Scuba Diving in Tunisia

Tunisia is a country in Northwest Africa. Its shores are washed by the Mediterranean sea, the length of the coastline is 1250 km. Diving in Tunisia is generally centered around the shore of the tourist town of Tabarka in the north and towns Hammamet, Mahdia, and Sousse in the East. Tunisia offers diving for everyone from beginners to experienced divers.
You’ll have the chance to spot a variety of marine creatures, from sea urchins and octopuses to giant squids (up to 200 kg), hammerhead sharks and stingrays that will swim right up to you. There are a number of excellent wreck diving spots the East coast. You have a chance to explore a number of destroyer warship wrecks and even an ancient Roman galleon, lying near the coastline. There is a World War II helicopter wreck to admire just off the coast of Mahdia. The North coast attracts tourists with its huge coral reef with intricate mazes and mysterious caves.

Reasons to Visit

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Diving to the island that is located 80 km from Tabarka will definitely be an interesting experience. It doesn't have a name, but it is famous for its rocks and underwater caves. Exploring the area, you'll find numerous underwater inhabitants, such as rockfish, groupers, red mullets, shrimps, and molluscs. After exploring the caves and fish, you can spend time with the Mediterranean earless seals basking on the rocky slopes. And if you're lucky, you can dive with them to the bottom.
The region further north of Tabarka is home to the largest coral reef in the Mediterranean sea. It is 300 km in length. Hundreds of perches, groupers, octopuses, and stingrays patrol the reef in the crystal clear water. Fishing is prohibited here, so the fish are not afraid of people. They calmly mind their own business, allowing you to observe them. Intrepid divers can go deeper to an intriguing complex full of tunnels, caves, and caverns. It is not recommended to swim far into the caves.
The waters of Tunisia are full of different kinds of inhabitants. You will see octopuses, stingrays, including electric rays, spiny dogfish, and crabs. Hectares of coral reefs cradle tuna fish of all sizes — from 50-centimeter young ones to giants that weight up to 200 kg. You can also meet some squid. The seabed is covered in colourful seaweed, giant Mytilus, and red corals. And if you stay underwater for a long time, you can meet a catshark.
The La Galite archipelago will interest wreck diving enthusiasts and those who enjoy discovering unusual places. The fact is that the seabed holds evidence of volcanic eruptions. When swimming above the labyrinth of crevices and rocks, you will certainly admire the incredible power of the natural force that created this magnificence. You can explore a merchant ship that sunk here in 1958. You will be accompanied by curious Mediterranean monk seals, which are under protection.
Not far from Mahdia you have a chance to follow in the footsteps of the great Jacques-Yves Cousteau. You will explore the place where he discovered an ancient Roman Galleon with marble statues and other artifacts inside. Some of the thrilling finds were recovered from the sea floor to become a part of Museum Exhibits, but divers will still find things worth seeing here. In addition to the ship wreck, the sea hides ancient household items, fragments of the mast and chains. Hammerhead sharks, stingrays and octopuses guard this place.
Memo Notes
Currency TND - Tunisian Dinar
Languages Arabic
Timezone UTC +1
Phone code 216
Emergency Help 190
Electricity

Type C - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type E - 230 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Tunisia

Dive shops in Tunisia are mostly located in Djerba, Moknine, Mahdia, and Sousse. You can book diving tours and regular dives for beginners, children and adults, as well as for groups. You can rent equipment, but be sure to check its technical condition, as it can be outdated. Not all dive guides speak English.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

The weather in Tunisia in spring is warm but wet. In March, the daytime air temperature is 18 °C, in May it rises to 26 °C, and thunderstorms frequently occur. Water warms up to 17 °C, make sure you take your wetsuit for diving.

Summer

Summer in Tunisia is pleasantly warm. In August the temperature reaches up to 35°С. It rains no more than twice a month. The sea breeze from the Mediterranean at night is very refreshing and helps keep you comfortable. The average water temperature is a brilliant 25 °C.

Autumn

Autumn is an excellent period for diving. The Mediterranean at this time warms up to + 25 °C, visibility is 10-30 m. During this time, the temperature is comfortable (+28… +30 °C) and the sea breeze is very refreshing. When it rains, it's usually not for very long.

Winter

In the winter, the air temperature is +5... +12 °C, the water warms up to + 16 °C. from December to February it rains. In Tunisia, you can dive all year round, but the sea in winter is usually a little rough.

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The Best Dive Sites

Octopus Reef is located on Djerba Island. You’ll have a chance to spot many different kinds of marine creatures, from coral reef fish, pomfret and sea sponges to charming dolphins. There are also octopuses, but you will have to look closely — they change their color to blend in with their surroundings.
In Ulysse at a depth of 35 m lies the Italian ship, which sank during the World War II. The hull of the ship is overgrown with seaweed and shells. Daredevils can swim into the holds and chase the shoals of Scomberomorus and rockfish.

Health & Safety

Big cities in Tunisia offer good health care services. But abilities of hospitals in small towns and rural areas are severely limited. Doctors require advance payment or guaranteed payment from an insurance company before providing services, this also includes emergency care.
Vaccinations are not required. But for your own safety, we recommend a vaccination against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, yellow fever and rabies.
The situation in Tunisia is considered to be unsafe, so it is better not to leave the protected tourist areas. Refrain from visiting the resorts located in the Tunisian-Libyan border area.

Dangerous Marine Life

If you feel burning pain while swimming, you should know, that you were probably stung by one of these creatures: a black jellyfish, a bristle worm, a sea anemone, a sea urchin or a "crown-of-thorns" starfish with eight spines. If you were stung, rinse the affected area with water and vinegar keep an eye on it and monitor your health. In case of vomiting, fever, severe muscle aches or headache you should see a doctor.

Eat & Drinks

The national Tunisian cuisine includes a lot of seafood, lamb, and spices. Almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, and honey are the main components of traditional desserts. You should definitely try Chorba — a thick soup with veal and vegetables. Then order brochette — kebab, made out of small pieces of meat. And of course, you should try the Tunisian couscous made with meat, vegetables, and sauce. Locals prefer mint green tea as the after-dinner drink. Tap water is dangerous here, so it is better to buy bottled water.