i literally had no idea that the sahara would be on our morocco agenda until a few days before we went. after doing research and talking to other travelers, i quickly realized it was something we could not miss during our visit. there are hundreds of ways to get to and stay in the desert, but after reading up on different experiences we wanted something a little more private and special because, who knows when we'll be back.
after rental car drama because of the eid holiday i mentioned in this post – we were lucky to catch a ride with a very sweet german couple. we packed our bags into a teeny tiny car and had a hilarious 8+ hour ride. the next two nights were spent at desert luxury camp, an awesome outfitter we are so excited to partner with.
the DLC experience:
the camp strongly urged us to stay two nights in the desert to get the full experience, and i'm so happy we did. DLC takes what might be a stressful experience and has it completely dialed in. we arrived in merzouga in the evening and were immediately greeted and picked up in a 4x4 to drive us through the dunes into camp. driving in the dunes is scary at first, but so much fun and to see what these trucks can handle is incredible.
we settled in with mint tea and snacks before watching a beautiful sunset and later cozied up in our tent which was mind-blowingly nice considering we were in the middle of nowhere. later a delicious moroccan dinner was served al fresco followed by drums and singing around the firepit.
the following day started with a sunrise camel trek, sand boarding, yoga, reading, cards and packing in outdoor activities before the sun and sand were too hot. during that time we hid under the shade and threw back cold [non-alcoholic] drinks. i have to admit, the mid afternoon in the desert is pretty brutal, but the cool mornings and evenings make up for it. what i liked most about DLC was the all-inclusive-ness of it all. a lot of camps charge many hidden fees – but here, everything is included when you arrive. activities, food, drinks ... and the staff is incredibly loving and helpful, the camp is secluded & beautiful and the experience is indescribable.
a few tips:
- getting there: the famous sand dunes you've probably seen [erg chebbi] are located near the town of merzouga which is about an 8 hour drive from fes or a 10 hour drive from marrakech
- options: rent a car, hire a driver or take a bus [CTM is your best bet for a pleasant experience]
- if traveling to or from marrakech, most people stop for one night in ouarzazate
- price per night: desert excursions range anywhere from $70 to $500 euros per person depending on the experience you want. DLC is about $220 euros per person with all activities and food included.