Learn how the dromedary ride in the Sahara desert works, discovering the great dunes of Merzouga

With a history spanning centuries, the country has served as a territory for some of humanity's oldest and most important civilizations. Travel to Morocco it is like walking in person through some classic medieval film, which transports us to a distant time, where the Arabs commanded most of the African trade.

Riding camels and dromedaries, this was the only way to make long journeys and crossings across the desert. If today the world is the way we know it, a lot is due to the strength and dexterity of these civilizations and the resistance of these great animals in making long journeys. Horses or other animals would not resist crossing such inhospitable and distant territories.

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Photo: Gustavo Albano

The feeling of being in an epic movie is not for nothing, it is quite likely that you have already seen a feature film or TV series that was filmed in Morocco or in the big Saara's desert. Cleopatra, Gladiator, Crusade, Game of Thrones, The Prince of Persia, Asterix and Obelix and so many other films have already been shot in the country. The city of Ouarzazate is known as the Moroccan Hollywood, one of the main destinations for filmmakers around the world who find in Morocco the perfect medieval location. It is also possible to visit major film studios in the city, where you can understand a little of Morocco's connection with world cinema. We talk more about the city's connection with the seventh art in the publication Ouarzazate, the Moroccan Hollywood.

In the country of the Sahara, desert landscapes take over almost all the cities that border this region. The great Sahara is the driest desert in the world, with an immense territory that passes through 11 African countries and dunes that reach more than 150 meters tall. THE Sahara it is the second largest desert area on the planet, its immense territory is second only to the polar regions of Antarctica.

Camel or dromedary?

Photo: Gustavo Albano

Camel or dromedary? In fact, the Sahara desert tours are made with dromedaries, a close cousin and very similar to the camel. A lot of people confuse the two, but there is a small difference that distinguishes one from the other: camels have two humps, while dromedaries have only one. They are really big animals, reaching up to 2 meters in height among males and up to 1.9 m among females. A surprising animal with great strength and ability to cross long paths.

Where to take the dromedary ride in the Sahara Desert?

It is in the Moroccan town of Merzouga that leave the tours to the desert. The small Berber village serves as a base and gateway for tourists visiting the imposing Erg Chebbi, also known as Merzouga Dunes, one of the most iconic parts of the Saara's desert. In Merzouga and on the outskirts of the desert, a great offer of glampings and luxurious charming lodgings, some equipped with swimming pools and views of the Sahara dunes. If you want to have the experience of sleeping in the desert, there are options for every budget. We detail more about this in the post. sleeping one night in the Sahara desert.

It is also in these surroundings that the dromedary rides through the Sahara desert begin. Always accompanied by local guides, visitors ride on a small improvised seat between the hump, protected by thick fabrics so as not to hurt the animal's back. The animals follow a short path between the dunes, walking in a row with slow steps.

The great difficulty, many times, is getting up or down from the big animal. Considerable strength is required to hold onto the mount. With the dromedary resting on the ground, awkwardly, it raises its hind legs first, in a single thrust, and then its front legs. After mounting, and already stabilized, the tour through the dunes begins. After a short stop, tourists climb to the summit of the great dune on foot, ascending barefoot to the top. The effort is worth every moment, and at the end of the climb, a formidable landscape shows a little of the dimension of the largest arid desert in the world.

Photo: Gustavo Albano

Photo: Gustavo Albano

* This trip was made at the invitation of the Official Delegation of Tourism of Morocco in collaboration with the airline Royal Air Maroc Brasil.

Read too:

» 10 beautiful cities to visit in Morocco
» What to know before going to Morocco: how to go and other tips
» Itinerary in Morocco: discovering the south of the country
» Places to visit in Marrakech

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