Douz on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia
Douz, Tunisia

This small town with its sand-filled streets, its camels and palm trees, is almost at the end of the track. It’s a popular spot for tourists, though, as large sand dunes at the edge of the town are an ideal place for a camel ride of an hour or so, giving the visitor the true Lawrence of Arabia feeling. These are often arranged to coincide with either the sunrise or the sunset, and the sunsets in Douz are renowned for their beauty.

Because of the numbers of visitors, the market here does have an increasing number of souvenir stalls such as you might find anywhere, but the big Thursday market is a true Tunisian desert experience, with Berbers from the surrounding village coming into town to buy and sell produce, with a livestock market to go to if you want to buy a camel. Douz is also the place where the International Festival of the Sahara is held each year, with camel-racing, horse-racing and cultural events.


The vast Sahara Desert, the largest in the world, extends all the way from the Atlantic Ocean and into Iraq, at the far side of the Red Sea. It is about 3200 miles long. From north to south it runs for about 1000 miles, from the shores of the Mediterranean, which it reaches in places, to the Sudan and the River Niger. In total it covers about 3,500,000 square miles, of which only about 2% is in any way fertile, around the various oases.

Douz: International Festival of the Sahara