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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Tunisia Sports
Tunisia Sports - TravelPuppy.com
Watersports

The clear waters around Tunisia, with the coral beds and varied sea life make it a popular destination for scuba diving.

Tabarka Yachting Club and the International Diving Centre located at Port el Kantaoui are accepted by the World Confederation for Diving and offer fully equipped lessons and trips. Permission must be obtained to dive at the natural reserve islands of La Galite and Zembra.

For underwater fishing, you will need to bring your own equipment, and obtain details of conservationist underwater fishing restrictions from the National Tourist Office in Tunisia. Visitors who have brought their own equipment can refill their air bottles at the offices of the Société d'Air Liquide at Mégrine, 7 kilometres (4 miles) from Tunis, and also at Sfax.

Some of the hotels on the coast have a heated pool as well as a private beach suitable for swimming.

Port el Kantaoui is a port of international standard offering mooring for over 340 boats, deep-sea navigation school, harbour master's office, a sailing school, a ship-chandler, boat-rental and a dry-docking area with maintenance shops. Prices are very competitive, particularly for winter careening services. The marina at Cap Monastir has similar facilities and another sailing (and water-skiing) centre is Le Club Nautique de Sidi-Bou Said, which has a marina complex.

The abundance and great variety of fish makes fishing a very popular sport and catches include groupers, mullet, ray, red rock mullet, dogfish, crayfish and shrimp. A wetsuit is necessary between November and April. Coral fishing can be observed at Tabarka, sponge fishing at Sfax, octopus fishing off the Kerkennah Islands, on the island of Jerba and in the Gulf of Gabès, and tuna fishing by the experts at Sidi Daoud. These 'fishing spectacles' take place during May and June.

Golf

There are good courses at Port el Kantaoui near Sousse, Monastir, Carthage at Tunis, Tabarka, Tozeur, Djerba and Hammamet. Players of all skills will find very high-quality facilities in the country.

The Open Golf Championships have attracted several leading competitors from all over the world. Created by renowned golf-course architects, the courses are dotted with palm, pomegranate and olive trees, and are next to the ocean. Each of the 18 holes is on a different kind of terrain, and the treated turf has been imported from California. There are lush clubhouses, equipment to rent and training/practice grounds with a putting green.

In Tunis, the golf course at the Country Club at La Soukra has lately undergone extension and re-landscaping and more courses are planned for each major resort.

Gliding

The best-known venue for gliding enthusiasts is the Federal Gliding Centre at Jebel Rassas, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Tunis, where gliders and qualified instruction in the sport are available to tourists and visitors.

Birdwatching

Tunisia has several species of birds, most of which are protected in the national parks. The cork-oak forests of Ain Draham, the hills and steps from Kef to Kasserine, the lake and marshes of Ichkeul (near Bizerta), the coastal lagoons round Sousse and Tunis and the oases and deserts of the south all have their characteristic birds.

Birdlife also differs with the seasons. In the winter, geese, spoonbills, ducks, robins and wagtails seek refuge from the cold further north, whilst during the spring and autumn, migrant swallows, warblers and birds of prey at Cap Bon pass through on their journeys between Africa and Europe. In the summer, Mediterranean species like bee-eaters, storkss and rollers stay to nest.

Health spas

There are many hot-spring stations throughout Tunisia - mainly in the north of the country. Several of the spas have been used for this purpose since Roman and Punic times. The important stations are run by personnel specialised in the paramedical and medical fields and treatments are available for arthritis, rheumatism, a variety of lung and skin complaints, circulatory troubles and gynaecological problems.

Film tours

Tunisia's desert near Tozeur has featured in many films, most notably in The English Patient and Star Wars.

An increasing number of the tour operators now offer desert safaris to the locations where these well known blockbuster movies were shot. Further information can be obtained from the Tunisian National Tourist Office.