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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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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 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Service rating : This was the first time that we've booked through Tourdust. It wasnt just easy, it was really nice to always have someone at the end of an email, even when aboard to help with any random questions, which we had one regarding an earlier flight departure back home. Id certainly use Tourdust again.
    Product : We got exactly what was advertised, and the staff knew the exact holiday that we were going on.

    Ben feefo reviewer verified review for Sahara Desert Trek on 13 January 2019

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Adventure on 11 December 2018

  • 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 R reviewing Sahara, Souks and Mountains Explorer on 14 October 2015

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