The highlight of our 11 day Morocco adventure was our 24 hour desert camping experience in the Sahara.
There are many companies who organise the desert trips but we decided not to pre book and arranged it through the hotel the night before (very simple to do unless it’s peak season or NYE). If you have younger children you can share a camel – they just sit in front of you.
One thing to note is that there is a vast difference in the facilities that are offered in the desert camps. We wanted to sleep in a simple, traditional Bedouin tent, but we did pass a few camps that had more solid structures and a water tank. The camp we stayed in was called Oasis Merzouga. It had no running water or functioning toilet, but as the camp is located in a little oasis there were plenty of plants and trees to pop behind. This style of camping isn’t going to be for everyone, but for 24 hours we found that it was fine.
There are two different experiences to choose from:
- an overnight camping experience leaving Mendoza at 4pm and returning at 9.30am
- a 24 hour experience leaving at 9.30am and returning at 9.30am the next morning.
We opted for the 24 hour trip to maximise our time in the desert dunes, something we were really looking forward to.
The camel trekking is a great experience for adults and children. There’s something very calming about heading into the orange dunes that stretch for miles ahead of you, leaving the chaos of the city behind you.
All of the tours follow a similar pattern:
3 hour camel trek, lunch at an old Bedouin camp, 2 hour camel trek to camp. Dune climb to watch sunset, dinner at camp followed by traditional Berber music and singing around a fire (much needed if you visit in January as the temperature drops to minus 3), a night in the traditional Bedouin tents and an early camel trek back to the hotel at 7am.
If you love star spotting then you’re in for a treat. With no light pollution the night sky is spectacular and with no wi-fi, electricity or gadgets to hand there was something magical about lying in the sand together and getting lost staring up at the sky.
Be prepared to wrap up at night though as once the sun goes down the temperature drops considerably. We slept fully clothed with hats and gloves but don’t be too alarmed as the guides do provide plenty of blankets. Once we were snuggled up in the tent we had a really good nights sleep.
Things to consider:
- Pack plenty of layers (natural fibres are preferable), hats, gloves and warm socks so that you can wrap up in the evenings.
- Take toilet paper with you for any child related toilet emergencies, as no paper is provided
- Pack baby wipes and anti bacterial gel to minimise germs
- Take snacks for your kids – it’s a long day and dinner isn’t served until circa 7.30/8pm
- I recommend taking sleeping bag liners to use alongside the blankets.
- If you can borrow or get hold of a sand board do. Sand surfing is a lot of fun.