Morocco Desert Tours: Everything you need to know about a Sahara Desert Tour
A lot of travelers are considering a Sahara desert tour on their Morocco wishlist. However, soon enough, the questions begin to appear.
When you are planning your Morocco Sahara desert tour it can be a bit daunting. What do you know about where to start, when every tour claims its one of the top Morocco Desert tours?
If you’re in the initial stages of creating your Morocco desert adventures and are wondering what the best way to organize your Morocco desert journey, you’ll find this Sahara Desert vacation guide very useful. In this article , I’m going to cover off on all the essentials that you must be aware of when planning your Morocco desert trips including:
The ideal spot to begin you on Sahara Desert Morocco tour;
Where in the Sahara to go;
What is the ideal time of year to be a part of some of Sahara tours;
How many days to spend on your Sahara excursion;
What can we expect in terms of Morocco desert tour prices and what you can expect at different price levels;
What to bring to your Morocco desert getaway And lastly
Some suggestions for Sahara tours and travels with kids.
If you’ve read this guide, that covers all you need to know about Sahara Desert tours Morocco offers it will put you in a better position to book one of the top Morocco desert excursions that’s just ideal for you.
Morocco Desert Tours: Where to Begin and Where to go?
One of the first things that you should consider to make a decision about your Sahara Desert travels is which region of the Sahara is your destination and where will you commence your journey to Sahara.
There are two main deserts that tourists can visit in Morocco to enjoy your Sahara Desert holiday – either the Merzouga Desert or the Zagora Desert and usually tourists begin their trip from either Marrakech and Fez. We’ll go over both of these details further below.
Sahara Desert near Merzouga
Merzouga tours are the most well-known Sahara tours and include Merzouga being near to the famous Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The dunes at Erg Chebbi are taller and richer in color then the dunes found near Zagora making them a more sought-after destination.
The biggest benefit of Merzouga desert toursis it is situated at the edge of the stunning Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Moreover, the town is packed with modern hotels, and you can reach the sand dunes via just a 30 minute Morocco Camel Trekking. This allows an Merzouga desert excursion relatively simple as well as convenient for those on a tight schedule or those who do not want to venture out of the path.
However, it’s closeness to the sand dunes could also be the reason for its down in the fall. Being more popular the place is more expensive . It will be crowded with a lot of visitors.
Merzouga is situated around 9 hours’ drive to Marrakech in Morocco or 7 hours drive from Fez. If you’re planning to join some of the Marrakech desert tours, you will need to make room for two nights and three days as there will be a night stop while traveling to the city.
Zagora is situated in the south of Morocco and is situated just a few kilometers from the Erg Chigaga sand dunes. The sand dunes are some 60 km from the nearest road , consequently, the walk to see them can take a bit longer then to see the sand dunes that are located in Merzouga.
To reach Zagora the first step is to arrive in the settlement of M’hamid. From here , it’s a lengthy trek through rugged desert terrain before arriving at Zagora’s Erg Chigaga sand dunes.
It’s also important to remember this: the Zagora desert isn’t the typical orange desert that one might think of. It is one of the deserts made of stone, and has a more moon-like appearance. This is why (as well as taking longer to reach) Zagora is known to be less well-known over Merzouga and is more suited for the budget traveller or for those that prefer to stay off the tourist route.
Zagora is located approximately 6 hours’ drive far from Marrakech which is 9.5 hours driving distance from Fez (without any stops).
Where to Commence?
The most well-known place to commence Sahara Desert trips is from Marrakech. This is due to the fact that Marrakech serves as the capital city of Morocco and also where most people begin their journey. However, you can visit Sahara Desert from Fes. Take note that, as Marrakech Desert safaris are more sought-after, there are alternatives from here.
A very popular route is to take a Marrakech to Fes desert tour. You can start your trip in Marrakech and , after an enjoyable Sahara desert safari, head towards Fez or vice reverse.
