Suggested Itineraries for Tours in Morocco
Camel Treks Erg Chebbi
Overnight Erg Chebbi Camel Treks
Camel trekking in the Erg Chebbi, with a local guide, to sleep at our nomad-tented camp in the deep desert where dinner is served under the stars, is the highlight of our Morocco Desert Tours. If you have a rental car we can meet and accompany you to the dunes. Or, if not, join one of our Morocco Desert Tours from Marrakech, Fes or elsewhere on request.
Morocco Desert Tours that include camel trekking in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes at Merzouga are a popular choice for independent travellers and family tours with children. There are no facilities inside the Erg Chebbi ‘deep desert’ dunes where we have our own small desert camp and another option is a sunset camel ride with a night in a hotel (room or tent) in the smaller dunes at the dune line. Most clients however prefer the camel trek into the deep desert for the experience of journeying across the sand dunes to a desert camp and private nomad tent for the night. There is also the option of a ‘luxury’ camp at the dune line with in-tent facilities.
If you are driving a rental car we meet you in Rissani and accompany you to the hotel at the dune line where you can safely store the vehicle during your camel trek.
if you prefer not to drive in Morocco, our organized 4x4 desert tours and Sahara excursions run daily from Marrakech, Fes, Marrakech to Fes, Fes to Marrakech, Casablanca or elsewhere on request. Your local Berber driver will pick you up in a private vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser or similar) to transport you across the High Atlas and through rose-filled valleys in Spring, along oasis valley gorges and past one thousand Kasbahs for a sunset camel trek in the dunes of the Erg Chebbi sand sea.
Quick Links for Sahara Desert Trips and Morocco Camel Treks
- The Erg Chebbi Dunes at Merzouga
- How to reach the Erg Chebbi sand dunes
- The Desert Village of Merzouga
- What to do and What to see in Merzouga
- Sand Boarding, Sand Dune Surfing, Dune Boarding and Quad Biking
- Overnight Erg Chebbi Camel Treks – What to Expect
- Organised Sahara Excursions and Erg Chebbi Camel Treks
- Bonded Morocco Tours – Prices, Confirmation and Payment Options
The Erg Chebbi Dunes at Merzouga
Of all the deserts in Morocco, the Erg Chebbi at Merzouga is one of the highest and most easily accessible because the paved road runs all the way to the base of dunes. Although the sand sea looks quite small and distinct on the map, it is worth noting that this is relative to the enormity of the Sahara desert. The Sahara is the only true desert to be found along the 0° meridian line and also happens to be world's largest. It covers most of North Africa, more than a third of the continent, and an area roughly the same size as the United States of America. It is a desert of extraordinary beauty and variety; all the standard desert landscape types are present from great fields of shifting sand dunes to vast plains filled with rocks.
How to reach the Erg Chebbi sand dunes at Merzouga
Merzouga can be reached in a rental car or with public transport as there is a paved/surfaced road between Rissani and Merzouga. However, to reach the small hotels along the dune line does mean crossing a section of unpaved road (piste) and this should be approached with care in a rental car.
If you have limited time, and prefer not to drive in Morocco, then hiring a 4x4 and driver is a relaxed way to travel. On a 4x4 tour, with an experienced local driver who knows the routes, it is possible to avoid the busy tourist routes and ‘get off the beaten track’ to experience the hospitality and traditional lifestyle of the Berbers.
The Desert Village of Merzouga
Merzouga is a sizeable, and growing, desert village with a palmerie and gardens where crops are grown e.g. dates, cereals, mint and alfalfa. Close by are two seasonal lakes, a favourite spot for migrating birds in Spring, when Dayet Srji flamingos can often be seen.
For most of the year it is a sleepy place where young men make a living by guiding tourists to local hotels or selling fossils that are locally mined and polished. However, there is another side to this village and, in the summer months, it fills with Moroccans who come here to bathe in the sand. Sand bathing is a traditional treatment for rheumatism and arthritis and, along with the sand bathers, come the street traders and Merzouga transforms into a bustling desert experience.
Merzouga Tours - What to do and see in Merzouga
- Search for a fossil in the fossil beds near Erfoud
- Listen to Gnawa musicians and whirl to the rhythms of the desert
- Visit Merzouga to watch the world pass by as you sip mint tea in the Sahara
- Visit the Souk in Rissani and the Apothecary for spices & saffron
- Overnight Erg Chebbi camel treks to sleep under the stars
- Walk through palm grove gardens where crops are grown
- Visit the seasonal lakes, perhaps see flamingos in spring
- 4x4 desert safaris to explore the Erg Chebbi sand dunes
Sand Boards and Quad Biking
Sand Boards for sand surfing are available for local hire.
Quad bikes are available for local hire in Merzouga although you are encouraged not to disturb other people who may be visiting the desert for peace and tranquility.
Overnight Erg Chebbi Camel Treks – What to Expect
Meet you desert guide and camel trek in the late afternoon, before and/or during sunset, to our small desert camp in the deep desert dunes – travel light and only take essentials in a soft bag that the camel carries. Mounting a camel is unusual because camel legs have double joints so initially you are thrown forward (there is a bar to hold) and then backwards as the camel stands up.
On arrival at our nomad-tended desert camp, traditionally made of thick goat hair, the camels are hobbled, mint tea is served and dinner is freshly prepared and served under the stars. While waiting there is time to relax.
Wake early to climb a close dune and, in the pre-dawn stillness, wait for the sunrise. Return to your tent, pack up and camel trek back across the dunes to shower and breakfast in the hotel at the dune line - or continue camel trekking with your desert guide for another day or days.
Organised Sahara Desert Trips and Erg Chebbi Camel Treks
Organised Sahara Excursions, customized to suit your dates and timescales, run from Marrakech, Fes, Marrakech to Fes, Fes to Marrakech, Casablanca, Tangier or elsewhere on requests. Tours can start and end in the same city e.g. Marrakech to Marrakech or we can drop you off in another city e.g. Marrakech to Fes.
It is a ten hours’ drive from Marrakech, and seven hours’ drive from Fes, to the Erg Chebbi sand sea. If possible we recommend 4 days for a desert tour to break the journey each way and include one night in the desert i.e. on a 3-day trip you will be sitting in a vehicle for ten hours on one of the days. In two days these dunes are too far.
For more on Morocco Desert Tours: 'Morocco Sahara Trips and Camel Treks'
Bonded Morocco Tours – Prices, Confirmation and Payment
Please refer to: 'Private Morocco Tours - Pricing'
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