Many visitors who wish to travel to Morocco have “Sahara Desert” on their list of places they want to visit. However, as soon as you decide to book any Morocco Sahara Desert tours, questions begin to arise.

These questions are related to your plan to visit the Sahara Desert in Morocco which can be a little challenging and complicated because of the fact that you don’t know which excursion is the best when everyone alleges to be the top. If you haven’t planned your Morocco desert journey yet and you are still thinking about the perfect arrangement for Morocco Sahara Desert tours, you will find this guide very useful. 

This article is inclusive to all the crucial things that are very necessary to be aware of before booking Morocco Sahara Desert tours:

  1. Where can you visit the Sahara Desert in Morocco?
  2. What is the best place to start a trip to the Sahara Desert in Morocco?
  3. How many days to plan for Morocco Sahara Desert Tours?
  4. What is the perfect season of the year to take and to join any of trips to Sahara Desert?
  5. The levels of Morocco Sahara Desert tours and what to anticipate at various prices
  6. The things you need to pack for your Morocco desert trip
  7. Some advice on taking Morocco Sahara Desert tours when traveling with children.
  8. Should you make your own travel plans or is it better to organized Morocco Sahara Tours?

I hope that after reading this article which includes many important considerations about Morocco Sahara Desert tours, you will have sufficient information to select the best Morocco desert tour.

Reserving a Morocco Sahara Desert Tour: Where can you even visit the Sahara Desert in Morocco?

One of the first thing you have to choose for your Morocco Sahara Desert tour is which region of the Sahara you desire to explore.

There are two major regions which travelers go to in Morocco for their Sahara Desert vacation. They are near Merzouga or near Zagora, and usually visitors start their Morocco Sahara Desert tours from Fez or from Marrakech.

Morocco Sahara Desert close to Merzouga 

Merzouga trips are the most famous Morocco Sahara excursions because of the fact that Merzouga is situated near the well-known Erg Chebbi sand hills. These dunes are much more desired and visited than dunes near Zagora, because of being taller and richer in color than other dunes including those near Zagora.

Possibly the most important benefit that you get by visiting the Sahara Desert near Merzouga is that the town is just exactly at the side of the amazing Erg Chebbi sand hills. Additionally, the town has plenty of contemporary hotels, and you can visit the sand dunes without any difficulty by riding a camel for 30 minutes only. For these reasons, a Merzouga desert excursion is, in comparison with other tours, comfortable and perfect for those people who have neither time nor desire to travel to distant places.

Despite being an advantage, its proximity to the sand dunes can also be a disadvantage at the same time. Being famous actually makes it more costly and since it is popular with travelers, camps can book up quickly with limited or no availability during peak seasons of tourism in Morocco.

Merzouga is situated about 11 hours ride from Marrakech or 7 hours ride from Fez. If you decide to join one of the Marrakech desert trips, you have to assign no less than two nights and three days because you need to stop for break at night along the way. 

Morocco Sahara Desert close to Zagora

It is situated in the southern part of Morocco near the Erg Chigaga sand dunes which are sited about 60 km from the closest road so the trip to view them needs a longer time than seeing the sand hills from Merzouga. To arrive at Zagora, you need to first get to the tiny town of M’hamid. From this place, it’s quite a long way across the difficult, harsh landscape before reaching the Erg Chigaga sand hills.

It’s also significant to point out that the Sahara Desert near Zagora isn’t the type of orange-like desert that you may envision. It is more a rocky desert, which has a desert semblance. That’s why, in addition to the fact that you need a longer time to get there, it is less popular than the Morocco Sahara Desert near Merzouga and visited only by tourists looking for a cheaper Morocco Sahara Desert tour or those who would like to stay away from the well-trodden way and prefer distant places. Zagora is situated about 9 hours ride from Marrakech or 14 hours ride from Fez (without any rest).

Going for a tour to the Agafay Desert 

For those who don’t have time for Morocco Sahara Desert tours, traveling to the Agafay Desert is a perfect substitute. It is situated approximately 40 km southwest of Marrakech and has a rugged desert terrain. You won’t observe the impressive sand dunes that you can see in Merzouga or Zagora, but for an Agafay Desert tour, you will still have the chance to take a camel tour through the desert. I only want to reaffirm that the Agafay Desert is quite different than the Sahara Desert.

Agafay Desert is also a perfect choice if you are travel to Morocco in summer. A lot of Moroccan desert camp choices shut down for a month or more because of the extreme weather conditions. That’s why if you are arranging a Sahara Desert trip in summer, you should think about traveling to the Agafay desert camps only out of Marrakech alternatively. It will also be hot but camps aren’t closed. 

