Sahara Desert in Morocco – Our impressive tour
Sahara Desert in Morocco, On to the Sahara tour in the desert! After our short stay at Kasbah Ellouze in Tamdaght, our Morocco round trip continued again. Full of anticipation, we packed up our luggage and headed for Merzouga. Finally, we could fulfill a little dream. We were so excited about the tour through the Sahara Desert. But first we had to cover a few hundred kilometers. Let’s go.
The Todra Gorge in Tinghir
in Sahara Desert in Morocco With enough gas in the tank, we set off. The further we drove away from the green valley behind the mountains, the drier the landscape became. The road led us via Quarzazate to El-Kelaâ M’Gouna. It was not hard to see that roses are grown in this region. Everywhere you can buy creams and perfumes made from rose extract. After we bought two clothes from a street vendor (important for the right desert feeling), we drove on again.
After almost three hours (200 kilometers) we reached the date palm oasis Tinghir and with it the sight of the region – the Todra Gorge. Already the approach is an experience in itself. The road of the Kasbahs first winds its way up a mountain before descending again in the same breath. The rock walls beside us became steeper and steeper and narrower. Finally, we reached our first stage destination. We parked the car and strolled through the gorge. The walls of the rocky breakthrough, which is only a few meters wide, rise several hundred meters into the air. A really great sight!
Stone deserts, moonscapes and outback
After this short excursion to Tinghir and the overnight stay in the small and cozy Kasbah Petit Nomad*, we finally wanted to go into the desert. But until we got there, we had a three to four hour drive (225 kilometers) ahead of us. This led for hours through a gigantic rock desert. That’s how we imagine it on Mars, a barren landscape as far as the eye can see.
But be careful: Suddenly a figure appeared on the horizon! At first we couldn’t place it, couldn’t really recognize it. The closer we came, the clearer it became: 2 wild camels, which danced around on the road. We drove slowly past them, not wanting to attract attention.
Just under ten minutes later we stopped right on the road to take a break. Cars rarely passed us anyway. It felt as if we had landed in the deepest outback! So we imagine not only Mars, but also parts of Australia. And dear Australia connoisseurs? Does it also look like this there (see last photo)?
Sahara Tour – let’s go!
Slowly we could see sand dunes on the horizon. The anticipation increased immeasurably. Before we went into the desert, we had to go to the base camp Ksar Bicha, a hotel complex at the edge of the desert. There we left the car, packed our things for the coming night into our backpacks and waited patiently for a start signal. But what did we actually know about this tour?
Well, we only knew the following: Us, Sahara, camels, sand, lots of sand and an overnight stay in a traditional tent. And so we let everything come to us once again. On the way to the camels we got acquainted with the other tour participants. Together with six Indonesians we started into the desert adventure. It is always great to talk together with locals about different places of their home country. Bali, Sumatra and Java? We can even join in the conversation.
With camels through the desert
After about 20 minutes we reached the beginnings of the Sahara (Arabic: deserts). So now in front of us was the largest dry desert on earth. A sand and rubble landscape with an area almost as large as the entire USA. The Sahara has a width of about 5000 kilometers. For comparison: New York and Los Angeles are “only” about 4000 kilometers apart.and you can do Casablanca desert tours
Sand dunes as far as the eyes could see. Unimaginable and totally surreal. Our caravan moved on and on towards… the next sand hill. Who is able to navigate here – RESPECT! Somewhere behind one of the infinite sand hills hid our desert camp.
Interesting facts about the Sahara Desert:
The Sahara Desert is 26 times larger than Germany.
In fact, it consists of only 10% sand. 90% is gravel, boulders and stones.
2.5 – 3 million people live in the desert. Many are farmers who plant the oases with wheat, dates and barley and live from it. Some even raise livestock.
The red blood cells of the camels are oval. This allows them to absorb an extremely large amount of water in a short time (200 liters in 15 minutes) without overhydrating the body.
It wasn’t long before we wanted to walk on the desert sand with our own feet. We finally wanted to feel desert sand between our toes! So we got off the camels and were immediately fascinated by the sand! It is so incredibly fine, so light and fluffy. In me (Marco) immediately the child in the man was released, which wanted to romp around in this gigantic sandbox.
Probably the finest sand in the world
And I couldn’t help it: I took off my shoes and ran up and down one sand dune after the other. I had the time of my life. Again and again I let the sand slide between my fingers. Again and again I dug my feet into the soft desert sand. The sand fascinated me. Just like the enormous dimensions of the Sahara. This silence far away from civilization – for me this place was magical!
After about 90 minutes we reached the desert camp. Surrounded by sand dunes, it lay sheltered from the wind in a hollow. The Berber tents actually had real double beds. We had not expected so much comfort in the desert. But we didn’t stay long in our tent, instead we preferred to spend the time until dinner in the sand!
After a lot of fun in the sand and a spontaneous photoshoot on the dunes, we sat down to watch the sunset. Satisfaction spread. We don’t know why, but we were just happy and grateful to have just experienced this adventure. With the thought “everything done right,” we lay in each other’s arms and said goodbye to the last rays of the sun…what a great day!
Traditional tajine, starry sky & milky way
Had we not been called to dinner, we probably would have spent hours there. As so often on this round trip, we got “tajine” that night. Tajine is the traditional cooking pot made of clay, although it is more of a steamer pot. Moroccans use the pot to gently cook vegetables and meat over an open flame. And it tastes gigantic! Of course, this is also due to the typical spices and herbs.
Without these spices, Moroccan cuisine would probably only be half as delicious. While eating, we met an older couple from New York who also travel around a lot. So our Sahara tour ended with great travel stories around the campfire. Oh and did we mention the starry sky? The night was so dark, we could see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Isn’t that amazing? Like a carpet of sparkling little stones! Just gigantic!
The next morning
After a bitterly cold night, we headed back towards civilization right on time after breakfast. Also on the way back we didn’t miss the chance to walk barefoot through the cold sand. The last times running up and down sand dunes. Once again we let our eyes wander over the seemingly endless landscape. Goodbye Sahara, it was nice to have met you! We will see each other again. For sure!
At base camp, it was then quickly under the shower. The sand and dust was just everywhere! Afterwards, we made our way to Agdz. What awaited us there? You can find out here in our article: The beautiful Kasbah Azul in Agdz.
Tour, costs, and organization
You can easily book tours to the Sahara in advance*. On the internet, there are numerous providers who offer tours into the desert (half-day, one day or even several days). Our tour started in Merzouga. With an overnight stay in a traditional Berber tent and food it costs you 55€. You just have to drive to Merzouga to the base camp and then you are off into the desert. and there travel agency in morocco you can do Marrakech desert tours
You can park your car safely at the base camp. For the desert, you should take a small backpack. Important: In the evening and at night it gets really cold. We were really cold. A thick jacket, thick socks, hat, and scarf/scarf are highly recommended (if it is not high summer). A toothbrush, a bottle of water, a small lamp (headlamp), a small towel, and some cookies should also find room in your backpack.
In the tent, there is only a small candle and a bed with several blankets. The toilet is a kind of dry toilet, as you know it from camping. Otherwise, that’s it with the sanitary facilities on site (that’s how it should be in the desert). In the evening there is freshly prepared hot food, in the morning a small breakfast consisting of yogurt, fruit and bread with spread. In addition, coffee or tea.
Book your tour to the Sahara here
From Merzouga: Camel ride with an overnight stay in Erg Chebbi*.
Start in Fes: 3 days and 2 nights – desert tour to Marrakech*
Merzouga: overnight stay in Bedouin tent and camel ride*