Djerba is a small island in south Tunisia, adored by tourists, and for good reason – it has white sandy beaches and whitewashed domed houses.
Djerba is in many ways different than the rest of the cities in Tunisia, because the people in Djerba work hard to preserve their identity, culture, traditions and unique architecture.
If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay and eat while enjoying this paradise on earth, your best bet is the medina in Houmt Souk.
Here, you might go by with just a little bit of hassle while shopping (and if you’ve ever been to Tunisia, you know how rare that is).
However if you’re more on the posh side, look no further than the resort hotels along the eastern coast in the Zone Touristique.
The best time to visit Djerba is during the summer that runs from June to September. Even in May the temperature is warm enough, especially in the second half of the month, but you might not be able to go for a swim since the sea is still cool.
Warnings & Dangers in Djerba
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Overall, Djerba is a safe city, but there are extremely high rates of petty crime. You should be vigilant and take all possible precaution measures in order to minimize the risk of something going wrong.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to transport, it isn't very safe or reliable. You have to be very careful in public transport because there may be thieves lurking around, and sexual harassment toward women is common. Make sure that the taxi drivers aren't ripping you off under the excuse that their meters aren't working.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
There is an extreme threat of petty crime. Pickpockets are practically an everyday occurrence and you should be extremely careful when handling your valuables and never carry your money in a purse or a pocket. The most risky locations are crowded places such as markets, public transport and bus and train stations.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Southern Tunisia is susceptible to natural disasters, particularly desert areas that are subject to blowing sands that can create serious damage. Also, the desert regions are subject to extreme temperatures.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
The chances of getting mugged or kidnapped are pretty low in Djerba, as are rates of violent crime. Still, there are areas that are best avoided, such as poorly lit and deserted areas on the outskirts of the island.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Terrorists are relatively unlikely to try and attack in Tunisia. Still, authority in Tunisia is alert at all times in Tunis and other regions of Tunisia. You should remain aware of your surroundings at all times, avoid protests and public gatherings and festivals.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Watch out for street vendors trying to rip you off and overcharge for their service, double check the authenticity of everything you want to buy as well as the change you receive and negotiate everything in advance.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Djerba is not the safest choice for female solo travelers. Sexual assaults do occur occasionally, and women in general tend to attract unwanted attention.
So... How Safe Is Djerba Really?
Djerba is relatively safe to visit.
It is a country where theft and petty crime is common. Be very careful with your valuables and keep them in a safe place with you, or better yet, just leave them in your accommodation and only carry enough cash to cover your requirements for that day.
Among dangers you can encounter on the streets of Djerba might be the harassment of women and of LGBT population.
LGBT are not welcome here and homosexuality is punishable by low and illegal.
Members of LGBT community are advised to stay out of Tunisia, though in the past couple of years more and more young people are gaining some understanding of this community and are becoming more accepting of them.
Men in Tunisia tend to verbally harass western women on the streets, due to their image of western women they get over the media.
They get truly stunned when they ask female tourists to kiss them, and they don’t do it. If you receive unwanted attention, just say ‘Harem alek‘, which, in Arabic means ‘shame on you‘. This usually works quite well.
Another issue you should be very aware of is that traveling to within 10km of the Tunisia-Libya border is strongly advised against, as well as traveling south of El Borma.
Just generally be careful when moving around Tunisia, since there have been attacks carried out on the country by Islamic extremists recently.
- Visas - Many countries in Canada, U.S, and Europe don't need a visa in order to enter Tunisia. Your passport needs to be valid for the duration of your stay. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Tunisian dinar is the official currency in Djerba. Bear in mind that you are not allowed to take Tunisian currency out of the country. Tunisian banks will probably ask to see your passport when you change money.
- Weather - Djerba has the perfect hot-summer Mediterranean climate, with mild winters characterized by moderate rainfall and not too low temperatures and hot and dry summers. Temperatures during summer, in July and August can exceed 40 °C.
- Airports - Djerba–Zarzis International Airport is the international airport serving the island of Djerba in Tunisia.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Djerba, since it covers not only the costs medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.