Where is the best place to start your Sahara Desert trip in Morocco?

The most common and practical places to start Morocco Sahara Desert tours is from Marrakech or from Fez.  A very popular way is to visit the Sahara Desert in Morocco is to start in Marrakech, then after the desert to continue to Fez and of course, vice versa.

The number of days to assign for Morocco Sahara Desert tours?

Because of the fact that visiting either Merzouga or Zagora demands a lot of driving and no matter of whether you travel from Marrakech or Fez, it isn’t possible to go on a day trip to the Morocco Sahara Desert from Fez or Marrakech.

At minimum, if you are starting in Fez and returning to Fez, plan on 2 days, 1 night.  If you are starting in Marrakech and returning to Marrakech, I really recommend a minimum of 3 days, 2 nights.

However, if you want your Sahara Desert camping tour to be of great value, you actually will want to plan for additional days and nights, because of the fact that a large part of your trip will be spent on the road and you will want ample time to visit the stops along the way, as well as spend time in the desert.

For how long you will actually spend at a Morocco Sahara Desert camp, when you reserve a two or three night trip, it’s possible that you might only spend 1 night in the desert. On the other hand, for other trips you may stay your first night in the town near the desert and your second night at your desert camp. 

But spending two or three nights in the desert has an advantage which is that you will have the chance to discover the desert without a hurry and join in different activities for example, to visit locals, climb sand dunes, camel ride, and if you don’t want to do any of these activities, you can just relax and rest watching the stars, among the amazing sand dunes.

What are the levels of desert trips and desert camps?

Read: Morocco Sahara Desert Camps: How to Choose

When and which season should you take Morocco Sahara Desert tours?

Just like any travel destination, particular months or seasons are more preferred than other times, especially when we are talking about Sahara desert tours in Morocco.

Most people prefer to visit the Sahara Desert in Morocco between April and October. They think that it is the perfect time because of the fact that temperatures are moderate during the day and at night.

I advise you not to visit during winter “from December to March”, because of low temperatures, especially at night, which may reach below 32° F / 0° C.

On the other hand, if you visit the Moroccan Sahara Desert during summer “from June to September”, you will not be able to bear the high temperatures. It is also worth mentioning that several desert camps shut down during summer, particularly in August. 

What should you pack for any Morocco Sahara Desert tours?

All of our suggestions for what to bring on a Morocco Sahara Desert tour – CLICK HERE!

Should I DIY or are organized Morocco Sahara Desert tours better?

It is completely possible to plan and execute a Sahara desert trip by yourself and on your own.  You could choose to rent a car or even get to a desert camp by bus. Once you get there, you can plan all the activities that you would like to do in the Sahara. But, concerning staying in a camp, it is better to stay with one of the desert camps, rather than pitching a tent by yourself for many reasons. 

Some reasons to reserve organized Morocco Sahara Desert tours are:

1. The perfect Morocco desert tours are all-inclusive and incorporate your transport from either Marrakech or Fez, the exercises, residence and in general almost all meals.

2. There is less possibility of missing the way and being lost.

3. On an organized Morocco Sahara Desert, your driver or guide will tell you about the perfect spots to pause and take beautiful photos.

4. You will have less difficulties related to any language obstacle.

5. You can be quite assured of your safety and security. 

6. Above all, you have much more extra options of the whole tour to arrange.

But, I do highly recommend to check into organized Morocco Sahara Desert tours, especially if your budget can afford a private desert tour.

Not reserving before you arrive will lead you to reserve an unknown tour or a very cheap tour, no matter if it is good or not. The Sahara Desert tours Morocco offers are, for a lot of people, a unique chance, and no doubt you want to avoid getting frustrated. Trust me, when I speak about Morocco Sahara Desert tours, you will not spend your money in vain, and you will get more than you dream of.

Taking Morocco Sahara Desert tours with children

Several people inquire about the possibility of bringing their children on a Sahara trip. Now after reading this you will find out the answer to whether your children are ready for it or not. 

Before reserving any of the Morocco Sahara desert tours with your children, think about the following:

1. Keep in mind that you will be riding a car for a long time period. So if your kids aren’t accustomed to staying hours in the car, think about reserving a private tour that allows brief breaks at any moment your kids want.

2. Will your children be all right with riding a camel by themselves or is there a possibility of riding with parents? Does your excursion allow that?

3. Some kids may get bored staying at a camp in the midst of the desert. So you should bring some easy distractions such as books, games or a completely powered

4. Will your kids like conventional Moroccan cuisine? If you aren’t sure, bring some alternatives for them. 

(Content provided by Dema, edited by Morocco Local Insider)

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