Ksar Ghilane

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Ksar Ghilane is an oasis in Southern Tunisia located on the boundary of the Grand Erg Oriental.

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About Ksar Ghilane

Background

Ksar Ghilane is considered the most southern Tunisian oasis and one of the gates to the Sahara Desert in Tunisia. As its name says (ksar is an Arabic word which means "castle"), it features a fort dating from ancient Roman times. The Tunisian government proposed the fort on 17 February 2012 for future ranking on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

The oasis is fed by a hot spring where you can swim. Ksar Ghilane has long been difficult to access: it is now connected by a paved road from Douz (80 miles north) or Matmata that can take off-road vehicles or cars.

It is a refuge for fifty families who harvest dates and breed goats and sheep. Tourism is an increasingly important industry. Several activities are available: quad biking, motorcycles, horseback riding or of méharées on camel.

Visitors can enjoy the sandy landscapes, while enjoying the relative cool of the oasis and the comfort of bathing in a hot spring. Three camps with Berber tents and a luxury hotel including sixty-conditioned tents are used to spend the night.

One kilometre to the east stands a pillar, the column of General Leclerc, reflecting the passage of his army in 1943 at the Battle of Ksar Ghilane. It bears the following inscription:

« Ici, du 23 février au 10 mars 1943, le Général Leclerc et la Force L, venus du Tchad, ont soutenu victorieusement l'assaut des forces ennemies, leur infligeant des pertes sévères. »

'Here, from February 23 to 10 March 1943, General Leclerc and the L Force, which came from Chad, victoriously sustained an assault by enemy forces, inflicting upon them severe losses.'

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Ksar Ghilane on Wikivoyage.

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