Camel Trekking in The Sahara Desert

This past weekend, I got to check something major of my Life List… Riding Camels in the Sahara Desert. 

The trip to Merzouga has been on my radar since the instant I opened an ISA Morocco pamphlet around a year ago.

Unfortunately, I have been sick for the last week now. I made the last-minute decision to actually go on this excursion because I had been laying in bed the previous three days unable to do anything. I didn’t think I would feel well enough to go, (which I really shouldn’t have), but I couldn’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Our group left early Friday morning, seeing as it takes ten hours to get from Meknes to Merzouga. Merzouga is a small Berber village about 30 miles from border of Algeria, with its main source of income coming from tourists looking to camel trek. We arrived at night in pitch black, so I didn’t get to see the surrounding sand dunes until I woke up early on Saturday. Nevertheless, we spent the night meeting up with Paris ISA, enjoying traditional Berber music, and dancing in the large dinner tent set up at camp.

After dinner and dancing, my friend Hannah and I decided to explore the dunes at night. We ran in the pitch black across the top of the cold sand dunes, laughing, falling (a lot), and rolling around the sand. After our fill of running and playing in the dunes, we found a larger dune out-of-the-way of the camp, laid down on top of it, and stared up at the sky. You can see the entire Milky Way from the Sahara… the stars have never been so bright and beautiful. 

Also, our sleeping arrangements we’re amazing. Permanent tent pods are set up in a huge square, with the inside having rows of small mattress pads topped with thick blankets. It was comfortable and had the authentic feel of sleeping under the stars. I fell asleep instantly, trying to imagine what the dunes would look like in the day time.

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I woke up early on Saturday morning to the sound of kids laughing outside the tent. It was freezing out, so I put on an extra layer of clothing, pulled away the blanket that was the door to our tent, and saw the most beautiful colors of blue sky, red sand, and local children playing on the dunes. An image that will forever be burned into my memory.

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After staring at my surroundings in amazement – I went back in the tent, got dressed, and decided to buy a traditional Berber scarf to keep my hair (and sand) out of my face for the rest of the day. My roommate Sarah and I each bought one in blue for 50 Dirhams ($6), and then had our heads wrapped by the Berber man who sold it to us.

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IMG_3090When in the Sahara…

Following this was breakfast, accompanied by some more playtime in the sand!

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Which was soon followed by our first camel sighting!

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IMG_3097Aren’t they so cute?

After this, our group loaded up into 4X4’s and spent the next few hours driving around in the dunes. For a while we even got to hang out the side windows while twisting in and out of the sand dunes. This was living.

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At one point, we were driving close enough to see the Algerian border.

We stopped for a quick picture break in the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

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I highly recommend going to the Sahara in Novemeber. It was warm enough in the day to wear short sleeves, but cool enough to where I never felt dehydrated or as if I was melting from the sun. There was always a slight breeze – it made for a really pleasant weekend.

After this… it was camel time!

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This was definitely the coolest experience I have had in Morocco so far.

The memories and stories I gained are some that I will be telling people for the rest of my life. I know I’ve said it before about other cities I’ve visited, but if you’re in Morocco… go to the Sahara desert. You absolutely won’t regret it.

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15 thoughts on “Camel Trekking in The Sahara Desert

  1. Ashley says:

    Sydney,
    Thank you for sharing your adventures for all the world to see. I absolutely love your blogs!
    Side note: Where did you get the red pants?! I’m also obsessed with those, as well!
    Thanks for allowing me to follow along. It is truly inspirational.
    Ashley

  2. Cameltrekking Excursions says:

    Cameltrekking-Excursions.com Is a small company based in MERZOUGA run by Mohamed, offering private tailored guided cultural tours for singles, couples, families and small groups all around Morocco highlighting the very best of it’s imperial cities, ancient Medinas, Atlas Mountains, Kasbahs and Sahara desert.
    Mohamed found his passion for culture and language amongst the most majestic sand dunes of Morocco called Erg Chebbi, located in Merzouga village. There he led a nomadic childhood with his parents, wandering through the desert with his family and camels possessing only a tent for shelter.

  3. Morocco Sahara desert says:

    “Marrakech Camel Trips”offers the best moroccan costum tours for singles..friends..families…If you are planning a vacation, Morocco is the best place to spend an unforgettable experience. Be sure your trip to Morocco will include a touch of guidance from Marrakech Camel Trips. If you have a dream of discovering exotic horizons, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will very happy to plan your next travel to Morocco as simple or as luxurious as you desire, suited to your budget and interests.

    “Marrakech Camel Trips” has a great experience in organizing trips in accordance with the budget of each person, as much individual as of groups, Join us o live and to share moments with nomad families in desert…

    With”Marrakech Camel trips”you can explore and enjoy all that Morocco has to offer, visiting the beautiful Atlantic coast, exploring the historic imperial cities,hiking the high Atlas mountains or camel trekking the sand dunes of the sahara and sleeping in the desert beneath a stunning canopy of stars in our traditional nomad bivouac camp.

    http://www.marrakech-camel-trips.com/

  4. Carlos gomez maria says:

    “Great Desert Experience”

    Amazing experience, our group got picked up from the bus station and we were taken to the hotel/camel area. We had a room and left our stuff there before heading out to the desert on camels. Said and his friends took us to different hut areas in the desert, it was amazing. Life changing experience to see the sunset and stars, ride camels, and spend about 24 hours in the desert. This is the page of Said http://www.visit-ergchebbi-desert.com/

