Camping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco

Camping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco

I can’t even believe I’m writing this right now but I just camped in the Sahara desert for 3 days! I’ll be honest, when I booked my flight to Morocco, the only thing I was thinking about was all the blue and white tiles everywhere in beautiful Moroccan designs. Desert is by no means the first thing that comes to mind. But after chatting about Morocco with a new friend and seeing his gorgeous photos, I knew I had to go.

I did some research and found some luxury desert camps. We all know luxury is my jam, but camping? Um, not so much. But that’s really the only option if you want to see the desert for more than a few hours. And let me tell you: you don’t want to miss out on the desert at night.

After my research, I decided the best option was Erg Chegaga Luxury Desert Camp. Not only does the website provide a wealth of information about the area, but they can coordinate every last detail for you. All meals (and booze!!!), activities and entertainment are included in the price, which is entirely reasonable when you factor in everything you get. Honestly, as cheesy as that sounds, the experience was priceless.

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We were met at the airport by Mohammed aka Haj who drove us to the camp. He was such a treasure and he told us all kinds of information about the area as we drove. His family is from the last city before the desert, so he saw a lot of friends while we were driving. It was great! The drive takes about an hour and a half on roads and an hour and a half through the actual desert over all different types of terrain including rocks, clay and sand. Beware of wild camel crossing – ha!

Upon arrival at the camp, my boyfriend, Bachir, greeted us with wine and snacks. Bachir isn’t usually in charge, but Bobo, Nick’s Moroccan buddy in the camp, was on vacation for a week, so Bachir was in charge of him during his absence. I have to say he killed him. Not only was he there for anything we could possibly need, but he was fun to hang out with and encouraged me to do things when I was scared (which I absolutely needed!). He even helped coordinate a photo shoot on the last day!
After welcome drinks, Bachir showed us to our tents. You pay per person so as there were three of us we could have taken three tents if we wanted but we preferred to be together so we took two. We had just enough time to settle down and reach the big dune for sunset, where we met the other campers. I think my favorite part of it all was the community feel of the camp. Instead of walking back down the dune, you have the option of sand surfing. Fantastic!! After dark, we went down to a small seating area where we had some wine and got to know each other. Next we headed to the fire where we started talking politics as it was right after the midterm elections. Luckily we were all on it, so everyone got along great!

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Dinner was served family style and was delicious. There were plenty of vegetarian options so we really enjoyed that. After dinner, local musical entertainment around the fire. It was great! You can go out and drink more wine, go stargazing (which is awesome!!! You can see the Milky Way!), or go to your tent. We did a little bit of each and then spent time with the girls in one of our tents. It was the perfect first day!

One questionable thing is the bathroom situation. It’s a common question I’ve been asked on Instagram, so I’m going to go ahead and tell you. Yes there is a regular bathroom. Well, almost normal. She doesn’t blush, but I’ve been all over the world and I’ve definitely seen worse. It basically just falls into a hole underneath that the staff have to clean up or something. You use a bucket and bowl to pour water for “flushing”. It wasn’t bad at all in my opinion. Nothing like Thailand or even some parts of China!

As for the shower and sink, it’s Game of Thrones style. The shower consists of two buckets: one hot and one cold. Get a small bowl to pour water over yourself. There are wipes, so that definitely makes it easier. I was able to wash my hair and everything, so it was fine, but I don’t know if I could do it for more than three days, although I wish I could live there forever! I should add a fa sho shower.

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The next day, we all met at 10:30 to ride the camels. Ok fine, we were late and met up with everyone else after the camel ride. Oops! It was great though. I ended up with a “lazy” camel, as Bachir calls it, that fell right on top of me! He was still sitting, so he just turned around, but he was straight at me. I have a bad scratch on my ankle and a huge bruise on my leg. But I’m a soldier and I’m lit! Just kidding. I almost started crying and said I didn’t want to ride the camel anymore. But Bachir didn’t want to hear about it and he made me go. And I’m so glad he did! We met up with the others where they bandaged my leg and then we went to lunch. We took the cars to another little restaurant where we all had lunch together. When we returned, we did the sunset and sandsurfing again. It was the perfect day in the desert!

When it came time to leave the next day, I didn’t want to go. But sadly Bachir didn’t propose so I had to go. I’m dying to go back and one day I will make it happen!

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