Erg Chebbi and other options Sleeping in the Moroccan desert is one of the greatest attractions that our neighbor to the south offers you. I promise you that it is worth spending two or three of the days you spend there to experience it. Erg Chebbi is one of our best travel experiences, to the point that it is one of the few places in the world where we have repeated. We went for the first time in 2013 and we went again in 2022, this time with our one-year-old baby.The first time we went to sleep in the desert we were 28-30 years old and we were looking for a good price. The second, 9 years later and with the baby, we wanted to improve the experience, so we contracted directly with a small local agency in the highest category tent. I think we got it right both times. In this article I explain what you will find in each case and everything you must take into account to choose the best option for you, according to your circumstances. 3 days desert tour from Marrakech to Merzouga.
Options to sleep in the Moroccan desert:
Once you have decided that you want to try the experience of sleeping in the Moroccan desert, you must decide how to do it. There are several places to live the experience but Erg Chebbi is the one with the most options, so he is the best option in most cases.First of all, there is the issue of the jaima. You can always opt for the standard or superior category. The biggest difference between the two is that in the superior room you have a private bathroom, but as you go up in category, in general, everything will be more careful and the food will be better. In the image you can see the tents in which we stayed. Fes to Marrakech desert tours.
From my point of view, each of these options to spend a night in the desert has advantages and disadvantages. I present them to you more extensively to help you decide which one best suits you. Go to sleep in the Moroccan desert on an organized trip from Fez or MarrakechThe first option is to hire the excursion to the Moroccan desert from Fez or from Marrakech. From my point of view, it is the best option if you do not have too many days, since they have everything planned so that you make the most of the time and it is also possible to end up in the other city with which you make a circular route. In addition, these excursions have a very good price and good opinions from the people who have done them.
Sleeping in the Moroccan desert
Arriving in Merzouga on your ownIf you are traveling through Morocco in your own car or have flown to Marrakech or Fez and have rented one, you have the option of starting the experience already in Merzouga -it was what we did the first time- or booking the tent directly and arriving at the camp by car. Both are good options if you are traveling through Morocco in your own vehicle.In this link camps of all categories where you can reserve your tent directly. Just keep in mind that you must get there by your own means. It is enough with a car or a taxi that brings you closer from Merzouga, there is no need for an SUV.
Sleep in the Moroccan desert in your own tent:
The last option to sleep in the Erg Chebbi desert is to take your tent and camp in the dunes. You will not have any type of problem in terms of security, you just have to find a quiet place where there are no cars to spend the night. From Merzouga you need a little more than an hour and a half to walk to the great dune If you decide on this option, take your mobile fully charged, plenty of water and do not go too far into the dunes, remember that you must know how to get out. We really wanted to carry out this plan when they proposed it to us the first time we went to Erg Chebbi, perhaps for our third time it will be possible. On the way to Erg Chebbi, how to get to the desert on your own The Erg Chebbi desert is very close to the border between Morocco and Algeria, it is 22 km long (from north to south) and 6 km wide and its dunes have a maximum height of 150 m. To get to know it, you must choose Merzouga or the small town of Khamlia as your base of operations. There are two main routes to get there, one from Fez and the other from Marrakech.
Route to the Moroccan desert from Fez:
I recommend you do the Fez - Merzouga route in two days, it can be done in one but from my point of view the road is not enjoyable. What you will like the most if you arrive in the Moroccan desert around here is to see how the land gradually becomes desertified, until when you leave Merzouga you see the dunes on the left. You can spend the night en route in Midelt or Er- Rachidia, two cities with all the services but without much to see.
The most interesting thing you will find on the way are the surroundings of Midelt where there are some pretty cool mining towns. If you have time, you can climb the mountains and even see the remains of a mine. Then there are the Ziz Gorges, where there is an area with forests and villages in the mountains that are quite beautiful. Once you pass Er-Rachidia you will arrive at a viewpoint from which you can see the Ziz Valley and a huge palm grove that is very very cool. We slept under the palm trees in the motorhome. How to get to Erg-Chebbi from Marrakech.
Marrakech to Erg Chebbi
If you go to the Erg Chebbi desert from Marrakech you have many more places to stop than if you make the way from Fez. I think that in this case the ideal is three days on the road. I will briefly tell you about everything you can see, the excursions that I recommended before stop in most of these places. First of all, there is Ouarzazate, a beautiful city that is the cradle of cinema in Morocco thanks to several studios where movies are recorded at low prices.
Blockbusters like Gladiator have been filmed there. We loved the Taourirt Kasbah and the square just in front of it.
Road trips To Merzouga
Next you will see a khetarra just before reaching Jorf. It's in the middle of nowhere, but you'll recognize it because you can see a bunch of little mountains lined up at the edge of the road. There are several places from where you can go down to see it and have a tea. Finally, I recommend you stop in Rissani, a town where a traditional market is held three days a week. Evaluate if you really want to get to the camp by camelI cannot stop commenting in this article about sleeping in the Moroccan desert on the subject of camels. At present, the traditional uses that were given to these animals have been lost almost entirely. The males are mostly castrated to dedicate them exclusively to tourism and sometimes they do not receive the care they deserve. The first time we opted for the dromedary ride but today we would not do it.