How Many Days to Allow for a Morocco Sahara Tour?
Truck and campervans in the Dades Gorge in Morocco.
Given the huge amount of driving required for a visit to Merzouga and Zagora as well, regardless of whether your visit is from Marrakech or Fez expect a long drive there and back. Therefore, it’s not possible to do the Fez or Marrakech desert day trip.
At the very minimum, you can take overnight Sahara trips out of Marrakech or Fez However, for an Sahara Desert camp trip to be worth it, you require two to three nights. Even doing a two or three-night Sahara camping tour, a substantial portion of your time will mostly be driven.
If you’re beginning your Sahara Desert experience in Marrakech and only have one night to spare, your best bet is visiting the more distant Zagora Desert. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than three nights available, you are able to visit the magnificent orange sand dunes in the Merzouga Desert.
If you arrange a 2 or 3 night tour, be sure to double be sure that at a minimum two nights of your stay are in actual desert. Some of the more budget tours will spend just the overnight in the desert, however, any additional nights will be spent in a hotel. Spending two to three nights in the desert will be able to explore the desert at a much more relaxed pace and participate in a variety of activities like visiting tribal villages as well as sand boarding as well as camel trekking, or just relaxing among the stunning sand dunes.
Visiting the Agafay Desert
If you’re short on time, Marrakech day excursions to the Agafay Desert is a good alternative. The Agafay Desert is located 40km southwest of Marrakesh and is an unforgiving, dry moonlike landscape.
There aren’t any amazing sand dunes like you do at Merzouga or Zagora in this Marrakech day excursion to the desert, you’ll still be able to take a camel through the desert – I just need to emphasize this: the Agafay Desert is not the Sahara Desert.
There is a lot to see in the Agafay Desert is also a good option if you are traveling to Morocco during summer. A lot of Morocco desert camp options close down in the course of a month or two due to the extreme temperatures and risks associated with taking people to the desert during these months.
So if you’re planning to go on a Sahara Morocco tour in summer it is worth considering visiting the Agafay desert camp outside of Marrakech instead , where it will remain hot but the camps are open.
Should I DIY or Book a Guided Sahara Trip?
You can take the DIY Sahara tour. You can hire a vehicle and drive towards the sand dunes or perhaps take a bus. Once you are there, you can organize the activities you want to do and do exactly what you’d like within the Sahara.
When you are sleeping in the Sahara, there are so many benefits with joining one of the desert Morocco tours which far outweigh going it alone. Here are the top reasons you should take advantage on the Morocco Sahara Desert tours:
The best Morocco desert experiences are inclusive and include your transportation to either Marrakech or Fez and Fez, as well as activities, accommodation and typically most if all meals.
There is less chance of being lost;
On a guided desert Morocco tour your guide will have knowledge of the most ideal places to stop and take amazing images;
You’ll experience less problems dealing with language barriers.
You can be reasonably sure of your safety.
Overall , you’re more likely of the entire trip going in the right direction.
What kind of Sahara Desert Camp to Book Do you want to book a Sahara Desert camp that is Budget, Luxury, or Mid-Range?
You now have an idea of the places you’d prefer to go for your desert safari in Morocco and the number of days are available It’s time to begin planning whether to book a low-cost luxury, mid-range, or budget tour.
Before booking any tour, be sure to ask the Morocco tour operator in the desert the following questions:
What’s included in the Sahara desert tour price? What’s not included?
Are you actually able to schedule tours scheduled during the time you’ll be in the area and how the temperature is it? This is something you’ll be looking for during the summer months. A lot of operators don’t offer services in the summer months. There is no air conditioning, but temperatures can easily rise to between 100-110F during the day and the mid 70’s by night.
Where will you stop with the names of any hotel or Riads?
If it’s not on one from the Morocco private desert tours, how many other travelers will be traveling together?
Are there any stop-overs that offer additional tours or tips you can expect to pay?
What meals will you pay out of pocket ? What’s the average price?
