Thursday, 30 January 2014

Gateway To The Dunes Of Sahara Merzouga

The quaint little town of Merzouga in the South West of Morocco is located near the large sand dunes of Erg Chebbi bordering the Sahara desert.
Sahara Merzouga
Travelers come here to experience the vast expanse of the sand dunes and enjoy camel rides on the desert stay in the Berber tents and experience the Berber life and cuisine like authentic Tagline. Merzouga is otherwise an outlying town having very few residents, fewer numbers of shops, and cafe.


Getting here

Getting to Merzouga can be a tedious task as two of is neighboring towns are accessible by road. Flights fly twice a week to Ouarzazate, (which is about 7 hrs) and to Er Rachicia (about 2 hrs from Merzouga). This place is not accessible by train.

Things to do

1. Camel Ride and Camp
Camel Ride and Camp

Camel ride and a night under the stars are both ‘must experience’ for the tourist. Most of the tours have options of staying in the Berber tents and experiencing African Village life in a remote corner which can be a very fulfilling and filled with tranquility. Negotiating with the Camel riders can get you a good bargain for the camel rides which typically last up to 2 hours. A plenty of tour operators offer guided tours from Marakkech and Fez which is the safest and best possible option to explore the desert and the nearby villages. A two day trip to Merzouga is a good enough experience as the time spent in the desert is simply spectacular as you can do a couple of other activities as well.

2. Other activities include the quad biking, hot air balloon, bird watching and Sand hiking.
hot air balloon
Children can experience the thrill of quad biking in the desert as it is child –friendly.


Best time to visit

The Best time to Visit Merzouga is from October to February. The summer months from April to September can get brutally hot, and can get very dry, you may need a jacket during the night especially if you are sweltering during the day. During the months of March and April one can experience the sand storms as the sirocco whips up during these months.

Accommodation
Auberge Kasbah Tombouctou

Stay options in Merzouga include locally run hotels namely Guest House Merzouga and Auberge Takojt.  Riad Nehza and Kasbah Mohayut are good value options that let you dine as well as have swimming pool. Auberge Kasbah Tombouctou is a luxury option. 
All these places offer guided tours to the sand dunes and lets you experience the wonders of the Gateway to the Sahara.