Jumping in the Sahara

Ksar Ghilane, tunisia,

Don't always blindly trust Google Maps!! We had used Google Maps to plan our itinerary from Hammamet to Ksar Ghilane, an Oasis in the Sahara desert.

Everything went great until Google told us to go down South taking the "African Highway", a road that actually goes down to the whole African continent. Looking at the map, it sounded indeed as a wise choice and the quickest way to get to Ksar Ghilane. At first, we thought we had missed the crossing to take the African Highway. We made a U-turn and checked again. No African Highway. We made another U-turn and then we saw it. A tiny, rocky, and sandy path, totally wrecked and covered by trash... that was the African Highway. Thank you, Google!

It was too late to take another road, so we tried our luck with this one. Our rental was a standard small car and not a 4x4. While we were entering the desert by this road, with nothing but sand around, driving at 20 km/h and seeing the sun quickly, too quickly, setting down, we started to get concerned we would never reach the Oasis in time and might well end up spending the night in a car in the desert...

After 120 km at this pace, though, we joined a crossing and starting from there, the African Highway was a normal road. Thank you! Thank you! Finally, we could drive a bit faster and get to the Oasis on time. We got there after a barrage of military checking cars and trunks for weapons (reassuring...). 50 meters before entering, the one that was driving at the time (and I won't name and shame him here) decided he would try and do some rodeo with the car in the sand dunes, outside of the road. Of course, we got stuck. And of course, we had to get out and push the car to get it back to the road helped by other locals.... What a day.

We arrived at night to the Yadis Camp in the oasis where we had our own tent waiting for us. After a well-deserved (and delicious) dinner, we headed to the observation tower where we could see that around the oasis was nothing but sand and stars. Wow!

The next day, we went for a Quad Bike adventure to wander the dunes, and that was extraordinary. So much fun! Well, except when you get stuck in the sand. The rule is if you don't want to get stuck, just don't slow down :-)

Jumping in the Sahara

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