This is a trip to the huge sand dunes of the Sahara Desert at Merzouga, a “must do” at least once in a lifetime.
The most common point of Bivouacs and Morocco Camel treks is Merzouga desert. Merzouga is a small town out on the edge of the Sahara Desert of Erg Chebbi located at only 20 km away from the Algerian border where the paved road ends and the real Sahara Desert sand dunes begins.
If you want to experience the Sahara desert dunes it is a must to take a camel trip and stay in a Berber tent overnight.
The camel trip through amazing red-orange sand dunes (1 hour and 30 min) will reach the desert camp at sunset where you will be served local nomad dinner in the desert tent.
~ Day 1 ~
Marrakech – to – Tizi-n-Tichka – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate – and then – Dades Valley & Gorges
We start our journey early (around 7:30-8:00 am). From Marrakech to Dades Gorges we are crossing the Tizi N Tichka pass of the High Atlas Mountains (2260m) enjoying the road with far-reaching views across the mountains. Numerous stops will be made along the way dropping down the other side to Ait Ben Haddou, host of many Hollywood blockbusters like “Gladiator”.
The spectacular Berber villages can be seen on our way to Unseco world heritage site “Ait benhaddou village”. For many TV shows and movies it has been served as a natural scenery. You will go on a walk crossing the river to the ancient side to discover The Ksar (Ksour) – spectacular fortified village – and climb to the top of the hill for an amazing view on the fertile river valley surrounded by desert named “Ounila”.
We will have lunch in one of Restaurants after the visit and we will continue our tour to Dades Gorge through the movie-making town of Ouarzazate, palm groves of Skoura and Valley of Roses. You can pause there for a tea break before to arrive at the stunning Dades Gorge where we stay for the night in a boutique guesthouse.
~ Day 2 ~
Dades Gorges – Tenghir – Todra Gorges –
Tinjdad – Erfoud – Merzouga (night in a desert camp – Nomad berber tents)
Our Desert Tour continues after a traditional enriching Breakfast then drive through the 1001 Kasbahs road to Tinghir (Tineghir) where you can enjoy a walk along Todgha River Banks visiting Berber Villages and Ksours and see the impressive landscapes of huge cliffs of Todgha gorges. Lunch at leisure in the Gorges before you continue to Merzouga.
Afterwards we will head to Merzouga Sahara Desert (Erg Chebbi dunes) and you will have time for lunch on our way. Once we arrive close to the dunes of Erg Chebbi, we will stop at the hotel to take what luggage you need for the night and leave the rest of the things in a secured room, then you will take a camel ride to get to the deep camp in the oasis and watch one of the most dramatic sunsets ever.
After 1 h 30 min of camel riding through the dunes we arrive at the desert camp where musicians prepare a fire, fresh tagines and drumming for the evening. You will spend the night in the bivouac at Merzouga Sahara dunes under nomadic private tents or outside under shooting stars and crystal clear constellations where you can play drums with the camel drivers and enjoy their company or get complete privacy and calm by walking a couple of steps into the dunes.
~ Day 3 ~
Camel Trekking back to Merzouga – Atlas mountains – Back to Marrakech
After an early wake up to enjoy the sunrise over the dunes, we go back on the camels to Merzouga, take a shower and the breakfast in Hotel then start our journey backing to Marrakech taking a different route from Rissani, enjoy the savanah like scenery an then trough the Berber villages of the atlas mountains ( Tinjdad , Tenghir Todra Gorges ,Boumalene-du-Dades ).
Your 3 days desert trip from Marrakech to Merzouga will end in Marrakech around 7 pm.
The closest main airports to Dunes of Erg Chebbi are Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) and Fes–Saïss Airport (FEZ). See below the complete list of car rental offers and hotels with best prices.