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What people are saying about Merzouga
This trip especially the night in the desert was an amazing experience. A well organised tour, such great value and even with a lot of driving (understandable to get to desert), the views and landscapes were incredible the whole way. There were some great stops! Some tips.. Lunch: sometimes overpriced, instead - eat nearby or bring own food/stock up at the mini marts. Ait Ben Haiddou: tour guide is OPTIONAL but not free (30dh), when you arrive a guide tries to whisk you away but we told both the guide & driver that the itinerary says we can do a self-guided tour (much better), make sure to ask driver when/where to meet after and get good directions to the entrance or follow behind others then freely explore on your own. Hotel Bougafer: good value, make sure to lock the balcony doors Bring or buy a scarf for the desert. Enjoy it, don't compare standards, it's an unforgettable unique experience. Mohammed was a great driver, funny and gave an interesting insight into Moroccan culture.
I have to keep it short as its limited characters, here my tips: day 1) pick up at the square in case you live in the medina. Stops every 1.5-2h for toilets, drive though atlas mountains curvy so be prepared. First stop in berber villiage very sunny, so bring hat. They make you buy a "sahra pass" so the scarf for around the head for the desert. There are several options, but its worth buying and it does not get that much cheaper after that. First Hotel is quite fancy - with A/C and pool - bring bikni! day 2) Little walk though some fields with some kids that keep walking behind you selling some stuff. first that was cute, then it gets annoying. Be prepared. Then they bring you to where you get your camels - last chance to buy water for the night. There is again a pool to swim. Then camel ride - 20 mins, not 1h. The tents are ok, there are real toilets (shared) and running (stinking) water, but enought to wash off the sand. Sleeping in field beds. last day: drive back 8h
This is simply a must-do in Morocco, After a smooth booking, we started at beautiful Kasbah Moyahut, where the staff are super friendly. The camel ride went for around 3 hours, with stops for photos and sunset viewing from the dunes of the Sahara. Unfortunately there was no sandboarding as advertised, and no pink flamingos to be seen. The camp was just outside of the desert since new rules forbade then from being inside the Sahara, but it was beautifully set up, food was exceptional and plentiful, we even purchased a bottle of wine to enjoy. The room was toasty warm and comfortable. Dinner and drumming that followed started late, so we were very tired after our overnight bus the previous night. Strap yourself in for a 6am wake up for sunrise photos over the dunes. Despite a few missing elements, our guide was super friendly and helpful, spoke multiple languages fluently, and the experience was second to none. Breakfast was also delightful! Would highly recommend.
Guides were nice and polite, but not very engaging. The camel ride was interesting for the first little while, but became uncomfortable soon enough. Nothing to do about that, but maybe consider looking into the ATV tours if you aren't set on riding a camel. Dinner was served very late (10pm) but the traditional food was decent and there was lots of it. We took the tour during Ramadan, and I understand that the staff needed to eat Iftour (breakfast) after sunset, but perhaps inviting the guests to eat alongside the staff or to set up a self-serve buffet during future Ramadan tours could be considered? The fireside drumming was interesting for a while, but went on until after midnight and we had to be up and back on the camels by 5am. Tents were very hot and stuffy, so needless to say it was a sleepless night. However, the desert was beautiful by day and night, and with a little more effort from the hosts, this could be a very special experience!
We loved the trip and the organisation that does the camelride and the actual activity in the Sahara was perfect! Although an upgrade to a life tent is necessary to get a bit of comfort. I heard story's about the base camp and after a bit of a sandstorm during our camelride, we were happy that we could shower and sleep in a nice bed. It is quit a long trip though, but we knew it before we booked this. But prepare yourself for sitting in a bus for a loooooong time! I could however recommend the organisation to buy busses with more space. It was not really comfortable to sit in the minivan for such a long time as my knees were always hitting the backseat in front of me. Overall nice experience, interesting guides and nice activities during the trip towards El Chebbi.