(Tunis, El Kef, Kairouan, Tozeur, Ksar Ghilane, Tataouine, Sfax, Sousse)
So exotic is our take on Tunisia that National Geographic Traveler just awarded our customizable trip to this North African country as one of their Tours of a Lifetime!
With its desert oasis, cosmic landscapes & ancient Berber architecture starred in George Lucas's epic series Star Wars, this otherworldly African country makes for a blockbuster of an adventure. Discover its vast mosaic of wonders as you tour Tunis, El Kef, Kairouan, Tozeur, Ksar Ghilane, Tataouine, Sfax & Sousse with the luxury of private guide & driver. Swim at an oasis, see Roman ruins half as old as time, haggle like a local for jewelry at the souks, journey to the gateway of the Sahara, overnight at a Berber camp, visit an island paradise & stumble across abandoned Star Wars sets. Featuring stylish camps, kasbahs & hotels, this private guided adventure promises to truly be a ‘Tour of a Lifetime.’
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer to the airport.
Ideally located in the central business and diplomatic district, the Sheraton Tunis Hotel & Towers overlooks the entire city of Tunis. Inside, the knowledgeable concierge service will put guests at ease, making restaurant reservations or recommending local attractions. All of the 285 guest rooms feature balconies with city views. The Towers rooms include evening cocktail service and hors d'oeuvres in the private Towers Lounge. Keep in touch with the full-service business center, providing 24-hour Internet and e-mail access through WIFI. The hotel also offers thoughtful services like complimentary parking and a car-rental desk right on the premises. Re-energize at the state-of-the-art SPA and fitness center, take a plunge in the outdoor swimming pool, or utilize the indoor whirlpool with aqua gym. SPA services include everything from balneotherapy, hydrotherapy to massages and beauty treatments.
Private Guide & Driver.
Enjoy this day of touring beginning with a visit to the National Museum of Bardo. This museum holds an extensive collection of ancient Roman mosaic, considered one of the largest, complete collections in the world. Next, visit the Medina of Tunis, exploring the narrow souk lined streets before heading to lunch. Next, head out to visit the ancient city of Carthage. Explore the ruins which surround this once prosperous Roman city including stops at the Tophet, the Phoenician cemetery, the Punic Harbours, Antonin's Bath, the Carthage Museum and the Saint Louis Cathedral. Continue from here to the village of Sidi Bou Said, boasting spectacular breathtaking views of the Gulf of Tunis.
Depart from Tunis and travel to one of the best preserved Roman historical sites in all of Tunisia, Dougga. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Dougga is an outstanding example of ancient Roman architecture, with numerous well preserved columns and structures spread across this 65 hectare site. Next, head out to explore the archaeological site of Bulla Regia, known for its semi-subterranean housing, and outstanding collection of Roman mosaics. Upon completion of the tour a transfer to El Kef is provided.
Leklil Hotel is a 3-star property in the town of El Kef
Private Vehicle & Guide & Driver.
Enjoy breakfast, bright and early in the morning before departing toward the city of Makthar. Formerly known as Mactaris during the reign of the Roman Empire, this ancient location is littered with ruins of Roman architecture. Explore the many arches, amphitheatres and temples of this once occupied city, before traveling to the holy city of Kairouan.
Set out to Kairouan for a walk through this holy Islamic city, founded in 671 by Okba Ibn Nafâa. It centralized location, proved beneficiary in adding to its renowned reputation for unique, elegant carpet manufacturing, which feature across a wide range of mosques. Visit the impressive Mosque Sidi Okba, founded in the 7th century; this marvel reflects the greatness of the Islam Empire during this era. Visit the Aghlabiden pool, the city's main water reservoir, followed by a stop at Saint Abou Zemaa El Balaoui, also known as the "prophet Berber". Explore the old town (Medina) and enjoy walking through its characteristic markets (the souks).
La Kasbah is seated in Kairouan, the focal point for many Muslim pilgrims traveling from around the world. With a simple, Arab-influenced layout and design, the hotel is host to 94 rooms, 2 junior suites, and a presidential suite. Each promises all the amenities of home as well as international phones. Rakada, the hotel restaurant, promises a menu with all sorts of dishes from around the world. Dine a la carte at Sofra. Pass the time lounging by the pool or sipping Turkish coffee at the cafe.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer to Sbeitla for some exploration around the ruins of this once flourishing, Roman city. Similar to the monuments at Dougga, Sbeitla is renowned as one of the best preserved Roman, archaeological sites in all of Tunisia. The history of this once bustling city is unknown, but the presence of such megalithic structures led researcher and historians to believe this area was quite undeveloped until the Roman occupation. Next, travel to Tozeur, home to one of the most famous oasis in the world, surrounded by 200 springs, and sheltered by an estimated 400000 palm trees. Upon completion of the tour a transfer to Tozeur is provided.
