How to plan your Morocco Sahara Desert Trip

The Sahara Desert is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and countless people travel to Morocco every year to see it. But we found that there is a lack of accurate, reliable information about the desert available online. So we decided to write this comprehensive guide to provide you with all the authentic information you need to plan your perfect Sahara tour.

WHY SHOULD SAHARA DESERT TRIP BE ON YOUR PRIORITY LIST?

If you think the Sahara Desert is nothing but a big stretch of empty, sandy wasteland, you’ve probably never actually been there. The truth is, there’s so much more to see and do in the Sahara than most people realize. From the diverse wildlife and plant life to the unique culture of the many different tribes that call the desert home, there’s something for everyone in the Sahara. So next time you’re planning a trip, don’t write off the Sahara Desert – you might just be surprised by how much you enjoy it.

If you’re a photographer, the Sahara Desert is definitely a place you’ll want to add to your list of places to visit. There’s nothing like watching a spectacular sunset over the sand dunes, and then being able to see an endless blanket of stars in the sky at night. You’ll find that the night sky is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before because there’s no light pollution to obscure your view. Make sure to book a stay at a luxury desert camp so you can fully experience all that the Sahara has to offer!

If you’re looking for an adventure in the Sahara Desert, there are two central deserts in Morocco that are perfect for visitors. One is Merzouga Desert, the Gate to the Sahara Desert, and the other is Zagora Desert. Both of these deserts offer a unique and thrilling experience that you won’t find anywhere else. So why not add them to your travel itinerary today?

MERZOUGA DESERT

When it comes to exploring the Sahara Desert, there is no better place to start than Merzouga. This small village is located on the edge of the world-famous ERG CHEBBI Dunes, making it the perfect base for anyone wanting to experience this unique landscape.

Although Merzouga can be quite busy at times, advance booking is always a good idea to ensure you get your desired accommodation. Once you are here, you will find that the giant dunes in ERG Chebbi are only a 30-minute drive away – meaning you can spend as much time as you like enjoying the sand surfing and camel trekking opportunities on offer.

HOW TO REACH MERZOUGA

The best way to reach Merzouga is by traveling from Marrakech or Fes. The distance of Merzouga from Marrakech is around 570km, and from this, it is about 485 Km. We recommend you take a 3-day desert tour from Marrakech by road in order to enjoy the scenery and landscapes. Although Marrakech and Fes are the most popular places tourists book their itinerary to Merzouga start from, the city of Errachidia provides the shortest route to the desert. You can fly to Errachidia airport from Casablanca, but the flight timing and frequency are not convenient at all. The distance from Errachidia to Merzouga is only 123km. If you want to save time, just book your Sahara Desert tour through a reliable company like us; we also provide Desert tours from Fes at competitive rates while also being one of the most reviewed companies in Morocco! Always remember: when booking your dream vacation, be sure to use a Licensed and registered tour company such as ours.

THINGS TO DO IN MERZOUGA

The Sahara Desert provides ample opportunities for many different activities, including camping, photography, sandboarding, and the most popular activity of all – camel trekking. However, if you dislike camel riding, there are still plenty of other options available to you. For instance, you could consider an ATV ride through the desert. Driving an automatic self-drive quad bike would be a lifetime adventure. In Merzouga desert, you would find the giant dunes – the tallest in the entire Sahara Desert. These dunes reach heights of 50 to 100 meters. You can go sandboarding on these dunes with your kids – it’ll be a blast! Another activity that is famous in this area is the hot air balloon ride. This can be arranged on request and although it is a bit expensive, the view from the top of the Sahara is definitely worth it.

WILDLIFE IN MERZOUGA

The Sahara is not just a barren wasteland of sand and camels. It is home to many living creatures, including a variety of wildlife. If you take the time to look around, you’ll spot plenty of lizards roaming the dunes during the day. At night, you might see foxes and other mammals hunting for food. Due to the hot conditions and temperature swings in the Sahara, most of its mammals are small and require less water to survive. Despite the challenging environment, the Sahara is home to 75 mammal species, 88 bird species, and almost 100 reptile species. You can find cobras, baboons, sheep, oryxes, scorpions, ants, beetles, and many more animals in the Sahara. Algae and brine shrimp can be found in damp areas of the Sahara as well.

