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On the Marrakech to Erg Chegaga Tour, explore the greatest and least traveled Sahara dune regions in Morocco and ride a camel across its dunes.
We’ll traverse the High Atlas Mountains from your accommodation or Riad in Marrakech. The Telouet Kasbah, which belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, is reached through a side road after the Tichka pass, the tallest in North Africa at 2260 meters. From here, you go through the breathtaking Ounila Valley, which is dotted with tiny Kasbahs, Berber settlements, gardens, and surprising color variations in the rock and soil.
You arrive in Ait Benhaddou, which is almost at the conclusion of the trip, and halt there for a satisfying meal. Visit this Hollywood movie setting and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We stay the night in a Riad or guest home in Ouarzazate after that.
After breakfast, we departed towards Agdez through the Tizi-n-Tinfifte pass. The vista of the vast oasis and the sheer number of palm palms will astound you. With its tens of thousands of date palms, this marks the beginning of the Dra’a Valley.
The oldest Kasbah in the Dra’a Valley, Kasbah Tamnougalte, will be our next stop. The driver can pull over and show you the dinosaur footprints at the side of the road in Tansikht just before the police checkpoint. We arrive in Tinsouline, from which you may travel to Foum Chenna to see the rock sculptures of long-extinct species in Morocco.
We’ll make a lunch halt at Zagora. Later, as we drive through Tamgroute, we will pause to visit the potteries noted for their distinctive green glaze and the antiquated Quranic library, which has fine Arabic manuscripts.
We go to M’hamid in the late afternoon, which is the paved road’s terminus and the gateway to the desert. This is the beginning of the Sahara. A camel ride takes you to the tallest dune nearby where you may witness a spectacular sunset.
To maximize your pleasure of the solitude and beauty of the dunes, you eat supper and spend the night at a luxurious camp.
We cross the Dra’a River after breakfast and return to M’hamid to explore the historic village with its adobe buildings and covered alleys that give shelter from the occasionally blistering desert sun.
After driving 60 kilometers off-road in the afternoon, the 44 brings us to the Erg Chegaga dunes. This trail goes to dunes far from civilization in the actual desert, where the isolation and expanse of the sand are amazing. Along the way, it passes the Sacred Oasis, “erg” (sand dunes), and “hammada” (rocky desert). You may have a second camel ride here if you’d like.
Dinner and the night will be spent in an opulent desert tent amidst the sand dunes, complete with all the amenities of the first desert night in Mhamid.
We travel another 90 miles into the desert after breakfast. You’re likely to see a huge mirage near Lake Iriqui amid the heat haze. You may stop for lunch or a cup of coffee at Foum Zguid at the verge of the desert.
You turn north from Foum Zguid through paved roads that have beautiful layers of rock at the edge of the road. You arrive at the Berber carpet and rug capital of the world, Taznakht.
Once more, we go over the High Atlas along a little different path until we reach Tizi-n-Tichka, which we pass in the same location. We get at Marrakech in the late afternoon to end the Marrakech to Erg Chegaga Tour.
Join the Marrakech to Erg Chegaga Tour and spend 4 days wandering in the desert. Contact us if you have any questions.