Posted by: travelrat | October 6, 2008

Africa in … Africa!


Friguia, 14th June 2008.

When we planned our holiday this year, we were torn between a wildlife safari in Kenya and Tunisia. If we’d gone to Kenya, I’d have had to take a film camera as well, because ‘Long Tom’ won’t fit on my D40X, and so I have to save for a telephoto for that, too. And, if my video camera had packed up in Kenya rather than Tunisia … I would indeed have, as Bram Stoker said ‘ … spoke polyglot, with much bloom and blood’.

Nevertheless, we did see animals when we signed up for a trip to the safari park at Friguia.

‘But, why do we need to go to see African animals in Tunisia?’

‘Well, Tunisia is in Africa!’


It’s not only African animals we see. There’s tigers, kangaroos and black swans, too, all kept in an habitat as natural as possible … although I feel that the sign above the black swan enclosure, stating it contained black swans was a bit of a ‘statement of the bleedin’ obvious’

But, the object of the visit wasn’t only to see the animals. It was to attend a ‘folkloric evening’ at their restaurant. I’d estimated it would seat about a thousand people … and every seat was taken. Nevertheless, the service was quick and efficient, and we were entertained by Tunisian singers and dancers, as well as Africans from further south.

My memory of the meal is a bit hazy, as the more ‘Vin de Mess’ I took on, the more garbled and indecipherable my notes became. But, I do remember someone saying ‘This is another Vin de Mess you’ve gotten me into, Stanley!’ However, I can read the bit that tells me the brik we were served as a starter is a kind of crispy pancake stuffed with potato, herbs and a fried egg. And, the main course was Djerba Island rice (with vegetables) with stewed chicken, which they told us was a speciality of Matmata.

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  1. Excellent article. I am a fan of travelling by tram too.
    Love your photo of the elephant. Awwww!

  2. I’d rather see elephants in the wild, though. Even though the conditions they have been kept in have improved immensely thanks to the efforts of Virginia McKenna, et. al. they still are a bit restricted for space.

    I heard of one safari park owner in UK who said he wasn’t going to have any more elephants because he didn’t have space for them … even though it would take a good afternoon to walk from one side of his estate to the other.

    Trams … Melbourne and Blackpool are high on my list of ‘places to visit’. I did an article about Adelaide’s vintage ‘rattlers’ a couple of years back … hardly was the ink dry, when they replaced them with modern vehicles.

    But, they kept some of the old Pengellys, which they bring out on high days and holidays.

  3. Nice writing, Keith. What part of Africa are those kangaroos from?

  4. So these animals are in the Animal Park, Keith? Great pic of the tiger. The rest of the evening sounds like (hazy) fun!

  5. >>What part of Africa are those kangaroos from?<>Great pic of the tiger<<

    I once held the opinion that zoos should, like some Australian zoos, contain only animals indigenous to the particular continent they were on.

    I soon changed the opinion, though … all it took was the look of wonder on a child’s face, beholding an elephant for the first time.

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