Over the last few decades, wild hogs have been pushed to the brink of extinction due primarily to hunting, disease outbreaks, and less rainfall. Today, there are only around 5,000 adult wild hogs remaining in the Sahara Desert region and their numbers are rapidly declining. Another endangered species living in this desert environment is the Addax Antelope. These animals are uniquely adapted to survive in harsh conditions with little food or water available. However, they too are facing extinction due mainly to human activity.

PLANTS IN MERZOUGA

Did you know that there are actually many trees and plants that grow and thrive in the harsh desert conditions of the Sahara? In Merzouga, for example, you’ll find both wild and edible plants and shrubs, like prickly pears and cactus. These plants are high in sugar and fiber and contain more than 80% water – perfect for surviving in the desert heat. Another popular edible plant in the Sahara is chia sage, which gives you a short-term energy boost, much like coffee or tea. Of course, there are also poisonous shrubs in the desert, like Nerium Oleander. But there are also helpful plants, like the Red Acacia tree, which is known for reducing cholesterol levels. And don’t forget the Finger palm tree – a local favorite because its leaves can be used to make different juices and are also edible. So next time you think about the Sahara desert, don’t forget about all the amazing plants and trees that call it home

ZAGORA DESERT

The Zagora Desert is located in the south part of Morocco, near the Popular Erg Chigaga dunes. Unlike the typical sandy deserts, Zagora is more like a rocky desert. This makes it less popular than Merzouga Desert. However, the Zagora Desert has its own unique charm and is definitely worth a visit.

HOW TO REACH ZAGORA

The best way to get to the Zagora Desert from Marrakech is by N9 National road. It’s a 353 km drive that will take you about 6 and a half hours. While you can’t fly directly to Zagora, hiring a taxi or driving yourself is the best way to experience all this amazing destination has to offer.

If you’re looking for a tour operator to take you to the Zagora desert from Marrakech, look no further! We offer a 2-day private Marrakech to Zagora desert trip that will take you across the High Atlas Mountains and allow you to walk to Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. If you’re interested in learning more about the itinerary, click here. We also offer shared desert trips for those who want to enjoy the journey with friends and family. Our group tours are a great way to meet new people and make some travel friends, and they’re also a great way to save money. If you’re interested in our group 2-day desert tour from Marrakech to Zagora, click the link to learn more details. This tour is best for those who are short on time. The best part is that we organize our Marrakech to Zagora desert safaris daily.

THINGS TO DO IN ZAGORA

Most tourists visit Zagora as part of their tour to Erg Chigaga. A trip to Erg Chigaga is the perfect way to see Morocco’s stunning desert landscape. We also offer a private 4-day Marrakech to ERG Chigaga desert tour, which can be tailored into 5 days on request. This package is only for serious tourists who want to admire the silence of the desert.

When planning your trip to Zagora, be sure to include a stop at Amezrou village to see the historic Jewish quarters made of mud bricks. Additionally, if you enjoy spending time in the shade of trees, you will find many private and public gardens filled with palm trees. If you’re wondering what there is to do in the Zagora desert, there are actually quite a few activities, including camping, quad biking, and camel riding. One of the best attractions in the area is the Draa River, which at 1200 kilometers is considered the longest river in Morocco. In the summertime, you can enjoy swimming in the river with your kids or spend an evening in the Draa valley. When you book a tour with Marrakech Desert Trips, we provide a drive along Draa Valley with its fortified villages, palm trees, dotted rivers, and oases. You will also get to visit the Berber village of Ait Ben Hadou and see its famous world heritage Kasbah If you’re a nature lover, we recommend camping in Zagora as it is a truly unique experience. The night sky in the Zagora desert is incredibly bright and clear. You’ll be able to see thousands of stars while camping out in the desert. Be sure to tell your guide that you want to stop at an oasis on the way back so you can take some photos and make your friends jealous! There are plenty of oasis throughout the desert, so you won’t have any trouble finding one.

