century architecture).


DAY 11 : Sousse – Sidi Bou Said (180km)

Take a morning stroll in Sousse medina, soak up the vibrant atmosphere at local market, sipping mint tea and watching locals play cards or chess in teahouse. Later, drive to the north, en-route visit the coastal town of Hammamet for lunch. Afterwards, continue journeying north to Sidi Bou Said, known as Tunisia’s most romantic town. Sidi Bou Said is overlooking the Mediterranean, perched on hilltop, it has a blend of Spain Andalusian and Arabic architectural styles, most houses have whitewashed walls decorated with bright blue doors and windows.


DAY 12 : Sidi Bou Said – Kuala Lumpur (16h40m flight)

After breakfast, transfer to airport, bid farewell to Tunisia, board a flight heading to Jeddah for transit, then catch a connecting flight back to Kuala Lumpur. Arrival at destination the following day.


DAY 13 : Kuala Lumpur

Late morning flight landed in Kuala Lumpur. End of tour.

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