Although, compared to neighbouring Algeria, Morocco has only a fraction of the Great Sahara Desert within its territory, yet Morocco offers the safest and best-organized access to the Sahara of the whole of North Africa. Whether you want a quick glimpse of the magnificent dunes on camelback, the thrill of sand boarding down the dunes, an overnight experience under the vast starry skies in a nomad’s tent, or a longer excursion to explore the expanse of the dune complex and the people who inhabit it, Morocco has it all. There is nowhere else where you could be in some of Africa’s highest snow-tipped mountain ranges and in the depth of the sandy expanses of the desert in the same day. And your trip to Morocco’s Great Deserts will take you through centuries-old oases on route. Along the way, you will meet local nomads and villagers whose families have worked this land and survived its hardships for generations.
Tag: Erg Chegaga Dunes
The Sahara Desert is a region worth exploring in Morocco. Morocco’s Sahara Desert is vast and extensive comprising of four peak desert dunes referred to as Merzouga, Zagora, M’hamid and Erg Chegaga. Each part of Morocco’s Sahara Desert offers travelers a unique experience. Merzouga is known for it’s vast and golden Erg Chebbi Dunes that are hundreds of meters high. The regions of Zagora and M’hamid are known for longer, rolling more rustic and earthy colored dunes. Their sister Sahara Desert, Erg Chegaga has a legend of being primarily for the die-hard Morocco adventure traveler who wants to say they made it to one of the last regions. Regardless of which dunes are visited on a Morocco Sahara Desert trip any traveler is guaranteed to be enchanted with the region they choose to visit.
For anyone interested in touring Morocco’s kasbahs or ksars, I highly recommend starting with Kasbah Taourirt, the Pasha Glaoui’s former palace in Ouarzazate. Kasbah Taorirt was built by the Pasha Glaoui. Its location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South was then considered one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Kasbah Taourirt was one of the places Glaoui kept his slaves. As a Moroccan traveler you can explore its nooks and crannies to discover its history and often local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.
Pasha T’hami Glaoui was the most powerful man in Morocco between 1953 and 1956, in addition to being one of the richest men in the world at that time. The title Pasha means Governor. Glaoui was the Pasha of Marrakesh (since 1912), Ouarzazate, and most of the Moroccan south during the time Morocco was under French rule. The most important Kasbahs’ in Morocco that were occupied by the Pacha Glaoui during his reign and are frequented by Moroccan travelers today are Kasbah Taouirt, located in the center of Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou, located 15 kilometers outside Ouarzazate and Kasbah Telouet which sits in the village of Telouet nestled outside the Onilla Valley.
Are you wondering what there is to see and do in Dakhla, Morocco besides kitesurfing? Dakhla also referred to as Ad Dakhla is a fishing and surfing paradise which was once the capital of the Spanish province of Rio de Oro. Dakhla or Ad Dakhla is one of the ultimate places to go where you can witness unspoiled Sahara Desert scenery. Visiting Dakhla is ideal for Moroccan travelers who want to get away from the crowds and visit a place where it is still possible to see the authentic nomad lifestyle nearby. Another place in Morocco where it is possible to see the authentic Nomad lifestyle is in the Bouthgrar region near Mount Mgoun which is often referred to as the Valley of Nomads. The Valley of Nomads can be visited from en route from Ouarzazate when passing the Valley of Roses.
The Erg Chegaga Dunes of Morocco are the perfect place for a Sahara Adventure allowing Moroccan Travelers to escape the city lights and find themselves literally in the middle of no where. Erg Chegaga is considered by many to be the “real” Sahara Desert with it’s authentic rustic colored sand dunes and unique flora and fauna. Until recently cell phone coverage was not available in Chigaga and a Sahara journey to the Erg Chegaga Dunes was intended for those who wanted to discover the rocky and desolate areas of the Sahara. Historically speaking, the French and the British were primarily interested in visiting Chegaga however in the past several years that has changed. Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and also Moroccans who are interested in an authentic Sahara Desert adventure that takes them deep into the vast Sahara frequent Morocco’s Erg Chigaga Dunes. Centuries ago, the Sahara Desert was covered with water that flowed through and over it. Morocco’s Sahara akin to its rocky piste region of the Onila Valley and Telouet were created by the geologic submergence of water and wind that pressed up against its basalt rock and has today created some of what make up the most magnificent landscape scenery in the Maghreb.
Upon first sight of the Moroccan Sahara Desert, one can wonder if it is a grain of utopia or perhaps a miracle created by god. For those who are not believers then let’s just say that one must, in their lifetime have tea in the Sahara. The Sahara desert is itself a character in The Sheltering Sky a novel written by the prolific writer and composer Paul Bowles. For centuries explorers have been seeking to discover theMoroccan Sahara. Almost a century ago, a young administrator in the British Colonial Service decided to take 1,500-mile adventure trek across an ancient, deadly slave route in Africa’s Sahara desert. Hanns Vischer then published a book about this British Colonial’s journey, across the Sahara desert and went on to become one of the most famed explorers of his era.
The Sahara Desert is one of the top Morocco travel destinations for westerners. If you are traveling to Morocco for the holiday season or for a long needed vacation, a short break or excursion to Morocco’s Sahara Desert should be top on your list! Here is a list of the 5 most important things to consider when traveling to the Sahara plus an overview of various Moroccan tour itineraries to the Sahara Desert.
Traveling Morocco’s Sahara Desert for a Morocco vacation is a once in a lifetime magical experience. When considering a Sahara Tour & Camel Trek from Marrakech there are several Sahara Tour options. Travel Exploration Morocco is an Ouarzazate Travel Agency based in New York City & Ouarzazate that offers three different Sahara Tour & Camel Trek itineraries from Marrakech. 4×4 Travel to Morocco’s Sahara through Travel Exploration Morocco guarantees an authentic Moroccan Sahara journey.
Traveling to Morocco’s Sahara region through a Ouarzazate Travel Agency guarantees an authentic Morocco Travel experience. When traveling to Morocco’s Zagora region of Ouarzazate, the Draa Valley and the M’hamid Sahara Desert (Erg Chegaga Dunes) it is important to also have a Ouarzazate or Saharan driver and licensed guide who speaks fluent English, Arabic & French as well as the local dialect of Berber (Tashlhiyt)