WILDLIFE IN ZAGORA DESERT

Zagora is home to a diverse array of wildlife and plants, including silver ants, which are only active for 10 minutes a day. In those 10 minutes, they have to find their food or they will die. Another notorious animal of Zagora is the black scorpion, which can be found in wall cracks and under rocks or stones. So be very careful in those places. However, our Zagora desert camp uses serious precautions to keep them out of their premises! Other animals you can find in Zagora include monitor lizards, and hyraxes. Many kinds of lizards call the Sahara Desert home, but monitor lizards hibernate from September to April. You can also find a variety of birds in Zagora, like black finches, ostriches, and silver bills. These birds are highly adaptive to the harsh conditions of the Sahara Desert. The silver bills and black finches, in particular, can get all the water they need from grass and eat seeds from different plants and shrubs.

PLANTS IN ZAGORA DESERT

Zagora is home to many different plants and trees. Besides date palm trees widely available in Draa Valley oases, you can find Bronze trees n the harsh conditions of Zagora. You will also be able to find a desert Christmas cactus tree that can grow up to 3 feet and produce little red barriers that taste resembles strawberries. Another edible plant is Yucca, which has spiky leaves and can be eaten by peeling the outer layer of the leave. They can be eaten raw, but it is recommended that you should boil the leaves before eating Yucca. In conclusion, the wildlife and plants in Zagora and Merzouga are nearly the same because both are a part of the Sahara Desert.

In conclusion, the wildlife, and plants in Zagora and Merzouga are nearly the same because both are a part of the Sahara Desert.

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD YOU SPARE FOR THE SAHARA DESERT TRIP?

If you’re wondering how many days you should spend in Morocco Sahara Desert to truly enjoy it, we recommend a minimum of three days. You simply can’t see all the amazing landscapes the Sahara has to offer in just one day. So whether you’re visiting Merzouga or Zagora, and no matter whether you are traveling from Marrakech or Fes, be prepared for a lot of driving – at least 20 hours if you’re coming from Marrakech or Fes.

While it is possible to do an overnight trip to the Sahara Desert from Marrakech or Fes, we think you’ll get much more out of your experience if you book a 3-day tour. That way, you won’t miss out on desert camping, which is one of the best desert experiences! Check out our 3-Day Fes to Marrakech desert tour. You’ll explore the Middle Atlas mountains, the ski resort of Ifran, the Cedar Forests, Skoura Oasis, a Sunset camel ride in Erg Chebbi, Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, and so much more.

If you are staying in Marrakech and don’t have time to drive all the way to Merzouga, Zagora, or Erg Chigaga, your best option is to take a day trip to Agafay desert. Although it’s not as wild as Erg Chebbi, it will introduce you to the wild desert landscapes that the surroundings of Marrakech have to offer.

Finally, we have the best deals for those who have time and want to Explore the Sahara Desert to its fullest, then join our 4 days desert tour from Marrakech. Atlas Mountains, Draa Valley dotted with the date palm, riding a camel in Erg Chebbi, Star Gazing under your Desert camp, and more.

ADVANCE BOOKINGS

In our opinion, Marrakech and Fes are the best gateways to the Sahara Desert. There are many tourist companies that offer their services, but it can be difficult to know what you’re getting when you book a tour. That’s why it’s important to book your desert tour in advance with a reliable and licensed company with transparent booking conditions and a physical address. Marrakech Desert Trips is a licensed and fully bonded Moroccan travel company under the Moroccan tourism authority license number: 46P/17.

WHAT IS BEST? DIY OR GUIDED MOROCCO DESERT TRIP?

