27 Most Common Tourist Scams in Tunisia

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Komachi, Tunisia

Komachi, Tunisia

 

Tunisia is the smallest country in Africa but that doesn’t mean that there is not a huge amount to enjoy.

Here you will find warm temperatures and beautiful beaches all year round.

Besides its white sands and azure seas, you can spend time in teeming bazaars, explore desert landscapes, dry salt plains, and immerse in ancient cities where you can learn more about the ancient Arabic culture.

Violent crime against tourists is also rare and you will not feel threatened. However, there are tourist targeted scams and some of which have been here for more than 20 years! So it still pays to be careful.

Read on to learn how you can protect yourself.

 

 

A. TOURIST ACTIVITIES

1. I work at your hotel scam

Atlas Royal Hotel

Atlas Royal Hotel

 

How it works:

This is one of the oldest scams in Tunisia.

It starts with a con artist approaching taxis as they drop off passengers and asking the driver which hotel he picked up his passenger from.

The guy will then approach you telling you that he actually works at the named hotel, mentioning it by name and stating other details.

Once he has captured your trust, he may take you a shop owned by a friend where you will be forced to buy junk at inflated prices.

 

What to do:

If someone tries this on you, firmly decline and walk off.

 

2. Beach fruit sellers

 

How it works:

Also at the Yasmin Hammemet beach, a mobile green grocer cum con artist will come uninvited, sit beside you, start peeling fruits and force them into your hands.

Your pleas of “’no merci” will go unheeded and after peeling like 4 different pieces, he will want something like 60 Dinars ($30) for them.

 

What to do:

Be firm, shout if you must and push it back into his hands. Else, any moment of weakness will be exploited by the scammer.

 

3. The lizard beach photo

Tunisia beach

Tunisia beach

 

How it works:

This happens on the Yasmin Hammemet beach where a guy comes along carrying a lizard on his head or shoulder.

Using the lizard as the bait targeting your kids, he will happily allow you to take photos with the lizard.

For that privilege, you will owe him some money.

 

What to do:

Decline unless you wouldn’t mind paying to take a photo, but make sure to negotiate the price first!

 

4. “I take picture” scam

 

How it works:

They will offer to take a picture of you with your devices and then claim you owe them money, at times as much as $30 which you have to pay to get your camera or phone back.

 

What to do:

It’s better to solicit than to be solicited.

 

5. Overpriced food and drinks

Chakchouka

Chakchouka. Source: finedininglovers.com

 

How it works:

Overpriced food and drinks is one of the biggest scams in Tunisia and can be difficult to avoid.

Many restaurants in tourist hubs like Sousse or Tunis will overcharge for food and drinks and will also often bring other items to your table which you did not request.

These will of course be added to the bill.

A twist on this scam is to give you a menu but then convince you to order the ‘special’ which does not have a clearly marked price.

When it’s time to pay it will be far more expensive than any of the dishes on the menu.

 

What to do:

Ask to see the menu before entering and check the prices before ordering.

If you are served any items that you did not order then ask for them to be taken away and refuse to pay for them.

It is also prudent not to order a ‘special’ dish as this is usually very overpriced. If you do wish to order this then make sure to ask how much it costs in advance.

Ideally, check with your hotel / hostel staff or online reviews for recommended places to eat at

If researching is too much of a hassle, you can also consider joining a fun local food tour!

  • Viator: largest tour aggregator globally and in Tunisia.
  • Your hotel / hostel affiliated tour operator: reliable but generally not the best or cheapest.

 

6. Black henna tattoos

 
Henna tattoo

Henna tattoo

 

How it works:

Like in Morocco, there is a black henna tattoo scam common at beach areas in Sousse, Tunis, Hammamet and Hurgada.

Touts will come up to you and offer you a “black henna” tattoo and will advise you to do a patch test.

Black henna is not made from the henna plant like regular henna, but is actually made of a chemical that is used to dye hair. Many are allergic to this, but it can take weeks for the symptoms to show.

As the scammers know this and just want to make a quick buck, they will do the patch test and ask you to come back the next day.

They may also provide you with a fake medical certificate that promises that their product is safe.

Once you pay the money and get the henna tattoo, you may also get a nasty surprise several weeks later when you get an allergic reaction.

 

What to do:

Many people react badly to ‘black henna’ so it is best to just avoid getting a tattoo altogether.

