About Erg Chebbi - Off the Beaten Track
Three day meharee by camel into Erg Chebbi (from Erfoud) - an off the beaten track adventure in the real Sahara. The BEST way to see the incredible panorama of the sea of sand dunes.
Activity code: ITCLAS01m
Duration: 3 Days
The Sahara feels like such a distant image that it would not seem possible to get there and back in a few days from Marrakech, or even from Fez, but with Rediscover the World a visit to the real desert of Morocco's deep south is a reality. The most impressive section of the Sahara in just a little southeast of Erfoud and it is in this region that we offer this stunning experience into the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
This excursion is a unique experience away from the main areas of the Erg Chebbi dunes offering as true a Sahara wilderness as is possible just a day's ride away from the nearest town. It is designed to be included in one of our fly-drive holidays or popular chauffeur-driven private journeys.
All travel from Erfoud is by 4WD vehicle across the piste routes to Merzouga and then to the very edge of the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
You will spend the nights out in the desert, in Bedouin camp amongst the stunning dunes of Erg Chebbi. The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away, this night may be spent in our carpetted, nomadic tents or deluxe caidal tents or out in the open under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.
WHY NOT UPGRADE TO THE DELUXE VERSION:
The Luxury Camp at Tislite Noumzar is an isolated Sahara camp, exclusive and private situated in the North East of Erg Chebbi. It’s tucked away with high dunes enclosing you on all sides, just a couple of hours by dromedary from the starting point of the Auberge. There are typical Moroccan white tents and nomad Berber tents made from traditional dark materials, with proper mattresses, sheets and blankets as well as electricity inside providing all the comfort and privacy needed to enjoy your experience. There are also shared flushable western toilets and hot showers. For those who like to splurge themselves once in a while, there are even 2 luxury suites, divided in two different spaces: bed and living room, with private toilets and hot showers, where you can experience this desert adventure with all the comfort you are used to.
On arrival at the bivouac a welcome cocktail will be served with Moroccan biscuits, followed by a copious Moroccan dinner in the stylish restaurant, a traditional mud-type house decorated in a Saharien style ... and in the evening, there will be plenty of music and dancing around a campfire. The following morning an American breakfast will be served, (coffee, tea or hot chocolate and orange juice, Moroccan bread with butter, a choice of jams and olive oil, Berber pancakes, fried, boiled eggs or omelette, cheese and yoghurt). The luxury Sahara desert camp is an adventure not to be missed if you want to get the right feeling of nomadic and rural Morocco.
All travel is by air-conditioned vehicle, there is an extended camel ride into the desert with an overnight stay in a Bedouin tent 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 (or gel); small First Aid kit; torch with batteries (non-essential); 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.
NB. There is a reduction possible if you are able to rendezvous independently in Merzouga, e.g. self-drive holiday with a 4WD or if you have a driver/guide booked through Rediscover the World.
From your rendezvous point at the Hotel Tizimi in Erfoud [2pm during the winter months, 3pm in summer], one of our local and very experienced drivers will take you for an hour's drive in a 4WD towards the south, crossing the Oued Ziz, first along a tarmac road for some 16km, then another 35km of sandy piste trails carved out of the sandy crust by motorbikes and other adventurous vehicles to the tiny desert town of Merzouga in an enormous palmeraie. From here you will see, in a dramatic line almost perfectly from north to south, the incredible panorama of the sea of sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi.
Once you've arrived at Merzouga, alight to enjoy a traditional welcoming glass, or two, of mint tea at the Auberge du Sud whilst your baggage is being loaded onto the pack animals. At around 4pm (in winter; 5pm summer) set off, one person per dromedary, across a sea of golden dunes. This is the only 'true' desert area of the kingdom of Morocco and an area where meteorites continue to be found, as well as crocodile teeth, shark, pterosaur and spinosaurus fossils. Your chamelier will stop in the middle of nowhere for you to witness, from the high dunes, Nature’s incredible light show of sunset over ever-changing colours of dunes, then to continue on under the star-filled heavens to the bivouac site of a carpeted Berber tent in a small oasis.
First things first, a glass of mint tea whilst your packs are being unloaded. A tagine dinner is prepared and, after dessert, tea or coffee, all around the romantic camp fire, - it can get cold at night – to chat or singalong to your heart's content.
A Berber breakfast of tea, sand bread, jam and cheese is ready around 7 o'clock, having awakened to an unforgettable sunrise to equal last night’s setting of the sun. The dromedaries are being saddled up for the next stage of your adventure, now towards the west for some 3.5 hours, crossing the region of the Guir Hamada - a stony part of the desert pan carved out by the long-dried-up Oued Guir, a plateau of black stones dotted with the hardy acacia, pistachio bushes, the occasional date palm, stunted shaking poplars and small dunes.
On reaching the tents of a nomadic tribe you will stop for a picnic of Moroccan salads, cheeses, bread and mint tea away from the blazing sun. Some 2 hours later, (around 4:30 in summer, 2:30 in winter) you will set off again towards the north on a 2 hour meharee across the desert plateau towards the almost deserted hamlet of Tisardmine, where the plan is to bivouac for the night in the shade of some date palm trees. As the evening's dinner of tajine or kebabs or couscous is being prepared, you have, once more, the spectacle of a magnificent sunset.
A last brilliant sunrise, a final Bedouin breakfast and you are ready to set off back across the plain around 8:30am for a final Meharee of some 2 hours to the Auberge Du Sud, where you have the opportunity to take a shower before boarding the 4WD and a 1.5 hour drive back to Erfoud and your original starting point at the Hotel Tizimi.