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Tunisia on a budget??

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I'm starting to plan a family trip to Tunisia for April 2008. We are a family of 5 (kids 14,11,3) living in Germany. We lived in South Korea for 5 years and traveled extensively (oh,how I miss my dollar stretching soooo!) I love to travel independently and usually make all our own arrangements, but I'm having a hard time wading through the Tunisia info.

I have read through the previous posts on Tunisia and have been looking elsewhere on the internet. What I really need to know is if I can do this economically?

Here's our wishlist: lots of Roman sites, some WWII sites,some Star Wars sites, some time at the beach, and at least one night in Pansea Ksar Ghilane (or any other similar suggestion?)

I'm thinking we should base ourselves in/around Tunis for 3/4 days,but then I'm unsure how to proceed. Rent a car and make our way south? Fly to Djerba and base ourselves from there?

Is it easy to pick up daily excursions locally? Or to hire an English-speaking guide?

I'd love any advice.

Thanks!

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    Hi MCannon --

    You can definately do a Tunisia trip economically. I've been living in Tunisia for a year, and I love that my dollar stretches as much as it does here!

    April is a great season to visit Tunisia, yet weather is high of 73F (23C) and low of 50F (10C). If you're planning to spend a lot of time on the beach, it may not be as warm as you'd like. That's why I'd recommend not staying in Djerba, since the island is only a resort area--beautiful, expensive, but nothing to do! Sousse is a large beach city and has another great museum in the medina. There are catacombs you can visit, lots of tourist activities, Port El Kantaoui, and plenty of shopping and restaurants.

    In Tunis you'll be able to see Roman Artifacts at the Bardo Museum. Of course, Carthage, which is an absolutely beautiful town, is full of great sites. You won't want to miss out on Sidi Bou Said, which is a village right next to Carthage.

    WW2 sites are not too abundant in Tunisia. There are a few cemeteries that are worth a visit, plus a small museum in the South. Also, if you are interested in Diving, there are wrecks in the ocean along Tabarka where you can see German and Italian vessels. Sfax, a large merchant city, was heavily bombarded, but most of damage was re-built. Also, Bizerte was a port city during the war, also the French stayed for a long period of time, even after occupation. Not too many sites, but the French architecture is interesting to see.

    As for visiting the south, which is a spectacular part of Tunisia, you should definately stay in Tozeur and do an excursion from there (visiting the three mountains of the oasis and Onj Jemel, one star wars site). There are several great things to do in Tozeur like Chak Wak Park, and the Hafsi Night Show. You can also travel with a 4x4 to Matmata and Tataouine to see the Troglodyte dwellings. You can stay at Pansea, however it is a luxury campout. If you'd prefer to campout but not spend as much, there are others.

    Please let me know if you'd like any more information, I'm in Tunisia working with my husband on a Tour operating/consulting company. My email is: vivian@hedficonsultingpartners.com. Also our website is www.hedficonsultingpartners.com. If you'd like just let me know around when you're planning to come and which star hotel you prefer. I can then give you prices for hotels, car rentals, gas, excursions, and the best route from Tunis and back.

    Vivian

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    Wow,Vivian. Thanks! You've breathed new life into my Tunisia dreams. Great info.

    I checked out your website and it looks great. What a dream job! I am surprised at how little there is out there for independent Tunisia travel considering it's on everyone's hot list lately. There's certainly a market, and I hope you're wildly successful!

    Thanks especially for steering us away from Djerba. I was feeling like we HAD to get there to say we'd been. Good to know we won't miss much in the off-season. I'm so intrigued by the Sahara and the Roman sites--I'd rather focus our time on that.

    I'll definitely email you for some more help!

    Thanks! Michaela

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