8 Stages of the TDC 2021

Tunisia Desert Challenge literally is what it promises to be: a real challenge in the Tunisian desert. We take the successful concept of the Morocco Desert Challenge now to a new destination: 8 stages, also from coast to coast.

From the touristy beaches of Djerba to the desert areas and infinite dune sections to iconic Star Wars sites in Tunisia's inland. 8 beautiful but challenging stages, 5 nights in breath-taking desert bivouacs, nice vibes, cold beer and good food. A rally you don't want to miss!

Almost no liaison

Not only is Tunisia Desert Challenge an adventure full of surprises, with technical parts, fast African plains, many dunes, salt lakes and legendary places and tracks, it also offers something really unique: No liaison from the start of the first big special till the finish of the last one. That’s right: the pure rally experience, right outside the bivouac.

Stage 0 | Friday 5th November

Djerba

Scrutineering & administrative checks

On Friday 5th November 2021 the Tunisia Desert Challenge kicks off with scrutineering (technical & administrative checks). Bivouac 0 is located on the island of Djerba, one of Tunisia's most famous seaside resorts. The airport of Djerba is close by so you can make a swift transfer to your 5-star hotel at the beach.

Stage 1 | Saturday 6th November

Djerba – Djerba (prologue)

Distance = 40 km (+liaison)

The prologue of the Tunisia Desert Challenge will give you a taste of what we have in store for you for the rest of the week. After a very short liason across the bridge to Tunisia's mainland, you will dive into a mindblowing mix of tracks. A short prologue, only 40 kilometers, but it will be packed with an interesting variety of surfaces: fast gravel piste, small off-road tracks, and sand! As a bonus, you will drive along the magnificent coast with beautiful beaches towards the finish of this prologue.

Stage 2 | Sunday 7th November

Djerba - Ksar Ghilane

Distance = 417km

A bit of WRC-style piste today. After again a short liaison we leave the island of Djerba behind us. We start the special with a combination of fast tracks through beautiful wide open landscapes. Further into the stage, the route becomes gradually more technically challenging. Your riding skills will be put to the test with narrow, winding tracks and navigation difficulties. The sting of this stage is in the tail, before reaching the finish line at the Column Leclerc and the bivouac in Ksar Ghilane, where you will have to tackle a maze of very small tracks.

Stage 3 | Monday 8th November

Ksar Ghilane - Ksar Ghilane

Distance = 230 km

Stage 3 gives you a first taste of the Tunisian dunes. After 20 kilometres of fast tracks, you reach a first 7 kilometer long dune section, just as a warm-up. This is followed by a long stretch of sandy tracks to the Jbil national park. Just a few kilometres further on you reach Marabout and the second dune section of the day. This stretch of four corridors of dunes will take you to an abandoned fortress. You will end the stage with a final section of beautiful, small but very technical dunes. Near the end you pass the oasis of Ksar Ghilane before reaching the finish line of stage 3.

Stage 4 | Tuesday 9th November

Ksar Ghilane - Ksar Ghilane

Distance = 287 km

Stage 4 will throw all kinds of tracks at you, sometimes perfectly suited to cars & trucks, other times more adapted to motorbikes & side-by-sides. Navigation will be challenging today with lots of turns and twists. Keep an eye your distance readings and the roadbooks to spot the traps at the right time. Many sections contain small dunes and sandy stretches where you don't expect them.

After a start along the pipeline piste, tricky sandy and winding tracks along camel grass take you through a wide and curvy oued (wadi) in a true dream setting. Enjoy the beauty of Tunisia in this vast open landscape. This is followed by the first mountain pass that will lead you to high plains with sloping but narrow tracks. With the finish line in sight, the final ten kilometres of this stage will have a few more navigational challenges in store.

Stage 5 | Wednesday 10th November

Ksar Ghilane - Douz

Distance = 255 km

The toughest of all stages, today is all about dunes and more dunes, sandy tracks mixed with more dunes. This goes on all the way up to the fuel stop where you can enjoy a well-deserved half-hour's rest. After a short stretch of asphalt, the special takes you through about 40 kilometres of semi-off-road tracks in the typical "dunettes" of Tunisia. You reach the finish line at the Douz Festival Park.

Stage 6 | Thursday 11th November

Douz - Star Wars

Distance = 380 km

From the starting line at the Douz Festival Parc you drive straight onto a winding dirt track zigzagging through an area with a lot of camel grass. A section to be taken with caution.
This is followed by some very fast WRC-tracks that will quickly change into a challenging dune section. Another sandy piste takes you further to the Jbil park. The stage then moves on to beautifull smooth tracks on a large plateau with stunning 360° views to a place with the magical name "rose de sable". Next up: dunes again interspersed with areas of challenging fechfech. Here some waypoints will be open to help you find the right track. After the fuel stop, you will head towards and cross the incredible Chott El Jerid, a semi-dry salt lake. You will end the stage with winding and sandy stretches & easy dunes with the finish line, just straight ahead. Tonight's bivouac will be right next to the mythical StarWars setting.

Stage 7 | Friday 12th November

Star Wars - Star Wars

Distance = 262 km

Today's stage starts with the same small dunes as the day before  and backtracks along the edge of the Chott followed by a fast track. Next up is a radical change of scenery; on a ravine plateau where driving skills and technique will be key. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you go up the mountain via the Rommel road, a surprising stretch of gravel track, never before used in rally-raid.
This is quickly followed by another surprise: be careful not to race the trucks in the huge phosphate mine. This passage will be a zone of limited speed. Large and wide tracks criss-cross the terrain. The dust will be very tricky to manage, and if it is wet, it will become even more challenging because it will slide like ice. After the fuel stop, navigation takes over. This part of the stage is riddled with changes in direction. The stage ends with speedy tracks and to top it off, you will finish line is located on top of a beautiful dune.

Stage 8 | Saturday 13th November

Star Wars - Monastir

Liaison = 66 km
Distance Special = 137 km
Liaison = 291 km

The final stage of the Tunisia Desert Challenge takes you from the iconic site of Star Wars back to theMediterranean Sea in Monastir. After a short liaison this final special stage is again packed with surprises, both in driving as well as navigation. Wide and fast tracks alternate with technical winding and narrower sections.
To finish in style, you will have to navigate your way through many tricky direction changes before heading for the final straight line with the finish arch in sight. There will be plenty of parking space next to the finish so your assistance and support crews can cheer you on and celebrate the finale. After the finish, a transfer section takes you to Monastir for the award cerermony and of course the traditional party.

On Saturday evening 13th November the finish & award ceremony will take place in a five star hotel in Monastir, at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The international airport of Monastir is within walking distance from the hotel and the ferry port of Tunis is only a 2 hours drive. The day after the rally, you're home.

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.