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Merzouga

Learn about Merzouga desert

Intro

Merzouga is a small city on the foots of Erg Chebbi Sahara desert , Erg chebbi is Morocco's highest and largest sand dunes. At the foot of the dunes are a few other small villages which are worth to visit. One of those Villages is Khamlia village the home of black people, whose ancestors were taken there for a few centuries ago as slaves and now their descendants live there. They have developed a special spiritual music Gnawa which is wonderful to listen to, even dance if you get the urge. It tells about the times that have gone, but even about the current time. Spending 2 nights in the sahara desert of Merzouga will give you the chance to visit khamlia village and see the Khamlia music band. Go around sand dunes and see the life behind them, visit Nomads living in caves and share a cup of tea with them. To visit Merzouga from Marrakech you will need a minimum of 3 days desert trip from Marrakech and 2 days trip from Fes. The desert is quite spectacular and you'll want to spend more than just 90 minutes riding out into the dunes and back, especially after a long trip from Marrakech or Fes. 2 nights in Merzoug is very recommended and will allow you to take part in a couple of different activities while you're there. The quickest straight shot to get to Merzouga is to fly from Casablanca to Ouarzazate (7-8 hour drive to Merzouga), or Errachidia (2 hr drive to Merzouga)sss

Best time to Visit the Western Sahara desert:

The summer months between June and September can be brutally hot during the day, and not a lot of fun. Temperatures average around 115 Fahrenheit (45 C) during the summer and it's obviously dry as a bone. Nights in the desert do get much colder however and you'll need a good jacket even if you're sweltering during the day. During March and April you have a good chance of dealing with sandstorms as the Sirocco whips up. Best time to visit is from October to February.

The Weather in Merzouga Sahara Desert:

The general climate in Merzouga is typically hot. Rainfall is almost absent less than 100 mm per year. Temperatures are 14°C Average at winter and 35°C at summer sometimes the temperatures exceed 45°C. Nights can be very cold in winter, and cool at summer. It is better to avoid the heart of the summer, after all Merzouga in summer is very hot ! From end of June to September, during the hottest hours, you will definitively prefer to stay in the shadows, in the hotel, and you will have little time to enjoy the dunes. The rest of the year, from September to June, you will envoy the desert, and temperatures at night will always be significantly lower than during the day.

Sahara Desert Camp:

The standard campsites in Merzouga are equipped with tents arranged in a large circle, with mattresses, blankets and pillow inside. Outside of the circle are the shared wash-up facilities.

The Luxury campsites: are more comfortable white tents decorated inside with different color and design, the tents are equipped with comfortable beds. The wash-up facilities are private

Here are some tips to a good camel trek:

The most important thing to pack is a scarf although you can also purchase one upon your arrival in Rissani the last town before the sahara desert of Merzouga. A scarf can be used to protect your face from the wind and sand, as well as be draped over your shoulders to protect you from the beating sun.
Pack a small carry-on-sized backpack, and do not take more than you will need for one night, sunglasses, sun cream and ear plugs. You do not need laptop, cell phone or an array of high-tech gadgets,you will be in the middle of the desert. Do not dress skirts (for girls) or shorts to keep your bare legs from rubbing against the camel´s saddle. There is a lot of movement involved and you do not want to get a saddle burn. Dress in layers to prepare for any temperature and top it off with your scarf. The best way to avoid sore legs the next day is to actually hold onto your handle bar rather than squeezing your legs together for balance during the entire ride. Place your camera around your neck, as it can be difficult to retrieve from your bag later on and dangerous to carry without a strap.