Get into the wonderful world of the Dar Cherait Hotel, a legendary palace situated in the heart of the Tozer palm forest that has so enchantingly grown from the desert. The beauty and refinement of this palace discreetly fits this unforgettable paradise.
After breakfast, a private vehicle with driver will provide the travel means required for touring through the Sahara canyons and oases. Begin with a visit to the old mountain perched town of Chebika which hosts a natural spring that supplies water to the oasis. Next, travel to Tamerza, a once lively town but was abandoned after severe flooding in 1969. Take a chance to admire the local waterfall before visiting the canyons of Mides, located near the Algerian border. Upon completion of the days touring a return transfer to Tozeur is provided.
Private Vehicle & Guide & Driver.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, depart towards Ksar Ghilane Oasis. The warm water spring provides an excellent water temperature, perfect for a soothing bath. After checking into camp, where a lunch will be provided it off across the dunes to visit the Ksar Ouled Soltane, an ancient Roman fort, seemingly abandoned as if to have been drowned by the sand of the dunes.
A shimmering mirage awaits you in the Tunisian Sahara - nestled at its own oasis in the midst of the desert, offering its charm and shade, its spring and the whispering waters of its seguias: Capement Yadis Ksar Ghilane welcomes you to this hospitable land of colours and contrasts, spices and scents.
After an early breakfast, depart towards Tataouine for some touring. Upon your arrival into Tataouine, visit the old hilltop Berber village Chenini, one of the remaining Tunisian villages where the Berber dialect is still spoken. After checking into the hotel, and lunch, hit the road to visit the various surrounding area Ksar, which were ancient Berber granaries used to stockpile crops.
The Sangho Privilege is a haven for adventurers touring the fortified granaries of the Ksour. The four-star Sangho Tataouine is an architectural gem. A complex of 62 stone bungalows of the local rough red brown stone follow the contours of the hill side on which they are built. The lush gardens along the winding stone paths attract rare desert birds. There is a side courtyard with a fireplace and traditional goat hair tent for evenings under the piercing stars which penetrate the black desert sky.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Freshly renovated, Les Oliviers Palace in Sfax, Tunisia, is a sleek choice of accommodations for visitors to North Africa. Each of the 137 rooms promise carefully chosen themes as decided by international designers. Some rooms feature kitchenettes, while all have heating and air conditioning that guest can personalize. Dine at any of the two restaurants on site, which serve a variety of European and local cuisine. Its downtown location gives guest the perfect opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, and cultures of this marvellous Tunisian city and it surroundings.
Hit the road for El Jem, a once thriving Roman agricultural region, boasting its grandiose Colosseum, second only in size to that of Rome, attests to the area's great wealth during the Roman reign. The sight of this amphitheatre rising in the distance like a Colossus is both wondrous and slightly strange as the present surroundings give no hint of its former importance. It was the scene of games and circuses during the ancient Roman times, with a capacity of holding 35000 viewers. Hit the road to visit Mahdia, the first capital of Fatimid dynasty, situated on a rocky peninsula, 1500m in length and less than 500m in width. Next, continue to Monastir, a modern resort and harbour town, located along the Dkhila coast. Visit the area Ribat or fortress, this defensive structure was built along the southern coast of the Mediterranean, forming a defensive wall stretching as far as Morocco and Egypt. These walls were aimed at protecting the Muslim empire from sea invasions. Next, visit the Bourguiba’s Mausoleum before continuing to Sousse. With such a mild climate, calm and beautiful coastline it is no wonder why Sousse has long captivated audiences as ancient as the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs, who later all settled in this lovely town.
El Mouradi Palace is an Arabian style hotel which offers high standard accommodation and leisure facilities.
After breakfast, the tour begins with a visit to Zaghouan. This quaint town is famed for its roses, which were originally cultivated by Muslim refugees whom departed Spain in the 17th century. Zaghouan is also known as the source location of water used to feed the city of Carthage, via aqueduct, during Roman times. Next, depart to Tuburbo Majus, or Colonia Julia Aurelia Commoda, as it was referred to during the Roman era, which was originally a Punic town converted into a Roman veteran's colony. Continue to Tunis, stopping along the way to take photos of some ancient Roman aqueducts.
This 12 room hotel is a converted traditional house located right in the Tunis Medina. It features whitewashed and tiled surroundings, with latticed windows. The many-levelled mansion is a surprise after the narrow street, with inner courtyards providing light, space and shade.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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