If you’re not interested in eat at the locations stopped for meals There are other choices?
What are the sleeping arrangements for this camp in the desert?
What’s the full schedule of the tour, including stopsand the exact times to depart and arrive at the desert camp?
If you have any health concerns, like a bad back (me!) ask them if they can provide a back rest available for the camel for additional support.
Just Google “budget Sahara Desert tours” and you’ll be inundated with terrible reviews from unhappy customers. Many seemed to have been promised luxury and peaceful tents set in stunning dunes, reality is an ocean of tents, inadequate facilities, and lots of displeasure.
It’s not that there aren’t some good budget tours out there, because I’m sure there are. The problem is that good budget tours don’t seem to be the typical. It’s my own personal experience.
Here are a few of the things you can expect on an affordable tour:
Often , subpar meals are at best – included in the desert. Other meals are at the cost of your own;
A lot of people are who are on your tour
No toilets , you are supposed to go to the sand or maybe in a very basic toilet;
Showers are not available;
Comfortable bedding or sleeping on the sand
Language and communication problems.
For some it’s not a problem. You may want to go for more of a rustic experience. That’s awesome! But, if your looking to go on a budget desert vacation but you’re expecting more, it’s an extremely long drive with no exit option when you arrive.
A mid-range campground will have some of the amenities found in an expensive camp, but could be less extravagant than the camp that is budget-friendly. It could also offer private transportation as opposed to. an shared ride. To determine whether something is middle-priced, compare the options available to luxury and budget alternatives.
The luxury Sahara trips are so luxurious, it’s hard to believe you’re camping! The luxury tour I went on was such a delight that my bed seemed plus comfortable than own mattress at home!
Here are a few of the things you can expect on an extravagant tour:
Tents and camp sites that have running water
Large, comfortable beds;
Private area for sitting;
Delicious Moroccan meals
For more about luxury tours you can read about my experiences in this post.
Other Tips About Booking a Tour
The most important thing I can suggest to the travelers is to book your trip in advance before you arrive in Morocco. While you can book in advance, by booking in advance you will be able do the research you need to do and guarantee are booking with a established tour company and be aware of the exact details you’ll encounter during your trip.
Many times, I’ve read reviews where people were dissatisfied by their experience. This could easily be prevented if they had conducted their homework.
When you arrive in either Marrakech or Fez there are a lot of tour touts in the medina, hustling travelers with Morocco Sahara trips. If you’ve not reserved your trip in advance, you could find yourself booking an itinerary you’re aware of absolutely nothing about or being convinced to sign up for a tour due to the fact that it sounds relatively cheap.
A trip to the Sahara Desert trips Morocco offers provide many an once-in-a-lifetime chance, therefore it’s important to not be disappointed. Don’t be fooled when it comes to an Sahara trip , you do get what you paid for.
Morocco Maroc Sahara Desert Tour: What is the best time to go?
Like any destination, certain times of the year are better than others when it comes to Sahara desert explorations.
Most people think that the most ideal time of year for festivities in the Sahara desert is between April and Oct., since the day and nighttime temperatures are less hot.
If you choose to visit during the winter months (December until March), you may find temperatures at night that are lower than freezing, whereas during the summer months (June to September) the days can be unbearably hot.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of desert tours will close in the summer time (specifically in August).
What should you bring for your Sahara desert travels?
To pack appropriately with the proper items for the Morocco Sahara desert trip, you’ll need to learn a few facts about the type of camp you’ll be staying at. Before you start packing, research the following about your camp:
What are your sleeping arrangements? Are you sleeping on a bed with covers, or will you need to provide your own? Do you have a bed or will you stay on the ground? Is there heat in your tents?
What facilities are available in the bathroom It is crucial for you to know what you can wear to make bathroom-ing easiest and if you need to carry toiletries.
Do you know what food(s) and beverages are provided, or will you be required to bring your own before and during your stay at the camp?