Erg Chebbi - True Sahara Experience

Off the Beaten Track (ref. 04m)

Summary

A incredible journey across the High Atlas to the true Sahara & back in 4 days - Morocco's BEST panorama of a sea of sand dunes anywhere.

START / FINISH - Marrakech

Activity code: Bougafer (04m)

Duration: 4 Days

The highest dunes in Morocco's Sahara are in the far southeast of the country, beyond Erfoud and Merzouga at the wild sand sea of Erg Chebbi. On this fabulous four day trip you will experience an incredible journey, two nights in beautiful, small hotels and a night in a deluxe Bedouin camp within the incredible high dunes of Erg Chebbi. All travel is in a comfortable air-conditioned 4WD vehicle, directly from your accommodation in Marrakech.

This Sahara trip is a deluxe experience, offers fantastic value and is fully-inclusive. It includes a stunning drive over the High Atlas Mountains via the Tichka Pass, a camel ride through the dunes of the Sahara, plenty of sightseeing along the way and all your meals.

What's the journey like?

From your riad in Marrakech your journey begins by crossing the Glaoua Plains and then climbs the winding road up and over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tichka pass at 2260m. From this high point you will see a dramatic change in the countryside - from high mountain ranges to wide-open vistas of semi-desert landscape and oases. You will visit the magnificent kasbah at Telouet and then take the lesser-travelled route to the exotic kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) where many Hollywood films have been shot; including "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Mummy" and "Gladiator" and more recently, "Game of Thrones".

Further south you will encounter the frontier town of Ouarzazate, then take in the spectacular views of the beautiful Draa Valley at the Tizi n'Tinififft, visiting more fascinating kasbahs. Afterwards, take in the fantastic scenery of the great southern road from Agdz to N'Kob and on to Rissani, alongside the vast Bougafer Massif. Your journey continues into the real Sahara, to the dunes of Erg Chebbi for a stay at a luxury desert camp, arriving into the wilderness by camel meharee. Your journey back to Marrakech also takes two days and completes the circuit of the south, visiting the impressive Todra and Dades Gorges and passing through Skoura oasis prior to taking a different road up to the Tichka Pass and ending your adventure back at your hotel in Marrakech.

Where will you stay?

In Ouarzazate and Tineghir there are overnight stays in small kasbah-style hotels with dinner and breakfast included; the second night is at a location deep within the Sahara at Erg Chebbi. The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away, this second night may be spent in our carpetted, deluxe tents or out in the open under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.

Important Information

All travel to and from the desert is by air-conditioned, 4WD vehicle, most meals and sightseeing are included and there is an extended duration camel meharee (ride) into the desert with an overnight stay in deluxe Bedouin tents in beautiful and peaceful settings. All our desert trips are based on including private transfers from Marrakech; please contact us to arrange accommodation - we are experts for small hotels and riads across Morocco.

We recommend you bring the following: 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 (and/or gel); small First Aid kit; head torch with batteries; 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.

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Gallery

Based upon 4 persons travelling.

Prices from £602 per person

What does your Desert Adventure include ?

  • Transport throughout by air-conditioned Land Cruiser with English-speaking driver
  • Experienced chamellier & trained dromedary for ride at Erg Chebbi camp
  • Two nights small hotel accommodation with dinner & breakfast
  • Lunch at Ait Ben Haddou on Day 1
  • Lunch at N'Kob on Day 2
  • Lunch at Tineghir on Day 3
  • Picnic lunch on Day 4 at Skoura oasis
  • Dinner & breakfast in desert camp
  • Deluxe Bedouin tents (carpeted, sleeping on raised mattresses)
  • WC tent & shower at camp
  • Visit of kasbahs stated on main itinerary
  • All local taxes
  • 24hr local representative services

Itinerary

Departure around 7:30am from your hotel/riad in Marrakech, to drive over the Glaoua Plain and cross the High Atlas Mountains via the fabulous Tichka Pass (2220m). En route to Ouarzazate your route will detour to the majestic Kasbah of Telouet, ancestral home of Pacha Glaoui, then continue by the lesser-travelled road through the Ounila valley to the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou. There will be time here for a lunch followed by a visit of the Kasbah prior to arriving in Ouarzazate for an optional visit to the film studios.

  • Overnight at a traditonal small hotel in Ouarzazate
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner.

Your journey on this day begins, after a traditional breakfast at your hotel, across the lunar landscapes at Tizi n'Tinififft en route to Agdz where you will take a side track along the palmeraies of the Draa Valley to Kasbah Tamnougalte, an ancient caravanserai. After visiting the Kasbah, branch off the Draa Valley on to the great southern road to N'Kob for lunch and then continue to Alnif, alongside the vast Bougafer massif. On arrival in Merzouga you will meet up with our camel drovers who will take you on a camel meharee (ride) to reach the Bedouin camp in the heart of sand dunes. 

  • Overnight in a deluxe desert camp at the foot of the Erg Chebbi dunes.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Early birds can witness the magnificent sunrise on the top of the dunes*.

* Please ask if you wish to be woken for sunrise; your guide will not automatically wake you. Alternatively, your guide will confirm the local sunrise time for you to set your alarm.

After breakfast depart for the village of Rissani and its fossilized marble factories. Now pass through the oasis of Jorf, with its old irrigation system, and on to the palmeraie of Tineghir where you will have lunch before continuing to the impressive Todgha Gorge to walk under its towering cliffs. Your final short drive is over to the Dades Valley and a warm welcome at a small kasbah-style hotel near the gorge. 

  • Overnight at a traditonal small hotel in Dades Valley.
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

This morning after breakfast a short detour along the road to the site of the strange rock formations known as the "Monkey Fingers" and then through the magnificent Dades Gorge. Your ever-changing journey today takes you through the "Valley of the Roses" to the famous palmeraie of Skoura where you can enjoy your picnic lunch before re-joining the road along the lake to Ouarzazate once more. As you travelled down the "back road" on day 1 your route up to the Tizi n’Tichka today offers yet more new vistas.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Once back into Marrakech you will be dropped at your hotel or riad. End of tour will be early evening on day 4.

Flexible Tailor-Made Holidays

  • We believe passionately that no two holidays should be the same.
  • With our flexible tailor-made holiday options you can travel at your own pace.
  • Rediscover a city, a resort or an island in a weekend or longer.
  • Take a small group tour or embark upon a more adventurous trip.

Trusted Service

  • ATOL cover for flight inclusive holidays.
  • One of us at Rediscover the World is very likely to have visited the hotels and travelled along the routes on your itinerary.
  • Dynamic, comprehensive travel app with all your documents, maps and much more.
  • Full financial protection for your holiday (TTA).

Why book Sahara trips with us ?

  • Transport throughout by air-conditioned 4WD with English-speaking driver.
  • Extended duration camel ride with experienced chamellier & trained dromedary.
  • Overnight in deluxe Bedouin tents (with proper beds) in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
  • NO hidden extras. NO groups. FULLY Insured.