Going on Sahara desert tours to ride camels and sleep under the stars in a nomad tent in the Sahara Desert is an incredible experience that is on everyone’s bucket list. In fact, many travelers visit Morocco with a specific intention to visit the desert and spend a night or two under the stars. On this brief, we will cover the top 10 things you should know before going on a Sahara desert tour.
You can’t do a Sahara desert tour on a Day Trip:
The distance from Marrakech to Merzouga, the gate of the desert, is 360 miles or about 580 km while Marrakech to Erg Chigaga Dunes is 260 km. Driving through the Atlas Mountains take almost half of the drive distance, as a result, you will not be able to reach the Sahara desert in a one day trip from Marrakech. To go on a Marrakech desert trip to the Sahara Desert, you will need at least three days.
Book your Sahara desert tour with a reputable tour agency:
A wrong belief that you of travelers adhere to is that instead of booking their desert trip in advance online with a reputable travel agency or a tour company, they wait to receive offers in the souks in order to get a cheaper price. Rather, I would highly recommend booking your Sahara desert tour in advance with a trustworthy and reputable company. Simply, a company with a strong reputation will be more professional, cut the middle man, and in case anything wrong happens, you have someone to blame.
How many days should spend on my Sahara desert tour?
Well, if you are on a limited budget or you have limited time, the best option will be to spend one night in the desert in a three days desert tour from Marrakech. Otherwise, the ideal option that we recommend will be to spend two nights in the Sahara Desert. With two nights, you will be able to explore the desert at a relaxed pace and fully immerse yourself in the nomadic culture and the tribes’ lifestyle. Spend your days sand-boarding, camel trekking, climb the dunes, and visit the nomad in their house and have a glass of tea with them.
Erg Chebbi Merzouga or Erg Chegaga Dunes?
Even though Morocco is home to four main desert dunes, namely, Erg Chebbi Dunes, Zagora Dunes, Erg Lihoudi Dunes, and Erg Chigaga, the two main sand dunes that travelers visit the most to explore the Sahara Desert are Erg Chebbi Dunes and Erg Chegaga. The most famous and touristic destination is the Erg Chebbi Dunes as it is easily accessible with a 30 min camel ride into the desert camps and well-equipped with modern hotels and luxury desert camps. On the other hand, the Erg Chigaga Dunes offer a more wild adventure and are perfect for those who wish to visit the wild Great Sahara. Located 65 km from the nearest paved road, there is a 2 hours off-road drive in 4×4 through the Sahara Desert to get to these dunes.
What do I need to prepare for my Sahara Desert Tour?
If you are heading on a Sahara desert tour, there are some essentials that you need to have in your packing list These are the following:
- A windbreaker or a warm jacket to keep you warm in the cooler nights and morning of the desert, so you can catch the sunrise and the sunset.
- Appropriate shoes for hiking in the gorges and the mountains, for the desert you can go barefooted.
- Comfortable pants to make sure you can ride camels and climb the dunes freely.
- Sunglasses and headscarf (turbans) to protect your eyes from the strong sun in the regions of the south and the dust and sun of the desert.
- A flashlight to use at night at the campsite.
- Enough medications that can cover for an extra day or two. As you know, there are no pharmacies in the desert.