Tunisia

Tunisia

Use High Level of Caution

The Tunisian Republic is located in Northern Africa between Algeria and Libya and borders on the Mediterranean Sea. The population is approximately 10.6 million people. Although the official language is Arabic, French is also used in commerce.

The government of Tunisia is a republic with a president as chief of state and elected by popular vote. A prime minister is the head of government and appointed by the president.

Tunisia was a French protectorate until gaining independence in 1956. The first president, Habib Bourguiba ruled for 31 years. He repressed Islamic fundamentalism. Bourguiba also established rights for women, and now Tunisia is the most advanced country among Arab nations in the area of women's rights. He also established free education and abolished polygamy.

In December 2010, violent protests and riots started over lack of political freedom, poverty, corruption, and unemployment. These protests were met with violent repression. In January 2011, the president dismissed the government and fled the country, and a national unity government was set up. The political situation in Tunisia continues to evolve.

Tunisia is known for its Mediterranean beaches and is a popular tourist destination for Europeans. In recent years, Tunisia has become a destination for ecotourism and medical tourism. Tourism has been an important sector of the economy with approximately 7 million visitors each year.

Currency TND: Tunisian dinar
Language Arabic
Capital Tunis
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Tunisia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Tunisia through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Tunisia.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Tunisia, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs mostly in the northern half of Tunisia. It is usually more common in rural than urban areas. The risk of acquiring leishmaniasis is increased in travellers who spend time outdoors in rural areas and at night when sand flies typically feed.

Schistosomiasis

The parasite that causes schistosomiasis is found in Tunisia. It is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever for this country. However, this country requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination for all persons 1 year of age or older if arriving from a region where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Tunisia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever for this country. However, this country requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination for all persons 1 year of age or older if arriving from a region where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Tunisia.

None required.

Safety and Security in Tunisia

Emergency Numbers

197

Service language will be Arabic or French.
Emergency services are available in larger towns, but less reliable in rural areas.

Personal Safety

Most travellers to Tunisia do not experience any safety and security problems. Tunisia is a fairly peaceful country, although some extremist groups may be present and Middle East conflicts can pose a threat to the security of Western travellers. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings and of the security situation in the area.

If crossing the borders with Algeria and Libya, especially the southeastern border, consult the local authorities for the most recent security information due to the potential for kidnappings and terrorism in these areas.

Visitors must inform the authorities if attempting to travel overland through the Sahara desert. Travellers must present an itinerary, and must only travel in a group accompanied by an experienced tour guide with adequate supplies and a vehicle with a GPS (global positioning system). Travel in the Sahara is not advised during July and August due to the severe heat.

While violent crime is rare, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, does occur. Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as expensive clothing or jewellery and ensure that personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times. Carry photocopies of important documents and store the originals in a secure place elsewhere.

There have been reports of women being harassed, particularly those travelling alone. Women should be aware of the possibility of propositions, suggestive comments or catcalls, and ignore them. Female travellers should take cues from the local women - avoid wearing provocative, form-fitting clothing and maintain a formal demeanour at all times.

Areas To Avoid

Due to the risk of kidnapping and terrorist attack, avoid travel to the following areas: Southern Tunisia (areas south of and including the towns of Nefta, Douz, Medenine and Zarzis); areas within 30 kilometres of the border with Algeria; Mount Chaambi National Park.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country in response to socio-economic conditions or political events. Minimize safety risk by avoiding public and political gatherings and demonstrations since even peaceful protests can quickly and unexpectedly escalate and become violent.

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