About Erg Chebbi - True Sahara Experience
A incredible journey across the High Atlas to the true Sahara & back in 4 days - Morocco's BEST panorama of a sea of sand dunes anywhere.
Activity code: Bougafer (04m)
Duration: 4 Days
The most impressive section of the Sahara is in the far southeast of Morocco, beyond Erfoud and Merzouga at the wild dunes of Erg Chebbi. On this four day trip we combine the incredible journey there and back from your accommodation in Marrakech with two nights in beautiful, small hotels along the way and a night in a deluxe Bedouin camp within the incredible high dunes of Erg Chebbi - all travel is by comfortable air-conditioned 4WD vehicle.
This Sahara trip is deluxe, fantastic value and fully-inclusive. It also includes a stunning drive over the High Atlas Mountains via the Tichka Pass, a camel ride through the dunes of the Sahara, plenty of sightseeing along the way and all your meals.
From your hotel or riad in Marrakech your journey begins by crossing the Glaoua Plains and then climbs the winding road up and over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi n'Tichka (2260m). From this high point you will see a dramatic change in the countryside - from high mountain ranges to wide-open vistas of semi-desert landscape and then through oases. You will stop at the magnificent kasbah at Telouet and then take the lesser-travelled route to the exotic kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) where many Hollywood films have been shot; including, as everyone will tell you, "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Mummy" and "Gladiator" and more recently, "Game of Thrones".
Further south you will encounter the frontier town of Ouarzazate and then on day 2 drive down the beautiful Draa Valleyto visit more fascinating kasbahs and take in the fantastic scenery of the great southern road from Agdz to N'Kob and on to Rissani, alongside the vast Bougafer Massif. Your journey continues into the real Sahara, to the dunes of Erg Chebbi for a stay at a luxury desert camp, arriving into the wilderness by camel meharre. Your route back to Marrakech also takes two days and completes the circuit of the south, visiting the impressive Todra and Dades Gorges and passing through Skoura prior to taking a different road up to the Tichka Pass and ending your adventure back at your hotel in Marrakech.
In Ouarzazate and Tineghir there are overnight stays in small kasbah-style hotels with dinner and breakfast included; the second night is at a location deep within the Sahara at Erg Chebbi. The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away, this second night may be spent in our carpetted, deluxe tents or out in the open under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.
All travel is by comfortable, air-conditioned 4WD vehicle(s), there is an extended camel ride in the desert with overnight in deluxe Bedouin tents in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
WE RECOMMENDED YOU BRING: day pack (for camera, water bottles, hat, etc.); windcheater (seasonal), broad-brimmed hat (or you may purchase a 'Cheche' before you set out from Zagora); personal toiletries and towel; hygienic wipes (and/or gel); small First Aid kit; head torch with batteries; filled water bottle(s); sunscreen, sunglasses; nibbles and/or dried fruit. Drinking chocolate if preferred. Extra toilet rolls could come in handy! For those who wear contact lenses, perhaps it would be a good idea to bring along a spare pair of glasses.
CLOTHING: Comfortable clothes for travelling, loose clothing for the camel ride and warmer layers for the colder desert nights.
Departure around 7:30am from your hotel/riad in Marrakech by air-conditioned 4WD over the Glaoua Plain to cross the High Atlas Mountains via the fabulous Tichka Pass (2220m). En route to Ouarzazate your route will detour to the majestic Kasbah of Telouet, ancestral home of Pacha Glaoui and then continue by the lesser-travelled road through the valley of Ounila to the UNESCO world heritage site of Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. There will be time here for a lunch followed by a visit of the Kasbah before going on to Ouarzazate for an optional visit to the studios of cinematography before checking in to your small hotel/riad.
Your journey on this day begins, after a traditional breakfast at your hotel, across the lunar landscapes at Tizi n'Tinififft en route to Agdz where you will take a side track along the palmeraies of the Draa Valley to Kasbah Tamnougalte, an ancient caravanserai. After visiting the Kasbah travel your driver will branch off the Draa Valley on to the great southern road to N'Kob for a lunch stop and then continue to Alnif alongside the vast Bougafer massif. On arrival in Merzouga you will meet up with the camel drovers who will take you on a camel meharee (ride) of approx. 1 hour to reach the Bedouin camp in the heart of sand dunes.
Early birds can witness the magnificent sunrise on the top of the dunes*.
* Please ask if you wish to be woken for sunrise; your guide will not automatically wake you. Alternatively, your guide will confirm the local sunrise time for you to set your alarm.
After breakfast depart for the village of Rissani and its fossilized marble factories. Now pass through the oasis of Jorf with its old irrigation system and on to the palmeraie of Tineghir where you will have lunch before continuing to the impressive Todgha Gorge to walk under its towering cliffs. Your final short drive is over to the Dades Valley and a warm welcome at a small kasbah-style hotel near the gorge.
This morning after breakfast a short detour along the road to the site of the strange rock formations of the "Monkey Fingers" and then through the magnificent Dades Gorge. Your ever-changing journey today takes you through the "Valley of the Roses" to the famous palmeraie of Skoura where you can enjoy your picnic lunch before re-joining the road along the lake to Ouarzazate once more. As you travelled down the "back road" on day 1 your route up to the Tizi n’Tichka today offers yet more new vistas. Once down into Marrakech you will be dropped at your hotel/riad.