Ichkeul National Park Travel Guide

Find out the must-visit places, things to do, and practical tips for your next adventure in Ichkeul National Park. Discover the cultural and natural attractions and have an unforgettable experience in this Tunisian gem.

Introduction to Ichkeul National Park

Ichkeul National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Northern Tunisia, near the city of Bizerte. The park covers an area of 12,600 hectares and includes a freshwater lake, marshland, and surrounding mountains. The park is a sanctuary for various migratory birds, including flamingos, storks, and herons, and is home to several endemic plant species.

Ichkeul National Park is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Visitors can hike, bike, boat, and birdwatch in the park while taking in the stunning scenery.

List of Places to Visit in Ichkeul National Park

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Bizerte Old Town - also known as the Medina, Bizerte Old Town is a charming historic district with narrow streets, colorful houses, and marketplaces.

  2. Kasbah of Bizerte - a fortified palace from the 17th century, the Kasbah of Bizerte offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.

  3. Ichkeul Museum - located on the eastern shore of the lake, the Ichkeul Museum showcases the history, culture, and ecology of the park and its surroundings.

Natural Attractions of Ichkeul National Park: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Ichkeul Lake - the main attraction of the park, Ichkeul Lake is a large freshwater lake that serves as the habitat for numerous bird species, such as the endangered Marbled Teal.

  2. Djebel Ichkeul - a mountain range that forms the backdrop of the park, Djebel Ichkeul offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

  3. Wetlands - the park’s wetlands area is a prime spot for birdwatchers looking to catch a glimpse of rare species like the Northern Bald Ibis.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ichkeul National Park

Hiking Routes

  1. Djebel Ichkeul Trail - a moderate hike with a distance of around 10 km, this trail leads to the top of the Djebel Ichkeul mountain range and offers stunning vistas of the park.

  2. Ainet El Mederghem Trail - an easy trail with a distance of around 5 km, this trail takes visitors through the wetlands and offers great opportunities for birdwatching.

Biking Routes

  1. Lake Circuit - a moderate biking route with a distance of around 25 km, this route takes visitors around the perimeter of the lake and provides views of the surrounding mountains.

  2. Djebel Ichkeul Loop - a more challenging biking route with a distance of around 40 km, this route takes visitors up and over the Djebel Ichkeul mountain range.

Best Things to Do in Ichkeul National Park: Activities and Tours

  1. Birdwatching - Ichkeul National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. Visitors can see numerous bird species, including flamingos, herons, storks, cormorants, and raptors.

  2. Boating - visitors can rent a boat or take a guided tour on Ichkeul Lake and explore the park from a different perspective.

  3. Horseback Riding - there are several horseback riding tours available in the park, taking visitors through the wetlands and along the mountains.

Week-Long Itinerary for Ichkeul National Park

Day 1: Arrive in Bizerte, check into your hotel, and explore the Old Town.

Day 2: Visit the Kasbah of Bizerte and the nearby St. Louis Cathedral. In the afternoon, head to Ichkeul Lake and take a boat tour.

Day 3: Take a hiking or biking trail in the park, enjoy a picnic, and spend the night at a guesthouse.

Day 4: Explore the wetlands and go birdwatching. In the afternoon, head back to the hotel in Bizerte.

Day 5: Visit the Ichkeul Museum and learn about the park’s ecology and history.

Day 6: Take a horseback riding tour and explore more of the park’s beautiful scenery.

Day 7: Departure

Food and Drink Scene of Ichkeul National Park

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Harissa - a spicy chili paste made from red peppers, garlic, and olive oil, and used as a condiment for many Tunisian dishes.

  2. Tunisian Salad - a refreshing salad made with fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers, and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

  3. Couscous - a staple dish in Tunisia made with semolina, vegetables, and either meat or fish.

Local Beverages

  1. Mint Tea - a popular drink in Tunisia, the tea is prepared with green tea leaves, fresh mint leaves, and sugar.

  2. Boukha - a traditional Tunisian spirit made from figs and typically served as an aperitif.

Where to Stay in Ichkeul National Park: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  1. Dar Warda - a quaint guesthouse located in Bizerte’s Old Town, Dar Warda features beautifully decorated rooms and a peaceful garden.

  2. Hotel Les Cotes de Carthage - a modern hotel located near Ichkeul Lake, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and stunning lake views.

  3. Youth Hostel Centre - a budget-friendly accommodation located in Bizerte, this hostel offers basic amenities and a convenient location.

What to Buy in Ichkeul National Park: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  1. Ceramics - Tunisia is famous for its traditional pottery, and visitors can find beautiful ceramic items in souvenir shops throughout the park.

  2. Olive oil - Tunisia is one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world, and visitors can buy high-quality olive oil from local producers.

Local Culture and Customs of Ichkeul National Park

  1. Dress conservatively and respectfully, particularly when visiting religious sites.

  2. Remove shoes before entering mosques or private homes.

Best Time to Visit Ichkeul National Park

The best time to visit Ichkeul National Park is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) months when the weather is milder, and the bird migration is at its peak.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ichkeul National Park


  1. Bring sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a camera.

  2. Respect wildlife and leave no trace.


  1. Litter or disturb plant and animal habitats.

  2. Swim in Ichkeul Lake as it is prohibited to preserve the ecosystem.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ichkeul National Park

Ichkeul National Park is generally safe for visitors, but it is recommended to follow standard safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas and not carrying large sums of money.

Health in Ichkeul National Park

Visitors should be up to date on routine vaccinations, and it is recommended to take extra precautions against mosquito bites due to the presence of malaria in the park.

Getting to Ichkeul National Park: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Ichkeul National Park

  1. Tunis-Carthage International Airport (TUN) - located 66 km from Ichkeul National Park, this airport serves many domestic and international flights.

  2. Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport (NBE) - located 100 km from Ichkeul National Park, this airport serves mainly charter flights.

Bus Stations Near Ichkeul National Park

  1. Bizerte Bus Station - located in the center of town, this station offers connections to other cities and towns in Tunisia.

Other Options

  1. Rent a car - visitors can rent a car upon arrival at the airport or in Bizerte and drive to Ichkeul National Park.

  2. Hire a private driver - visitors can arrange for a private driver to take them to the park from Tunis or Bizerte.

How to Get Around in Ichkeul National Park

The best way to get around Ichkeul National Park is by foot or bicycle. Visitors can rent bikes in Bizerte or hire a local guide to take them around.

Where to Go Next from Ichkeul National Park: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  1. Dougga - located 120 km from Ichkeul National Park, Dougga is a well-preserved ancient Roman city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  2. Bulla Regia - located 160 km from Ichkeul National Park, Bulla Regia is a unique ancient Roman city known for its underground houses.


With its stunning scenery, rich culture, and abundant wildlife, Ichkeul National Park is a must-visit destination for any nature lover or adventure enthusiast. Use this comprehensive guide to plan your trip and have an unforgettable experience in this Tunisian gem.