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Is Tunisia a Safe or Dangerous country?Taking some precautions, Tunisia is a relatively safe country. However, like in any other city in the world, violent and nonviolent crime occurs in Tunis and other big urban areas. Homicides and sexual assaults have been reported all over the Tunisia more often in rural areas and poor neighborhoods. During soccer matches, physical assaults toward police, security forces, and rival soccer fans possible. All newcomers to the city must be extra cautious in high-traffic tourist areas: Tunis Medina, central market, and other overcrowded areas. In case of being lost, we advise do not indicate, that you are lost. Try to take a seat in a café and order a taxi, via mobile application if you have an internet access. Otherwise, you might be targeted by robbers. Areas of concern:
- Travelling to the areas near the Libya border is not recommended, due to the high threat of terrorism.
- All travels into the desert areas south of Tataouine have to be registered beforehand in the Tunisian National Guard.
- Mountain areas in the west of the country are dangerous, on the reason of the high terrorist activity.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Tunisia is a relatively safe country. Tourism is the primary source of income for not only the governmental budget but private as well. So, the tourists’ security is number 1 priority.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are very common. Transportation hubs, markets, the coastal area, public transport are among of the top pickpocket’s destinations.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Risk of kidnapping is high within 50 km along the Libya border. Mugging does occur frequently in the big cities, in the poorly lit area, after the dark.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Unfair individuals or group of them desire to take an advantage of distracted tourists. Touts of souvenirs shops might be aggressive, so refuse politely from a purchase. Take as a general rule in Tunisia to ask the price in advance, overpriced food, beverages are common. Be careful of Henna artists in market areas. Henna might provoke an allergy in 2-3 weeks, so don’t believe, that their henna is safe.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Taking public buses or minibuses (“louage”) is strongly unrecommended. Bus drivers often drive at excessive speeds, have poor safety records, and do not properly maintain vehicles. Buses are usually overcrowded, and women have been harassed. Do not use a taxi that will not use the meter or claims “the meter is not working,” as these drivers will over charge unsuspecting passengers. The streetcar system, known as “Metro,” consists of five lines between downtown Tunis and nearby suburbs. Petty crime (pickpocketing, purse/phone/jewelry snatching, sexual harassment of women) is common on the Metro. Americans on official business are not authorized to use the Metro.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Even well-traveled routes are subject to blowing sands that can create hazards. Travel in the desert areas of southern Tunisia presents additional challenges. Persons driving off the major paved roads are encouraged to ensure that their vehicles are appropriate for off-road driving conditions and are equipped with appropriate spares/supplies (water, food). Groups should generally travel in multiple vehicles. Desert regions are subject to extreme temperatures, from sub-freezing evenings in the winter to dangerously hot days in the summer. In addition, many areas in the southern desert regions have little or no cellular telephone service.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The possibility of terrorist attacks in Tunisia has a moderate probability, however you should watch out for suspicious activity. Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Sexual assaults do occur occasionally. The risks of being harassed is high in all types of public transport.