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Sahara tour

Singapore, Singapore
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Sahara tour

Hi guys

I'm trying to plan for a 4D3N Sahara desert tour starting from Marrakech & ending in Fes or Chefchaouen. Been hearing so many things from different tour companies that I got confused.

1. Is it better to spend a night in a standard Berber tent as compared to a luxury camp because the Berber tents are supposedly in the middle of the larger sand dunes while luxury camps are either near the roads or at the smaller dunes? Also the standard Berber tents give a "real" Berber experience?

2. Is it true that the larger sand dunes have got many camp sites around and hence more crowded? Therefore for a more personalised experience we should opt for smaller dunes?

3. Any luxury camps to recommend? Understand that there are some that brand themselves as luxury but are not true luxury camps.

4. What's the best way to travel from Fes / Chefchaouen to Marrakech without flying?

Thanks in advance for all the help!

Cheers

Roy

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Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Fes
Fes
Fes-Boulemane Region, Morocco
Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen
Tangier-Tetouan Region, Morocco
19 replies to this topic
Castril De La Pena...
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for Morocco
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1. Re: Sahara tour

I don't think you can generalise like that with the location and grouping of camp sites. But if you take a look at the locations on satellite views you will see that many on the far side of the erg are fairly close to the edge of the dunes, see https://tinyurl.com/yc577ol3

Stockholm, Sweden
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for Morocco
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10,076 posts
159 reviews
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2. Re: Sahara tour

If you want to have more "real" experience then you would definitely not stay in any luxury tent. Berber Nomads never had luxury tents, if they were not chiefs or any high person.

Camps are spread a little everywhere, so it's quite difficult to judge who are close to each other and who do not. Even if they are located in smaller or higher sand dunes. I would guess they are located more between lower sand dunes. But it is also difference if you for example take a trek from some hotel in Merzouga, then location of the tent is there somewhere. If you do it from for example Hassilabaid, then camp is nearer there. Therefore it is hard to say if it will be near low or high sand dune.

Normaly it take about 1,5-2 hours to reach the camp so you can use your imanigation about the place.

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Merzouga
Merzouga
Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco
Castril De La Pena...
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3. Re: Sahara tour

I remember a trip report from one unhappy contributor. Once he reached the camp he could still see the lights of Merzouga, and the evening meal arrived on the back of a moped. I think things have improved in the intervening years.

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Merzouga
Merzouga
Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco
Stockholm, Sweden
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4. Re: Sahara tour

I remember you wrote about that before, a couple of year before. I think it must be some camp really near hotel, otherwise moped can not drive so good in sand dunes, or? Anyway I checked that once with one there and he confirmed it, but said that they do not that any more. Insallah.

Castril De La Pena...
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5. Re: Sahara tour

It never failed to amuse me that we would be in the middle of nowhere on rough sandy tracks with our megabuck high-spec adventure motorbikes and we would get overtaken by locals riding two-up on a moped.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Sahara tour

Hi Tim. When you say that "many on the far side of the erg are fairly close to the edge of the dunes" -does that mean that they are not in the middle of the high dunes? Is it preferable to be in the middle of the high dunes? Do all the tour companies take people to the high dunes so that staying there you will be inundated with others? Is the landscape as interesting in Erg Znigui? So hard to choose!

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Sahara tour

Roy, did you travel to Morocco? If so, I would love to hear about your stay in the desert.

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Morocco
Morocco
Africa
Castril De La Pena...
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for Morocco
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8. Re: Sahara tour

The sand sea in the Merzouga area in total stretches about 25km north to south and about 5-7km east to west.

Within that area each of the big dunes has its own name. Erg Chebbi is the highest dune next to Merzouga but many people mistakenly call the whole area Erg Chebbi.

Erg Znigui is to the south of Mfis barite mines. To get there you would travel 5km south from Khamlia on the N13 and then 2km east off-tarmac. You can see the location of three of the 'luxury camps' on this map: https://tinyurl.com/y8huytwz

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Merzouga
Merzouga
Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco
Washington DC...
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9. Re: Sahara tour

Tim, thanks. I saw that and have looked at the satellite map. Still looking for answers to the other questions...

Castril De La Pena...
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for Morocco
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10. Re: Sahara tour

I enjoy wild camping but on my own with my own gear, rather than with an organised group, so in 45 years of travelling to Morocco I've yet to stay in one of these encampments, or indeed ride a camel.

You may be best served reading the reviews of the camps, but then of course most people will only have stayed in one of the camps, so there's no valid comparison possible.

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Morocco
Morocco
Africa
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