Top Guidelines Of Sahara Desert Trips

Top Guidelines Of Sahara Desert Trips

From Radha Krushan

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So many travelers have the Sahara desert tour on their Morocco wishlist. But, quickly the questions start to pop up.

Planning the Morocco Sahara desert tour it isn't easy. What do you know about where to start when every tour advertises it's one the most enjoyable Morocco desert excursions?

If you're just in the beginning stages of making plans for your Morocco desert excursions and you're wondering what you can do to plan your Morocco desert journey, you're going to be able to find the Sahara Desert vacation guide very helpful. In this article , I'm going to cover off on all the important information you need to know about Morocco desert adventures, which includes:

  • The ideal location to start with your Sahara Desert Morocco tour;

  • Where is the Sahara to visit;

  • What is the best season to go on an Sahara tours;

  • How many days to spend on your Sahara excursion;

  • What can we expect in terms of Morocco costs for desert tours, and what to expect at various price points;

  • What should you pack for your Morocco desert getaway Also, lastly

  • Some suggestions for Sahara tours and travelling with children.

After reading this guide that will explain everything you need to know about Sahara Desert tours Morocco offers, you'll be in a much better position for booking one of the most memorable Morocco desert tours that are the right fit for you.

Morocco Desert Tours: Where to Begin? And Where to go?

One of the first items you have to consider when planning your Sahara Desert travel is which area of the Sahara will you visit and when you'll be starting your journey to Sahara.

There are two major deserts that tourists visit in Morocco to enjoy the duration of their Sahara Desert holiday - either the Merzouga Desert or the Zagora Desert and usually tourists start their journey from either Marrakech as well as Fez. This article will cover both aspects further down.

Merzouga tours are among the most popular Sahara tours in the region, with Merzouga being close to the popular Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The dunes of Erg Chebbi are taller and richer in color then the dunes near Zagora making them a more sought-after location.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of Merzouga desert toursis it is situated at the edge of the magnificent Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Furthermore, the town is packed with modern hotels, and you can easily reach the sand dunes via a short 30 minute Morocco Camel Trekking. This allows the Merzouga desert adventure relatively easy and practical, and is ideal to those short on time or not wanting to get too far off the beaten path.

But, its proximity to the sand dunes, can also be its down drop. Being more popular it is more expensive . It is busy with plenty of visitors.

Merzouga is situated around 9 hours' drive to Marrakech in Morocco or 7 hours driving distance from Fez. If you're joining some of the Marrakech desert tours, be sure to allow at least two days and two nights as you will be stopping overnight when you get there.


Zagora is situated in southern Morocco and is in close proximity to Erg Chigaga sand dunes. Sand dunes that are just 60 kilometers away from the nearest road and thus the journey to view them takes quite a lot longer than going to the sand dunes of Merzouga.

To get to Zagora, you must first arrive in the city of M'hamid. From here , it's a lengthy trek through rugged desert terrain until you arrive at Zagora's Erg Chigaga sand dunes.

It's important to understand this: the Zagora desert is not the typical orange desert that one may think of - it is the stone desert, which has a moon-like appearance. That's why (as as it takes longer to reach) it is likely to be less popular in comparison to Merzouga and is more suited ideal for budget travelers or for those that prefer to escape the road.

Zagora is about 6 hours' drive to Marrakech and 9.5 hours drive far from Fez (without the need for stops).

The most well-known location for beginning Sahara Desert trips is from Marrakech. Most likely, this is due to Marrakech is known as the capital city of Morocco and where many travelers commence their trip. It is also possible to visit Sahara Desert from Fes. Take note that, as Marrakech Desert tours are more popular, there are many alternatives from here.

A well-known route is to go on an Marrakech to Fes excursion in the Sahara desert. Start your journey in Marrakech and after the Sahara desert safari head to Fez or vice reverse.

How Many Days to Allow for a Morocco Sahara Tour?

Truck and campervans in the Dades Gorge in Morocco.