 

7. Pickpocketing

Tunisia street

Tunisia street. Source: Flickr

 

How it works:

Crowded streets, train stations, public transportation, markets (e.g. in Old Tunis), shopping malls, restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels, nightspots or anywhere tourists hang out at are pickpockets’ favourite spots.

These thieves work in gangs, and will hang around to spot anyone carrying an expensive or neglected phone / jewelry / valuable / bag and where it is stored.

Once they mark a target, they surround you and then work like this:

  • One keeps a lookout and blocks passer-bys from seeing the scene.
  • Another blocks, pushes or distracts you (e.g. ask you an innocent question / survey / drop something and ask you about it).
  • A third steals your valuable / slashes your bag and then passes it on.
  • The last hides the loot under a jacket / coat / newspaper and then escapes.

 

What to do:

Stay alert and watch out for suspicious characters, though that is easier said than done.

The best solution is still, to not make yourself look like a target. 

Make it impossible for thieves to steal from you with these methods:

  • Carry around a photocopy of your passport instead of the actual one.
  • Carry small amounts of cash in a cheap spare wallet that you wouldn’t mind losing. Do not leave it in your back pocket.
  • Conceal small valuables in a money belt / hidden pouch, large valuables in a slash-resistant and lockable anti-theft bag.
  • Leave most valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe, secured with hotel safety tools.
  • Get a good travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) which covers loss of valuables.

 

8. Very pushy merchants

Street shops in Tunisia

Street shops in Tunisia. Source: travelguide.michelin.com

 

How it works:

This is both a hassle and a scam. In the medina area in Tunis and Hammamet, you will come across a many extremely pushy merchants.

Often they will do everything to get you to come into their shop including offering to shake your hand and then pulling you into the store.

Once you are inside you will be subjected to a long sales pitch and they will often try to sell you their wares for triple or even quadruple the real price.

They also often offer you tea as a ‘friendly’ gesture although this is meant to exploit the “reciprocity” sales technique and to keep you there as long as possible.

 

What to do:

Avoid entering any shop if you have no interest in buying anything.

Certainly do not accept any drinks as this implies that you will agree to make a purchase in return for the hospitality.

If you do enter a shop or stop at a market stall then you should not be afraid to bargain as this is expected in Tunisia.

Else, two other options are to:

  • Head to fixed price shops such as those in Costa Mall at the resort of Yasmine Hammamet.
  • Sign up for shopping tours (such as through Viator) and get a professional guide to help you get the best quality products at the best price.

 

9. Bogus tour guides

Avenue Habib Bourguiba

Avenue Habib Bourguiba

 

How it works:

A common scam around the world (e.g. Egypt, India), if you are walking around Tunis, particularly in areas like the medina and avenue Bourguiba, you may find that a friendly local will start to follow you.

They will often then try to give you a tour of the area and a payment will be demanded. Or they will end up taking you to a local shop and push you to buy something.

 

What to do:

Firmly decline.

If you do want a tour then it is best to book one through a reputable tour company, which you can find via:

  • TourRadar: all the best multi-day tours by established names like Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, Trafalgar, etc can be found here with best price guarantee.
  • Viator: largest platform of day tours globally and in Tunisia with low price guarantee.
  • Your hotel / hostel affiliated tour operator: reliable but generally not the best or cheapest.

 

10. Free flower scam

Flower seller in Tunisia

Flower seller in Tunisia. Source: tripadvisor.ie

 

How it works:

You may find scammers offering you free flowers but remember in Tunisia nothing is free.

Once you have accepted the flowers, it signifies a transaction has taken place and you owe the flower owner some money.

 

What to do:

Alert your children as they are prime targets because kids will generally accept anything offered to them.

 

11. Fake goods

Shop in Tunisia

Shop in Tunisia. Source: usnews.com

 

How it works:

Many shops in Tunisia will sell you fake goods at an inflated price.

Common items that are often fake include antiques and gemstones. Unless you are an expert it can be very difficult to tell if these are real.

You might also encounter street touts who peddle fakes such as fake cigarettes, which are actually simply filled with sawdust.

 

What to do:

If you wish to buy, learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, or only visit licensed, experienced dealers with a good reputation.

You can find these by doing some online research or by asking your hotel / hostel staff.

