What to see and do in the Merzouga desert – Erg Chebbi Dunes
In this guide on what to see and do in the Merzouga desert, the gateway to the Erg Chebbi dunes, you will be able to discover all the information to visit one of the most amazing places in all of Morocco.
Merzouga is a small town in the Sahara desert, a few kilometers from the Algerian border, and the gateway to the magical Erg Chebbi dunes. Erg refers to the sandy area in the desert.
After completing the route of the Thousand Kasbahs, we returned to the road to discover everything that the impressive desert of Merzouga taught you.
The Erg Chebbi dunes are the favorite place on the road trip through Morocco. Not only because of the picturesque settings used in the film and the way the welcoming Berber people are depicted but also because the Merzouga desert offers a variety of intriguing things to do.
Stay and read our article to organize your trip to the Erg Chebbi dunes in the Merzouga desert. With Sahara Morocco Tours Agency, Go a had!
Excursion in 4×4 – One of the best things to do in Merzouga
A very top plan to do in Merzouga is to take a 4×4 excursion through the Merzouga desert to get to know the surroundings. In the case, you can do a private 4×4 tour to discover many cool places in the Sahara desert.
During the 4×4 excursion, it’s able to see an authentic village of a Berber tribe, who preserve their traditional lifestyle, characteristic of desert nomads.
Later, you can visit some rock formations where there were some abandoned mines that were formerly exploited by the French colonizers for the extraction of a mineral with which to manufacture the black dye for eye mascara in the cosmetics industry.
then you will visit the village of Khamila, near the Algerian border, where able to attend a show given by traditional Gnawa musicians, who played regional instruments and danced to the rhythm of the music. The Gnawa ethnic group is an authentic testimony of the time of the slavery of black populations from neighboring countries such as Mali, Sudan, Guinea, and Senegal, among others.
Quad biking through the dunes of Erg Chebbi – Very top plan to do in Merzouga
One of the activities that you will enjoy the most was driving a quad through the Erg Chebbi dunes. This activity allows you to delve into the depths of the desert, explore movie landscapes, and be captivated by the immensity of the sea of sand.
In this case, each one goes on an individual quad following the path that the guide was marking, going up and down steep dunes, feeling the speed, and enjoying like children.
Although to have certain doubts, and able to verify that it is a very safe activity, in which they provide you with a helmet and a few brief lessons before starting. It is important to follow the instructions of the guide at all times and follow the route that is marked, so as not to stray into unsafe areas
Without a doubt, it is one of the activities to do in Merzouga that to enjoy the most and we recommend you to do it.
If instead of touring the arid landscapes of the Merzouga desert on a quad you prefer to take a buggy tour, it is also possible. The good thing about the buggy is that being a larger vehicle, it is possible to do it as a couple.
Watch the sunset in the desert of Merzouga
One of the most unforgettable experiences to have in Merzouga is to enjoy most of a sunset in the Sahara desert. you will never forget the unique moment when the sun fell on the horizon and its rays tinted the undulating mantle of Erg Chebbi dunes with gold.
Whether in the light of sunset or dawn, the Erg Chebbi sand dunes become magical and offer you all their beauty.
Wavy dunes shaped by the wind and sandy ridges that reach infinity, draw a landscape of reddish and golden tones, alternating with the shadows cast by the dunes themselves, in an environment where silence reigns and absolute freedom is achieved.
Without a doubt, watching the sunset in the desert is a top activity to do in Merzouga.
Stay in a Berber tent
One of the experiences that you must have in Merzouga is to stay in a Berber Luxury tent in the middle of the desert.
you can stay at Sahara Desert Luxury Camp, a beautiful camp located in the middle of the desert. Both dinner and breakfast are included in the stay in this camp since it is not possible to buy anything around. Everything is delicious and the experience will be unbelievable.
In the evening after dinner, you will be around a bonfire in the light of the moon and the stars to listen to tober music.
Waking up in the camp before dawn is a success, in this way you can enjoy the first rays of sun on the extensive desert dunes.
To get to the camp you can do it either by camel or by 4×4 but most people prefer to do a camel ride, to have a wonderful experience filled with enjoyment.
Walking barefoot and getting lost in the immensity of the Erg Cheb sand dunes
In the desert, there’s nothing like walking aimlessly to distance yourself from camp enough to be engulfed by sand dunes and leave your mind blank.
Take off your shoes and feel the sand slide between your toes, savor the freedom of the desert, and let yourself be invaded by the most absolute silence. The desert is magical and you will merge with it, it will make you disconnect from everything.
Camel ride through the desert – An activity NOT responsible with animals
It is one of the most popular activities that take place in the Merzouga desert and there is an incredible supply and demand. you will see hundreds of tourists riding camels from morning until sunset. These beautiful animals hardly have rest.
The main problem with this activity is not riding a camel for a short time, but the number of hours that these animals are overloaded by the weight of tourists, covering a large number of kilometers in endless days.
How to get to the desert of Merzouga
To get to Merzouga you can do it through a rental vehicle, as many people did, or through an organized excursion, with www.saharamoroccotours.com
The distances between the different cities of interest are somewhat long. From Fes or Meknes to Merzouga it is 460 km (7’30 hours), from Ouarzazate to Merzouga 367 km (5’15 hours), and from Marrakech to Merzouga 558 km (9 hours) without making any stops along the way.
The roads are conventional and not in bad condition. some few problems you will have is the driving by local people, a bit aggressive, that’s why we are recommending booking your trip with a travel agency to avoid all the problems and to have an unforgettable experience.
If you want to go on an organized excursion, you have different options from Fes, Ouarzazate, or Marrakech that we will discuss below.
How many days does it take to see the desert of Merzouga?
We recommend spending at least two nights in the Merzouga desert. One day in the desert will not suffice for you, at least need two days to discover the Sahara desert because there are many cool places to visit. like Khamlia to listen to Gnawa music, have tea with nomads, visit the old city in Morocco Rissani, and more…
Lake Dayet Srij
This seasonally brackish lake four kilometers west of Merzouga dries up in summer but is replenished by autumn rains.
Like a giant blue sheet against the desert dunes, Lac Dayet Srij would be photogenic under any circumstances, but it’s all the more incredible for its abundant birdlife.
Money exchange in Morocco
The official currency in Morocco is the Dirham, and although you are rarely allowed to pay in euros, the change is not at all in line with the official rate.
In many establishments and restaurants, it was not possible to pay with a credit card, therefore, we recommend you change currency before your trip or withdraw money at ATMs in large cities such as Fes, Meknes; Marrakech, or Ouarzazate, Casablanca…
to exchange currency through this website xe.com.
Morocco travel insurance
In this case, never go on a trip without a good travel insurance that covers the mishaps you may have during the trip, state of health, luggage or any other circumstance, since you never know what can happen.
Always travel insured with Mondo, since we had to use it several times and we can recommend it from experience.
Travel insurance to Morocco with Mondo is very affordable, you can consult it through the following link where you also get a 5% discount.