Sahara Desert Morocco: Camel trekking, Tours and Camping
A visit to the Sahara Desert in Morocco is definitely one of the best things you can do while you are traveling in Morocco. Also for us, the tour for seeing the famous Erg Chebbi dunes near Merzouga was one of the most memorable experiences of our 3 weeks trip through this country. Camel trekking on the vast dunes, watching the most incredible Sahara sunset, singing Berber songs next to the fire camp, camping underneath the bright shining stars and spending the night in the desert…countless unforgettable memories that shouldn`t be missed.
In this article about the Sahara Desert in Morocco you will learn more about what you can expect from a visit and where you can do the best Camel trekking and Sahara Tours. Also we will recommend a beautiful desert hotel in Merzouga with views to the Dunes.
From Marrakesh to Merzouga
Coming from Marrakesh, we drove down the High Atlas road to Ait-Ben Haddou – Quarzazate. After we passed lots of beautiful scenery’s, we stopped at the Rose Valley for one night. Afterwards we went to the Dades Valley and also the Todra Gorge near Tinghir. After Tinghir all the area turns into desert: Barren landscapes as far as the eye can see.
Distance: Plan 560 km drive from Marrakesh to Merzouga and a minimum of 8h and 45 min drive. Make sure you take the road via Erfoud, the Gate of the Sahara.
Just about 20 km after Erfroud you will reach Rissani. The bab of Rissani (main gate) is an expample of many spectacular Moroccan structures.
Merzouga is a city located at the beginning of the Sahara, from there you will already see the big sand dunes of Erg Chebbi.
If you like to read more about your journey through Morocco read: Dades Gorge and the winding road in Morocco
For the ultimate Desert experience you should stay inside the Sahara Desert in Morocco at least for one night!
Camel Trekking Tours and Camping
We arrived around 3 pm in the afternoon at the house of the Desert Berber Fire Camp. The crew from the camp welcomed us warmly. With lots of jokes and laughter, we had some nice mint tea and an excellent lunch was served. Although we had a long drive, immediately we felt fresh and full of energy again. We got a big cozy room for taking a shower and leaving our luggage
Then we started with our 1 ½ hour camel ride deep inside of the Moroccan Sahara, it was just the 4 of us riding the camels so it was a really private and relaxed trip.
Just after 15 minutes we passed the first sandy dunes. After a while, the dunes became higher and higher and the late-afternoon sun colored the sand a in a deep orange. Being surrounded by this never ending desert was an amazing experience.
After a while we stopped the camels in front of a really huge dune (appr.200 meter) and continued to climb up this sandy mountain! It was absolutely worth it though, the view was just breathtaking – sand dunes without an end. The Sahara Desert Morocco in all her glory.
View to the Camping site
We sat down for a while to watch an incredible beautiful sunset. It was magical! One of the best ones we’ve ever experienced and the atmosphere was so quiet and full of harmony.
Note: Riding a camel was a great fun, but also not the most comfortable one. So you better wear good clothes (long trousers, turban, and comfortable underwear).
Later, we went back down to our camp, where Youssef and his brother Ismael already prepared a delicious Berber dinner for us. The camp was really clean, with lovely details, a comfortable bed and so much better than our expectation about sleeping inside the Sahara was.
That night we had so much fun, joking and laughing a lot – Youssef Is a natural born entertainer. We drank tons of mint tea and we ate the best and biggest tajine that we tasted traveling 3 weeks in Morocco. Until late in the night we sat down next to the open fire, singing Austrian and Moroccan songs. Our guides Youssef and Ismael played drums music and we watched the stars which we had never been seen so close to before. A “once in a lifetime experience”.
The next morning we woke up with a sand storm. So we packed our stuff and went back to the house where we had a delicious breakfast.
After we got picked up by a 4×4 wheeler and we went to the village Khamlia where we enjoying the spiritual Gnawa music. Later we visited the black volcanic rocks desert, our guide Hassan taught us how to find beautiful minerals and fossils. With the 4×4 we passed some tiny Berber villages and also the mines of Mefis. All the time we had a panoramic view of golden dunes near the Algerian border – that was fantastic!
Where to stay in Merzouga/ Sahara Desert?
To extend our stay in, we stayed another night inside a beautiful Kasbah Azalay hotel in Merzouga with views to the dunes and refreshing swimming pool – which was amazing too. It was the ideal place to recover our camel butt and to get prepared for the next day’s long drive to Fez. Click here for a choice of fantastic Desert Hotels.
Desert Tours and Camel trekking Morocco
Searching the Internet you are going to find lots of tour operators offering desert tours in Morocco. It’s not so easy to find the perfect tour, we had been searching a long time for one of the best on booking.com. Best you not just compare the prices but even feedback of the last customers. Finally, we decided on the Desert Berber Fire Camp – and like you read before, and at the end it was the best choice. The camel ride, the camp and the food was just perfect! We had been overwhelmed by all the wonderful moments and beautiful impressions.
What you can expect form this tour:
- Extremely good price value! Around 40 Euro per person per night including camel ride, food and the night inside of the Erg Chebbi
- 1 ½ hour camel riding
- Small groups
- The camp has the best location and scenery. Its located deep inside of the Sahara just next to the huge dunes. We were the only camp around. Most of the camps are located at the beginning of the desert.
- Very tasty Berber Food in huge amounts as well as mint tea and fresh fruits
Comfortable clean rooms and toilets
- Incredible hospitality – Feeling absolutely safe
- Great fun with the guys of the Desert Fire Berber camp.
Visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco was a great choice and for sure an absolute travel highlight! Thanks to Youssef and his brothers, we had a really amazing time and we will come back some day – in shalla.
Read more about traveling in Morocco:
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.