Morocco Desert Tours: Everything you must know about a Sahara Desert Tour

Many travellers are considering the Sahara desert tour on their Morocco wish list. But, quickly the questions begin to surface.

In the process of planning your Morocco Sahara desert tour it isn’t easy. How do you decide where to start when every tour claims its one of the top Morocco desert excursions?

If you’re just in the beginning stages of making plans for your Morocco desert adventure and are wondering what you can do to plan your Morocco desert vacation, you’re going to appreciate this Sahara Desert vacation guide very useful. In this article , I’m going to cover off on all the essentials that you need to be aware of about Morocco desert adventures, which includes:

  • The ideal spot to begin the beginning of your Sahara Desert Morocco tour;
  • Where is the Sahara to visit;
  • What is the best time to join any of Sahara tours;
  • How many days do you have on your Sahara journey;
  • What to expect in terms of Morocco cost of desert tours and what you can expect at various price points;
  • What to bring to your Morocco desert holiday Also, lastly
  • Some suggestions for Sahara tours and travelling with kids.

We hope that, after reading this guide which will provide everything to know about Sahara Desert tours Morocco offers that you’ll be in better position to make reservations for one of the top Morocco desert tours that’s perfect for you.

Morocco Desert Tours: Where To Begin? and Where to go?

One of the first things that you should consider to consider when planning your Sahara Desert travels is which part of the Sahara will you go to and from where you will begin your journey to Sahara.

There are two main deserts that tourists go to in Morocco to enjoy its Sahara Desert holiday – either the Merzouga Desert or the Zagora Desert and usually tourists begin their tour from Marrakech or Fez. We will go over both of these details further below.

Sahara Desert near Merzouga

Merzouga tours are the most well-known Sahara tours and include Merzouga being near to the famous Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The dunes at Erg Chebbi are taller and more vibrant than the dunes found near Zagora and make them a more sought-after location.

The biggest benefit of Merzouga desert tours, are that the town is right in the middle of the magnificent Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The town is also filled with modern hotels and you are able to easily access the sand dunes with just a 30 minute Morocco Camel Trekking. This makes an Merzouga desert safari relatively easy and practical, and is ideal to those short on time or not wanting to get far off the route.

However, the proximity to the sand dunes may also be one of the reasons for its fall. Since it’s more well-known it is more expensive and is busy with plenty of visitors.

Merzouga is situated around 9 hours’ drive from Marrakech or 7 hours away from Fez. If you’re joining one of the Marrakech desert excursions, you’ll need to allow at least two nights and three days as there will be a night stop on the way there.

Zagora

Zagora is located in southern Morocco and is situated close to the Erg Chigaga sand dunes. These dunes are around 60km from the nearest road , making the trip to see them is a good bit longer than going to the sand dunes that are located in Merzouga.

To reach Zagora to reach Zagora, first arrive at the village of M’hamid. From here , it’s a long trek through rugged desert terrain before you reach Zagora’s Erg Chigaga sand dunes.

It’s also important there is a difference between the Zagora desert isn’t the desert with orange hues that you might envision – it’s an arid desert that has more of a moonlike appearance. That’s why (as well as taking longer to get there) it tends to be less popular in comparison to Merzouga and is generally for the budget traveller or for those who want to stay off the tourist route.

Zagora is about 6 hours’ drive away from Marrakech in Morocco or 9.5 hours driving distance away from Fez (without stop-overs).

Where to Commence?

The most popular place to begin Sahara Desert trips is from Marrakech. Mainly this is because Marrakech is the capital city of Morocco and also where most people begin their journey. It is also possible to visit the Sahara Desert from Fes. It is important to note that as Marrakech Desert safaris are more well-known, there are many more options from here.

A well-known route is to go on an Marrakech to Fes desert tour. Start your journey in Marrakech and , after the Sahara desert safari move onto Fez and vice reverse.

How Many Days to Allow for a Morocco Sahara Tour?

Campervans and truckers in the Dades Gorge in Morocco.

