The Matamata district, popularised by the appearance of their troglodyte
(cave) dwellings in Star Wars, is in the south of the country, not
far from the start of Africa's Sahara desert at Douz but a long drive from
most tourist resorts in the north east.
Matamata is a bleak and blasted, rolling moonscape of a place, where
Berbers have tunnelled out underground homes that are efficient at
both keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer.
The layout of these homes tend to be similar - a small front door
set into a low hill, leading to a circular space open to the sky,
with rooms tunnelled out of the earth around it. The homes tend to
be simple and clean, but beset by tour groups all day long, though
with a fair selection of target dwellings smart guides can take their
groups to less popular, more appreciative places.
Map | Africa