Help Us equip 150 new climbing routes in Djebel Zaghouan, one hour away from Tunis !


The project

One hour away from Tunis, Tunisia’s capital, an amazing mountain range called Jebel Zaghouan towers in the middle of a vast agricultural plain. Located just one hour away from Tunis by road, these jagged limestone walls have seen a long history, dating back to the Roman times. Zaghouan was the source for the Roman Empire’s second city, Carthage. A 132km aqueduct transported the water to Carthage, to quench the thirst of its inhabitants. It is also a remarkable site for rock climbing, because of its high quality limestone and walls that exceed 150 meters.




Some history on the first development of sports climbing in Tunisia : the first organized phase of equipment took place in 2012 thanks to Alexis Cacciardi and the French School of Tunis who opened routes on a small wall aiming at beginners. In the same year,  a group of French climbers from GUCEM, a climbing club from Grenoble, France, led by Slim Bougherra, Manu Tessane and Claude Vigier visited the Zaghouan crags.


They opened more than 30 routes on the north side of the mountain for all abilities.

Another crag of high quality was equipped by the GUCEM : Kaf Al Blida (only 7 routes were opened including 3 multi pitch routes partially equipped). Many other potential lines are awaiting to be opened and climbed.


Another crag of high quality was equipped by the GUCEM : Kaf Al Blida (only 7 routes were opened including 3 multi pitch routes partially equipped). Many other potential lines are awaiting to be opened and climbed.



Manu Tessanne in Beraka Allah Fika (L1 7b L2 7c)  Sector : Kaf AL Blida



In May 2014, another team of 4 climbers from the German Alpine Federation (D.A.V.) opened 7 new routes on another sector of the north east side of the mountain (5c to 7a+). A new sports climbing site was born : "Ain Haroune".



The team : Markus D'alessandro, Fabian Netzel, Benjamin Hiroshi Tashiro et Hassen Ben Jemia



But the most interesting and spectacular sectors have not been equipped yet. They are situated on the south side of the mountain, 20 minutes away on foot from the last parking. It would be an ideal site for winter climbing. The potential is enormous. According to Eric Valls, a French professional climbing guide, more than 500 routes from 30 to 150 meters can be equipped on cliffs that spread on 7kms over the magnificent valley of the “Jouf”.



Djebel Zaghouan and its magnificant landscape



                                                                                                                                   Photo : Jan Bakker

Overall view of the different sectors. Only the sectors of the north face are equipped. Kaf Al Blida has great potential too.


Sector 1 has been chosen for the first phase of equipment because it is the one that offers the most variety of climbs from 1 to 4 pitches ranging from 4C to 8a grade of difficulty.  



Overall view of Southwest side of Djebel Zaghouan



The east part of the sector where equipment should start



Sector 2 that should be equipped after sector 1



Detail of the rock of south side wall.


This project of sport climbing equipment is part of a more ambitious eco tourism development project of Zaghouan region.


The goal is not only to develop climbing for Tunisians and foreign climbers but also outdoor sports (including trekking, mountain biking, via ferrata ) with great respect for Zaghouan natural parc eco-system.


Respect for the environment (fauna and flora) and respect for the locals who live on the edge of the cliffs is paramount. The local community will be involved in the development of the climbing sites, for example by lodging the climbers, providing training courses for local climbers to become climbing instructors. For those reasons, partnerships between local clubs, local schools and the French Mountaineering Federation FFME have been organised.



Therefore, five members of the association of speleology and climbing of Zaghouan (ASEZ : ) have already passed with success their climbing instructor certification in October 2014. This diploma has been delivered by Eric Valls, National Instructor of the French Federation FFME.


Since then, free climbing courses have been organized for local schools in the region during the week and on weekends. This course is accessible to any person with the desire to learn climbing: ASEZ launched the course as a new activity. The Tunisian Instructors’ mission is also to raise awareness among the young climbers regarding environmental issues.



Climbing session on the beginners wall of « Temple des Eaux »


The actors of the project

The association "ASEZ" lauched the project with :


- Meher Melaouhia and Mourad Attia members of the directing comity of "ASEZ"

- P.E. teachers Yves Gosselin and Philippe Cachat from the French School of Tunis who also members of "ASEZ" in charge of development

- Jan Bakker : writer, traveller, outdoors photographer, trekking guide from Holland ( )  who made the photos 

- Eric Valls PE teacher in Aubagne (France), a professional climbing instructor who's in charge of training and certification

- Xavier Dupla who funded "Grimpeurs sans frontières" (G.S.F. in charge of finacing the project.    

Why fund it?

Thanks to your support this money will be used to buy the necessary equipment for opening the routes



- 1500 bolts and bolt hangers: 3000 euros

- 150 chain anchors: 800 euros

- 1 professional cordless drill + 20 bits : 1200 euros


Zaghouan area has a potential of at least 500 routes. The more you will support the project, the more routes will be opened



Following the momentum of freedom from the Arab Spring in 2011, a new climbing section was created within the Speleology Association of Zaghouan “ASEZ” in June 2012. Since then, its active members are trying to convince clubs, major equipment companies, and professional climbers to help developing sports climbing in the Zaghouan Massif. Thanks to... See more

Newest comments

Bravo pour l'initiative! Je me rejouis de venir découvir la face sud l'hiver prochain!
Bravo pour le projet, et courage à tous... Il ne reste qu'une dernière ligne droite prometteuse !
Vivement les nouvelles voies de la face sud !!!!!