Some citizens prefer, in fact, to buy the sheep, on the last day, to be able to bring it home, while hoping for a last minute drop in prices.
Several regulars of this weekly market indicated that they waited for “Souk El Khemis” of Douz to buy their sheep because it is the only weekly market, in the region of Kebili, which coincides with the eve of Eid.
Every Thursday morning, the shepherds of the Grand Erg Oriental, in southern Tunisia, meet in Douz to take part in the traditional cattle market. An unmissable event for centuries, the souk of Douz brings together camels, horses and even poultry in a fairground atmosphere. You will also find everyday accessories, spices, cereals, etc. It is the ideal base for discovering the life of nomads and sedentary people in the desert.
At the same time, a large number of breeders and dealers from all over the governorate attended. This has led to a sharp increase in supply accompanied by significant price reductions, ranging from 50 to 100 dinars, to the satisfaction of consumers.
Do you plan to discover the South of Tunisia? Go through Douz, ideally on Thursday morning to discover the traditional souk. The market is a highly recommended stopover to rub shoulders with breeders and their large herds of camels. With a bit of luck, you might be able to join their camel trek.
As in all Tunisian markets, the Douz souk is very lively. On Thursdays, the small community gets busy at dawn to arrange the premises and prepare the tools of trade. There is a lot of energy and excitement. The animation, the noise and the smells increase when the shepherds arrive with their cattle. From chickens and lizards to rabbits, horses, burros, cattle and camels, herds quickly fill spaces.
The Douz cattle market is always crowded. It is impossible to cross it without receiving a blow from the human shoulder or a blow from the tail of a goat or a camel. Regardless, everyone is in a good mood. However, this friendliness does not prevent small quarrels between merchants and very serious buyers. Transactions are forceful and punctilious. We carefully check the teeth of the animals, we examine their backs and if everything is good, we haggle.
The market is mostly frequented by men. There are also few tourists. For the locals, it is always a pleasure to welcome visitors interested in their small industry. Of course, there are language barriers, but that doesn’t stop some from shaking your hand with a smile. Others, more timid, simply move aside to let you see the herds. Do not hesitate, you are free to touch the animals and take some pictures.