In light of the extensive driving needed to travel to either Merzouga or Zagora in any case, and no matter if you travel via Marrakech or Fez expect a full day of driving to and back. It’s impossible to take a Fez or Marrakech desert day trip.

At the very minimum, you can take overnight Sahara excursions at Marrakech or Fez For an Sahara Desert camp trip to be worth it, you must allow between two and three nights. Even doing a two or three night Sahara camping tour, a substantial portion of your trip will simply be driving.

If you’re beginning the Sahara Desert experience in Marrakech and only have one night to spare the best option is to head to the Zagora Desert. If you’re able to spare two or three days, you are able to easily explore the breathtaking orange sand dunes of the Merzouga Desert.

If you book a 2 or 3 night tour, be sure to double check that at least two of the nights are in actual desert. Certain of the most budget-friendly tours will spend just the single night spent in desert however, any additional nights will be in a hotel. In a stay of two to three days in the desert means you’ll be in a position to explore in the desert on a much more leisurely pace and take part in many activities, such as visiting local tribes as well as sand boarding, camel trekking and just relaxing among the stunning dunes of sand.

Visiting the Agafay Desert

For those with limited hours, Marrakech day excursions to the Agafay Desert is a good alternative. Agafay Desert is an ideal destination for day trips. Agafay Desert is located 40km southwest of Marrakesh and features rough and dry moon-like landscape.

You won’t find the amazing dunes made of sand, like those you see with Merzouga or Zagora in this Marrakech day excursion to the desert, you’ll still have the chance for a ride on a camel over the desert – I just want to reiterate however it is the Agafay Desert is not the Sahara Desert.

There is a lot to see in the Agafay Desert is also a great option if you’re visiting Morocco during summer. A lot of Morocco desert camps close down in the course of a month or two due to the extreme temperature and dangers associated with transporting people to the desert during this time.

If you’re thinking of a Sahara Morocco tour in summer it is worth considering visiting the Agafay desert camp close to Marrakech instead where it will remain hot but the camps will be open.

Should I DIY or Book a Guided Sahara Trip?

You can take an DIY Sahara trip. You can rent an auto and drive yourself through the sand dunes or even take a bus. On arrival you can arrange all of your activities on your own and do what you want within the Sahara.

When you are camping in the Sahara, there are so many advantages in joining one of these desert Morocco tours, that it far outweighs going it alone. Here are a few reasons why you should take advantage among the Morocco Sahara Desert tours:

  • The most enjoyable Morocco desert excursions are all included and include transportation from either Marrakech or Fez and Fez, as well as activities, accommodation and generally most if not all meals.
  • There is a lower chance of getting lost.
  • In a desert Morocco tour, your guide will know all the best places to stop for stunning photographs;
  • You’ll be less likely to have issues with any language barriers;
  • You can be reasonably sure of your safety.
  • In general, you are more likely of the entire trip going as planned.

What type of Sahara Desert Camp to Book What type of Sahara Desert Camp to Book? Budget, Luxury or Mid-Range?

Now you have an idea of the places you’d like visiting on your desert safari tour in Morocco and the number of days you’re able to take, it’s time to start thinking about whether you’d like to go on a budget and mid-priced or luxury tour.

But prior to booking any tour, you should ask the Morocco tour operator in the desert these questions:

  • What is included in the Sahara desert tour cost? What’s not included?
  • Do you actually offer tours scheduled during the time you’ll be in the area and how can you tell how hot it is? This is something you’ll need to know during summertime. Most operators do not offer services in the summer months. There isn’t air conditioning, and temperatures can easily get to 100-110F during the day and mid 70’s at night.
  • Where will you be stopping including the name of any hotels or Riads?
  • If it is not on one on the Morocco private desert tours, how many other travelers are scheduled to travel together?
  • Are there any stops with additional tours or tips that you should expect to pay?
  • What meals are paid from pocket? And what’s the average price?
  • If you do not want to dine at the places that have been closed for meals Are there other options?
  • What do you think of the sleeping arrangements in the desert camp?
  • What’s the full schedule of the tour? It includes stops, and times to start and depart the desert camp?
  • If you have any health issues, like back pain (me!) Ask if they offer a back rest to fit your camel for additional assistance.

