Menu - Home Menu - Photogallery Menu - Video Menu - Our Vehicles Menu - Preparation Menu - FAQ Menu - About Us Menu - Maps Menu - Contact Us

Tunisia Pictures from April 02 to 16, 2011.

In April of 2011 we took our new Toyota Landcruiser into the Sahara desert of northern Africa.  Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik organized a two (2) week off-road course to teach a few of us how to drive in the sand and dunes.

To proceed to our  2007 Tunisia Pictures and Tunisia Journal.

Our Route through TUNISIA in 2011. Covered approx. 1620km with the Toyota Landcruiser. To see more pics of Tunisia follow the link to the 2007 Tunisia Pics on the Motorcycles.

Our journey actually started in Germany where we picked up our new vehicle.

On Apr. 01, 2011 we met up with Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik off-road tour 80km north of Genoa, Italy at a reststop.

Over some Bratwurst and Beer we met the entire team.

April 02, 2011 we leave the reststop after breakfast heading south to the Genoa Port.

Uniquely enough one of our team members, Caspar, is a Film Director from Latvia...

...who recorded the entire 2-week adventure on film.

At the Genua port we complete the usual immigration and custom papers.

Tunisian Immigration Form

Tunisian Custom papers for the Toyota Landcruiser.

Our ferry arrives.

The Carthage La Goulette.

As always it is a waiting game until we finally load.

As we start to load the ferry, we spot the little VW with a significant load...

... and another van with numerous fridges that have seen better days heading for their new home Tunisia.

The ferry left close to the scheduled 5pm departure time. A nice evening in Genoa.

Being a organized tour we have the luxery of a 2-berth cabin.

April 03, 2011. Mike's Birthday and our arrival at the Tunis Port in Tunisia.

After Tunisian immigration and customs we gather in the parking lot prior to heading south...

...ahead lies 650km to Douz. We arrive after midnight at the campsite.

April 04, 2011. Mike and I had been here before in 2007 on the motorcycles.

DOUZ is a small settlement at the edge of the Sahara Desert.

We head for the souq to pick up water and food for the next 10 days in the desert.

How we love markets all over the world...

Our campsite in the Oasis of Douz.

Our water and coke supply.

Tom's beautifully restored BJ45 Toyota Landcruiser.

It is weird for us to not be on the motorcycles and have this much luxury.

The off-road tour consists of (8) Toyota Landcruisers and 16 participants.

Tom the owner of Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik is the Tour organizer. We have a support/kitchen vehicle driven by Uwe our excellent cook.

After the souq we hit the road straight south. Our last road signs for a while.

This is a famous rest stop along the way,... can be seen from all the race memorabilia displayed on the walls.

We stop for cay (tea).

Then the serious stuff starts...

...our first experience with the landcruiser in the sand. Much easier than on the motorcycles.

Our vehicle is easy to be spoted as it has a canadian flag on the spare tire...

...the remainder of the crew are German.

This is some soft sand.

Our guide, Taher, is a born Bedouin and knows this part of the desert in and out.

Passing by a water basin.

We realize that our fridge is giving us trouble...

...Tom, Taher and Mike remove it from the vehicle to get a better look at it.

Ruby wanders off, finding the occasional tree.

Our make-shift toilet, normally located on a hill a few meters away from the camp site. When you can see the shavel no one is using the toilet.

View from the bathroom...

...our first night campsite.

The nights definitely get cool...

...Taher makes a fire...

...and some tea.

The beauty of being in the desert. An unobstructed sky with no lights from near by civilization. Stars and more stars and our new home.

Even though the desert seems lifeless, there are 1000's of little creatures present as can be seen by these miniture footprints.

April 05, 2011. Day 2 in the desert.

The key is to follow within the tracks of the guy in front of you.

The solitude of the desert...

...Mike feels at home here.

Taher is great of finding little friends to show us...

...a salamander which resembles the shininess and smoothness of a fish.

Then a white spider.

Mid-day break.

We met a few locals, mainly on little scooters...

...and a Bedouin on his camel.

Camels grazing in the desert.

Coming upon a lookout point we take the opportunity for a rest.

It is spring and the desert is starting to bloom.

KSAR GHILANE is a small oasis located on the edge of the Grand Erg Oriental, were a 35 Deg Celsius natural pool awaits us.

Getting ready for the desert, we dress the part.

Our last encounter with greenery and flowers.

The oasis.

Mike hooks up the hose to the air compressor...

... Wolfgang shows us how much we need to drop the tire pressure for the soft sand ahead.

