An absolutely unforgettable experience which we would highly recomend! We had a limited amount of time in Marrakech and really wanted to see the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert. Our informative guide and driver, Abdul, was amazing and took great care of us, always ensuring that we had plenty of water, breaks to stretch our legs, and taking us to great cafes and restaurants along the way for nourishment. He was an excellent driver and we always felt safe despite the sometimes treacherous road conditions. The journey to the desert is on windy roads through high mountain passes, following the old caravan trail that has existed for centuries. The old stone control towers are still visible along the route as you pass through ancient villages and kasbahs, finally exiting the mountains and driving along 200km of date palm groves. One more mountain pass and you find yourself in the western Sahara desert, driving through a lunar landscape to a tent camp set up below massive dunes. The camp staff was welcoming and attentive, the food tasty and authentic, and the atmosphere awe inspiring. It was too hot too sleep in the tents so the staff set up our bed outside and we slept under the biggest star filled sky you can imagine. The next morning we were taken for a camel ride around the dunes at sunrise, marvelling along the way at the light and vistas of the landscape. After a traditional breakfast we headed back to Marrakech, stopping at an ancient kasbah for lunch and enjoying a different perspective of the Atlas Mountains.
My husband and I wanted to get out of Marrakesh for awhile and this was the absolute best way to do it. We had the private tour to Zagora with a camel ride into the Sahara for a night with a Berber camp. The drive is very long but you stop for coffee, stop for photos, and general breaks. There are places of interest along the drive and the tour guide is happy to stop and take you, just ask. We had lunch at a Casbah which was neat though, don't sit under the tent! Its hot and flies like to frequent. Plus, the scenery is beautiful so enjoy it while you eat.
We reached our camel destination that evening and were told we needed to bring at least 2 bottles of water. I thought it was weird that they weren't provided nor were we told until that minute, but luckily the hotel across the street sold water, so....thats good?
The camels were cute! and looked to be well taken care of :- We rode for about an hour and fifteen minutes on them to the Berber Village where we were to have dinner and stay the night. It was awesome to be in the desert, living the Berber life. It was a new and different experience to city life. There was a bar which served beer at a small cost, Berber whiskey, wine cost, and other non-alcoholic beverages. We enjoyed a nice Berber soup, tagine, dessert followed by a drum and dance circle to end the evening. I was hoping for stars but it was a bit overcast that evening but they cant control the weather! Note--You dont have electricity until it gets dark outside and the toilets aren't flushable, unless you pour water down them yourself optional -- but what can you expect, you're in the desert! and in retrospect, its good that we brought water bottles with us :-
In the morning, there was breakfast and we set off back off on the camels, back through the desert, back to the starting point from the day before. The trip home was , again, long but driving through the mountains is spectacular, you stop at a unique shop that houses trinkets and carpets made from desert tribes which is pretty neat. And you're offered more places to stop but we were too tired to do any more sightseeing so went straight back to Marrakesh.
Everyone on the tour was awesome and very friendly. They were knowledgeable, helpful, and made you feel very welcome.
Long story short, its a LONG two days, but definitely worth it if you're looking for something interesting and unique to do. Enjoy!
Wow!! Absolutely amazing overnight trip to the Sahara desert from Marrakesh!!! We only spent four days in Morocco and this was a perfect way to see the country and experience the desert within our short time limit.
Firstly, I have to say that the tour operator is fantastic! The company responded immediately over email and whatsapp, which made me very confident that everything would go smooth. The pick up at our local Marrakech Riad and the changes we wanted to make on the trip were perfectly arranged. They even called our Riad ahead of time to ensure our pick up was smooth.
We were picked up right at 0700 and started our drive through the mountains and the Tichka pass. Younes was a expert driver and handled the mountain switchbacks and narrow roads perfectly. We had lots of room in the car, making the journey very comfortable and enabled us to truly enjoy the drive. The scenery was breathtaking. Younes made sure we stopped for the best panoramic photos and rest stops. The Draa Valley and towns were beautiful. Our camels were waiting for us as soon as we arrived in M'Hamid. We rode into the dunes with our local guide, Ismail, who grew up living in the desert. The picturesque ride on the camels was a fantastic adventure and just the right length of time. We arrived at our campsite just as the sun was setting.
After we were settled into our tent, we shared mint tea (Berber whiskey) outside and then had our own private table set for a candlelight dinner. The dinner was delicious with crisp mezze, bread, chicken tajine, and fresh fruits. Relaxing under the millions of stars by the campfire pit and drinking beer was the perfect end to the day. (It is possible to purchase extra drinks at the bar for the overnight stay in the desert)
The glamorous camping experience was extremely comfortable with a queen size bed, carpeted ginormous tents, power outlets, toilets, and a shower. There were about 12 cottage sized tents available for sleeping, though we were the only people there. All the tents were circled around a large fire pit with large chairs. Lounge chairs and carpets were also placed outside our tent for our star gazing pleasure. You have the choice of sleeping inside or outside under the stars. (Both options are on super comfortable beds)
We woke up early to see the sun rise over the dunes before breakfast. After breakfast we started our drive back to Marrakech. We stopped in Tamgeroute to see the kasbah, ceremic cooperative, tomb, and the madrassa library with ancient books dating back the the 9th century written on gazelle skin pages. We picked up some fresh dates in Agdz and stopped for lunch and the kasbah views in Ait ben Haddou. Instead of touring Ait Ben Haddou kasbah we arranged to see Pasha Galoui's Kasbah in Temoult. The drive there was amazingly beautiful. The scenery was out of this world, like a Mars or lunar landscape. The Kasbah in Temoult was unbelievable!!! We arrived back in Marrakesh around 2000. (We would have gotten back 2 hours sooner if we had not done the Temoult detour but, the extra time spent was definitely worth it!)
Our tour began at 7am when we were picked up at our Riad. From there we were driven to M'hamid, where we transferred to camels and began the journey through the wonderful desert landscape to our camp. We arrived in time to see a beautiful sunset and then ate a dinner under the starlight sky. After dinner we sat around the campfire and were entertained with traditional music, before being given the chance to try our hand. The night was spent in a comfortable bed then we were woken in time to see the sunrise. Once we had eaten breakfast we took our 2nd camel ride back to town and then driven back to Marrakech. Due to the large distance involved you spend around 8 hours in the car, through winding mountain roads but having a private guide means you can stop whenever you need to. If you want to do a desert tour in Marrakech this is highly recommended. The driver and guide were very professional, but the standout part of the tour comes once you take the camels to your desert camp. Traveling through the sand dunes then eating your dinner under the desert sky is incredible. Two tips. Take a torch for going to the toilet at night and take a warm jacket because it can get chilly in the morning.