If you find researching too time-consuming, other options available include:

  • Using local connections: get a local to bring you around.
  • Shopping tour through Viator (largest platform of day tours globally): get a professional guide to bring you around..

 

12. Flirtatious locals

 

How it works:

Like Jamaica and Dominican Republic, Tunisia has a reputation as a destination for women looking to find a partner.

Many local Tunisian men want to work in Europe and as such may be scam artists.

They often approach foreign women and engage in a romance and then ask for gifts and money to be sent to them once the woman has returned home.

In the long term they often hope to get married so that they can obtain a visa to work in Europe, and the romance is just a scam to achieve this.

 

What to do:

Be mindful that not all locals have the best of intentions when they engage in a holiday romance.

It is helpful to be skeptical if you meet a local who is extremely friendly immediately and who asks for money or gifts.

 

B. TRANSPORT

1. Airport theft

 

How it works:

There have been many, many reports of thefts at the Tunis Carthage Airport where customs service agents, gangs or baggage handlers may go through your luggage and steal your valuables.

 

What to do:

With your check-in luggage, there are four key steps to protecting your property:

 

2. Bogus airport helper

Tunis - Carthage International Airport

Tunis – Carthage International Airport. Source: Wikimedia – Wael Ghabara

 

How it works:

Like in South Africa and Kenya, you will see this at airports in Tunisia as well.

As you are walking in the airport a friendly helper will appear out of nowhere and offer to help carry your bags or navigate the airport.

They will then expect to be paid for this once they have helped you.

 

What to do:

If you do not need help then don’t allow anyone to approach you and take your bags.

 

3. Public transportation pickpockets

 

How it works:

A non-exhaustive list of hotspots includes:

  • Transportation hubs
  • Transportation to and from airport, tourist attractions
  • Overnight transportation
  • Buses which are usually overcrowded

These thieves work in gangs, and will hang around to spot anyone carrying an expensive or neglected phone / jewelry / valuable / bag and where it is stored.

Once they mark a target, they will surround him or her and then work like this:

  • One keeps a lookout and blocks passer-bys from seeing the scene.
  • Another blocks, pushes or distracts you (e.g. ask you an innocent question / survey / drop something and ask you about it).
  • A third steals your valuable / slashes your bag and then passes it on.
  • The last hides the loot under a jacket / coat / newspaper and then escapes.

 

What to do:

Stay alert and watch out for suspicious characters, though that is easier said than done in a crowded environment.

The best solution is still, to not make yourself look like a target. 

Further, make it impossible for thieves to steal from you:

  • Carry around a photocopy of your passport instead of the actual one.
  • Carry small amounts of cash in a cheap spare wallet that you wouldn’t mind losing. Do not leave it in your back pocket.
  • Conceal small valuables in a money belt or hidden pouch, large valuables in a slash-resistant and lockable anti-theft bag.
  • Leave most valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe, secured with hotel safety tools.
  • Get a good travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) which covers loss of valuables.

 

4. Corrupt traffic police

فيديو جديد لعون أمن في أول أيام شهر رمضان يطلب الرشوة من مواطن بعين صحيحة يخيره بين الفوريار او دفع 40 دينار .. إلى متى ها الحالة ?? برطاجي و أفضح يا مواطن #صلح_بلادك#صلح_تونس#بوابة_تونسبوابة تونس – Tunigate

Posted by ‎بوابة تونس – Tunigate‎ on Tuesday, 7 June 2016

 

How it works:

Unfortunately, you may have to deal with corrupt authorities in your time here.

The short video above shows a swearing Tunisian Police Officer harassing a man and his mum demanding a bribe of $20 (40 Dinars) or he confiscates their vehicle.

 

What to do:

Besides paying / negotiating a bribe, the best you could do is to not look like a “rich” victim to be fleeced.

Hide your valuables not in your wallet, but in a money belt or hidden pouch and leave most of your valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe secured with hotel safety tools.

 

5. Non-metered taxi scam

Taxi in Tunisia

Taxi in Tunisia. Source: iexplore.com

 

How it works:

Taxis in Tunisia are required to use meters by law but drivers are usually unwilling to turn them on.

Instead they will often quote you a much inflated flat rate. Some others may also hang a towel over their meter to make it seem like there is no meter.

This is especially so going to and from airports such as Tunis-Carthage International Airport or Enfidha Hammamet International Airport.