Who requires a fancy BMW or kick-stand when you can make it with this through the desert.

Another Bedouin, Taher, our guide knows him and we provide him with some water.

We chit-chat for a while and continue on our way.

Our first exciting moment. One of the vehicles gets stuck and the tow rope is required.

Our support/kitchen vehicle. Just before settling down for the night we search the desert for loose wood and strap it to the roof.

Bernadette and Thomas with their Toyota Landcruiser. Both are big into outdoor activities like rock and ice climbing.

Our second night in the desert and we set up camp close to a natural spring...

...which carves a snake like path into the landscape only to evaporate soon into thin air.

April 06, 2011. Our first really challenging day.

Due to the Libyan unrest we did not get the permission to head to the most southern point of Tunisia and the Libyan border...

...instead we decided to head closer to the Algerien border. Mike taking a rest on top of our landcruiser.

These are hard navigational dunes...

...and we spend a lot of time pushing...

...driving a few meters...


...getting really stuck... a point were the sandplates are the only way out and Tom is giving instructions.. still more digging...

...and finally getting unstuck with the help of the entire crew.

This time it is Klaus and Gabi needing help.

But not long after it is us again. Thomas and Michael are digging while us girls are watching.

Our first big dune descent.

Michael and Elvira in one of Tom's rental units make the descent.

Setting up camp again. Pretty easy. Find a pretty spot and pop up the roof.

The wind is picking up and sand swirls along the dunes.

Dinner time and Uwe is in his element.

This time he gets some assistance from Taher,...

...who prepares a traditional Bedouin meal.

The meat is wrapped up and placed in the heart of the simmering coal.

April 07, 2011. The next morning Michael assembles his motorized paraglider...

...and takes to the skies...

...high above our camp.

We watch in the comfort of our chairs.

Some really soft sand requires the sandplates again.

Thomas and Uwe lay out a path of additional sandplates.

Thomas and Ruby are unbolting the sandplates from the truck.

Finally after several attempts we make it out.

The last task is digging out the sandplates and placing them back on the truck.

Taher is scoping out better routes and pointing us in the right directions.

It is not always us beginners who get stuck. It even happens to the best...

...right Tom?

Michael and Elvira really dug themselves into a bad spot.

We just made it over this dune and Ruby watches... one by one the remainder of the team makes it down.

Some deep soft sand for Klaus and Gabi to maneuver through.

This is the famous dune were Ruby really thought we were going to roll the landcruiser.

But it wasn't just us having difficulties, even Michael and Elvira in the yellow landcuiser were close to tipping over as the truck turns sideways and slides down the embankment.

Dune after dune we master...

...everytime we come over one section more dunes lay ahead. A pretty picture for Mike.

The biggest dune yet. The nose of our Landcruiser pokes into the sky. Mike sees only blue sky.

The 200m drop is tricky as the weight of the back end pushes the front of the nose deep into the sand...

...gravity definitely wants us to come down this dune.

Sand piles up infront of the wheels as the truck slides down the dunes.

We find some desert flowers.

The last one for the day.

Michael and Angelika in their HZJ78 with a differnt rear body...

...are in some serious deep and soft sand.

Next comes Michael and Elvira.

We set up camp at the base of the dune.

April 08, 2011. Starts out similar to the previous few days...

Tom is really stuck...

...actually he wanted to make us all feel better that he also can dig himself in to a point of no return.

Taher, is navigating the entire desert without GPS. After numerous days...

...we reach another oasis, LAC HOUIDHAT.

It is time for a dip in the warm spring water and some Serbian beer.

Our campsite, the perfect picture of seclusion.

Some of us, like Caspar, does his laundry.

A bedouin tent... wood, kept elevated to avoid getting it buried in the sand.

Our camp...

...we are early enough to hang out a while...

...and bath.

Caspar and us decide to have a visit with the Bedouins,...

...who invite us for cay and some...

...good conversations. Our names in Arabic.

Not sure if this means Ruby or Mike.

Taking a walk with the bedouin we venture deeper into the dunes...

...after an hour walking we decide to turn back and follow our own footprints back to the camp... the same time Michael has strapped on his motorized paraglider and takes some pictures from above.

Our oasis from far above...

...sand and more sand as far as the horizon stretches.

Our tiny vehicles in the mids of the vast Sahara desert.

We have come through all of seems incredible.

April 09, 2011. The sun rises after a peaceful night.

The dunes cast large shadows and wild camels drink from the spring.

This is what life is all about.

Back to making miles.

Taher is busy pointing us in the right directions.