Budget

Simply Google “budget Sahara Desert tours” and you’ll be bombarded by reviews from disappointed clients. Although many appear to be assured of luxury and tranquil tents set in stunning dunes, reality is an overwhelming number of tents, poor facilities and a lot of displeasure.

That’s not to say there aren’t quality budget tours there, since I’m sure there are. It’s just that good budget tours don’t seem to be the typical. That’s my personal experience as well.

Here are a few things you can anticipate on a budget tour:

  • Transportation;
  • Lodging;
  • Camel trek;
  • Often , poor-quality meals worst – are included in the desert, all other meals are paid at the cost of your own;
  • Many people will be on your tour;
  • There are no toilets. You are obliged to take a shower on the sand or possibly in a basic toilet;
  • No showers;
  • Beds that are uncomfortable or perhaps sleeping on the sand;
  • Communication and Language problems.

For some people there is no problem. You might want to have more of a rustic experience. That’s awesome! But, if your looking for a desert getaway that isn’t expensive but are expecting something more it’s an extremely long drive with the possibility of leaving after you reach there.

Mid-Range

A mid-range camp will have many of the amenities of a luxury camp , but might offer fewer frills than the budget camp. There is also the possibility of private transportation as opposed to. the shared ride. To determine if an option is mid-range compare what is being provided to luxury and budget alternatives.

Luxury

The luxurious Sahara tour is so lavish that you won’t even realize you’re camping! The luxury tour I went on was so incredible it was more comfortable than my own bed at home!

Here are some things you can anticipate on luxury tours:

  • Tents and camp sites which have water running;
  • Private bathrooms;
  • Tents equipped with heating
  • Large, comfortable beds;
  • Private sitting areas;
  • Delicious Moroccan meals

To find out more about luxury tours You can read about my experiences in this post.

Other Tips About Booking a Tour

My primary advice to you is to make sure that you book your tour at least a month in advance of your arrival in Morocco. Although it is possible to book on arrival, by booking beforehand, you’ll have time to do the research you need to do and guarantee get a reservation with a respected tour company and you will know exactly what you can expect on your tour.

A lot of times, I’ve read reviews of people who are disappointed by their trip. This could have been easily prevented if they’d done their research.

Once you’re in Marrakech or Fez there will be a plethora of tour guides in the medina hustling customers with Morocco Sahara trips. If you have not already booked in advance you may have to take a tour that you know nothing about or are influenced by a tour’s price because it is cheap.

This Sahara Desert trips Morocco offers are a rare experience, so it’s essential that you do not leave disappointed. Be sure to trust me when I say to a Sahara excursion, you do get what your money for.

Morocco The Moroccan Sahara Desert Tour: What season to go?

Similar to any other destination there are certain times of the year are more ideal than others for Sahara desert explorations.

Most would say that the best time to celebrate holiday celebrations in the Sahara desert is between April and October because the day and nighttime temperatures are cooler.

If you decide to visit during the winter months (December until March), you may find temperatures at night that are sub-zero, while during those summer months (June through September) the days can get extremely hot.

It’s also worth noting that many desert tours close during summer (specifically when it’s August).

What should you bring for your Sahara desert excursions?

In order to appropriately pack in the right way for to pack appropriately for Morocco Sahara desert trip, you’ll need to learn some facts about the kind of camp you’ll be staying in. Before you begin packing, research the following about the camp you’ll be staying in:

  • What are your sleeping arrangements? Do you have a bed with covers, or will you need to carry your own? Will you have a bed or will you have to sleep in the dirt? Do you have heat in the tents?
  • What are the facilities for bathrooms it is vital for you to be aware of what clothes will make bathroom-ing easy and you don’t have to carry toiletries.
  • Do you know what food(s) and drinks will be provided? Or will you have to bring your own both before and during your stay at the campsite?

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