A few nights of pure magic in Morocco… This is what the Moroccan Sahara offers, an essential stopover during a trip to this multi-faceted country.
A JOURNEY IN THE SAHARA
Magic… yes, but at what cost? You can go through a local agency (DMC) at a lower cost, which will guarantee you a certain security without having to worry about the “practical” aspects of the trip, in particular with regard to the difficulty of finding stations essences near the gates of the Desert. By going through this type of agency (often family, based in Mhamid in particular), you will have the possibility of negotiating the price of a tailor-made accompaniment with transport included from certain cities, in particular Marrakech. You can get away with it for less than 200 euros, all inclusive, for a few days of Saharan magic.
To get there…
If you have already planned to go through Marrakech, it is therefore possible to access it by car (allow 5 hours by road), via Ouazazate and Zagora. This road will gradually reveal to you the increasingly arid landscapes of southern Morocco. From the rocky mountains to the Oases stretching to the horizon, the path alone contains a plurality of breathtaking landscapes. On your way to the south, you will have the opportunity to meet nice people, far from the madness of Marrakech and the westernization of Casablanca… Discovering authentic Morocco. For people who suffer from bends in the mountains, I strongly advise you not to go there by car… The road between Ouarzazate and Mhamid, the gateway to the desert, is mostly made up of hairpin bends.
When you arrive at the gates of the desert, it is the calm and the dunes as far as the eye can see that replace the oases and the rocky mountains. Several choices will then be offered to you: continue in 4×4 in the sand (rather nice as an experience worthy of a Paris-Dakar), or a part on a camel… The car is nevertheless necessary to penetrate further into the Sahara and venture to the Chegaga Dunes. An immensity of sand up to the horizon… They will make you feel like a tiny grain of sand in the middle of a wild and dazzling nature. The most athletic will take advantage of it to climb to the top of the Dunes and enjoy a view worthy of a tale of a thousand and one nights.
You will make sure to find yourself at the top of a dune at sunset, which offers a real waltz of colors: red, orange, pink, purple… and which is reflected in a masterly way on the infinite expanse of dunes.
The night in the desert
During a stay in the desert, the most beautiful experience will undoubtedly remain your first night. Leave preferably at the beginning or end of summer, so as not to be too cold while avoiding falling on not very pleasant small animals, like scorpions… which are more numerous in summer.
If you leave at the beginning of September, the season is ideal, it is then that you can even venture to sleep under the stars, well wrapped up in your blanket. You will take the opportunity to look at the sky and let yourself be transported by the incredible beauty of the Milky Way, visible to the naked eye in this region, far from any urbanization. This feeling of feeling alone in a tiny world in an immensity… is really extraordinary.
Astronomy enthusiasts will be in heaven, as more than 80% of the constellations visible from Earth are visible to the naked eye in this region. Something to feel lost among a multitude of stars, each one brighter than the other…
You will be awakened by the first rays of the sun and will be able to enjoy the dawn as soon as you wake up, with a view of the golden and silent dunes.
I strongly advise you to take your camera with you, even if you will surely be afraid of damaging it with grains of sand… The beauty of the landscapes makes it possible to take photos more delightful than the others; it is undoubtedly a “must do” for all photography enthusiasts who will delight in the memories of these enchanting landscapes, of which it is possible to capture some of the magic with a very good camera.
By whom to be accompanied?
To live these magical moments while being surrounded by connoisseurs, I advise you to be accompanied by nomads (or former nomads, now settled at the gates of the Desert), who will be happy to help you discover the enchanting beauties of their region.
It is then that it will be easy for you to share moments around a tagine, a tea, a darbouka, sitting on a carpet, to discuss their various experiences in this fabulous region. Moroccans are not only welcoming but also bon vivants, it will not be surprising to end the evening dancing to the sound of the darbouka, in the moonlight.
And since Moroccans are welcoming and warm, it will not be surprising to have you invited to the families of your companions to enjoy a couscous and celebrate your visit. Then will come the moment to leave, to find the door of the desert, then the first cities in the direction of Marrakech. This is when you will already be thinking about coming back very soon and reliving this unique experience.
So, are we going to the Sahara together? 🙂