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The Sahara

Most travelers imagine the Sahara Desert to be an endless sea of sand, dunes stretching as far as the eye can see in all directions. That’s what the films would have us believe, at least. The reality is that dunes are the exception rather than the rule but they’re still breathtakingly beautiful and Morocco has 2 main sets: the Erg Chebbi dunes near M’zouga and the Erg Chigaga dunes near Zagora.

To get to either place you need to take a 12 hour bus ride from Marrakech or Fez and prepare to be hustled by people used to taking tourists out on camels to the desert for a night, making them some Berber whiskey (sweet tea), bashing a few drums and then back in the morning. The sight of tourists each sat on a camel, all the camels tied together, reminds one of a child given a plastic steering wheel in the back seat of the car.

What you really want to do is head out for a few days to a remote camp and allow the silent majesty of the desert to do its thing. The sky is crystal clear making moon and starlight a hypnotic show, the tiny particles of sand sparkle in the light and the dunes have a sensous quality all of their own. Just being there is like meditation.

our camp in the Sahara

our camp in the Sahara

Road Junky runs its Morocco Sahara Retreat each year in Jan/Feb and the rest of the year we can recommend who we found reliable and honest people to work with.