Yesterday we set off to explore Cap Angela or Ras Angela or Cap Injela or Cap Enjela—all names for the sample place. No matter what you call it, it’s a rocky area in Northern Tunisia that is the northernmost point of continental Africa. Most tourists visit Tunisia for the beaches, but if greenery and hiking are more your jam, then this region of Tunisia is for you.
Lake Ichkeul National Park
We started off our day trip intending to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Lake Ichkeul, which is about an hour and forty minutes from Tunis by car. Lake Ichkeul is supposed to be a major stopover point for migratory birds in the spring and autumn. The drive is relatively easy, mostly by highway with the last forty minutes by local roads. The landscape in this area is gloriously green and dotted herds of sheep alongside the smaller rural roads. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the lake, we learned that the park was closed due to an avian flu quarantine. The park is scheduled to re-open on April 1, 2017 and hopefully, we’ll get another chance to visit later this year.
Finding Joy in the Journey
With Lake Ichkeul closed, we mapped our way to Cap Angela. According to Google Maps, the trip was supposed to take 55 minutes, but it took us almost two hours. Two of the fastest routes recommend by Google had us turning onto mud roads, which are unpassable unless you are driving a vehicle that’s meant for off-roading. At one point, found ourselves giggling at the thought of our American friends who drive SUVs on the smooth and perfectly paved American highways while we were stuck in a tiny, dented, hatchback contemplating whether we should take the “road” that looked more like a mud pit.
Thankfully, we weren’t on any strict agenda and we took the opportunity to appreciate the natural scenery. In the end we found our way to Cap Angela via a small, winding rural road that was mostly asphalt. I couldn’t get over how green the landscape is in this part of Tunisia. I must of said “it’s so green” at least 20 times as we were driving.
After an hour and forty-five minutes of winding roads and sipping half a liter of water, we were getting a little antsy. We’d taken several detours to avoid dirt roads and after our 4th “wrong turn” the greenery was slightly less captivating. But then, just as we were starting to get frustrated with the lack of road signs, the Mediterranean Sea started peaking though the hills. My heart melted.
Then again, my heart always melts at the Mediterranean. It’s a majestic sea.
Lunch at Cap Angela
We drove up to Cap Angela and enjoyed a late lunch on the cliffs with a view of the sea. After lunch we took a short hike to explore the terrain. It was windy but wonderful. As with most of other sites we’ve visited in Tunisia, we had the entire area to ourselves. It’s a treasure to find places like this without another soul in sight–on a Saturday of a long weekend too!
We hit the road back to Tunis while we still had some daylight to help us navigate the narrow roads to back to the highway. On the way home, we drove through Bizerte and got a small snippet of the seaside city before heading back to Tunis.
It was the perfect way to spend a Spring Saturday.