You will such cases in the towns of Sousse, Tunis, Hammamet as well, though the situation is much better at Djerba.

 

What to do:

Ask to use the meter. If they refuse, then simply move on and look for another driver who will use the meter.

Or you could figure out a fair price by checking:

  • With your hotel / hostel staff.
  • An online taxi fare estimator / online forums.

Other options at the Tunis-Carthage International Airport include:

  • Getting a rental car from AutoEurope (over 60 years of operations, super reliable, best price guarantee).
  • Arranging private transport through your hotel / hostel or through day tours platform like Viator (largest globally and in Tunisia).
  • Public bus at the bus station near Tunis Marin metro station.

 

6. Long taxi routes

Traffic jam in Tunisia

Traffic jam in Tunisia. Source: YouTube – Moncef Mahfoudhi

 

How it works:

If you can find a driver who does agree to use the meter then they may try to get a higher fare by choosing a long route around the city.

This means that the meter will continue to tick over and they will get more money for the journey.

Another common trick is to drive you through a crowded part of town which will also inflate the fare.

 

What to do:

First, especially for long routes, make sure to estimate the fair price by checking:

  • With your hotel / hostel staff.
  • An online taxi fare estimator / online forums.

Next, avoid hailing cabs parked outside hotel or tourist attractions. It may be a better idea to hail one off the streets as they are hungrier for work.

In the cab, be very clear when communicating the destination you are heading to. You can also mention the more prominent landmarks around your destination.

During the route, you can check your phone’s GPS at intervals to make sure you are headed in the correct direction.

Note that sometimes though, drivers do take detours to avoid traffic jams, but that should not detract from the correct general direction.

 

7. Rigged meter

 

How it works:

As the name suggests, the taxi meter either jumps too fast for the distance travelled or for the time travelled.

 

What to do:

Watch the meter during the trip.

If you suspect something is amiss, make sure to take down the license certification and car plate number of the taxi and threaten to call the police.

 

8. Taxi bag fee

 

How it works:

At the airport, taxis may try to rip you off by charging an additional fee for luggage.

 

What to do:

Make sure before the trip that there is no bag fee.

 

C. MISCELLANEOUS

1. Snatch thefts

 

How it works:

Generally, there are two versions of snatch thefts – strike and run, or distract and grab, in many possible contexts:

  • Bikes / mopeds riding past, with a pillion rider doing the snatch.
  • Snatching from behind you, then running into a getaway car to escape.
  • At restaurants, stealing unattended bags / valuables on the chair or table.
  • Hotels airports, where distracted / tired tourists carry all their valuables out.
  • The beach where tourists are relaxed, or when they head to the water.
  • Nightclubs, where “prostitutes” pretend to proposition tourists by grabbing them but are really trying to steal your valuables.
  • Seats beside a train’s doors where a thief gets out just before the doors close.
  • Stealing of bags on overnight trains / buses.
  • Valuables snatched through a car / bus window.
  • Thefts around ATMs.

 

What to do:

At crowded places, even seemingly safe places like at a restaurant or hotel:

While out walking / on transport:

  • Use a cross body anti-theft bag facing away from the road / windows of your vehicle.
  • Do not carry valuables in your hands when walking by the road or when beside a vehicle window / train door.
  • Avoid wearing obvious jewelry which can be easily ripped off.

Other protection measures:

  • Leave valuables in your hotel / hostel / apartment safe secured with hotel safety tools.
  • Get a good travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – check our review) which covers loss of valuables.

 

2. Money exchange scam

Tunisian Dinars

Tunisian Dinars. Source: Flickr – Rusty Clark

 

How it works:

The scammer approaches you, and tells you that another tourist gave him one Euro tip but the local money exchanges wouldn’t deal with such little amounts.

He then request if you can exchange it with him into Tunisian Dinars.

As you count the coins in your possession, with him stating their different values as he explains their features to you, he suddenly decides you don’t have the right change and walks away.

What happened is that while you were distracted, he has relieved you of some coins!

 

What to do:

Avoid changing, or at least do not let another party go through your notes or coins.

One solution is to use a minimalist wallet, such as a front pocket travel wallet.

 

3. Fake tours

Road travel in Tunisia

Road travel in Tunisia

 

How it works:

This scam often involves taxi drivers or street touts who will try to push you to agree to sign up for a tour with them.