We are getting more experienced in driving...

...and the temperature keeps on rising...34.3 Deg Celsius.

Mike leads the way with Taher as his co-pilot.

Mike looking much more relaxed in mastering the dunes.

A picture opportunity.

We pose for the group shoot.

Just when you think everything is going smoothly and we are in a flat spot...

...we really sink the truck deep into the sand...

Uwe tries to pull us out with the tow rope, but gets stuck as well.

Not going anywhere...

...we unbolt the sandplates and success.

A reststop and cool-off.

Mike takes a nap in the back of our truck on the bench.

In the distance we see Table Mountain TEMBAINE our home for the night.

Taking pictures through the windshield while driving.

A desert home.

More sand...

...and we reach our night camp. The truck has lots of room for us to sit in the back without raising the roof...

...and easily outfitted with an outside shower.

Our campsite.

We climb the mountain behind our camp... a lookout point...

...strolling hand in hand...

...and waiting for the sunset.

Caspar, always ready to catch the perfect picture on film.

Ruby takes in the calmness of the desert.

The sun disappears behind the dunes...

...and the gang hangs out taking in the beautiful view.

April 10, 2011. Casper is getting beaten up in the back while trying to film some action shots.

Good-bye Table Mountains.

For once Wolfgang gets stuck as well...

...he is one of the more experienced drivers.

Low tire pressure sometimes results in this...

The tire has come off the rim and Klaus and Gabi's landcruiser is pulled into a location where ...

...the spare tire is installed.

We continue onwards through more dunes.

Another waterwell.

The rope accidently falls into the well and Taher decides to retrieve it.

We met up with a group of French guys who are on their own travelling in a Landrover.

One of them came up from South Africa the east side to Europe and we compare stories while tracing the route on the map located on the hood of the landcruiser.

It is spring in the desert...

...which means flowers everywhere.

A sea of blue.

It really is a unique picture.

This looks like a good spot... set up camp for the night.

April 11, 2011. We have some visitors...

...who require air for their tire. It is amazing how these tires without any tread make it through this terrain.

Sand is added to the back to soak up the waste products of the sheep.

Tire is changed and they are off.

Our last real day of dune driving...

...with every day it becomes easier.

Our friends...

...the camel.

Our first stop back in civilization.

Parc National de Jbil.

This place does not have a lot of visitors.

We stop for cay.

Even though we are in the desert we are ...

...joined by birdies hanging out on our landcruiser hood.

An military vehicle crosses our path.

The wind is picking up.

Taher braves the wind and is looking for some fire wood.

With this type of sand storm the inside of the vehicle...

...and even Ruby can't escape it.

Visibility is significantly reduced.

The sky darkens...

...and the sand weaves itself across the desert floor.

We had been lucky that this was only one of two days with unpleasant conditions.

The result of the storm is a picturque sunset...

...turning the entire sky red.

Taher prepares another Nomad treat. Very hot (spicy) filling.

Making fresh bread.

Flattening the dough.

Adding the filling.

At last placing the bread in the sand and covering it with red hot coal. There is nothing better than food made by locals.

April 12, 2011. Our campsite in the trees was added protection from the previous night storm.

Uwe and Taher prepare breakfast...

...luckily the tour is nearing its end, as Uwe realizes that the Nutella is empty.

A popular spot the water hole.

Local transportation.

We decide to dig for desert roses. Taher is getting pretty deep, while Caspar checks out the roses.

Desert roses are scattered all over the area. No digging required.

Mike is pretty successful.

The wind picks up again. Wolfgang hangs on to his hat.

Mike is not yet giving up on finding some more desert roses.

April 13, 2011. We are back in Douz. It is market day.

Dried fish, chickpeas, almonds...




...freshly dyed wool...

...animal market...

...this is not always for the faint hearted...

...chickens for sale...

... he is selling sheep...

...goats for sale...

...and more goats...

...local transportation...

...more sheep...


...Mike decides to acquire (4) sets of Tajine.

Entering the tools and parts area of the market.

In the afternoon we make our way back north.

On our way to Hammamet.

A couple of detours through the fields.

Our last night in Tunisia. Supper is laid out. Yummy.

Bernadette helping with the preparation of the salad...we think...

Klaus and Tom in their Tunisian blankets. They look like monks, but we know better...

Uwe hands out some big portions.

The dinner table.

Fueling up in Tunisia. At 45cent/litre compared to Europes 1.35Euro/litre this does not hurt as much...

...when the pump indicates 200litres. Too bad we can not continue on...but soon we will again.