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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel

  • Reviewed: 7 March 2022, 11:52 NZDT
  • Still current at: 7 March 2022

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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Do not travel to the Chaambi Mountains National Park, including the town of Kasserine, near the border with Algeria due to ongoing armed conflict between Tunisian security forces and militant groups.

Do not travel within 30 kilometres of the border with Algeria, in the military zone south of the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba, and within 50 kilometres of the border with Libya, including the town of Ben Guerdane, due to the threat of terrorism, kidnapping and the presence of armed groups.

Avoid non-essential travel to the south of and including the towns of Nefta, Douz, Médenine and Zarzis due to the threat of terrorism and kidnapping.

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Tunisia due to the threat of terrorism and civil unrest.


There is a significant threat of terrorism in Tunisia. Ongoing insecurity and conflict in Libya and the presence of terrorist groups in that country continues to affect the security situation and threat environment in Tunisia. There is currently a state of emergency in Tunisia, which has been extended a number of times, most recently on 05 July 2019.

There have been a number of attacks in Tunisia in the past targeting foreigners and tourists.

On 27 June 2019, two bombs exploded in Tunis causing at least one death and several injuries.

On 31 March 2018, 2 foreigners were attacked by an individual with a knife in the town of El Kef, in northwest Tunisia.

On 7 March 2016 an attack in Ben Guerdan resulted in 12 deaths of security officials and civilians.

On 26 June 2015, 38 foreign tourists were killed in a terrorist attack in Port El Kantaoui, near the beach resort town of Sousse. Reports suggest the attacker deliberately targeted foreign tourists.

On 18 March 2015, a terrorist attack took place at the Bardo Museum in the centre of Tunis. Twenty one tourists were killed and many others were injured.

There have been other terrorist attacks in Tunisia directed against government and security forces. On 29 October 2018, at least eight police officers were injured in a suicide bomb attack in Tunis. In recent years, attacks in the Chaambi Mountains have killed a large number of soldiers. The risk of cross-border terrorism has increased as groups in the wider region have improved their capability.

While security measures have been increased in recent years, particularly in tourist areas, further attacks are likely, including in large cities and locations known to be frequented by foreigners. Foreigners and tourists may continue to be deliberately targeted. Authorities may restrict travel or enforce local curfews at short notice.

New Zealanders in Tunisia are advised to exercise a high level of security awareness at all times, particularly when visiting public places frequented by foreigners, such as hotels, shopping centers, places of worship, tourist sites, bars and restaurants. We recommend monitoring local media to stay informed of potential risks to your safety and following any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfew measures.

Civil Unrest
Protests in response to religious, political and economic tensions occur frequently in Tunisia, which sometimes affect key services. Although protests are not normally against foreign interests, international events can trigger anti-western protests, and some become violent.

New Zealanders in Tunisia are advised to avoid all large gatherings, protests, demonstrations and rallies as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.

Petty crimes like pickpocketing, bag snatching, mugging and scams are common in Tunisia. New Zealanders are advised to remain vigilant, be security conscious in public places, guard belongings carefully and never leave bags open or unattended.

Border areas
The risk of cross-border terrorist activity and kidnapping is especially high in areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Médenine and Zarzis and within 30 kilometres of the border with Algeria. There is a heightened security presence in this area due to the deteriorating security environment. Kidnappings have occurred along the border with Algeria and we strongly advise against crossing this border by land. Border crossings are sometimes closed temporarily without notice. 

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Tunisia to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.  

Homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia and foreigners have been imprisoned for public indecency in recent years. Missionary work by non-Muslims is also illegal, and may result in deportation.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Tunisia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Tunisia are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Cairo, Egypt is accredited to Tunisia

Street Address 8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt Telephone +202 2461 6000 Fax +202 2461 6099 Email Web Site Hours Sun-Weds 0900-1500 hrs, Thurs 0900-1330 hrs Note In an emergency or if you require urgent assistance, please call the Embassy on +202 2461 6000. Outside of business hours you will be redirected to an after-hours duty service.

See our regional advice for Africa