Whatever you do, make sure you camp overnight in the Sahara Desert. It is a must do in Morocco!
How to get there
We travelled about 80km into the desert by 4wd. Some people travel by camel but our campsite was deep in the Sahara Desert as part of our South Morocco Discovery tour with Intrepid Travel. It took us 2 hours to get there from a local town.
Time of year to visit
The weather on this particular day in May was perfect. We were told by our tour guide Hassan that in the warmer months, they travel into the Sahara Desert after sunset due to the heat. And sunset is not to be missed!
What the campsite is like
As we arrived into our overnight camp site, we were surprised by the large tents already set up in a circle and nearby shower and toilet facilities. We soon discovered that the facilities were NOT the most user friendly, but hey, wet wipes are all part of the camping experience.
Sunset on the sand dunes
We chose our tent for the night then helped each other put on our colourful head scarves before exploring the sand dunes. In the meantime, Hassan poured the perfect Moroccan tea from incredible heights. Who knew that having a cup of tea could be such a breath taking experience?
The sun was starting to set so Hassan led the way up and across the sand dunes. Keyword – up. It’s a good way to test your fitness levels! But eventually all of us made it to the top. Imagine sitting on warm, dark orange sand in the Sahara Desert, surrounded by sand dunes that go on forever. The sun is setting and your mind is completely present in the moment. You’re running your fingers and toes through the sand as the sun gets smaller and disappears over the hill…
Well, everything that goes up, must come down. Our tour guide led the way by running down the sand dunes. And just when you think it doesn’t get any better, it’s time for food. One of the beautiful things about Moroccan culture is sharing meals, other than the food itself. We had the most delicious meal earlier that day at a local family home. A whole chicken tagine that you literally tore apart with your hands and scooped up along with vegetables and sauce with freshly cooked flat bread. Tonight we had more tagine and share plates that we passed around the table in dim lighting in the centre of our tent circle.
So many shooting stars!
It gets better. We helped each other move our beds from inside the tents to outside under the stars. The sky is so clear you can even see galaxies out here! In a very short period of time I saw two shooting stars and was desperately searching for a third before falling asleep. In the middle of the night we woke up to wind and sand whipping our faces and tumbleweeds piling up next to our beds. After helping each other move our beds back into the tents, I saw my third shooting star through the doorway. Goodnight.
Now you know why camping in the Sahara Desert is a must do in Morocco! To read about our 10 day tour with Intrepid Travel in May 2015, check out my Big Love for Morocco.