Morocco Desert Tours: Everything you need to know about a Sahara Desert Tour
Many tourists have a Sahara desert trip on their Morocco wishlist. However, as soon as the tour is over, questions begin to appear.
If you’re planning Your Morocco Sahara desert tour it can be quite a challenge. How do you know where to start, when every tour says it’s one of the most enjoyable Morocco desert tours?
If you’re in the early stages of organizing your Morocco desert adventure and are wondering how best to arrange your Morocco desert vacation, you’ll be able to find the Sahara Desert vacation guide very helpful. In this article , I’m going to cover off on the most important things you need to know about Morocco desert trips including:
The ideal location to start on your Sahara Desert Morocco tour;
Where in the Sahara to go;
What is the most suitable season to go on any of Sahara tours;
What is the best number of days you can spend on your Sahara journey;
What should you expect from of Morocco costs for desert tours, and what can you expect to pay from different price points
What do you need to bring for your Morocco desert trip And lastly
A few tips for Sahara tours and travelling with kids.
We hope that, after reading this guide which will cover everything you need to know about the Sahara Desert tours Morocco offers, you’ll be in a better position to reserve one of the top Morocco desert tours that are right for you.
Morocco Desert Tours: Where to Start and Where to go?
One of the first things that you should consider to decide for 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 where tourists travel to Morocco for its Sahara Desert holiday – either the Merzouga Desert or the Zagora Desert and usually tourists begin their tour from Marrakech and Fez. This article will cover both details further below.
Sahara Desert near Merzouga
Merzouga tours are among the most sought-after Sahara tours and include Merzouga being located near the well-known Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The dunes of Erg Chebbi are taller and more vivid in color than the dunes that are found near Zagora making them a much more sought-after destination.
The most significant benefit of Merzouga desert tours, are the fact that the town is at the edge of the stunning Erg Chebbi sand dunes. In addition, the town is full of modern hotels and is a short distance from the sand dunes via a short 30 minute Morocco Camel Trekking. This makes a Merzouga desert adventure relatively easy as well as convenient for people short on time or those who do not want to venture away from the main track.
Its proximity to the sand dunes, could also be the reason for its down in the fall. As it’s more popular this place can be more expensive . It is crowded with lots of visitors.
Merzouga is about 9 hours’ drive from Marrakech which is 7 hours drive from Fez. If you’re planning to join an excursion like the Marrakech desert excursions, you’ll need to allow at least two night and three days because you will stop overnight in the middle of the trip.
Zagora is located in southern Morocco and is located in close proximity to Erg Chigaga sand dunes. The sand dunes are just 60 kilometers away from the nearest road and so the trek to see them is a good bit longer than going to the sand dunes of Merzouga.
To reach Zagora, you must first arrive at the town of M’hamid. From there, you’ll have to make a long walk through the desert terrain until you arrive at Zagora’s Erg Chigaga sand dunes.
It’s important to understand you should know that Zagora desert isn’t the orange-colored desert you might imagine – this is one of the deserts made of stone, and has a more moon like appearance. For this reason (as well as taking longer to get there) it is likely to be less sought-after in comparison to Merzouga and tends to be more affordable for budget-conscious travelers or those who like to escape the route.
Zagora is about 6 hours drive to Marrakech and 9.5 hours’ drive to Fez (without stop-overs).
Where to Commence?
The most popular place to start Sahara Desert trips is from Marrakech. Mainly this is because Marrakech is the capital city of Morocco and also where most people commence their trip. However, you can visit Sahara Desert from Fes. Take note that, as Marrakech Desert trips are more well-known, there are many choices from here.
A very popular route is to go on one of the Marrakech to Fes desert tour. You can start your trip in Marrakech and , after having completed the Sahara desert safari, move on to Fez and vice reverse.
How Many Days to Allow for a Morocco Sahara Tour?
Trucks and campervans in Dades Gorge in Morocco.
The amount of driving needed to travel to either Merzouga or Zagora in any case, and no matter if your visit is through Marrakech or Fez Expect a full day of driving between the two. For this reason, it’s impossible to take any kind of Fez or Marrakech desert day trip.
At a bare minimum you can take overnight Sahara trips from Marrakech or Fez, but for the Sahara Desert camp trip to be worthwhile , you’ll should allow for two to three nights. Even if you plan a two or three-night Sahara camping trip, a good portion of your tour will still just be driving.
If you’re planning to begin with your Sahara Desert experience in Marrakech and only have one night to spare, your best bet is to visit the closer Zagora Desert. If you’ve got more than three nights available, you can easily go to the stunning orange sand dunes found in the Merzouga Desert.
If you decide to arrange a 2 or 3 night tour, be sure to double make sure that at least two nights are in fact spent in the desert. Certain of the most budget-friendly tours will spend just the overnight in the desert, but any additional nights will be in the hotel. Staying two to three nights in the desert, you will be capable of exploring in the desert on a much more relaxed pace and participate in various activities , including visiting local tribes, sand boarding along with camel trekking and enjoying the beautiful sand dunes.
Visiting the Agafay Desert
If you’re short on space, 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.
You won’t be able to see the breathtaking dunes of sand as you will at Merzouga or Zagora on this Marrakech day trip into the desert, you’ll still get the opportunity of riding a camel over the desert. I need to emphasize it is the Agafay Desert is not the Sahara Desert.
The Agafay Desert is also a suitable option if traveling to Morocco in the summer months. There are many Morocco desert camp options close down in the course of a month or two because of the extreme temperatures and risks associated with transporting people to the desert during the summer months.
