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Morocco, Merzouga – Staying Over Night in Desert

Published: 3.9.2022
In relation to Morocco, everyone will surely recall, besides local colored ceramics, clay architecture, tajines (long swaths) and long caftans, the orange-colored Moroccan part of the Sahara. It is an element so typical for this country that it is almost unbelievable that desert dunes only spread to a small percentage of otherwise vast land. The largest and most famous dune is undoubtedly Erg Chebbi.

In fact, Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga (the second largest Moroccan dune) are not actually part of the Sahara. It is only desert-inflated sand that has been deposited over time on the harsh steppes of south-eastern Morocco. This fact, however, does not detract from the grandeur of Erg Chebbi. Compared to the surrounding flat ground, the sand dune rises to 150 meters and spans 28 m2.

země nikoho

Desert trips are organized from Merzouga - a small town that today lives mainly from tourism at any time of the year. In the summer months, however, the sand heats up to incredible temperatures and it is not possible to just barefoot on it or take it in your bare hand. The ideal visiting months are those spring and autumn, where there is also the highest chance to come across a clean, star-studded night sky. Winter stay is not fully recommended, because temperatures reach minus temperatures at night, but it is also possible for harder individuals.

srpek měsíce nad ránem   stopy skarabů   svítání

duny zalité zapadajícím sluncem

The easiest way is to get to the desert camp with an organized expedition. It is about an hour or two before sunset. The journey on the back of the dromedary takes about an hour, because it is at a pace more than slow, so that everyone can enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding still landscape and sunlit horizons. The campsites are located in valleys between dunes. These are tin poles, built in the shape of a square with a central courtyard. The campsites are equipped with flush toilets, kitchens and individual rooms for 2-4 people.

stín dromedárů

Upon our arrival at the camp, it is time to explore the desert itself. Suddenly, adults return to childhood, dropping shoes and burying their hands in the sand as far as possible. The sand here is very fine and colored like cinnamon, almost tempting to be tasted. The whole desert is interwoven with traces of dromedaries, wild cats, rodents and scarabs.


After sunset it is time for a traditional dinner in the form of tajin and observation of the starry sky. By that time, however, it is getting cold, and now it is time to get into the layer of knitted Berber blankets and hope that the night will be calm.


GPS: 31°05'57.7"N 4°00'58.3"W

Text a foto: Barbara Nováková

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