The Ksar Ghilane is a large Oasis 140kms into the Tunisian Sahara filled with palms and large golden dunes. It was the setting of many scenes from the English Patient. The Ksar itself is 2km away.
To go to this place you must have a 4x4 to get over the dunes. Rent it from either Tozeur or Douz or forgo the hassles and book a tour with one of the many agencies in the area. After leaving Douz you will pass through the scraggly looking desert with small brush in it. Eventually you will see sand drifts and less brush. Finally you will come to one of the most beautiful Oasis’s in the desert with large dunes and palm trees sticking out here and there. You drive over one large dune to find more beautiful scenery on the other side. In the middle of the Oasis is a warm spring that fills a small swimming hole. You can sleep in a Nomad style tent, but it’s not like the “real” thing. You get a cot and lots of fuzzy blankets. For the most part Ksar Ghilane is just a cool place to hang for a couple of days. There is a restaurant of sorts and showers with hot water only in the men’s go figure.
Ksar Ghilane sunset
The Ksar itself is an abandoned ruin about 2kms from the Oasis. The cool part about it is you can see how the sand has encroached in the past 100yrs or so. Some of the dunes reach to the very top of the Ksar. On the way to the Ksar from the Oasis you will drive over mini dunes which I compare to moguls (little hills of snow for skiing) it makes for a fun bumpy ride.
What's really great:
chillin at the hot springs
Let me tell you, sitting out by the spring at night in February, drinking hot tea chatting it up with whoever happens to be by and freezing your butt off is pretty cool in the middle of the desert. However, sleeping in the desert is a different story. 11 blankets, so heavy I couldn’t move, and I was still freezing! The sand was like ice when you had to get up to pee!! All I can say….Never again in the winter!!!
Ksar Ghilane Cafe
On the bottom of the dune in the middle of no-where is a cafe. Why? I have no clue. Doesn't look like it's been used for awhile.. perhaps it is only open during high season.
there are Nomad tents within the Oasis the cheapest belonging to camping Ghilane for about $10 a night.
If you have oddles of $$ to spend, check out the Pansea Ksar Ghilane Hotel
When I win my millions I will be sure to go there.