There are eight landmark national parks in Tunisia. Each one of these heavenly places is being protected and represents a side of Tunisia that is so much different from the usual busy life of a highly visited tourist destination. The best known National Parks in Tunisia are the Ichkeul National Park, Chaambi National Park, Zembra Island Nature Reserve, El Feija National Park, Bou Hedma National Park, Jbil National Park, Sidi Toui National Park and Boukornine National Park. There are 16 smaller reserves that are protected under the Tunisian law, including the bat caves at El Haouaria and the Kchem El Kelb reserve for gazelles.
Ichkeul National Park has been included in UNESCO’s list of world heritages. It is situated 30 km south-west of Bizerte and is the home of Lake Ichkeul and the wetlands that adjourns the Jebel Ichkeul Mountain. The park shelters a wide variety of birds and is a favorite place for exploring. There are some animal species too like the water buffalo, the jackal and the porcupines.
Chaambi National Park is a favorite place for climbers. The Chaambi Mountain, part of the Atlas Mountains, is covered with Aleppo pine forests and another one hundred plant species. While breathing the fresh mountain air, the park’s visitors can see some of the extraordinary fauna in its own habitat such as sheep, gazelles, porcupines, hares and hyenas.
El Feija National Park is very close to the Algerian border. 90% of its area is covered by trees and a significant number of birds and animals living there. The park is formed by hills and cliffs. The altitude varies from 550 to 1550m. The highest point of the park is known as the Statir.
Bou Hedma National Park is located in the center of Tunisia and is part of the Sahara Atlas range. The park is rich with subtropical vegetation like juniper forests. A variety of ostriches, gazelles and antelopes are living in the park and enjoying the exuberance of plants. An eco-museum has been established to preserve the deforestation.
Jbil National Park has most of its flora and fauna protected under the Tunisian law. This is a fairly small park situated some 100 km from Kebili. It is part of the Sahara desert and has in its 150.000 hectares desert shrubs, gazelles, foxes, jackals, sheep and a variety of reptiles. This is the largest park in Tunisia.
Sidi Toui National Park comprises of arid dunes that are the home of the famous nocturnal fox- the fennec. The relatively large undisturbed steppe stripes are used as a sight for restoration of the population of the desert antelope and the scimitar-horned oryx. The park is close to the Lybian border as is easily accessible via Tripoli.
Boukornine National Park is spread over 1.939 hectares and its climate is ideal for the cultivation of the Persian Cyclamen, various orchids and tulips. The park has several hiking trails leading to caves and the Ain Zargua spring. The richness of the habitat is a joy for every visitor.
Zembra Island Nature Reserve is a rocky island that has been named a national park because of the rare plants, animals and birds that live within its limits. The reserve is located some 18 km away from the Cap Bon coast, however, be advised it’s not open to visitors as it’s Marine protected are. Only military personnel are allowed to enter the park.