Hotel Chez le Pacha
Route de Mhamid, M'hamid el Ghizlane, Zagora, 45400, Morocco
More about Zagora
Camel riding in the sunset, Zagora
Camels at dusk
wheat drying around the ksar
Travel Tips for Zagora
The ultimate "end of the road" feeling
Explore Zagora and beyond...
Once in Zagora, you're still not at the end of the road. You can travel by road as far as the village of M'Hamid. Here, the road ends and locals will even offer to drive your car a bit further into the desert for a small amount of dirhams. It's a good thing to do, because when you drive yourself you will get stuck in the sand inevitably. Ask around in Hotel Sahara.
Should you own a camel, then it's a good thing to know that Tomboctou is only 52 days away from here....
Probably the most popular drink in Morocco. It was introduced in the 19th century by the british (who else?). Here they use the Green Tea (Gunpowder) with mint leaves and sugar.
It is not only a drink (better than water for the thirsty moments) but a tradition and a ceremony (they prepare it pouring it from one glass to another). If you are offered tea, it's considered unpolite to say NO, so you better get used to it.
You are even supossed to accept 3 glasses of tea at least, the 4th you can refuse... They say the 1st one is full of sugar as life, the 2nd sweet as love and the 3rd bitter as death!!
Tamegroute, 18 KM south of Zagora, is an important religious centre for the area. In the centre of Tamegroute is a famous library. For a free donation visitors can visit the library in the morning and late afternoon.
In the library you can see illustrated religious texts, astrological works and dictionaries. The oldest works are from the 13th century. It's amazing to find such a cultural richness in this remote and off the beaten path town at the edge of the desert.
After our visit we had to wait for the passing of the king. We saw a lot of fast driving cars and limousines, waving people, but no king.
And than suddenly we were allowed to drive back to Zagora, also very fast together with those large cars. So we did in our 3 landrovers, to keep ahead of the king.
A camel trek into the desert 3
Just before the halfway mark, one of our party had had enough and decided to walk, so her camel was instructed to sit, this was followed by my camel also sitting - GREAT! a break!!! er no, for some reason my driver had decided I was going to walk as well - so although it was a relief to stretch my legs and regain some circulation, it was a bit hard going at times walking first on the dried river bed, where the mud had formed shell like crusts (a bit like walking on crisp meringues!), then onto soft sand.
At the halfway mark, everyone dismounted for a short break, then we continued for another hour- me allowed back onto my camel.
In the distance I could see black dots, which became tents as we neared the dunes.
Soon we were nearing our destination.
Overnight in a tent.
I'm not afraid to admit it; I hate-hate-hate camping - dirt, bugs, hard ground... ehh.
That being said, this is a must-do thing. Not so much cos it's an amazing experience (it is), but because you don't have any choice - it's part of the "riding the camels" thing.
Our guides were real cool & well organized. The tents are already out there, set up with cushions & blankets all around. They made us dinner (very nice) and we sat around talking, they tried to sing some traditional songs but couldn't remember how they went - I taught 'em the back-up parts and did "Walk On The Wild Side" (told 'em it was a traditional song where I come from), they loved it (good thing they didn't know what it was about).
Didn't actually sleep, although, if you don't hate camping you'll probably find it quite comfortable. Breathed in a fair amount of sand - found out (at breakfast) that the faster you eat, the less sand you'll digest. Speaking of sand, that scarf you wear over your face/head; it's called a "shesh" and it's not an option! You can get a cheap one in town for about 30 dihram & they'll teach you how to make a turban (good for souvenir).
We only went overnight, apparently you can go for as long as you want - weeks, months (?) you might never come back.
Popular Hotels in Zagora
Douar Ksar Bounou - BP. 35, M'hamid El Guezlane, Zagora