The Best Dunes in Morocco for Camel Trekking

We are often asked “where are the best dunes for camel trekking in Morocco?” and our answer is “each desert area of Morocco has its merit depending your timescales and what you want to experience”:

  • The advantages of camel trekking in Erg Chebbi are the rolling high dunes, said to be over 200m, sleeping under the stars in a deep desert camp or luxury tent and hotels offering ensuite rooms with air-con and a swimming pool (suitable for summer or any other time of year)
  • The advantage of camel trekking in Erg Chigaga is a protected desert wilderness, sleeping under the stars in a desert camp or luxury tent and there are no hotels beyond Mhamid.  To reach the dunes requires a 4×4 or 3 days by camel.
Riding a Camel

Because of its height, you mount a camel when it is sitting and the hump is protected by a stuffed saddle that has a bar on the front and no stirrups so your legs hang freely.  Your desert guide will secure the sitting camel whilst you throw your leg over the saddle and pull yourself into position.  When the camel stands you are thrown forward (lean backwards) and then backwards (lean forwards) and you follow the same procedure in reverse when the camel sits down.  Once you are sitting comfortable, relax and enjoy the ride – camels are led by a Desert Guide and form a caravan with each camel tied to the one in front.

To ride a camel you need comfortable baggy clothes. It can be warm and sunny during the day but, autumn through to late spring, temperatures drop at sundown when you need warm clothes e.g. layers, fleece and a wind-proof jacket.

Camel Trekking Options

The following camel treks, with a desert guide, are available in Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga:

  • Sunset camel trek to climb a dune to watch the sunset across a desert landscape
  • Overnight camel trek in Erg Chebbi to sleep in a deep desert camp including sunset and sunrise camel treks
  • 2 day, 3 day, 4 day, 5 day Camel Treks in Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga with wild camping or mix of standard and luxury camps.
Desert Camp Options

In the dunes are standard camps or luxury options:

  • Standard camps offer basic shared facilities or chemical toilets.
  • Luxury camps offer private washing and toilet facilies.
Sand Storms

Due to weather conditions beyond our control (sand storms) camel treks may not be possible although most take place as planned.

Packing List – Overnight Camel Treks in Erg Chebbi

To ride a camel you need comfortable baggy clothes. It can be warm and sunny during the day but, autumn through to late spring, temperatures drop at sundown when you need warm clothes e.g. layers, fleece and a wind-proof jacket.

The following is a suggested but not exhaustive check list:

  • ensure you have sufficient bottled water and always carry water when climbing the dunes
  • a small day-sac that leaves your hands free
  • ensure you always carry handy wet-wipes/hand-cleanse as there is no water in the deep dunes
  • put essentials in a small soft bag e.g. change of clothes, toothbrush, wet wipes, loo roll and rubbish bag
  • toilet paper buried in the sand will be exposed by the wind – carry out what you carry in or burn it each evening
  • do not dispose of plastic bags or bottles in the desert – put them in the rubbish bin on your return
  • loose comfortable trousers are essential for riding a camel
  • wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • insect spray is always useful in the desert and mountains during the rainy season
  • old but supportive trainers as sand gets everywhere and wear shoes when walking in the dunes
  • a fleece jacket or similar and layers for nights in the desert (Autumn to early Summer)
  • something warm to sleep in (Autumn to early Summer)
  • a torch/flashlight
  • keep valuables with you e.g. money, cards and passport
  • zip-lock plastic bag for cameras, phone etc.
  • dress respectfully e.g. long shorts OK as are short sleeved T-shirts
  • alarm clock (mobile phone) to wake yourselves up for sunrise i.e. don’t rely on anyone else to wake you
  • scarf (long and cotton) or buy a length of local blue cloth (turban) in a shop along the route
  • after dinner, around the camp fire on cold nights, you are invited to add to the atmosphere with jokes and songs
  • Morocco has a tipping culture so remember to tip your Desert Guide (gesture of thanks)
Packing List – Extended Camel Treks

To ride a camel you need comfortable baggy clothes and, for extended treks, a good pair walking shoes (old but supportive trainers). It can be warm and sunny during the day but, autumn through to late spring, temperatures drop at sundown when you need warm clothes e.g. layers, fleece and a wind-proof jacket.

The following is a suggested but not exhaustive check list:

  • ensure you have sufficient bottled water and always carry water when climbing the dunes; consider a camel-back
  • a small day-sac that leaves your hands free
  • Water purification e.g. iodine or one of the high-tech water bottles that purifies water quickly
  • ensure you always carry handy wet-wipes/hand-cleanse as there is no water in the deep dunes
  • put essentials in a small soft bag e.g. change of clothes, toothbrush, wet wipes, loo roll and rubbish bag
  • small rubbish bag as toilet paper buried in the sand will be exposed by the wind – carry out what you carry in and/or matches to burn it each evening
  • do not dispose of plastic bags or bottles in the desert – put them in the rubbish bin on your return
  • loose comfortable trousers are essential for riding a camel
  • wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen; a beany in Autumn to early Summer
  • insect spray is always useful in the desert and mountains during the rainy season
  • old but supportive trainers as sand gets everywhere and wear shoes when walking in the dunes
  • a fleece jacket or similar and layers for nights in the desert (Autumn to early Summer)
  • something warm to sleep in (Autumn to early Summer)
  • a torch/flashlight (check the batteries or carry spares)
  • keep valuables with you e.g. money, cards and passport
  • zip-lock plastic bag for cameras, phone etc.
  • dress respectfully e.g. long shorts OK as are short sleeved T-shirts
  • alarm clock (mobile phone) to wake yourselves up for sunrise i.e. don’t rely on anyone else to wake you
  • scarf (long and cotton) or buy a length of local blue cloth (turban) in a shop along the route to cover your head from the sun or during a sand-storm
  • after dinner, around the camp fire on cold nights, you are invited to add to the atmosphere with jokes and songs
  • Toiletries that are eco-friendly e.g. soap, shampoo etc. as you never know when you may have the opportunity to wash yourself or your hair
  • Sleeping bag (3-4 season); plus thermal liner in winter
  • Penknife (useful)
  • Trail snacks
  • Morocco has a tipping culture so remember to tip your Desert Guide (gesture of thanks)
How to Organise a Camel Trek with a Desert Guide

You can make your own way to the dunes of your choice by bus, taxi or rental car and look for a desert guide.  However, if you prefer to travel as your leisure with a local Moroccan driver, we offer private camel trek tours to the desert.