If you’re considering a DIY trip to the Sahara Desert, there are a few things you should know. While it’s entirely possible to arrange your own transportation and activities once you arrive, there are many advantages to booking a tour. Here are just a few reasons why joining a Morocco Sahara Desert tour is the best way to experience all that this amazing place has to offer:

1- 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;

2- There is less chance of getting lost;

3- On a guided desert Morocco tour, your guide will know all the best places to stop for those amazing photographs;

4- You will have fewer issues with any language barriers;

5- You can be reasonably certain of your safety;

6- Finally, you have more chances of the entire desert trip going as planned.

WHAT TYPE OF DESERT TOUR DO YOU WANT TO BOOK?

Before booking a Morocco desert trip, be sure to ask your tour company a few key questions. This will help you to determine if they are the right company for you. Here are some of the questions you should ask:

  • What is included in the price? Make sure you know exactly what is and is not included in the tour cost. This way, there won’t be any surprises later on.
  • Do they operate in Summers? Many tour companies do not provide their service in summer, so you should ask them whether they offer trips during that time of year. This is especially important if you intend to visit Sahara in Summer.
  • Do they provide a Shared or Group desert tour in addition to a private trip?
  • How many people are allowed in each group? It’s important to know your options and what kind of experience you’re looking for.
  • What is the cost of the meals you should pay on average? Because Lunches are not included in the trip. You have to pay for it separately. Knowing how much you’ll need to budget for meals will help you to better plan for your overall expenses.
  • Do they provide the desert camp in Sahara? Do they provide luxury Desert Camp?
  • Do they provide a First Aid Kit in case of Emergency?
  • Do they have an English-speaking guide?

The term “Budget Sahara Tours” has become popular on Google, but many customers are unhappy with the results they find. There are three classes of tours: budget, mid-range, and luxury. Budget tours typically include transportation in large vans transporting up to 20 guests, a camel trek through the Sahara Desert that lasts for up to 60 minutes, overnight stays in ordinary hotels and a stay in a basic desert camp with shared toilets and showers available at the camp operator’s lodge the following morning. Sleeping arrangements are very basic.

We’re not saying that budget tours are always a bad choice. Some people prefer a more robust experience during travel, and that’s great. But we want to make sure you know what to expect in terms of price. You can’t expect a luxury tour at a cheap price. In the mid-range, desert camping lies somewhere in between low-range and luxury. You’ll get more than you would on a budget tour, but less than you would on a luxury tour. The best way to find out what mid-range is all about is to compare the things offered on low and high-range tours. Mid-range is simply the middle ground.

If you can afford it, a luxury tour is definitely the way to go. You’ll feel like royalty on a luxury desert tour, with all the best amenities and comforts money can buy. From delicious meals to private sitting areas and heated tents, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your time in the Sahara. And if you really want to splurge, you can upgrade your deluxe camp to an ensuite tent for just €70 per person during your private Marrakech to Fes desert tours. So why not treat yourself to the best of the best on your next vacation? You deserve it!

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE SAHARA DESERT?

The best times to visit the Sahara Desert are the months of May and October when temperatures are milder. You’ll be able to enjoy all the desert has to offer without putting your health at risk. During the winter (December and January), freezing temperatures that are hard to sleep through is often recorded, while sandstorms are alarmingly frequent between January and May. The worst time to visit the Sahara is, of course, the summer (June to September), when temperatures reach dangerous heights and the heat is almost physically unbearable.

WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR SAHARA DESERT TOUR?

Our comprehensive guide on what to pack for your Sahara Desert tour will ensure you’re prepared for your Morocco desert tour. We’ve identified 20 essential items you’ll need, so be sure to check it out before packing. Remember, less is more when packing for a desert trip. Only pack the essentials and ask yourself the following questions before adding anything to your suitcase.

What kind of Sleeping arrangements is provided by your tour operator? Because if you book a luxury tour, you should not worry about Blankets or comforters. Also, if you book a budget tour, bringing other things like thermal sleeping clothes can help you.

