La Perle du Draa
Hay Amzrou, Zagora, 45900, Morocco
More about Zagora
Ana on the dunes at dusk
Berber and his camel, Zagora
'Bedroom' in our bedouin bivouac
close up of bundles of wheat and local house
where to go to 3 nights camel safari off the beaten track
hi, we want to do a 2-3 night / 3-4 day max trip by camel over new years eve! not counting the travel from / to marrakesch.
important is: the fewer other camel safaris, 4wd, other western zivilisation around, the better. we are looking for The Nature Experience!
we planned to go to erg lehoudi starting from zagora, but now read there might be a "rubbish in the dunes problem". is iriki oasis an option? any other ideas? experiences with tour operators? thank you very much. your desert tortoise.
Re: where to go to 3 nights camel safari off the beaten track
For me I would recommend doing a trip like that in the Merzouga dunes - the largest dunes are there - but both areas do not really have what you are worrying about 'other camel safaris' and western civilisation to be much bother - they are big areas and in all the 7 years Ive been going there Ive so many times been the only foreigner wherever Ive been - or maybe Ive seen a couple of others or here and there a group on a bunch of camels - and Ive camped out there too a lot ot times - and also in that sort of time frame while you are out for 3 days youd probably be lucky to see another westerner - and actually where in the world can you guarantee that you wont
- but the fact that getting to Merzougas dunes is so much easier and you can drive straight to the dunes where you can get on your camels and set off is a major advantage - going from Zagora is miles from the desert ie an hour and half by car to get to the end of the road at Mhamid and where erg Lehoudi which is a little desert area nearby that tourists go to camp overnight or do a short camel trip when they dont have time or budget to go the 40 km from Mhamid to the nearest dunes of Erg Chigaga.
If you have a look at my hotel tip for Riad Aicha on my Merzouga page, and its also in my Morocco page, I would recommend them to investigate and do a trip with - they do good value camel trips and will do you a good price and good itinerary for that length of time - you will be able to see/go past bedouins who still live out way out in the desert and to oases and where its really beautiful out there.
Also do a google to look up a desert music festival thats usually on at new year down there in the Merzouga desert which you might like to go to if the dates are right.
For the Zagora/Erg Chigaga area if you look at my tip on Riad Malal in my Zagora page they have a good agency and are excellent people and would look after you wonderfully if you wanted to do a camel trip out from Zagora or from Mhamid.
Travel Tips for Zagora
Deciding on dunes of Mhamid/Zagora or Merzouga
Ive got some pages of my visits around the area - the road to Mhamid is fine by normal car - BUT if you want to go into the desert you will need a 4x4 from there - there are agencies with 4x4s to take you into the full on sahara desert of Erg Chigaga or some that just take you into the nearby sandy hamada desert with some small dunes - you will find here in my Zagora travel page that the excellent agency at Riad Malal being one highly recommended.
From numerous visits Ive had the best dunes I would recommend to spend time and soak up the beauty are not at Mhamid but at Merzouga! which i also have a few tips of in my Merzouga and Rissani travel pages - you dont have to do camel trips as you can walk out into the dunes yourself but camel trips can be quite an exciting part of a visit to the sahara!
There is a big advantage of choosing Merzouga to head for to see sahara desert and dunes s - there are a number of auberges that are built right next to the big dunes of Erg Chebbi - the biggest ones in Morocco are at Merzouga - and you can drive right to the auberges on the verge of those dunes despite what local touts will say.
There is a bitumen road all the way to Rissani which is the nearest major town and bitumen ffrom there to Merzouga with piste/gravel/sandy roads signposted to the various auberges off the bitumen road.
1st choice is - Dunes D'or ( definitely NOT Sable D'or)
Auberge du Sud (though they ripped me off a bit)
Erg Chebbi Auberge
Not the Lahmada either. ripped me off. and many reports of others being ripped off also
but theres quite a number of auberges in the desert - spread out over a wide area - so often you will find you might be the only guests during quiet times!...nice and private!...a number of new auberges have been built since the floods in 2005 when 13 auberges were destroyed around the area
but have a look through my pages - you would enjoy the lovely drive down the Draa Valley to Mhamid and stay at the hotel Ive recommmended Riad Malal - some great walking and relaxing around there. they can do a great trip to the dunes of Chigaga if you wanted which is 45 km into the desert from Mhamid 4x4.
or the drive along the Dades Valley from Marrakech to Rissani and Merzouga is also loaded with lovely sights and mustsees - that you can relax at along the way - see my tips on Telouet, Ouarzazate, Dades Gorge, Msemrir, Tamtatouche, Rissani.
but if you only have 2 to 3 days thats really not long enough to do it as a soakd up the beauty for a couple of days! it takes a couple of days to get there and back - depending which direction you are coming from. Id say please try and stay longer! April is such a nice month.
all the best.
Here is where all the roads end, that's what they say. After this point, the Sahara begins, you can only go forward in 4x4 or camel!! There are nice landscapes, dunes endless seas... It's aprox 50 kms from Zagora, if you leave at 14:00 you can make an afternoon trip and come back before the sun sets (don't drive by night there!).
Take as less as you can
Just take a little bag so that it's not to heavy for the dromedary.
-Don't forget to take some water.
-A "cheich" can be very useful too in the desert : it protects against the sun, the wind, the cold ...
-Warm clothes for the night.
-A sleeping bag if you have one (otherwise, you'll have warm blankets anyway).
-Toilet paper can also be useful but it's better not to leave the paper in the sand but to take it back with you to throw it away later.
Climb a dune
One of my dearest memories of Zagora was climbing the dunes with bare feet... and going down fast as hell after that!!! Wow... the bad thing is that you descend in 10 seconds what took you 1o minutes to climb :-(
Riding with a dromedary!
It is very funny! Except if you have a fragile bottom! In fact, it depends of the comfort of the seat : if there is enough blankets on the seat, then it can be very comfortable! It depends also if the dromedary walks on the stones or on the sand. In Zagora, the departure is on the stone, so hold on!!!!
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La Perle du Draa
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- La Perle Du Draa Zagora
Address: Hay Amzrou, Zagora, 45900, Morocco