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Sahara Desert Trek

A 6 day camel trek traversing the mountains of Jebel Bani and major dune system of Erg Chegaga in the remote Moroccan Sahara. Reviving the spirit of ancient desert caravans, you will be camping out in the desert under a silent star-laden sky.

Private Trek Adventure 6 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

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…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

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Itinerary

Overview

Eight hours East of Marrakech the road finally ends at the Saharan frontier village of M’hamid and a rocky mountain ridge gives way to a vast desert plain punctuated by dunes and scrubby rocky desert. This is true desert country where ancient caravans once headed East to Timbuktu. The region boasts several large dune systems, including Chegaga (Morocco’s largest dune group) and Bougarn. The trek is a traverse from Faija crossing over the mountains of Jebel Bani down the dry Mhasser River bed and on past the Erg Chegaga dunes back to M’hamid.

Highlights of this Erg Chegaga Camel trek include; sleeping in the silence of the desert under a star laden sky, letting the camels take the strain as you relive Lawrence of Arabia fantasies, trekking through the rolling sand dunes of Erg Chigaga and the Bhugan Dunes and feasting on fantastic Moroccan salads, tagines and cous cous prepared by your very own trek chef.

If you would like us to arrange your entire stay in Morocco, including airport transfers, one night before your trek and then two nights afterwards in a boutique riad, please select the Trek & Marrakech Package in the drop down box at the bottom of this page.

Day-by-day

Itinerary is subject to change depending on prevailing conditions.

DAY 1: DRIVE FROM MARRAKECH TO FAIJA VIA ZAGORA
Starting from Marrakech, you will travel East to the desert with your guide and driver. Once you clear the Tizi n’Tichka you are in the desert and following a magnificent route along the Dades Valley past crumbling Kasbah and Date plantations. There is usually time for a visit to the crumbling Glaoui Kasbah of Telouet. After Zagora, you’ll follow a dirt road South to arrive at Faija, where the camp is set up ready. Distance: 400 kms driving (with breaks).
Meals Included: Lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Camping
Transport (where relevant): 400km / 8 hrs driving

DAY 2: TREK FROM FAIJA OVER THE MOUNTAIN PASS OF COL OUM LAACHER
After an early breakfast, you set off through a flat area of farmland at the foot of Djebel Bani. It is a steep but rewarding climb up to the famous pass of Oum Laachar which affords fantastic views East and West over the desert before descending on the other side down to Oued Lemhasser for overnight camp. Approx. 5-6 hours walking / 17 kms.
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Camping
Transport (where relevant):

DAY 3: TREK FROM OUED LAMHASSER TO THE ERG CHIGAGA DUNES
Today you will walk towards the stunning dunes of Erg Chigaga, Morocco’s largest dune system. Setting out early to avoid the worst of the heat of the day the dune systems slowly grows from a dot on the horizon to a set of dunes that runs as far as the eye can see. You’ll camp overnight between the dunes. Approx. 5-6 hours walking / 20 kms
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Camping
Transport (where relevant):

DAY 4: TREK FROM THE ERG CHEGAGA DUNES TO THE DUNES OF BOUGARN
Walking in the heart of the desert, you will leave the Chegaga Dunes heading towards the beautiful dunes of Bougarn, camping overnight in the dunes. Approx. 5 hours walking / 16 kms.
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Camping
Transport (where relevant):

DAY 5: TREK FROM THE DUNES OF BOUGARN TO THE NOMAD'S WELL AT OUED NAAM
After an early breakfast, you will leave the Bougarn Dunes and walk East towards Oued Naam and the relative civilisation of Mhamid. The terrain is flat with rocky desert punctuated by numerous small dunes. The area is a major thoroughfare for nomadic camel herders, and if lucky you’ll see large herds of camels on route. Camp overnight at Oued Naam, the site of a well which forms an important meeting place for nomadic families. Approx. 5 - 6 Hours walking / 16 kms.
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Camping
Transport (where relevant):

DAY 6: TREK BACK TO M'HAMID AND RETURN TO MARRAKECH
Final day of walking, you’ll be up early for breakfast and then walk the last three hours to M’hamid where your driver will be waiting for the long drive back to Marrakech. (3 hours walking)
Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: N/A
Transport (where relevant): 400km / 8 hrs driving

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Sahara Desert Camping

Sahara Desert

Our rating

NA

Price guide

Price rating

Details

Getting there

Flying from the UK... Marrakech has an international airport (RAK) which is serviced by several airlines flying direct from the UK. The flight time is around 3.5hours. On average it takes around an hour to clear airport security and then around 15 – 20 minutes to drive to the Medina or 1 – 1.5 hours to reach the Atlas Mountains.

