world map


Roman ruins, oases and endless sand

date of entry 26/12/2004
mileage 438,475

capital Tunis

area 163.610 km²

population 10.777.500

GDP 46,360 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Arabic

Tunisia, one of the smaller North African states, was still under one-party rule when the Holtorfs visited. In 2011, the Arab Spring began here, sweeping away the government. The Holtorfs visited in the cool, damp winter months; hence the greenery in the coastal region.
  • Tunisia is almost completely surrounded by the Sahara, the world’s biggest desert. Otto was dwarfed beside the sand dunes
    10  of  10
  • Tunisia has a long history: it was once part of the Roman empire. The amphitheatre of El Djem, the third largest ever built, offers a wonderful view across the town.
    1  of  10
  • It still bears witness to the ambitious vision of the wealthy citizens who built it.
    2  of  10
  • Even by the standards of the time, it was unusual to construct a desert amphitheatre with a capacity of 35,000 people.
    3  of  10
  • A small-town carpet merchant
    4  of  10
  • The soft layers of stone are often eroded by the water, making them particularly prominent
    5  of  10
  • Winding roads connect the mountain oases inland from the coast
    6  of  10
  • Ruined buildings in a magical oasis setting
    7  of  10
  • The landscape changed slowly: The further northwest Otto and the Holtorfs travelled, the harsher and more mountainous the scenery became
    8  of  10
  • Tunisia is known worldwide for its high-quality olive oil and dates The clusters are cut from the trees, and the dates then picked by hand.
    9  of  10
  • Video: Tunisia: a foretaste of the Sahara