- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
Following independence from France in 1956, President Habib BOURGUIBA established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In recent years, Tunisia has taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to defuse rising pressure for a more open political society.
Source: CIA World Factbook
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. A limited risk of malaria exists in parts of Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. Taking an antimalarial drug is not recommended as the risk for travelers is considered to be extremely low. However, travelers should use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites .
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in the region, including the Nile River. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.
There is no risk for yellow fever in North Africa. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months in the region, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 1112 years who did not complete the series as infants.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
To avoid getting sick...
- Dont eat food purchased from street vendors.
- Dont drink beverages with ice.
- Dont eat dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
- Dont share needles with anyone.
- Dont handle animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague.
- Dont swim in fresh water, including the Nile. Salt water is usually safer.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Tunisia has open borders with Libya and Algeria (please refer to the Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings for those countries). Since late February 2003, over 25 tourists from Western Europe have been confirmed missing in the Sahara desert areas of southeastern Algeria, many after crossing into Algeria from Tunisia.
There have been no instances in which U.S. citizens or facilities in Tunisia have been subject to terrorist attacks. However, al-Qaida terrorists targeted a synagogue in Tunisia on April 11, 2002, and more than twenty Western tourists were killed. There have also been unsubstantiated threats to tourist facilities. Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance.
Since 2001, there have been several incidents of soccer-inspired violence in Tunisia in which unhappy fans became unruly and damaged property and vehicles in the vicinity of stadiums. The U.S. Embassy recommends that Americans avoid the games. It is helpful to be aware of when/where soccer games are scheduled, and unless attending the game, to avoid the area of the stadium one hour before kickoff and one hour after the conclusion of the game. It is prudent for those who live by a stadium to park their vehicles in garages or carports rather than leaving them on the street.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.
Proselytizing: Islam is the state religion of Tunisia. The Tunisian government does not interfere with the public worship of the country’s religious minorities. However, some activities such as proselytizing or engaging in other activities which the Tunisian authorities could view as encouraging conversion to another faith are prohibited under laws designed to prevent disturbances to the public order. In the past, Americans who have engaged in such activities have been asked to leave the country.
CRIME: Tunisia has a moderate crime rate in urban areas. Criminals have targeted tourists and business travelers for theft, pick -pocketing, and scams. Care should be taken with wallets and other valuables kept in handbags or backpacks that can be easily opened from behind in crowded streets or marketplaces. Harassment of unaccompanied females occurs rarely in hotels, but it occurs more frequently elsewhere. Dressing in a conservative manner can diminish potential harassment, but it is wise to travel in groups of two or more people. Violent crime is rare by U.S. standards, but it is not unknown.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist finding appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds can be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State’s pamphlets, A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlets are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south
Source: CIA World Factbook
Tunisia's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Please note: Not all electrical sockets in this country provide grounding. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. A visa is not required for a stay of up to four months. For longer visits, Americans are required to obtain a residence permit. A residence permit may be requested and obtained from the central police station of the district of residence. Americans born in the Middle East or with Arabic names have experienced delays in clearing immigration at airports upon arrival. American citizens of Tunisian origin are expected to enter Tunisia on their Tunisian passports. If a Tunisian American succeeds in entering on an American passport, there is a high probability that a Tunisian passport will be required to exit the country.
For further information concerning entry requirements for Tunisia, travelers may contact the Embassy of Tunisia at 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20005, tel. 202-862-1850, or the Tunisian Consulate General in New York, tel. 212-272-6962, or in San Francisco, tel. 415-922-9222.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Tunisia is 1 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Tunisia would be 6:00 pm
The unit of currency in Tunisia is the Tunisian dinar (TND).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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