The amount of driving required to visit either Merzouga or Zagora in any case, and no matter if you visit via Marrakech or Fez expect a long drive there and back. For this reason, it's impossible to plan an Fez or Marrakech desert day trips.

At the very minimum, you could do overnight Sahara trips in Marrakech or Fez however, for the Sahara Desert camp trip to be worth it, you must allow between two and three nights. If you do a two or three-night Sahara camping tour, a substantial portion of your time will mostly be driven.

If you're starting to embark on your Sahara Desert experience in Marrakech with only one night to spare it is best to head to the Zagora Desert. If you're able to spare two or three nights you can easily go to the stunning orange sand dunes that make up the Merzouga Desert.

If you are planning to book a 2 or 3 night tour, just double make sure at least two of the nights are in fact spent in the desert. Many of the cheaper tours will just spend one night in the desert whilst any additional nights will be spent in an accommodation. In a stay of two to three days in the desert means you'll be capable of exploring the desert at a more relaxed pace and participate in numerous activities such as visiting tribes from the local area and sand-boarding in the desert, camel trekking, or simply relaxing among the stunning dunes of sand.

For those short on the time to travel, Marrakech day excursions to the Agafay Desert is a good alternative. This Agafay Desert is located 40km southwest of Marrakesh and features rough and dry moon-like landscape.

You won't be able to see the breathtaking Sand dunes as you do within Merzouga or Zagora, on this Marrakech day journey to the desert, however, you'll still get the opportunity to go on camel rides through the desert. I need to stress that the Agafay Desert is not the Sahara Desert.

There is a lot to see in the Agafay Desert is also a ideal option for anyone visiting Morocco in the summer months. A lot of Morocco desert camp options close down in the course of a month or two due to the extreme temperature and risks associated with transporting people to the desert during the summer months.

So if you're planning a Sahara Morocco tour in summer take a look at the Agafay desert camp just outside Marrakech rather than a Marrakech desert camp where it'll still be scorching hot, however the camp sites are still open.

It is entirely feasible to go on the DIY Sahara excursion. You can hire a car and drive yourself to the sand dunes or perhaps take a bus. Once you are there, you can organize every single thing you wish to do and do whatever you would like to do at the Sahara.

But when you are sleeping in the Sahara, there are numerous advantages when you join one of the desert Morocco tours, that they far surpass the benefits of doing it on your own. Here are a few reasons why you should consider booking one on the Morocco Sahara Desert tours:

  • The most enjoyable Morocco desert excursions are all inclusive , and include transport to either Marrakech or Fez, activities, lodging and typically most if all meals;

  • There is less chance of getting lost.

  • If you are on a guided desert Morocco tour Your guide will be aware of the most ideal places to stop and take amazing photos;

  • You will have less issues when it comes to language barriers.

  • You can reasonably be assured of your safety; and

  • Overall , you stand a greater chance that your entire trip will go according in the right direction.

What kind of Sahara Desert Camp to Book Do you want to book a Sahara Desert camp that is Budget, Mid-Range , or Luxury?

Now you have an idea of the places you'd like visiting on your desert safari tour in Morocco and the number of days you have available, it's time to start planning whether to book a budget luxury, mid-range, or budget tour.

Before booking any tour, be sure to ask the Morocco desert tour company these questions:

  • What's included in the Sahara desert tour price? What is not included?

  • Do you have any tours in the time that you'll be in the area and how hot is it? This is something you'll be looking for during the summertime. There are many operators that do not offer services during the summer season. There is no air conditioning, and temperatures can easily reach between 100-110F during the day and mid 70's at night.

  • Where will you be stopping including the name of hotels and riads?

  • If it is not on one of the Morocco private desert tours how many other travelers will be traveling together?

  • Are there any stops that have additional tours or tips that you should expect to pay?

  • What meals can be purchased out of pocket and what's the cost average?

  • If you're not able to consume food at the eateries that have stopped for meals What other alternatives do you have?

