There are many cities in Morocco that will dazzle you with grand architectural displays. However, the most magnificent spectacle is the mysterious Sahara desert. As you travel towards the Sahara, you will pass by humble, crumbling Kasbahs from a bygone era. Once you gain the keys to the harsh mistress of the Sahara, you open a door into a land of harsh extremities, survival and intense beauty. Many travellers experience a profound sense of timelessness which leads to learning and self-reflection. The quietness of each moment is there to fill you with a sense of peace.
The desert holds an eternal paradox: life is simpler, yet it is grander than anything you’ve ever seen before.
To experience this and more, you will begin your desert adventure by mounting camels and travelling into the desert in the ancient way of the desert nomads, in a camel caravan. The fiery sunset will captivate you as you travel deeper into the desert. Once you reach the camp, you will be taken to your tent and have time to relax and explore. You will meet desert nomads to learn about their way of life. In the evening you will be served dinner and afterwards, sit around the campfire and meet other travellers and enjoy traditional drumming. You will sit underneath a blanket of stars and sleep in a private tent. In the morning you will watch the sunrise as you have breakfast and leave the desert by camel.
To have the experience described above, you will need to visit Erg Chebbi. There are two deserts that you can visit: Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga. The information below can be used to help you to decide which Moroccan Erg is better to visit.
Erg Chebbi is very close to Merzouga, while M’hamid is the nearest town to Erg Chigaga. The sand dunes are high in Erg Chebbi, reaching over 160km, so many tourists prefer to stay in Erg Chebbi and enjoy the view. Due to Erg Chebbi’s popularity, this desert is full of tourists and there are many bivouac tents. Merzouga is only 1km away from Erg Chebbi, so it can be easily accessed by camel, which is part of the desert experience for many people. The dunes in Erg Chigaga are around 120km. While Erg Chebbi has higher dunes, Erg Chigaga covers a wider area, so it is bigger. To reach Erg Chigaga from M’hamid (about 60km away), you will be driven in a 4×4 for a few hours until you reach the camp. Families with young children prefer to visit Erg Chigaga. If you have limited time (when travelling from Marrakesh), or prefer a quiet desert without as many tourists, then you should consider Erg Chigaga.