Jugurtha's Table

Mountain in Central Tunisia

Image by Lauren Keith Lonely Planet

This spectacular flat-topped mountain (1271m) rises almost vertically from the surrounding plains. Its sheer, impregnable walls make it a superb natural fortress and, indeed, the mountain bears the name of the ruthless Numidian king Jugurtha, who used it as a base during his seven-year campaign against the Romans (112–105 BC). The reward for those who get to the top is a spectacular view over the surrounding countryside; the hills to the west are across the border in Algeria.

Shepherds graze their herds on the rocky plateau, passing over piles of stones and small caves. A few abandoned buildings made from local rocks dot the landscape, but a small shrine honouring a local marabout (Muslim holy man) is still in use. The caretakers here might expect a small tip if you want to see inside.

You can hike from Kalaat Es Senan (four hours return), but the easier route is to drive the newly paved road, which ends at a set of stairs to the summit.

Jugurtha's Table was nominated for Unesco World Heritage listing in 2017, but its application is still pending at the time of research.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to this area because of its proximity to the border with Algeria.

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