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Complete guide for Camping in Merzouga Sahara Desert

The Merzouga Desert, famous for the Erg Chebbi Dunes, is a stunning and captivating desert located in southeastern Morocco, North Africa. Renowned for its towering sand dunes, golden landscapes, and awe-inspiring sunsets, the Merzouga Desert is a destination that captures the imagination of travelers seeking an unforgettable desert experience.

Information about Camping in Merzouga Sahara Desert 

What to Do and See in the Merzouga Desert

Morocco is a land of a thousand and one wonders. Many inns will welcome you and offer you to taste the delicious dishes typical of this country. You can also listen to good music and immerse yourself in a sensual rhythm. A unique experience is an overnight stay under a khaima, a traditional tent, and one or more quiet nights in the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Early in the morning, you will have the opportunity to admire the magnificent sunrise, especially famous in Merzoug. In the evening, a night under the stars will plunge you into an amazing sleep.

Experience a desert camp in Merzouga

Become a time of desert adventurers for a moment. There are numerous alternatives to attractions or activities to have fun. In various deserts such as Merzouga, you will find tourism professionals who organize walks with activities to discover. Christmas Eve 2023/2024, bivouac, bonfire, night in Berber shops, sand bread baked in sand… Everything is prepared in an authentic atmosphere for the original New Year’s Eve.

Everywhere in Merzouga, you can choose between dromedary or 4×4 routes to discover the beautiful scenery of the Moroccan Sahara. For open evenings, the organizers usually provide tents for rent, which is an excellent option for couples.

In Morocco, holidays at the end of the year are characterized by different conditions, according to the wishes of all. Of course, you can experience a luxurious experience in larger hotels or experience a much more authentic outdoor experience as nomads to plunge into this fascinating universe.

Merzouga is a universal destination

During the holidays of the end of the year, Morocco offers the best direction for everyone. The country is full of places to open, suitable for events with friends, couples or family. Enjoy intimate and relaxing moments at the desert gate of Merzouga is one of the popular destinations on New Year’s Eve.

To better prepare for your trip to Merzouga and Morocco, Relaxing Desert Camp shares with you this complete guide. Thanks to this dossier, you will not miss anything to see in Merzouga and its region, Tafilalet.

If you do not plan to stay alone in Merzouga during your stay, Africa has thought about everything and offers you a dossier on Morocco with a lot of practical information to prepare for your trip to Morocco. Kitchen, culture, and landscapes that you should not miss, In short, an indispensable guide that you should read before your desert holiday!

Large dunes of Merzouga or Erg Chebbi

You can’t visit the Sahara of Morocco without noticing a big dune, also called Erg Chebbi. Among all the dunes in Morocco, the large Merzouga dune is one of the main ones, the Erg Chebbi dune is a must-see for those who love desert. From a height of almost 160 meters, its rise is difficult, but the rise to the top guarantees an incredible experience.

Erg (also called Edeyen, Ramla, Nefoud o,r Koum) is a desert with hard dunes. There are two in the Kingdom of Morocco, Erg Chegaga and Erg Chebbi, which are 5 km wide and more than 20 km long!

You will be surprised by the panorama of the entire region, the village, and the lake in front of you. We recommend climbing the dunes at the end of the day, when the temperature is tolerable, to enjoy the magical spectacle of sunset on the lake.

If the dune seems too light to leave, you can consider skiing or paragliding!

Story of Erg Chebbi and Merzouga

The oral legend of the region wants the dunes of Erg Chebbi to be shaped by God himself. At first, it would be a punishment for wealthy families who then refused to welcome the poor woman and her son to the party.

Legend has it that wealthy families wash their hands with milk and play with couscous. These families, like the village of Merzouga, were buried by sandy winds and gave way to these dunes.

Merzouga is an international filming studio: Lawrence of Arabia…

Merzouga dunes are the perfect place for a movie theater. Erg was used as a set for scenes such as the 1962 Lawrence d’Arabia with Peter O’Toole and Omar Harif, Mama, 1998, with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weiss or Legionary, 1997 with Jean Claude Van Damme.

In general, after the creation of film studios in Ouarzazate in 1983, the attractiveness of filmmakers in Morocco grew every year. There are many films and series in Morocco (Othello, Cent Mille Dollars Au Soleil, James Bond, Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven, Kabul Cuisine, Game of Thrones, etc.) and especially Kasbah of Ait-Ben Haddu (Neil Diamond, with Michael Douglas, Scott and Scott).

The Berber Bivouac: Desert Camp

Relaxing Desert Camp organizes different desert activities to let you live an unforgettable holiday in the desert. You will be accompanied by one of our camel men, on camels, to relive the experience of the Moroccan nomads. Enjoy sunset and sunrise in the dunes of Erg Chebbi, one of the largest in Morocco.