Often they will ask you to pay for the excursion upfront and when they have your money you will never see them again.

Another twist on this scam is to take your money and then quickly bring you to a range of shops and restaurants where they will earn commission.

They will not however take you to any of the tourist sites in the city.

 

What to do:

When dealing with street touts, never pay for a tour upfront.

If the guide insists on being paid and meeting again at a mutually agreed time, then this is usually a scam

It is still best to only engage a licensed, reputable tour operator, you can find them via:

  • TourRadar: all the best multi-day tours by established names like Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, Trafalgar, etc can be found here with best price guarantee.
  • Viator: largest platform of day tours globally and in Tunisia with low price guarantee.
  • Your hotel / hostel affiliated tour operator: reliable but generally not the best or cheapest.

If you prefer to engage a tour operator offline, ask these questions:

  • Is the operator licensed and has a professional website, physical office, business email and working telephone number?
  • Are there online reviews? Do they sound legitimate?
  • Is the price too low to be true? What does it cover (vehicles, guides, safety, insurance, hidden fees, etc)?

 

4. Child beggars

 

How it works:

Child beggars are common all over Tunisia although they are almost always scam artists.

Many child beggars will tell you that they need money to go to school but usually they are part of an organized crime syndicate.

 

What to do:

Do not give money to beggars on the streets, especially if they are children.

They will usually not receive the money and will have to give all of it to the syndicate for which they work for.

 

5. Sob story scammer

 

How it works:

You may find yourself making a new friend along the streets, at markets or at transportation hubs in Tunis.

After rapport has been built, he may suggest going for drinks.

Should you do so, invariably, he will end up telling you a sob story and you will then end up paying for drinks and being asked to give more money.

Should you not give any, he may get abusive and accuse you of being a racist loudly.

 

What to do:

Avoid engaging further with an overly friendly stranger.

If not, once any semblance of a sob story emerges, shake him off.

 

6. Hotel room theft

 

How it works:

Thefts from hotel rooms and safes have been widely reported.

First, there are a couple of ways a hotel room / apartment can be broken into:

  • Hacking: electronic locks can be hacked to create a master key card.
  • Inside job: by hotel staff.
  • No locking chain / latch: if you are not in the room or if your door does not have one, a simple paper menu can unlock your door.

Next, hotel room safes can be broken into too:

  • Inside job: all hotels have a way to get into your safe.
  • Master code: some hotels do not change it. It could be a standard “0000”, found in the user manual in the lock, or even on the Internet! Simple codes such as “1234” are easy game for burglars too.
  • Master key / master magnetic card: each safe the hotel orders comes with one, so a hotel will probably have hundreds of these. If these are not secured properly, they can used by staff / thieves to steal.

Mike Moske, a private investigator who has worked in hotel security for over 26 years, estimates that 60-70% of hotel thefts are inside jobs.

  • If that happens, it is difficult to prove that you have been a victim of theft, as there are no signs of forced entry.
  • Sometimes, you won’t even know!
  • E.g. A staff opens your safe and captures your card details without taking it.

 

What to do:

First, choose a reputable / established hotel in a safe location

Or if you are up for getting genuine insights of Tunisia by staying with a local host, try out Homestay!

Next, there are four potential solutions:

When not in the room, use a:

  • Portable safe
  • Hotel safe lock

When in the room, use a:

  • Door lock
  • Door motion alarm

Check out more under hotel safety tools.

 

7. Forgot my key scam

 

How it works:

If you live in an apartment, be careful of local men who ring your doorbell with the plea that they have accidentally locked themselves out.

They then ask you for money as cab fare for them to head another place to collect their spare key.

 

What to do:

Ignore.

 

D. KEY SAFETY ISSUES

This is not meant to be a fear mongering exercise, as most visits are trouble free as long as you exercise some common sense.

However, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Information below has been compiled from:

 

1. Violent crime, hazards, hotspots, terrorism, civil unrest

Map of safe and unsafe regions in Tunisia. Source: smartraveller.gov.au

 

How it works:

A brief summary:

  • Violent crime: increasing, though be more careful over petty crime and scams.
  • Hazards: mines in Chaambi Mountains area.
  • Hotspots: see below.
  • Terrorism: three terrorist groups: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T).
  • Civil unrest: protests and demonstrations can occur.

