Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
Report of the Workshop on Ichkeul Lake (Ramsar Convention, 28 & 29 January 2003)

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1980
Size of heritage: 12,600 ha

Longitude: 9,675°
Latitude: 37,164°


The Ichkeul lake and wetland are a major stopover point for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, such as ducks, geese, storks and pink flamingoes, who come to feed and nest there. Ichkeul is the last remaining lake in a chain that once extended across North Africa.

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Ichkeul National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tunisia

Located in the Bizerta District, approximately 25 km southwest of Bizerta, Ichkeul National Park is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site in Tunisia. Spanning over 12,600 hectares, this unique wetland ecosystem is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and ecological significance. The park is situated at the northernmost point of Africa, making it a crucial stopover for migratory birds.


The history of Ichkeul National Park dates back thousands of years. The area has been inhabited since ancient times, with evidence of human presence dating back to the Neolithic period. Over the centuries, various civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs, have left their mark on the region.

In the 19th century, the construction of a dam on the Medjerda River led to the creation of Lake Ichkeul, which became the centerpiece of the park. The lake and its surrounding wetlands quickly gained recognition for their ecological importance, attracting the attention of scientists and conservationists.

In 1980, Ichkeul National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its outstanding universal value. It was recognized as a crucial habitat for migratory birds, particularly waterfowl, which rely on the park's wetlands as a wintering and breeding ground.

Current State

Despite its UNESCO status, Ichkeul National Park faces numerous challenges that threaten its delicate ecosystem. The park's main concern is the disruption of its natural water flow caused by upstream dam construction and water extraction for agriculture. This alteration in water levels has led to the degradation of the wetlands and a decline in biodiversity.

Efforts have been made to address these issues and preserve the park's ecological integrity. The Tunisian government, in collaboration with international organizations, has implemented conservation measures to restore the natural water regime and protect the park's flora and fauna.

One of the key initiatives is the removal of the Sidi Saad Dam, which was built in the 1960s. By dismantling this dam, the natural water flow will be restored, allowing the wetlands to regenerate and support the diverse range of species that depend on them.

Additionally, the park is actively involved in scientific research and monitoring programs to better understand its ecosystem and develop effective conservation strategies. These initiatives aim to ensure the long-term sustainability of Ichkeul National Park and its invaluable biodiversity.

Visitors to Ichkeul National Park can explore its natural wonders through guided tours and observation points. The park offers breathtaking landscapes, including the picturesque Lake Ichkeul, surrounded by lush vegetation and home to numerous bird species.

Ichkeul National Park stands as a testament to the importance of preserving and protecting fragile ecosystems. Its UNESCO World Heritage status serves as a reminder of the need for international cooperation in safeguarding our planet's natural treasures for future generations.