There are lots of amazing places to visit in Morocco. Sahara Desert tour should be on the top of your list. The Sahara desert is the largest of the African deserts and spans 12 countries, including Morocco. If you ever get a chance to visit this magical country that would be a great experience.
When people think about the Sahara Desert, the first thing that pops into their mind is an image of massive orange sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. While this is definitely among the most spectacular sights on a Sahara tour, there are many other amazing natural sceneries to admire during the journey to the desert.
From rocky plains to imposing mountains, from green oases to tall canyons, the landscape of Morocco is incredibly diverse and beautiful. Sahara-Magic is the best Company in Morocco that provides the best tours of morocco with all the facilities like camping, food, accommodation, transport e.t.c.
Learn about Berber and Gnawa culture
The Berber people are indigenous to the north and west of Africa and are descendants of the pre-Arab inhabitants of the region. Berber people are traditionally nomads, and their culture and lifestyles are focused on living on the move. While on any tour in the Merzouga desert or even then High Atlas Mountains, you will travel with and learn about Berber culture, as it lives and breathes through the landscape.
On this trip, you have a chance to meet the Gnawi who were brought to North Africa by the Berber people as slaves. The continuity and popularity of Gnawa music are vital for the preservation of the Gnawa culture and heritage. Today it is celebrated in a more modern fashion at the annual music festival in Essaouira, now the biggest music festival in the country.
Planning a tour
If you’re in the early stages of planning your Morocco desert adventures and wondering how best to arrange your Morocco desert travel, then you’re going to find this Sahara Desert vacation guide very helpful. In this article, I’m going to cover off all the essentials that you need to know about Morocco desert trips.
One of the first things you need to decide for your Sahara Desert travel is which area of the Sahara will you visit and where will you commence your trip to Sahara. There are two main deserts that tourists visit in Morocco for their Sahara Desert holiday – either the Merzouga Desert or the Zagora Desert and usually, tourists commence their tour from either Marrakech or Fez.
Sahara desert near Merzouga Desert
Merzouga tours are the most popular Sahara tours, with Merzouga is located close to the popular Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The dunes at Erg Chebbi are taller and richer in color than the dunes found near Zagora making them a much more sought-after destination.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of Merzouga desert tours, is that the town is right on the edge of the impressive Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Moreover, the town is full of modern hotels and you can easily reach the sand dunes with a short 30-minute camel ride. This makes a Merzouga desert trip relatively easy and convenient and ideal for people short on time or not wanting to get too far off the beaten track.
Merzouga is located around 9 hours’ drive from Marrakech or 7 hours’ drive from Fez. If you are joining one of the Marrakech desert tours, you will need to allow at least two nights and three days as you will stop overnight on the way there.
Zagora is located in the southern part of Morocco and is located close to the Erg Chigaga sand dunes. These sand dunes are located some 60 km from the nearest road and so the trek to see them takes quite a lot longer than to see the sand dunes from Merzouga. To reach Zagora, you must first reach the small town. From here it’s a rather long trek through rugged desert terrain before arriving at the Erg Chigaga sand dunes.
It’s also important to note that the Zagora desert is not the orange-like the desert you might imagine – this is a stone desert, which has a more moon-like appearance. So for this reason (as well as taking longer to reach) it does tend to be less popular than Merzouga and tends to be for the budget traveler or for those that prefer to get off the beaten track. Zagora is located around 6 hours’ drive from Marrakech or 9.5 hours’ drive from Fez (without stops).
Where to commence
The most popular location to start your Sahara Desert tour is from Marrakech. Mainly this is because Marrakech is the capital of Morocco and where many people commence their trip. However, you can visit the Sahara Desert from Fes. Just note that given the Marrakech Desert trips are more popular, there are many more options from here.
A very popular route is to do a Marrakech to Fes desert tour. So start your trip in Marrakech and after your Sahara Desert safari moves onto Fez – or vice versa.
However, when it comes to camping in the Sahara, there are so many advantages with joining one of the deserts Morocco tours, that it far outweighs doing it on your own. Here are some reasons you should book one of the Morocco Sahara Desert tours:
- The best Morocco desert trips are all-inclusive and include your transportation from either Marrakech or Fez, activities, lodging, and generally most if not all meals;
- There is less chance of getting lost;
- On a guided desert Morocco tour, your guide will know all the best places to stop for those amazing photographs;
- You can reasonably be certain of your safety;
- Overall you will enjoy the entire trip and it would be one of the best tours.
The number 1 recommended Company for the Morocco Desert Tour is Sahara-Magic because there you can customize your trip as per your requirements and days.