Back

Merzouga desert in Morocco

Merzouga desert is located inthe east part of Morocco. When we hear the word `desert`, we usually think about the boundless space of sand crossed by a caravan of camels. Actually, most of the deserts are much less interesting, generally, they are but boundless stony, and absolutely arid and lifeless, spaces. And only in some places, such as Merzouga, a desert looks just this way – boundless sand dunes.

Something similar you can see only in Namibia and Algeria. But it is not safe in Algeria, and if you want to see the sand dunes of the world`s largest desert, the Merzouga (Erg-Chebbi) would be the best place.

The sand dunes are practically immovable there. At the edge of the desert there were built a great number of hotels, including the luxurious ones. You go out of your room or the swimming-pool and literally at the distance of some tens of meters the sand dunes begin stretching to the horizon. In the morning you should go on a camel excursion to the oasis – it will be only 2-3-hours of continuous walk along the sand dunes. If you have enough strength, you may dismount your camel and ascend on one of the highest dunes to have a panoramic view of the desert, only you should take some water with you, as while climbing up the slope of a 300-meter dune you may drink as much as 1,5 liters of water.

You should buy tours at your hotel and not in the street (if you stay in the village Merzouga). In this case you can fully rely on the people who will led you into the desert. Some hotels (particularly, Timbuktu) have their camping sites in the oasis, and so they may offer tours to the oasis (one-way run lasts for at least 2.5 hours). Those who are fond of true exotics may be offered a 2-day tour to the oasis with an overnight halt.

If you buy a one-hour tour, you will only be taken to some small distance from the hotel area (you may even do it by yourself), while a trip to the oasis is a kind of adventure. The road leads towards Algeria going around the high dunes. 

In the oasis you can find skis and skateboards. It`s possible to climb up the dune and roll down it on a skateboard. Unfortunately, so far there have been built no lifts in Merzouga. So, you will have to go up on foot, but every fan of skiing or skateboarding will be very proud of the snapshots of the freeride over the dunes of Sahara.

Near the sand dunes is a fairly large lake where you can see flamingos in their natural habitat. It is rather interesting, but all this you should do, if you will have time left after a trip to the desert.

Photo Gallery
View All (24)
Camels among the dunes of Sahara
Erg-Shebbi is a sand islet of Sahara on the border between Morocco and Algeria
Having stayed in Merzouga you can go for a walk over sand dunes in the evening
Hotels in Merzouga, in close proximity to the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi in Morocco
Beauty of the sand dunes of Sahara is enchanting
Some dunes of Erg-Chebbi reach the height of 150 meters
It is very difficult to climb the highest dune of Merzouga (photo doesn’t show the steepness of ascent)
Here is the slope of the highest dune of Merzouga where you can climb, if you want
At the foot of the tallest dune of Merzouga one can see an oasis, and at the beginning of a stony desert - the border of Algeria
If you have desire or skill, you can borrow a sand board or skis from bedouins in the oasis and ride down the slopes of sand dunes (there are no lifts here so far)
Oasis among the sand dunes of Erg-Chebbi
In the evening, when the heat has abated, one can see walking tourists among the dunes of Merzouga
Sand dunes of Merzouga
Sunset over sand dunes of Merzouga
Territories of Merzouga hotels have the appearance of African villages
Sand dunes of Merzouga
Panorama, one of the best 5-star hotels in Merzouga, is on the top of a hill
Height of certain sand dunes of Merzouga is over a hundred meters
Beauty of sand landscape of Erg-Chebbi
Bedouin accompanying tourists during tours of the sand dunes of Merzouga
Dunes of Merzouga before sunset
Ridges of sand dunes in Merzouga
Dry well in the dunes of Erg-Chebbi
Abandoned water reservoirs among the dunes