Food is the most important thing to consider; ask your tour operator about what kind of meals you will have on your trip. So, you can pack snacks and food beforehand.

Ask them if there is a private bathroom facility available because you have to use public baths in the Budget tour and that you have to pack your clothes and toiletries accordingly. Also, bringing a solar shower and a dry towel is a good option if you book a budget tour.

If you are visiting the SAHARA DESERT in winter, then Gloves, Jackets, wool socks, and mufflers would be the excellent option. However, contrary to in winter, if you see the Sahara desert in summer, we recommend Pack Shorts, lots of water, sunscreen to protect your skin, and a Portable mini fan.

Finally, it would help if you were prepared for a budget tour because you will not be given any shower condiments and toiletries. We recommend packing a primary first aid kit, Hand Sanitizers, and wet napkins, which are a must after this Covid 19 pandemic. Fever cooling gel also helps you could catch a fever due to desert conditions. Sperate pairs of Sandals and Blankets are also a good option to pack because they do not wash the blankets quite often, so it is better to bring your Blankets.

CAN YOU BRING KIDS TO THE SAHARA DESERT?

Many parents ask us whether they can bring their Kids to the Sahara Desert. And we tell them it is entirely safe to get your kids in the Sahara Desert and let them expose them to the Landscape of the Desert. They will learn a lot in the desert and hopefully enjoy it too.

But All parents know the nature of their Kids very well. So before bringing them to Sahara, you should consider the following things:

  • Can your Kid/kids do lots of traveling? Are they accustomed to it or not? Because you have to drive a lot to reach Sahara. If not, order a private tour in which you have to drive far less, and you can get to Sahara quickly.
  • Can your kid ride the camel alone and even enjoy camel riding? Camel riding is the best part of the Sahara, and if they do not like it, they will miss a massive thing in Sahara.

Consider bringing some books and Ipad on your Sahara Trip because children often feel bored in Desert Camp. In addition, they do not show interest in Stargazing, so it is better to bring some stuff to keep them busy.

Finally, you will be served some good traditional Moroccan food in your desert camp. So, if your kid does not like Moroccan food, bring another reasonable alternative.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OUR SAHARA DESERT TOUR?

Throughout this article, we explained what you can expect from your Sahara Desert tour now; let’s talk about what you will get when you partner with us. First, we do not make false promises. In our product pages, we wrote down what you will expect from our Sahara Desert tour. See Marrakech to Fes desert tour for 4 days. But still, we try to explain what you can expect in your 4-day journey to the Sahara Desert from Marrakech to Fes.
Our Marrakech to Fes Morocco Desert Trip will depart from your hotel or riad at 07h30 AM to Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou through Tizi Ntichka pass and the high Atlas Mountains. The architecture of Ait Benhaddou is out of this world. Ait Benhaddou is a ksar declared as a World Heritage by UNESCO. The houses are protected within the protected walls. After that, we will rest in Ouarzazate for lunchJourneyen continue our journey to the beautiful oasis of Morocco named Oasis of Skoura. Next, we will stop at the Amridil. It is the best-preserved Kasbah of Morocco, which you should see. Finally, bypassing the valley of roses, we will reach Kalaat M’Gouna. From Kalaat, there is only a 50 min drive to Dades Valley, Rest and have some delicious dinner to prepare yourself for the next day.

Next morning, we will commence our trip to Tinghir oasis and see the beautiful landscapes. Tinghir is famous for its greenery and door to Todra Gorge. Tinghir oasis has some excellent tracking paths, and you will know more about the Agriculture land of this area. After some rest and lunch, we will continue ours to Rissani City, which is the last city before the Merzouga desert. Rissani was where the Alawite dynasty started, and they continue to this day as the current royal Moroccan family. You would see beautiful specimens of the early Moroccan era. The founder of the Alawite dynasty, sharif ibn Ali, is also buried there. Rissani is also known for its leather products. They produce some best quality leather from animal skins (Typically goat skins). The city’s entrance is known as Bab, and several town gates are beautifully decorated with colors and lights.

