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Nefta, Tunisia
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Nefta - Sufism, Date Palms and Camels

We visited Nefta on a day trip from Tozeur.

Considered by many Sufis to be the spiritual home of their faith, Nefta is the destination for many pilgrims. There are quite a few mosques and other religious centres in the town.

We got to ride a camel at the small Berber encampment about 15 kms out of town towards the nearby Algerian border. The few Berbers that live here in their traditional tents make a living (?) selling a few nicknacks to the tourists and offering to take you for a short camel ride over the sandhills. Well, you get to experience what riding a camel is like, I guess.

Nefta, Tunisia
Camels near Nefta

There is a date processing plant in the town, and this provides seasonal work (mainly) for young women while the boys are out climbing the trees to cut the date stalks. There doesn’t appear to be much else to do when the dates have been picked and processed.

The town itself sits around a huge depression (corbeille) which is ringed by some big tourist hotels, well positioned to catch the sunsets.

The Chott el Jerid (a huge expanse of dry nothing) is nearby. There are friendly cab drivers in the main street and they will be happy to take you for a drive to see the sights.

Nefta, Tunisia
Workers from the date processing factory on their way home.

Nefta is not as big as Tozeur, but it has the same interesting brick patterns in the buildings in the old part of the town. You can walk down into the depression (the Corbeille) and there is a swimming pool at the bottom.

The salt-flats near Nefta were used as a filming location for the Star Wars movie.  

Nefta, Tunisia
Richard on the sands near Nefta
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