One of the main attractions I was looking for when booking my trip to Morocco was spending a night camping in the desert. I knew I had to experience the Sahara desert at least once in my lifetime and the trip to Morocco seemed like the perfect time to do it. I remember trying to find articles about what it was like camping in the Sahara desert in Morocco so I could be better prepared for it. If you too are like me and wondering what it’s like, then keep reading this post to find out more about my experience camping in the Sahara desert in Morocco.
Where is the Morocco Desert
Most if not all desert treks in Morocco are in an area called Merzouga, near the Algerian border. It can be a bit of a drive to and from the desert but the experience is fully worth it in my opinion.
How to Get to The Desert
I got to the desert through the tour company that I booked for my overall tour of Morocco. As a solo female traveler and somewhat of a budget traveler, I found this to be the best option for me as I couldn’t afford a private tour company. This tour company uses a company who specializes in the Morocco desert for our one night in the desert. Once we got to the desert, we were handed off to this desert tour company and they put us in 4-wheelers and drove us out to the middle of nowhere in the desert.
If you are an independent traveler then you can book camping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco directly from a company that provides this experience. I had taken down the contact details of the desert tour company but unfortunately cannot find it anymore.
Alternatively, you could also book a tour like the ones below.
Before we drove off to the middle of nowhere in the desert, we had the chance to ride camels and watch the sun go down between the sand dunes. It was the 31st of December and truly one of the most amazing New Year’s Eves I’ve had.
What is the Camp Site Like
After a bit of a bumpy ride up and down sand dunes, we finally got to our camp site. Wow! I was so impressed by the site. It was certainly not a basic camp site! In fact, it was luxury glamping! Our camp was huge! It had a big tent that functioned as a dining room and spacious tents that functioned as bed rooms. The walking paths around the camp (i.e., dining to the rooms) were laid out with red carpet and lit with huge Moroccan lamps! I left like royalty walking on red carpets!
Each tent was a double or triple room with real beds and bedding, nightstands, carpets, lamp shades and light fixtures (this one really surprised me) and full bathrooms. The bathrooms had a shower, toilet, sink and most importantly hot water! Definitely wasn’t expecting this kind of luxury in the middle of the desert!
Experience Camping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco
We got 3 meals on camp in a separate dining room. Tea time when we got there, dinner, and breakfast. Each meal was well thought of and delicious and accompanied by Moroccan mint tea of course! Again, I was very impressed by the meals as well!
We had a bon fire in the nighttime outside in our camp. This was a nice touch given that it was December and the temperature was cold. We gathered around it and were entertained my locals who sang and played drums. It was nice to participate in local desert life!
One thing I will never ever forget about camping in the Sahara desert in Morocco was the night sky. I cannot put into words what I saw and unfortunately I did not bring my tripod with me to the desert (left it with the main tour operator) so I have no proof to show you what I saw either! The entire night sky was lit up by so many stars and constellations. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sky that clear in my entire life!
I woke up early to watch the sunrise on the 1st day of the year. It was such a wonderful experience seeing the sun rise above the dunes in the desert!
Cell phone reception is spotty and even when there is some reception it’s on edge a.k.a non-existent speeds. I just put my phone away and enjoyed the experience.
As I mentioned before, I did this camping experience in December. There is a huge difference in the temperature when the sun is out vs. when it sets. The nighttime is extremely cold while the day time is bearable. The reverse is true in the summer when the nighttime is bearable and the day time is scorching hot. Our campsite was well prepared for the winter. Even though there was no heat in the rooms, we were given so many blankets and a hot water bottle. I slept very comfortably.
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Touring more of Morocco? Check out all my posts on Morocco HERE. I toured Marrakesh on my own and joined a tour for the rest of my visit to Morocco.