How to go to the Moroccan Sahara desert
How to go to the Sahara desert, all the possible ways and all thing to do in Merzouga golden dunes
On the road to the Moroccan dunes
From Marrakech, the road to the desert is long. By car, a full day is necessary to reach both Zagora or Merzouga and not miss the sunset. Fortunately, the road is beautiful and offers a variety of breathtaking scenery. Between snowy mountains, red rocks, palm groves and oases, time flies.
Two places to go
You have the choice of two beautiful dunes areas, The Esis of Mhamid Elghizlane is a rural commune in the south of Morocco, belonging to the province of Zagora in the extreme south of the Souss Massa Draâ region. With Almost 600Km2 (230Mile2), of sand dunes m’hamid is considered the largest dessert dunes in Morocco
And Merzouga Dunes, a marvel of nature, golden dunes, known by harsh curves of the dunes because of it’s more frequent windy days … famous also for its therapeutic properties against certain rheumatic diseases during hot summer days.
Some conditions for a good crossing of the Sahara Desert
-A good physical condition to withstand the long walks or camel treks in the heat.
-A small baggage limited to 12kg per person and which will be transported by the camels. The baggage will contain only the necessary for everyone: blanket, poncho, sweater, long-sleeved shirt, light pants, sandals, walking shoes, hiking socks, water bottles, glasses, light backpack.
-A pharmacy case against small sores (body aches, sunburns).
-Wipes for the toilet because water, precious and rare, is only reserved for the quenching.
How to get there ?
- By car, counting a day’s drive with a good music playlist and company in order not to feel the time pass. or you can split and spend 1 night on the road, we recommand to find a place where to stay either in ouarzazate or Boumalen dades as a layover
- By bus CTM, from marrakech to both destinations. expect a 10h to 12h ride
- By plane, a one-way ticket from Casablanca to Errachidia the nearest town to Merzouga or from casablanca to Zagora to reach M’hamid Elghizlane. the flights are limited only one per week so things need to be planned according to that.
Where to stay ?
You can easily sleep with local Tuareg families who have built small camps in the dunes to welcome visitors (it’s discreet and they blend well into the landscape). For those who prefer to have more privacy, you can book a hotel in a nearby area or city. For the craziest, buy a tent if you have not one already, and spend the night under the stars. those are all options available and there’s some luxury permanent camps with charming tents well equipped with everything you’ll need and a hight quality service.
What to do once arrived
Sunset on the dunes of Sahara
Not a minute to lose. It is absolutely necessary to climb to the top of this dune to not miss anything of the sunset.
the ideal activity not only to discover the Sahara desert but also to introspect our inner self. A long walk in the desert dunes under a phenomenal aridity, with few provisions and water, it is a whole lesson that one learns there and all a wealth that one acquires there: the patience, the economy , simplicity, discovery, the maintenance of the body.
These are quiet animals quite lazy, which I think, go perfectly with the atmosphere of the desert !
Sand surf or sand-boarding
Did you know that you don’t really need an ocean to surf ? In the Sahara desert, sand dunes become the perfect waves to surf on your own sand / snowboard ! Just pick one of the massive golden dunes around your camp and have fun !
Riding a quad or buggy
The Sahara Desert is one of the most idyllic places to relax and enjoy nature in its best state, but that does not mean you can not have some fun too ! Rent your own quad and book a one or two hour trip with a guide to explore the sand dunes.
Last but not least.. Admire the stars
Of all the things to do in the Sahara desert, it is probably the most magical. In the absence of light pollution, you will have an unobstructed view of the starry sky of the Sahara desert above you.
Your stay will cost you a small amount, not to mention the prices of activities such as quad or dromedary ride that vary. That being the case, this trip is worth it and deserves to be done at least once in a lifetime.
Depending on how comfortable you want to be but price goes from 50Eur for the night stay in the dessert with dinner and breakfast and can go up to 300Eur/Night for a double bed, and bellow are some ideas about prices for the activities :
- 20Eur 1h camel Ride
- 80Eur 1h Quad Ride
- 5Eur to rent a sand board or sometimes they just let you use it for free
Our Tailor made Desert trip :
it’s a 4 days package from Marrakech, or a 3 days package from Fez, an all inclusive full board road trip to the most desired landscape ever, fun is guaranteed, contact us for more details