How to glam camp in the Sahara Desert
When I thought about writing about our Morocco trip I really didn’t know how to start – every little bit of it was so exciting and wonderful. So I decided to focus on what was our personal favorite: the Sahara.
We debated long about whether we should do the drive to the Sahara or embark on an adventure closer to Marrakesh to avoid the time on the road. But in the end we decided that seeing and experiencing the Sahara desert was pretty much the main reason we had wanted to go to Morocco in the first place.
There are two sand deserts in the Morocco: Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi. Erg Chebbi is significantly closer and therefore more heavily visited. We decided to go to Erg Chicaga, and that’s where the best part of the trip began. Our destination was a plot of sand inhabitad by Desert Camp Morocco. Our driver picked us up at our Riad (bed and breakfast) in Marrakesh and started driving south. We passed the incredible Tish’n Tishka Pass and watched the number of dromedars on the street grow continuously, a clear sign that we were leaving the more urban part of Morocco.
We decided to do a little detour and off-roaded it to Ait BenHaddou. If you know me you might know that I am a huge fan of “Lawrence of Arabia”….. and this is where most of the desert scenes were filmed. You can also see it in "Gladiator" and some scenes of "Game of Thrones"!
Morocco (through a little town called Ouzazarte) is home to major film studios and a lot of desert or space movies were at least partially filmed her.
We stop on the way to buy some pottery and are also met by Nick Garsten, the owner of the camp. Nick is the nicest guy, and he went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable during our stay. Really he didn’t have to meet us anywhere, but he did!
After another few hours we arrived at our first overnight stop, run by a French couple who loved Morocco and decided to stay.
Day two has come and we are back on the road….at least until we reach M’Hamid. This is where we stop for lunch and a beer, and this is where the road ends. We are literally driving to the end of the road and enter the sand, at which point we hope our driver knows how to read the navigation coordinates.
After two hours of riding through nothing we make it to the camp and it’s awesome. We are the only people there and our new best friend Bobo greets us with a cold beer and our two pairs of baboush…..typical Moroccon shoes that we laugh about when he gives them to us but that we won’t take off for another three days.
The camp is fantastic, it closes during the summer months and opens early September. We are riding camels through the desert, playing golf into the vastness of nothing, and climbing sand dunes with boards in tow. We have a picnic in the middle of the Sahara and learn how to wear a turban. At night we learn Moroccon songs and eat local food. The generator keeps producing ice for our white wine and we drink freshly squeezed organge juice for breakfast. Our tent is unbelievable and has its own private ensuite tent with toilet and shower.
Best experience ever!
And FYI for those of you who have to reachable at all times: perfect cell reception in the Sahara even during a sand storm.
For more information check out the camp website www.desertcampmorocco.com.
If this seems too adventurous, too complicated or too far away from Marrakesh, please look at: www.lapause-marrakech.com
Similar concept but only 20 miles outside of Marrakesh. Several of our friends have stayed there and given it fantastic reviews.
Hope this made you want to visit Morocco. For any questions please contact us!