U.S. Updated Travel Advisory For This African Beach Destination Over Terrorism Concerns

U.S. Government Updated Travel Advisory For This African Beach Destination

On May 14, the US State Department updated its Travel Advisory for Tunisia, an African destination increasingly trending among American travelers.

According to tourism figures, more than 30,000 US adventure seekers headed to this country in 2023. An unprecedented number that doesn’t show signs of slowing down.

As of today, the US agency ranks this country at “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution,” which in practical terms means the destination is reasonably safe. 

Tunisia’s advisory was updated to reflect “high-risk areas,” due to terrorism concerns. Thus, you must not travel to:

  • Mount Orbata in the Gafsa governorate.
  • The desert south of Remada, due to the military zone.
  • Within 10 miles of the border with Libya.
  • Within 10 miles of the Algerian border, except for the cities of Tabarka and Ain Draham.
  • The mountains of Western Tunisia, (where terrorists are believed to be hidden).

According to American and Tunisian authorities, a number of terrorist groups may be planning attacks against some of the country’s venues, including but not limited to means of transportation, resorts, festivals, nightclubs, government facilities and religious sites.

To tackle such a threat with enough military and legal power, the country has opted to declare a state of emergency, which gives it access to greater resources. 

As of May 15, Tunisia’s counter-terrorism troops are actively hunting three Tunisian and one Algerian terrorists.

They are Osama al-Khazri (27), Ashraf al-Qizani (28) and Khalil al-Mansouri (28) from Tunisia, and Amin Mahkuka from Algeria. 

These terrorists are affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, reported the Tunisian Ministry of Interior yesterday. 

Internal security reports confirm that up to 300 militants are operating in the western mountains of the country, supported by other “300-400 sleeper cells,” said the ministry.

Despite this, Tunisia is considered as safe as the UK, Italy, France or the Netherlands.

Those planning to visit this exotic country are recommended to purchase medical insurance that covers medical evacuation, avoid demonstrations or spend the night in non-tourist cities.

Keep in mind that the US government doesn’t have access to the entire territory of Tunisia so it would be impossible to assist you if you decide to travel to “risk zones.”

Americans should also prepare a contingency plan in case something unexpected happens. Check out this Traveler’s Checklist to learn how to do it.