 

What to do:

Stay alert, avoid secluded areas, travelling alone at night, and don’t look like an easy victim (e.g. looking like a tourist / flaunting valuables).

Monitor local media in case of any terrorist threats, and avoid participating in demonstrations.

Definitely do not travel here due to terrorism and military activities:

  • West: mountains such as the Chaambi Mountain National Park area.
  • Central: Sidi Bou Zid, Gafsa.
  • Libyan border: within 40 km, e.g. governorates of Medenine and Tataouine, Ben Guerdane.
  • Algerian border: within 30km, Jendouba south of Ain Drahem and west of RN15, El Kef, and Kasserine.
  • Military zone: desert south of Remada (Mount Salloum, Mount Sammamma and Mount Mghila).

Also reconsider any travel to:

  • Libyan border: within 75km, e.g. Remada, El Borma, town of Zarzis.
  • Algerian border: Kasserine, El Kef, Jendouba (including Chemtou), Ghardimaou.
  • Road: road corridor from the town of Sbeitla to Sidi Bouzid.

 

2. Medical care

Tunis Hôpital polytraumatisme

Tunis Hôpital polytraumatisme. Source: Wikimedia – Rais67

 

How it works:

Medical care here is adequate, though public hospitals are overcrowded and under-equipped.

Diseases to vaccinate against / watch out for include:

  • Mosquito borne diseases: chikungunya, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus.
  • Food and water borne diseases: travellers’ diarrhoea, typhoid, hepatitis.
  • Animal borne disease: avian influenza, rabies.

 

What to do:

If you can’t afford travel insurance (e.g. World Nomads – our review), you can’t afford to travel, as:

  • Emergency health services can cost a bomb.
  • Insurance providers can make complex logistical arrangements to get you the best medical treatment fast.

Vaccinations to consider:

  • All travellers: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, flu shot.
  • Most travellers: Hepatitis A, typhoid.
  • Some travellers: Hepatitis B, rabies.

Prevent insect bites:

  • Protective clothing.
  • Insect repellents.
  • Insecticide treated bed / cot nets.
  • Plug-in insecticides.
  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass.

Food safety:

  • Practise safe hygiene such as washing hands with soap.
  • Only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled.
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, ice cubes, uncooked and undercooked food.

 

3. Natural disasters

 

How it works:

A brief summary:

  • Earthquakes: low seismic activity can occur.
  • Heavy rains: December to February. Can cause flash floods or landslides, particularly in the south.
  • Dust storms and sandstorms: in the Sahara.

 

What to do:

Effective preparation and prevention involves staying at the “right” place, travelling at the “right” time and getting travel insurance (e.g. World Nomadsour review) that covers natural disasters.

Check the latest media reportsweather forecasts and sources such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Reacting to one:

  • Earthquakes: drop (to hands and knees), cover (head and neck with arms), hold on (to sturdy furniture; expect aftershocks.
  • Sand / dust storm:
    • On foot: wear a mask (or use shirt sleeve), cover eyes, seek shelter (building / landform / camel), high ground (if no lightning), don’t move through the storm.
    • In vehicle: if no visibility, pull off road, turn headlines, brake lights and turn signals off. If can’t pull off, keep lights on, move slowly and sound horn periodically.

 

4. Transport safety

 

How it works:

It can be difficult driving in Tunisia, depending where you, due to:

  • Traffic rules are generally ignored even with the presence of traffic police.
  • Vehicles can drive in the wrong direction.
  • Motorists drive without lights at night, making them difficult to see.
  • Animals on the road, particularly in rural areas.
  • Roads are not paved in desert areas and vehicles are subject to blowing sands.

 

What to do:

Make sure your travel insurance (e.g. World Nomadsour review) covers travel accidents.

Driving:

  • Only book via legitimate platforms (e.g. AutoEurope – over 60 years of operations, super reliable with best price guarantee).
  • Check latest media reports and weather forecast.
  • Stay alert, wear seatbelts, keep doors locked and windows up.

 

E. GETTING HELP

1. Emergency numbers to call

Police in Tunisia

Police in Tunisia. Source: middleeastmonitor.com

 

  • Police emergency hotline: 197
  • National guard (when in rural areas): 193
  • Ambulance service: 190
  • Fire brigade: 198

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