So if you’re planning a Sahara Morocco tour in summer you should consider visiting the Agafay desert camp located just outside Marrakech rather than a Marrakech desert camp where it’ll still be hot but camps will be open.
Should I DIY or Book a Guided Sahara Trip?
You can take a DIY Sahara safari. It is possible to hire an automobile and drive yourself to the sand dune area, or you can even hop on a bus. Once you are there, you can organize everything on your own and do what you like at the Sahara.
But when it comes to camp in the Sahara, there are numerous advantages by joining one of the desert Morocco tours which far outweigh doing it on your own. Here are some reasons to consider booking one among the Morocco Sahara Desert tours:
The best Morocco desert trips are all included and include transportation for either Marrakech or Fez accommodations, activities and typically most if all meals;
There is a lower chance of being lost;
On a guiding desert Morocco tour your guide will have knowledge of the best spots where you can stop for amazing pictures;
You’ll be less likely to have issues regarding language barriers.
You can reasonably certain of your safety.
Overall , you stand a greater chance for your entire trip to go as planned.
What type 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 where you’d like your next destination to be during your desert safari in Morocco and how many days you’re allowed to stay there and you’re ready to start thinking about whether you’d like to go on a budget or mid-priced tour, or a luxury one.
Before booking any tour, be sure to ask the Morocco desert tour company these questions:
What’s included in the quoted Sahara desert tour cost? What’s not included?
Do you actually offer tours during the time you’ll spend there? How hot will it be? This is something you will be interested in knowing for the summertime. Many operators do not provide services during the summer months. There is no air conditioning and it can easily rise to between 100-110F during the day and in the 70’s by night.
Where will you be stopping and what is the name of any hotels or Riads?
If it’s not on one of the Morocco private desert tours how many people will be traveling together?
Are there any stop-overs that offer additional tours , or tips are worth paying for?
What meals are paid out of pocket ? What’s the cost average?
If you’re not able to take a meal at one of the restaurants closed for meals There are other choices?
What are the sleeping arrangements in the camp of the desert?
What is the entire schedule of the tour? What are the stopsand the exact times to start and depart the camp in the desert?
If you have any health issues like a bad back (me!) ask them if they can provide a back rest available for the camel for added assistance.
Just Google “budget Sahara Desert tours” and you’ll be bombarded with negative reviews by unhappy clients. Whilst many seemed to be assured of luxury and tranquil tents set in stunning dunes, reality is an overwhelming number of tents, bad facilities, and a lot of displeasure.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good budget tours there, as I’m certain there are, it’s just that quality budget tours don’t seem to be the standard. Unfortunately, that’s also my personal experience.
Here are a few things you can expect on budget-friendly tours:
Often , subpar meals are at most, served with the desert. All other meals are paid at your own expense;
A lot of people are during your tour
There are no toilets. You’re obliged to take a shower on the sand or possibly inside a very basic toilet;
Insecure bedding or even sleeping on the sand
Problems with communication and language.
For some people who are not concerned about this, it’s not an issue. You may want to go for the experience of being in a rural setting. That’s awesome! However, if you’re looking for a low-cost desert excursion however, you’re hoping for something more it’s an extremely long drive with no exit option after you reach there.
A mid-range camp will have many of the amenities of a luxurious camp but will be less extravagant than an affordable camp. There is also the possibility of private transportation as opposed to. the shared ride. To determine if a service is middle-priced, compare the options presented to luxury and budget options.
The luxury Sahara trips are so luxurious, you won’t even realize you’re camping! In fact, the luxurious tour I took was such a delight that my bed seemed even more comfortable than my mattress at home!
Here are a few of the things that you can expect on an expensive tour:
Tents for individual and camp sites equipped with water,
Tents equipped with heating
Big, comfortable beds;
Private space for sitting
Delicious Moroccan meals
To find out more about luxury tours You can read my experiences in this post.
Other Tips About Booking a Tour
My top tip for clients is to book their tour well in advance prior to arriving in Morocco. Although it is possible to book at the time of arrival, if you book in advance , you’ll have the time to do your research and ensure you your booking is with a reliable tour company. You will also know exactly what to expect when you go on your tour.
There are many times that I’ve read about reviews that have stated that people are disappointed by their tour, this could have been prevented if they’d done their own research.
When you reach either Marrakech or Fez you’ll see a number of tour touts in the medina selling customers with Morocco Sahara trips. If you haven’t booked in advance you may possibly end up 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 is cheap.
A trip to the Sahara Desert trips Morocco offers are a rare opportunity, so it’s very essential that you do not leave disappointed. Be sure to trust me when I say to the Sahara trip – you really are getting what you pay for.
Morocco – Sahara Desert Tour: What is the best time of year to visit?
Similar to any other destination There are times of the year are more suitable than others for Sahara desert trips.
Many would suggest that the best time of year to celebrate holiday celebrations in the Sahara desert is between April and October as the night and daytime temperatures are less hot.
If you choose to travel during winter (December to March), you may find the nighttime temperatures below freezing, while during those summer months (June from September) the heat can be oppressive.
It’s also important to note that many desert tours shut in the summer time (specifically the month of August).
What do you need to pack for your Sahara desert excursions?
To pack appropriately for packing for Morocco Sahara desert trip, you will need to know some basic information about the type of camp you’ll be staying at. Before you start packing, research the following details about your campsite:
What is the arrangement for sleeping? Do you have a bedroom with covers, or do you have to use your own? Will you have a bed or stay on the ground? Do you have heat in the tents?
What are the bathroom facilities it is vital for you to know the clothes that will make bathroom-ing easier and also if you have to take toiletries.
Which food(s) and beverages are supplied, or will you be required to bring your own during the trip and at the campsite?