By Mid-afternoon, we will reach Merzouga, where the camel caravan will be waiting for you. First, you ride camels over Erg Chebbi dunes and enjoy the stunning sunset view. Let us tell you beforehand that Sunset Camel Ride is the best experience on your desert trip. After Camel Riding, you will return to your Sahara Desert Camp, where you will enjoy dinner under the stars and listen to Nomads’ stories. They will also play drums and guitars to make your night memorable. Your tent would be private with a shared Bathroom. Showers are available in the operator’s lodge, and dinner and breakfast will also be provided. If you wish to upgrade your tent to a luxury tent, it would cost you €70 per person.

On the 3rd and last day after breakfast, which would be served in the operator’s lodge, if you are signed up for luxury camp, the shower and breakfast are available at your tent. After seeing the beautiful sunrise and breakfast, you will drive to Fes crossing the Ziz Valley through Errachidia, the capital of the Tafilalt region. The first stop would be Midelt, where we had lunch in the center of High Atlas mountain. Speaking of High Atlas, let us discuss some facts about High Atlas. The Atlas Mountains have the highest peak in Morocco and second in Africa after Kilimanjaro. The highest peak of Atlas is Toubkal, which is around 4600 meters. When you Enter the High Atlas area, you will be amazed to see the place’s landscapes and greenery. You will see plenty of Berber villages and their tiny stoned houses. The best part for most first-timers is the Call to prayer in that region. The beauty of the Call to prayers from the speakers of the Mosques and the smoke from the chimneys make the beauty of the Atlas Mountains eternal.

The driver will stop at the best places where you can take plenty of pictures with Barbary apes. Finally, in the late afternoon, you will be dropped off at your hotel at Fes.

CONCLUSION

Sahara Desert tour is the tour of a lifetime that you will never forget, and the planning of the trip, which is so essential, is a must. Plan your trip according to your time, cost, and resources, and you should know ahead of what you will get from the money you spend. By reading this whole article, you may ask yourself why to Choose us for your Sahara desert trip; However, we briefly explain this above, but let us tell you that you may find hundreds of tour operators and Agents online, but they will not give you the equal value of money. You can go to a discussion forum like TripAdvisor. You will find more bad reviews than a good one. This dissatisfaction is simple “You Will Not Get what they Promise to Deliver.” The tour companies usually give you non-English and rough guides and charge $1000/night for your luxury Camp. Therefore, it is essential to read reviews before booking your Sahara Desert trip.

Another important thing is the days. Many travel companies promise to take you to Sahara in 2 Days. Still, they take you to Zagora desert, which is part of the Sahara desert but to enjoy the trip to the Sahara Desert; you have to book a 3 Day desert tour and a trip to Merzouga, which is the door to the Sahara Desert. You cannot see Sahara in less than three days. Also, if you are a true dessert lover, we can make it up to 4 days if you want. Finally, one of the essential things is your trip starting and finishing points. Most companies started their tour from Marrakech but did not end up in Fes. That is why we have a tour which begins from Marrakech, and the final destination of our trip is Fes. Also, we provide a 4-day Fes to Marrakech desert tour to save you time and effort in finding the relevant tour. Now we do not just offer Trips to Merzouga or Fes. We provide a wide range of Tours in Morocco, along with activities like Quad Biking and Camel riding as we have said earlier, the Sahara Desert trip would be the trip of your lifetime, and you should plan and book your tour wisely. See and compare the packages wisely and ask your tour operator beforehand what you will get at your pay price.

When we say we are the top reviewed Morocco tour Agency, we are not just saying it out of the blue, but we have proof. Just see our Excellent reviews on the world’s largest Travel platform TripAdvisor. Moreover, if you want to come with a friend or even alone, we have a wide range of desert trips designed just for you; see the list of our shared Marrakech desert tours to know more.