everythings in merzouga are so special;nothing should be missed;the great highest sand dunes;the salt lake;the tour behind all the erg chebbi dunes;an overnight by camels in desert;meeting nice and kind people;watching stars;relaxing and sleeping on the roof of hotels;drinking a cup of a menth thé with nomads;sleep under a berber tent........walking over the dunes and sharing the time with berbers......as i would highly recommend you a nice special person about camel treks;had a great english web site;his name is omar;his web site is:www.whitecamel.com.may contact him you will be warmly receveid.how you contact him?his e_mail adress is:email@example.com. his cell number is:0021268652285. orgonised as well tours by landrovers around merzouga;the offroads are so amasing.hotels over there orgonised treks as well by camels but omar will be in particular.
We rode a camel for two hours into the desert and waited for the sun to come down while our "camel man" cooked us the best tagine we ate in Morroco! "Camel man" woke us up by clapping his hands at 5am so we could go see the sun rise up on the sand dunes. That was the best moment of our entire trip! It's a MUST for anyone going to Morroco!
Taking a sunset ride on a camel is a must. It feels very touristy, but hey, that's what we are. The cost is extra and can be negotiated. Remember hang on when the beast stands up!! After that just hang on and enjoy the sights. Once out in the dunes we were shown fossils by our guide - buy or don't buy, regardless you come back.
Our guide Ali took us to a Gnawa village where we were entertained by a group of their local their musicians. The culture and history iof the Gnawa is fascinating - a great web site is http://www.ibiblio.org/gnawastories/ if anyone is interested.
In Le Touareg Hotel you will find this nice versatile berber guy, Hassn Kabul, who knows english, italian, spanish, French, very funny and gentle, who will guide you in the desert or in the village, in shops, on the lake and moreover in nearby villages inhabitated by descendants from black slave who will sing and play Gnaoui music. He will also organise transposrtation from Fes or Marrakesh. He even has a site, in spanish: http://www.rutabereber.es.gd/
If you're in the dunes it just ain't an option - gotta try it at least once. Truthfully it was quite comfortable. The tent we stayed in had it's fair share of holes, but it's the desert, not a lot of rain. It was a tad cold but managable, but it this becomes a problem most hotels offer rooms to escape to or gas heaters to take the edge off .
After lunch at Todra Gorge we found that we were a bit behind time. So it became a race to Erfoud to collect our guide and navigate the 50km of barren, flat dirt landscape to Merzouga before dark. As we left Erfoud the orange dunes could be seen towering on the horizon, but the sun was setting.
We eventually made it to Merzouga at dusk. The town consisted of a few hotels scattered at the edge of the dunes. This is where we swapped our car for camels with omar! Luckily there was full moon so the sky was bright with the moon shine. All we took with us was a small backpack of things, basically only water and warm clothing or a sleeping bag if you had it. The camels laden with passengers trooped up into the dunes and took us into the heart of the little desert. The moon created huge long camel shadows on the sand as we walked.
The dunes were great to explore at night, however I could see there was a huge potential of getting lost/disorientated. The toilet??? Well that was anywhere you could go and not be spied on. A quick wander also showed that we were right next to a nomad tent and their hens, goats and loads of rubbish laying around - however that was how they existed.
A fire kept us warm, as did freshly prepared tajine (vegetarian tajine). After a bit of story telling and drum playing most people headed to their mattress to sleep. Apart from one snorer and the full moon shining through the weave of the tent, we slept well.
Brett, Vanessa and Jamie were all up and wandering around in their Jellabas at first light, like true Moroccans. In fact they looked like little wizards wandering around over the dunes. Despite the offer from the nomads to join them for a cup of tea we headed back to our campsite and made our way by camel back to the hotel. The boys all complained about the difficulty of finding a comfortable position on the camel.
Try to visit village Khamlia.
There is a Berber group “Groupe Des Bambaras” They are playing wonderful Gnaoua music.
I met this people at Essaouira’s gnaoua festival they are grate.
There is a web page that you can take an idea and contact theme.
Alternative can be arraigned from camping “Les Piramides” or “Nomad Palace, Chez Ali Mouni aouberge
Is only 3 km just to west of the village. It is a salt lake attract big number of pink Flamingos, water level was good enough time I was there- June- but is not always.
Early spring time is better to visit. Ask the locals anyway…
Well the road is like this...
See the tavelogue for more photos
To travel by camel into the sand dunes and stay overnight in a Berber tent is very special. The dunes are amazing, continually changing colour and shape. When we arrived at the tent a hot meal was prepared for us. There were 'sun loungers' outside where we sat and ate at the table.
The night was quite chilly (it was February/March when we went) but there were dozens of thick heavy blankets available and we were warm as toast.
The sky at night in the desert is just unbelievable, did not know there were so many stars out there.
Though you may look a little touristy on your camel with a backpack, camera, and funny looking headwear, it's worth finding someone who is willing to take you for a trek into the dunes on a camel. You will not, I repeat, will not, stand a chance to get to Merzouga and have not already met someone or know someone that will take you on a trek. This is the only thing people out here do, so just go, you'll be taken care of.
All the village is surounded by incredible green oasis where local people plant all they need on their daily life. From tomatos to carrots, onions, fresh mint and water melons... You can give it a try and inspect this better.
Merzouga is a genuine flea-bitten two camel town. The dunes are just breathtaking, but the only other thing you can do there is practise having the crap hassled out of you.
Go there and get yourself into the desert ASAP without lingering in Merzouga.
You think you are in the middle of nowhere, everything is flat around you and suddenly you see huge dunes of the colour of gold. They look as if they were artificial ! It's unbelievable what nature can do.
We are often asked about camel treks in the Erg Chebbi dunes from the village of Mersouga. One night in the desert is enough for some, while others dream of being part of a caravan and going on a journey. Whatever your dream, we can arrange it. Treks include all meals, desert bivouac with mattresses and bedding, camels!, and guide.
**3Days trip :
Day 01: Transfer to World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou backdrop for more than 20 films, crossing the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass of the High Atlas mountains. You will pass through many Berber villages, and once in the desert, riverside oasis and barren hillsides are clustered with Kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house many families and their livestock). Transport to Valley of the Roses, Moroccan dinner and evening at a typical small hotel with beautiful views of the Dades valley, valley of a thousand kasbahs. Overnight in Dades.
Day 02: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer from the Dades Valley to Todra Gorge: a massive fault dividing the High Atlas mountains, rising to 300 m in a narrow valley with palmeries and Berber villages. After lunch you will transport further into the desert to the tiny village of Mersouga, where you will overnight camel trek into the beautiful Erg Chebbi dunes - the highest in Morocco. One and a half hour camel ride at sunset to a Berber dinner and sleep under the stars or in tents at a desert camp.
Day 03: Views of sunrise in the desert by camel and return to Merzouga. Depart for evening arrival in Marrakech over the High Atlas Mountains.
This trip can be extended by one day to include a visit to Zagora, the gateway city to Sahara, overnight camel bivouac, and 4x4 through the Saghro mountains to Mersouga.