From the South East:
Gatwick: Easy Jet, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc &Thomson
Luton: Ryanair
Stansted: Ryanair & Easy Jet

From the South West:
Bristol: Easy Jet

From the Midlands:
Birmingham: Thomson

From the North:
Manchester: Easy Jet and Thomson

From Ireland:
Dublin: Ryanair

Price includes

Quoted price is per person for a group of 4 people and includes:
- Private transfers to and from Marrakech
- English speaking mountain & desert guide
- Cook, all meals on trek and bottled water
- Camels to carry your kit bags
- Camping equipment

When is best?

This trek is only available from October to the end of April when the weather is cooler and there is less risk from scorpions and snakes.

Is it for me?

Make no mistake, trekking through the desert is tough going, covering on average 18km a day. However the rewards of simply experiencing the wilds of the desert are more than worthwhile. The good news is that you will be fully supported by experienced guides, cook and camels to lug the gear. You will need to be fairly fit and have a good resilient attitude.

Tourdust trek grading : Demanding

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 613 reviews

(4.94/5)

  • It was totally awesome!! Climbing the Toubkal summit by moonlight is just breathtaking!!! Yes it was absolutely freezing and so glad I took layers of thermals and hat and gloves!!

    The Riads you booked were great, we both loved them, although we preferred the second Kasbah in Imlil we stayed in to the Kasbah Toubkal on our first night, our room was great especially after being in hostels for several nights!! Boy were they cold!!!!

    El Fenn is fabulous, Lilly Allen had been staying with her band that week and left the day we arrived! Love that place, we are planning to go back next year! Caravanne was like walking into a little boutique hotel, loved that place as well.

    There's something special about the mountains, loved it!

    The desert camp was really well organised, although to be honest I think two nights are enough as there is not a lot to do and it is blisteringly hot by 9.00!! But we were looked after really well and had my first glass of wine for two weeks, went down very well!!! The sundowners were so much fun, especially trying to walk through the dunes after a couple of wines!!

    Really great adventure and thank you so much for putting such a fab trip together for us!

    MissingLiz Rowsell reviewing Sahara, Souks and Mountains Explorer on 14 October 2015

  • We had a a wonderful time in Morocco. We were delighted with our guide Mustapha. He was a brilliant pairing for us as he tuned into what we liked and didn't, taught us lots about history, culture and geology and really looked after us at all times. I would recommend him to anyone in the future. Hamid our muleteer and Sayed our driver were also excellent.

    We loved the itinerary that Rebecca put together for us. She was right about how much we could fit in and so we will have to return another time to try Essaouria!

    Apart from the additional bed-fellows during the trekking (which was in itself a learning experience!), we were really happy with all our accommodation. We loved the fact they were small, often family run and that the staff would look after you completely. It was so reassuring to see the clear process of quality assurance by Tourdust. It was great to meet Anna at Riad Adore and to know that the company really is passionate about its customers having a great time and the lengths they go to test that for themselves.

    We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert. The team showed genuine interest in us and our trip and I felt that Rebecca was almost as excited as we were by the time all arrangements were in place. The information pack provided was invaluable too and I must admit I printed the lot because it turned out to be more useful than guidebooks. We usually travel independently and like to do so. We'd forgotten how relaxing it can be to have someone do all the hard work of planning and scheduling and even making a decision of where to stop for lunch. I'm certain that these things made the holiday the special experience that it was.

    I am struggling to think of just one thing which could have been improved. The only thing I can think of is to add 'hat and gloves' to the itinerary for the Toubkal summit. Although I think this is included in the winter trekking advice, I don't think its listed otherwise. It was darn cold up there due to the wind chill, but Mustapha had a spare pair so I was ok. If I missed it on the list then apologies.

    We will definitely be using Tourdust again and look forward to hearing about any new destinations that you add (we are interested in Cuba next!!)

    MissingMatthew McSweeney reviewing Sahara, Souks and Mountains Explorer on 10 November 2014

  • We have just returned from Morocco after a splendid trip. Thank you very much for organizing such an excellent trip. The planning and detail put into every aspect of the trip was very obvious and ensured we had such a great holiday.
    The four days trekking were superb, culminating in our ascent to the top of Mount Toubkal with its spectacular views and breathtaking scenery. Our guide, Yusuf, was very able and professional and we were particularly impressed by our cook, Abdullah, who produced excellent food, meal after meal, without exception.
    We were also impressed by the very high standard of accommodation, particularly Kasbah Ellouze and Dar Hannane whose manager, Mohamed, and assistant manager, Azziz, were incredibly friendly and helpful.
    Purely for information and feedback purposes, the only slight hiccup, in an otherwise flawless holiday, was the fact that the driver we had for the two day trip to Ait Benhaddou had little or no English.
    Once again, thank you so much for all the planning and detail you put into this trip. As per your e mail, on a score out of five, we would award five out of five to Tourdust and would have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending your company to any prospective traveller.
    None of us are on Facebook but please feel free to use any of the above comments in any of your promotional material.
    We would love to use Tourdust again in any future trips and with that in mind look forward to being in touch with you both again.

    MissingCharles Fox reviewing Sahara, Souks and Mountains Explorer on 06 October 2014

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