  • What are the sleeping arrangements in Camp in deserts?

  • What's the full itinerary of the tour, including dates for stops and times to start and depart the camp in the desert?

  • If you're dealing with any health issues like a bad back (me!) ask them if they can provide a back rest for the camel for added assistance.

Simply Google "budget Sahara Desert tours" and you'll be bombarded by reviews from disappointed clients. Whilst many seemed to have been promised luxurious tents and peaceful camping situated in the middle of breathtaking sand dunes is an ocean of tents, low-quality facilities and plenty of discontent.

That's not to say there aren't quality budget tours there, as I'm certain there are. It's that good budget tours don't appear to be the typical. This is also my personal experience as well.

Here are some of the things you can expect from a budget tour:

  • Transportation;

  • Lodging;

  • Camel trek;

  • Often , poor meals at most, they are served in the desert, all other meals are paid for at your own expense.

  • A lot of people are who are on your tour

  • There are no toilets. You're required to wash yourself on the sand or maybe inside a very basic toilet;

  • No showers;

  • Uncomfortable bedding or possibly sleeping on the sand;

  • Language and communication issues.

For some who are not concerned about this, it's not an issue. It is possible to enjoy a more rustic experience. That's awesome! If you're looking for a low-cost desert excursion but want something more it's a long drive with no way out after you reach there.

Mid-range camps will offer some of the amenities of a luxury camp but may have fewer frills like a budget camp. There is also the possibility of private transportation as opposed to. sharing rides. To determine if a service is mid-range , compare the services given to budget and luxury options.

The luxury Sahara tours are so luxurious that the guests won't be aware that they are camping! The luxury tour I went on was so incredible that I slept in a bed even better than own mattress at home!

Here are some things you can expect during a luxury tour:

  • Camp sites and individual tents with running water;

  • Private bathrooms;

  • Tents that have heating;

  • Comfortable, large beds;

  • Private sitting areas;

  • Delicious Moroccan meals

For more information about luxury tour you can read about my experience in this post.

Other Tips About Booking a Tour

My primary advice to you is to make sure that you book your tour in advance before arriving in Morocco. While you can book in advance, by booking in advance you will have time to do your research and ensure you your booking is with a known tour operator and understand precisely what you will experience during your trip.

Many times, I've read reviews of people who have been disappointed with their trip. This could easily have been prevented if they'd done their homework.

When you arrive in either Marrakech or Fez there will be a plethora of tour touts in the medina busting visitors with Morocco Sahara trips. If you're not booked your tour in advance, then you may have to take an excursion that you have little about, or be influenced to take a tour simply because it's cheap.

This Sahara Desert trips Morocco offers provide many an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it's very important to ensure that you do not end up disappointed. Be sure to trust me when I say to your Sahara trip , you truly are getting what you pay for.

Morocco The Moroccan Sahara Desert Tour: What time of the year is the best to visit?

As with any destination Certain times of the time are more favorable than others for Sahara desert explorations.

Most would say that the best time of year for vacations and holidays within the Sahara desert is between April-October, when the day and nighttime temperatures are more comfortable.

If you plan to visit during the winter months (December to March), you may find the nighttime temperate lower than freezing, whereas during the summer season (June through September) the temperatures can become unbearably hot.

It's also worth noting that a lot of desert tours will close during summer (specifically during August).

What are the essentials to bring on your Sahara desert trips?

To properly pack to pack for you Morocco Sahara desert trip, it is necessary to know certain details about the type of camp you'll be staying at. Before packing, make sure you know the following details about your campsite:

  • What are the sleep arrangements? Will you have a bed with covers, or do you need take your own? Are you sleeping in an actual bed or will you stay on the ground? Are there any heat sources in the tents?

  • What facilities do you have in the bathroom It is crucial so that you know which clothes make bathroom time simple and whether you will need to carry toiletries.

  • How much food(s) and beverages will be provided? Or will you be required to take your own en route and at the campsite? 

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