  5. travelinginmorocco1 says:

    Morocco Tours\Marrakech Desert Tours\ Tour In Morocco\Fes Desert Excursions:
    Traveling in Morocco Is Moroccan ancient History and Culture what do we Offer A picture’s can tell thousand words,We are local Moroccan And Berber people,who have grown up in the Sahara Desert and have over 15 years Experience showing Our guests the Awesome Of Morocco.Come and spend your Dream Adventure in Morocco: change of scene, authenticity, Sun, Hospitality, well-being.We invite you to browse through our site to Explore the extensive Travel services and Tour packages,Our drivers are qualified,Adventures, Experienced bilingual local people who will make sure you get the most out of your Morocco Vacation,friendly local people who will treat you as a guest not just a Tourist,Visiting the Imperial Cities the Berbers in the hidden Valleys and Sahara Desert,Experiencing traditional music and foods, sleeping under the stare’s and Riding Camel’s,Beach Excursion,Visiting Essaouirra sea breeze,Oualidia…These are completely flexible,and we can help you build your Moroccan Tour,So why not speak to our Travel specialist they will help you arrange an Itinerary to reflect your needs and wishes.Our aim is for you to have a memorable Trip and to take a little bit of Morocco with you.Your Travel into Sahara Desert of Morocco with Traveling In Morocco Will Be Unique ….
    Morocco Desert Tours,Sahara Trip From Marrakech,Camel Trekking From Marrakech:
    http://www.traveling-in-morocco.com/

  6. ConniePH says:

    My husband and two adult sons wanted a different holiday experience this year and decided to visit Morocco. We’ve lived in Europe and traveled extensively, but none of us knows North Africa. I discovered ( Marvelous-moroccotours.com ) online and sent a note explaining what we were looking for. Iddir’s responses to all my emails were thorough and amazingly timely. His recommended itinerary was perfect. We particularly enjoyed the desert camel ride and bivouac under the stars, and visit with a Berber family–really unique experiences we would not have found on our own.

    Our driver Said was the best, always attentive and willing to adjust to our needs. Iddir knows his drivers, tour guides and recommended riads and restaurants well. he is the best travel agent I’ve ever worked with, by far. My family has highest recommendations for Marvelous Morocco Tours!!

  7. travelinginmorocco1 says:

    Private Morocco Tours, Morocco Desert Tour, Sahara Trip From Marrakech To Fes:

    Traveling in Morocco Is Moroccan ancient History and Culture what do we Offer A picture’s can tell thousand words,We are local Moroccan And Berber people,who have grown up in the Sahara Desert and have over 15 years Experience showing Our guests the Awesome Of Morocco.Come and spend your Dream Adventure in Morocco: change of scene, authenticity, Sun, Hospitality, well-being.We invite you to browse through our site to Explore the extensive Travel services and Tour packages,Our drivers are qualified,Adventures, Experienced bilingual local people who will make sure you get the most out of your Morocco Vacation,friendly local people who will treat you as a guest not just a Tourist,Visiting the Imperial Cities the Berbers in the hidden Valleys and Sahara Desert,Experiencing traditional music and foods, sleeping under the stare’s and Riding Camel’s,Beach Excursion,Visiting Essaouirra sea breeze,Oualidia…These are completely flexible,and we can help you build your Moroccan Tour,So why not speak to our Travel specialist they will help you arrange an Itinerary to reflect your needs and wishes.Our aim is for you to have a memorable Trip and to take a little bit of Morocco with you.Your Travel into Sahara Desert of Morocco with Traveling In Morocco Will Be Unique ….
    http://traveling-in-morocco.com/

  8. baha says:

    “Marrakech Camel trips”offers the best moroccan costum tours for singles..friends..families…If you are planning a vacation, Morocco is the best place to spend an unforgettable experience. Be sure your trip to Morocco will include a touch of guidance from Marrakech Camel Trips. If you have a dream of discovering exotic horizons, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will very happy to plan your next travel to Morocco as simple or as luxurious as you desire, suited to your budget and interests.

    “Marrakech Camel trips” has a great experience in organizing trips in accordance with the budget of each person, as much individual as of groups, Join us o live and to share moments with nomad families in desert…
    With”Marrakech Camel trips”you can explore and enjoy all that Morocco has to offer, visiting the beautiful Atlantic coast, exploring the historic imperial cities,hiking the high Atlas mountains or camel trekking the sand dunes of the sahara and sleeping in the desert beneath a stunning canopy of stars in our traditional nomad bivouac camp.

    http://www.marrakech-camel-trips.com/

  9. SalomeT says:

    Hi ,

    Thanks for sharing the lovely post.
    Having been to Morocco several times before (by car, for work, for holiday), my girlfriend and me decided to show some wonderful places to my mother&sister. We had one week holiday in March and wanted to spend two days in Marrakech at least ; so that we had 4 days sahara tour to Erg chabbi for a short trip in Morocco.

    When we were looking for an agency we found the nice webpage of ( marvelous-moroccotours.com ) and contacted them to find out if longer trips are possible. We were really thankfull for the great service done by Iddir providing us an offer for a private 4 day trip. We were picked up by our driver in Marrakech and felt immediately very comfortable in this huge Toyota Landcruiser. It was no problem to travel with 4 persons and luggage. It was a joy to travel with our driver Hassan through this wonderful country. He his a very good driver and great guy. We had so much fun, thank you very much!

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