Tunisia is gaining a growing popularity among the Bulgarian audience. Mostly for the sea, but also for history, culture, cuisine and other temptations. One special temptation is the desert experience in Sahara. Depending on the time at their disposal, one can choose different options; in my opinion, the important thing is not to miss it. This was definitely our decision in Tunisia too. We searched, we read, we considered, and we chose the Sahha Sahara.

In the desert with Sahha Sahara

Sahha Sahara is the name of one of the small companies that offer experiences in the desert. Its owner is Juanita – an enthusiast and an energy tornado of Canadian origin, who sharply decided to abandon the cold North in favor of her dream, hot sands and … camels. Juanita loves these amazing animals and manages to convey this love to guests from all over the world. The first thing I asked her was about that camel spitting business we watch in the movies, and exactly how much we should be careful not to stand in the “line of fire”.

Juanita and her beloved boy

I was told that camels spit only if a person treats them very badly. Which, Juanita proudly said, has never happened to them and for 17 years they have never had a single ‘decorated’ tourist. If you have traveled through the Arab world, you may have seen local people transporting camels in open trucks and their huge lips slapping in the wind. It turns out that these same lips have the delicate sensitivity of human fingers and have no problem capturing a piece of carrot or a slice of orange.

Me with my fav boy

My next question was about the backup plan of Sahha Sahara for fake adventurers who fail to cope with the camel riding. A very important question from my point of view, given that I had never ridden not only a camel, but no animal at all. Don’t worry, Juanita said with a smile, you’ll handle it. Both camels and our guides have a lot of experience, and if it gets completely uncomfortable, you can always walk or call the motorized rescue squad. Let me tell you about our experience.

Views with Sahha Sahara

In the middle of the afternoon, we were greeted by the wheeled company transport which took us inside the desert. Janita explained that Sahha Sahara trails start as far away from urbanization as possible so that their guests can enter deeper into the dunes and see the true desert. Every hour the guests spend in the jeep equals half a day earlier start for the camels and their guides. For a short tour like ours, in which we were driven for about an hour, the camels had left in the morning to welcome us.

Sahha Sahara staff

I had great concerns about the camel riding. The key turned out to be in properly adjusting the rider’s center of gravity towards the saddle handle. In the appropriate position, when descending dunes or even getting off the camel, the handle does not appear one’s belly with the risk of the rider flying over the animal’s head. If this is OK, you just have to somehow get used to the non-synchronized movement of four huge forcers that bundle you up and down. And enjoy the view.

When you get used to the ride

The Sahha Sahara ground team awaited us at their chosen place – different every time. In the evening, they put up the camp; in the morning it is as if we were never there. They had already prepared for us the tents for the night. They had dug holes in the sand, filled them with embers and buried the pots of lamb inside. While we dismounted the camels, they also kneaded the loaves of bread which were also buried in the embers. Tunisian mint tea was served. And we went to photograph the sunset.

Desert sunset

The evening was filled with delicious food eaten on our laps in the sand. Songs were sang and we danced around the fire. We watched the stars which you know are so many and so close in the desert, you can almost touch them. We were very careful with the inorganic and organic waste we left behind. Of any kind, if you understand me. We tried to get used to the subtle Sahara sand, which somehow managed to fly horizontally and to get literally everywhere. We did not manage very well with the latter.

Sahara at night

Sleeping in total silence can be a challenge for the urban creature. I woke up in – I don’t know what hour it was – but I was rewarded with the absolute delight of seeing the sunrise over the desert. At first, obscure shapes began to emerge from the darkness, which slowly materialized in tents, luggage and camels. The light coming from anywhere and from everywhere hindered indecisively for a while, and then suddenly the fiery ball of the sun popped over the horizon. That is when everything started looking different. Thank you for the shared dream, Juanita and Sahha Sahara!

Desert sunrise with Sahha Sahara