You can spend the night near Khaim, a typical Berber tent. In Morocco, the traditional Berber camp is the symbol of Nomads and a great history of the Moroccans who lived in the south. So, you will experience the true nomad’s life. 

Oasis of Merzouga

After about two hours on a camel, we reach an oasis or climb a dune to watch the sunset over the Erg Chebbi, which is the highlight of this region of Morocco.

You can explore the region and enjoy the night under the starry sky in a clean-air environment… The soiree in the desert may be accompanied by Moroccan Berber and percussion songs.

What is the difference between standard and luxury Merzouga desert camps?

Standard and luxury Merzouga desert camps typically differ in terms of accommodations, amenities, and overall experience. Merzouga is a popular destination in Morocco known for its stunning sand dunes and desert landscape, and visitors often stay in desert camps to experience the unique environment. Here’s a general comparison between standard and luxury desert camps:

  • Accommodations:
    • Standard Camps: Standard camps usually offer basic accommodations, which may include traditional Berber-style tents. These tents are comfortable but may not have all the modern amenities you’d find in a luxury camp.
    • Luxury Camps: Luxury camps offer more spacious and well-appointed accommodations. They might provide larger, beautifully decorated tents or even luxurious suites that are more reminiscent of upscale hotels. These accommodations often feature comfortable beds, fine linens, and stylish furnishings.
  • Amenities:
    • Standard Camps: Basic camps might offer shared bathroom facilities, which could include communal showers and portable toilets. Electricity may be limited or provided through generators during specific hours.
    • Luxury Camps: Luxury camps tend to provide private en-suite bathrooms with modern plumbing and hot water. They are more likely to have 24/7 electricity and can offer amenities like air conditioning, heating, and sometimes even Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Dining:
    • Standard Camps: Standard camps may offer simple and traditional Moroccan meals, often served in a communal dining area.
    • Luxury Camps: Luxury camps often provide a higher level of dining experience, with gourmet meals prepared by skilled chefs. Dining might include a wider variety of dishes and can cater to special dietary preferences.
  • Service and Experience:
    • Standard Camps: The focus of standard camps is more on providing a basic desert experience. Activities might include camel rides, stargazing, and local entertainment.
    • Luxury Camps: Luxury camps emphasize a more exclusive and personalized experience. They might offer additional activities such as guided tours, private excursions, spa treatments, and cultural experiences like traditional music and dance performances.
  • Atmosphere:
    • Standard Camps: The atmosphere in standard camps is generally more rustic and authentic, allowing visitors to connect with the simplicity of desert life.
    • Luxury Camps: Luxury camps aim to create a more refined and indulgent atmosphere, combining the beauty of the desert with the comfort of upscale accommodations.

It’s important to note that the specific offerings of each camp can vary widely, and the distinction between “standard” and “luxury” can sometimes be subjective. When choosing a camp, consider your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you’re seeking in the Merzouga desert.

What is the weather in Merzouga?

Merzouga, located in southeastern Morocco, experiences a desert climate characterized by hot temperatures, low humidity, and minimal precipitation. The weather in Merzouga can be summarized as follows: 

  • In Summer (June to August):
    • Daytime Temperatures: Highs can reach well above 40°C (104°F) during the hottest parts of the day. And the nighttime temperatures reach 20-25°C

  • In Winter:
    • Daytime Temperatures: Winters are mild, with daytime highs averaging around 15-25°C (59-77°F). But at nighttime, temperatures can get quite cold, dropping to around 5-10°C (41-50°F) or even lower.

Merzouga is a full-year tourism destination for different tourists, If you like summer and you don’t have a problem with hot temperatures you can visit it at that time. And if you like winter, you can visit Merzouga at that time too. The difference between seasons in Merzouga is in activities and what you can do at a specific time in the desert. 

Keep in mind that the desert climate can lead to significant temperature variations between day and night. Regardless of the time of year you visit, it’s important to be prepared for the temperature changes and to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and dress appropriately for the conditions.

FAQ About Merzouga Desert

Is there water in the Merzouga Desert?

Yes, there is water in Merzouga. The tourism sector in Morocco is well developed and the government works hard to offer all the necessary factors including hotels, restaurants, and other tourism facilities.    

Are there toilets in the Merzouga Desert?

Yes. In the traditional Berber Tents, there are shared toilets outside the tent but in the luxury desert camps, there are private toilets and bathrooms inside the tent. 

How do I get to Merzouga Desert Camp?

The best way is to trek by camel to the heart of the desert where you can find luxury and standard desert camps. Also, you can access to desert on a 4X4 vehicle. You have to choose the best way for you to live the adventure and enjoy your holiday in the desert. 

What is the closest city to Merzouga?

The closest city to Merzouga is Errachidia 1 hr 58 min (126.9 km) via R702 and N13. But if you are in Marrakech, Merzouga is also close to you about 8 hr 51 min (557.6 km) via N9 and N10.