Imagine yourself in the middle of nowhere. What would you feel? Feeling the breeze in your face and witnessing the infinite silence? Have you ever been in a place like that? Well, let’s start a our Sahara Desert Experience and I will make sure you to feel the infinity of this adorable place!
Let’s go through step by step how you can take a desert tour to Merzouga, Sahara Desert. But first, I need you to wish to be there. So here we start from back to the front!
Under the Milky Way, While Waiting for Sunrise, Counting The Shooting Stars
Close your eyes and imagine; it’s only 5.30am in the morning, sun hasn’t risen yet, and you are riding a camel in the infinite darkness. The weather is freezing cold, it’s even hard to see front. But stars are up, countless! Perfect sky is just up there, seems like you can touch them!
Before I start to tell my feelings, I would like you to take on your earphones and listen this:
Well, there are some uplifting songs in my Spotify list all the time for this kind of conditions. While you are listening to my song, imagine that you turn your head up and just stargazing. Only you and the milky way. Those sounds that you listen to aren’t like the sound of cosmos? Yeah, exactly! As if the stars tell us that there is beyond that, more than we see in our existing world with our own eyes.
While they are shooting, we are the witnesses, like we witness to the past. Isn’t it amazing? Witnessing a miracle at the very moment makes you feel real, makes you feel a part of the universe … It is worth every challenge!
Pinky Sky, Sunsetting and The Sands Flying Away
In Sahara Desert Tour you are brought to the camp at sunset, and you leave before sunrise. Both of them leave behind one in a million experience. First I need to say, if you take 2 days 3 nights tour, you will just have 1 night at the desert. Because from Marrakech to Merzouga desert tours generally visit many authentic villages and have a night at a hotel nearby Atlas Mountains. So when you reach the desert, it’s almost 6pm. If you are fast enough to climb up one of the dunes, which is really hard after 1.5 hour camel ride, you can catch the sunset. For example, I missed it at the first time since I decided to sit in the middle of the dune and watch it.
However, if you take a 4-day 3-night tour, it means you have a second time to ride to the desert like us. And it will be long enough for you to spend time in desert and climb the dunes.
There is nothing better than saying goodbye to the sun behind the endless dunes on the horizon while the sun is setting. If you have friends with you to witness this amazement in that exact place and you are in this perfection. What creativity does it take when you look at it with your own eyes? While I was sitting in meditation for a while with the resonance of this beauty, my friends are doing some kind of art by throwing sand into the air and watching the swing by the wind. Just be silent, what could be more beautiful?
What Kind of Sahara Desert Tours Exist? And How Many Days Should be Spent in the Desert?
If you don’t take a private tour by paying a bunch of money more than us, then you will go to the same camp. Of course, the price depends on where you buy the tour and how strong you bargain. Since we are 5, and plus one more traveler from the hostel is joining us, makes the price for a 4 day 3 night tour 90 Euros each (and in fact we are taking back 10 Euros because of some organizational problems when we get back to the hostel). Besides sandboarding is included to our package.
How Much Should be Payed for Sahara Desert Tour?
Most probably, they will charge you 70 Euros for 2 night 3 day tour. It’s optimal. Don’t think to pay more than this. In this case, you will be having only one night at the desert. If you say that’s fair, I strongly recommend you to climb the dunes whenever they drop you off from the camels.
Merzouga, the place where we start the camel riding, is a small city very close to the Jordan border. You can even come here and arrange a tour to the desert. But my concern is, is it gonna be cheaper?
Also you can take the tour from Fez, and you can go to Marrakech on the way back. Well, we had concerns about our backpacks so we preferred to take it from Marrakech. Another reason to pick Marrakech is that there is a possibility that the tours from Fez don’t visit Ait Ben Haddou. Ait Ben Haddou, is an ancient city protected by Unesco. Including Game Of Thrones, it has hosted so many great productions. I can’t come back without seeing this city. So Fez isn’t a choice for me, so also for my friends. If you wanna look at it whether it worths it or not, you can click my old post here: Morocco Travel Guide; with its Amazing Colors | 10 Q&A.
Exciting Activities at the Desert
Sahara Desert, no matter what is your budget, is promising some activities for you. In order to attend, you should take 3 night 4 day tour. We decided to take sandboarding. However, because of some circumstances(?), we had to rent a 4*4. And I need to say, it was one of the bests!
Our beloved camp people who are not aware that we will spend 2 days in the camp are bringing us back to Merzouga with the group in the morning of the second day. And that’s where the amazing sunrise experience happens. We tell the situation to the organizers and they say that we need to spend our time in the city until lunch and then they will take us to the camp before sunset. But we know that in this case there will not be enough time for the sandboard. So they offer us a 4 * 4 rental alternative with an additional budget (100 Dirham per person). We think it worths have a ride on the dunes. And after lunch we are taking the road to the desert; on the top of the jeep !!! Yes, you don’t see it wrong, they makes us sit on the top of the jeep holding the bars and giving us a dune trip that makes us scream. I am really talking about the screams that make the tiny tongue flicker. And we have a leisurely time for the sand board and for a perfect sunset.
Apart from throwing the boards and leaving us on own, we are spending a very good time there.
As an alternative to sandboard and 4*4, you can rent moto cross bikes and quads. I am sure that all of them gives you a great excitement. For us, it was really amazing to watch the bikes riding on the dunes as well. So, in summary, give another chance to something different from riding camels. Put something else on top. Life is just for ones.
Don’t Be Alone in The Camp!
Since the collective tours ruled by Berber men bring you to ‘nowhere’ in the middle of Sahara Desert, you may experience strange things. The silence that seems amazing for you; the stars, the sunset, etc. is a way of life, and is the same experience every day for these people. So, assume that, you have no electronics, no toilet, no shower, you eat the same food every day, and you meet your excited peers passing by while you are standing. Does it make your life unbearable?
For example, a very dear friend who took us there was really mad! It did not leave us alone in the evening nor watching the sunset, nor gazing the stars with silence. And when we reacted, we got threatening answers. Obviously, we were afraid that we were in the same tent. It’s their territory! They want to touch, hang out with you, smoke hash and have fun. However, since we are quite different culturally, the point of view for women is a bit scared.
We even don’t use flashlights in our second night in order to find a neat place to stargaze away from the camp fire. My advice is that even if you are 2 people, involve in a group with others. Warning! Warning!
What is a ‘Must’ to Take with You to the Desert?
- If you are not taking an exclusive tour to Sahara Desert, it means there will be neither toilet nor water. So take some toilet paper, wet towels with you.
- It’s really cold at night, even if it’s burning out during the day, you need covers.
- There is no bed sheets, maybe you wan to cover your cushion with a clean shirt or something.
- There is a possibility of sandstorm during the ride, so take some shawls and cover your face.
- Powerbank is a must, especially if you use your phones to take photos.
- You need to take at least 3-4 litres of water with you. There is no water at the camp.
- You should wear the same clothes during the camp, cause you will get messy.
- On the way to the desert, they stop by at some very touristic restaurants and the prices are high like hell. And besides the food is crap. So take as much as sneakers with you and when you get there don’t sit immediately, look for cheaper options.
Well, that’s all I can say about Sahara Desert experience. If you need, you can contact with me for detailed information. Have a nice one!
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