This Festival is an international one and is held annually in the town of Douz, in central Tunisia. It began in 1910 as the Camel Festival, while under French rule.
Douz is an important stop on the Sahara Caravan route – it also acts as the Gateway to the Sahara. The modern version of the festival took shape when its first President – Habib Bourgiba – decreed it so, in 1967. It is now one of the oldest festivals in this part of the world and also the best known.
The city of Douz also hosts the Museum of the Sahara where one can find information and displays on the traditional way of life and culture of the nomadic tribe – the M’Razig.
One can experience a lot of interesting events like music and dance, reading of poetry, horse and salugi dog racing, camel racing etc.
After the opening ceremonies, the main events get under way at the H’naiech stadium, amongst Bedouin tents. Marathons by camels, Bedouin weddings and rabbit hunting by dogs are some of the main features. The centerpiece of the festival is the Annual Poetry contest – poetry is one of the main way of communicating for the nomads.
The festival has become an interesting event not just for tourists who like to visit unusual places, but also to the media which likes to cover such events. This attention has put the life and culture of the M’Razig people front and center – and has helped them to maintain their way of life while using all the available tools.
Check out the official website for information on tours, accommodation and events.