Fancy some adventure and experiencing the authentic Moroccan style of life? How about riding a camel across a desert and sleeping in a tent surrounded by silence and thousands of sand dunes?
Morocco has become popular in the past few years. If you open the social media of travel bloggers or celebrities, you will often see their pictures from Morocco. Most of us have heard of Marrakesh, Casablanca, Fes and Rabbat. Yet Merzouga rarely comes up. This small town in the Sahara Desert is the right place to visit if you wish to get a taste of desert living.
Many tourist agencies organize camel trekking and an overnight stay in the desert camp. They offer different packages, so you can select what suits you the best.
Transport to Merzouga
The first thing to consider is the transportation from your location in Morocco to Merzouga. Some agencies will offer such service, while others will ask you to organize it. Therefore, always check what the agency package includes. In case you should arrange the transfer by yourself, you could either take a taxi, local bus or rent a car. It depends of your preferences and your budget.
Taxi could be expensive since Merzouga is far from other cities. However, the bus ride will take much longer as the bus stops frequently. Also, most of the local buses are old while roads not made for a fast ride. This is noticeable as you come closer to the desert, since it is hard to distinguish the dusty road from the brown landscape.
If you opt for the local bus, know that the last bus stop is Rissani, a town 35 km from Merzouga. From there you could either take a taxi or arrange with your agency a transfer to your hotel in Merzouga. The hotel, in most of the cases, is a modest accommodation perfectly corresponding to its environment.
Accommodation in Merzouga
The hotels are at the edge of the desert, right in front of the endless space made of sand dunes. Usually the staff working there are people born in the desert, so it is an excellent opportunity for you to learn about their culture and upbringing.
The agencies offer several desert tour options. For example, you could stay the first night in the hotel and the second night in the desert camp, or the other way around. Also, you could opt to stay in the desert camp only. Regardless, the hotel is the starting point for the tour.
The transport to the desert camp is a camel, so you will get to be a part of the camel caravan. Riding a camel does not require any skills. Also, the ride is slow so you can enjoy the view from its back. The desert camps are near of the starting point. It takes approximately two hours to reach them. They usually include the food in the arrangement. However, check in advance, so you know what to bring with you.
Final Tips for Your Desert Adventure
Pack light so you can freely enjoy your desert ride.
You do not need many items in the desert, so you could ask the hotel staff to store the rest of your stuff.
Make sure you bring warm clothes. The nights in the desert are cold.
If you get lucky, you could meet real nomads near your desert camp.
Do not skip the magnificent view of the sunset and sunrise in the desert.
Finally, if you get a chance, explore Rissani. It is a quiet, tourist-free town, so you could easily experience the local vibe.
Desert camps are magical and unique experience, which you should try it out. If you would like to hear about my adventure in Merzouga, Morocco, then check out the article “My Experience with the Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco“.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our Travel Aroono newsletter so you don’t miss out on tips, tricks, and more to make the most out of your desert tour in Merzouga, Morocco!