Although there are definitely some places where you can see the typical "Sahara-sanddunes" in Western Sahara, the biggest part is covered with so called "hamada" or "camel-grass". The 200 kilometres between Tarfaya and Laayoune is a spectacular area with a little bit of all landscapes, and more.
The area's with "hamada" are very dry area's. These area's cover about 70% of the total Sahara and the biggest one in the world is situated in the north of Western Sahara, and parts of Morocco and Algeria. What you see here is very little sand, and lots of rocks, dust, few plants and spectacular valleys and cliffs.
There also are some area's with the so called "camel-grass": one of the toughest surfaces during the Dakar Rally. As you would expect: this is a type of grass that is loved by camels. The roots go deep into the ground and the grass can reach a height of over a metres. These places are more humid, and here you can actually see some flowers in the desert. And of course: these are the places where you can find the camels!
In the capital of Western Sahara, Laayoune, you will find lots of interesting wallpaintings. Paintings there are not only a welcome change of colour between the same orange/pinkish colour that covers the whole city. Sometimes the paintings are also historically very interesting.
In some places in the city you will just find some nice paintings to decorate the streetscene: colour landscapes in which the beauty of the Sahrawi-landscape clearly stands out. But if you pay good attention you can also find the interesting wallpainting about the Green March (close to Place Mechouar) the mass-demonstration organised by Morocco in 1975 to force Spain to give up their colony. This was the beginning of the end of the Spanish colonisation, and the beginning of the Moroccan occupation.
And throughout the city you'll also find some nice, old remainings from the time before this Green March: Spanish texts on the walls like "Ciudad Bajo" (downtown) and "Se copian claves" (key copying) remind of the Spanish era here.
This is an unique museum containing many tanks, bazookas, mines, and parts of airplanes captured to the Moroccan invaders. Entrance is free.
It is located in the encampment of Rabuni, not far from Argelian town of Tindouf.
On the way to Ourzazate the coach full of intrepid explorers went through the Atlas mountains. The driver was a psycho who drove like Stirling Moss inches away from sheer drops, hundreds of feet below.
Somehow we survived and passed a tiny hamlet called Col-du-Tichka (altitude 2260). There was a souvenir shop and a cafe as well.
Being in the Sahara desert is fairly off the beaten path already, but to get a taste of the life of the indigenous population, just befriend them, offer them something, and share a tea with them if they invite you to their encampment.
These fellows in the picture were part of the entourage who cooked and set up the 'tents' which would meet us at the end of each running day.
They were especially good at putting on the shamaghs on one's head which, when doused with water, become a perfect antidote to sunstroke.
Public Bath House.
Women : 08:00 - 12:00 pm
Men : 13:00 - 18:00 pm
The public bath house usually crowded with Saharawic from deferent Khemah (Tent).
The bath house that I went was divided into 3 parts.
1 Sec : Changing Room - the place where you can hang all you shirts, pants and tower
on the strings, be sure that It is visuable from the bath room. Otherwise, It may be taken
easily by somebody else.
2 Sec : Cold Water Fountain - the place where you can have cold bath; or where Saharawic
clean their body with a stone; brush away the dirt and the dust.
3 Sec : looks more like a sauna, or steam bath house. Lay down on the floor and let your
body sweat so that you can easily brush away the dirt from your body. I managed to chat
with one sharawic adn he told me that usually they only take a shower / bath every 3 to 4
Small butcher shop with freash meat. This place is located 100km from the Mauritanian border of Bin Morgein. This is the last petrol station existing before the border with Mauritania.
Its difficult to know exactly where you are going in a landscape with few natural markers. If navigating in the real desert at least take a map and compass, better still take a GPS console.