Moroccan Dunes of Merzouga and the Experience of Sleeping a Night in the Sahara Desert

The largest hot desert in the world is present in the imagination of different people and is one of the most desired stops for anyone visiting Morocco. Hundreds of stories were inspired by the adventures traveled by the peoples of the Sahara desert in their great crossings. The desert is a geographic part of the globe that brings together a mix of different cultures, communities and nomadic peoples that form a good part of the history of the African continent, surviving in an arid region and in totally adverse conditions.

Altogether, the Sahara covers 11 countries in a territory that covers more than 9 million square kilometers. Morocco is one of the most visited destinations in Africa and is also home to much of the desert. In the Berber village of Merzouga, about 60 km from Erfoud, different agencies offer tours to ride a dromedary in the desert or even overnight in a nomad tent, a charming inn or sophisticated campsites, all accompanied by bilingual guides and 4×4 cars.

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Among the dunes of Merzouga, in the Sahara desert. Photo: Bivouacs Xaluca

Surrounded by the great carpet of orange dunes of Erg Chebbi, in the Sahara desert, the Xaluca Bivouacs It is one of the camps for those who want to have the best “one thousand and one nights” experience. The luxurious campsite is made up of huts made of thick fabrics, lined with Moroccan rugs and comfortable tents located between the dunes. The camp is very well structured, with hot or cold showers, inside the individual tents. In a larger space, a restaurant is improvised among the Merzouga dunes, offering the typical dishes of the nomadic peoples such as lamb, Moroccan couscous and salads perfectly seasoned in Moroccan oil, with generous spices and olives.

At night, temperatures drop drastically, and contrary to logic, it is important to warm up in the African desert. Along with the cold, there is also a majestic starry sky, which deserves to be contemplated at the foot of the fire, lulled by the African songs of the people of the desert. Perhaps this is one of the most pollution-free areas in the world, providing a privileged view of the sky, even with the naked eye. The stars stand out among the few clouds, away from sources of lights and big cities.

People of the Sahara Desert. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Historians, archaeologists and scientists from around the world have found the desert to be one of the world's most interesting areas for study. It is curious to think that the largest hot desert was once quite different from what it is today. In the desert, fossils of whales, prehistoric animals, crocodiles and cave paintings have already been found that portrayed what the Sahara region was like in the past. To this day, it is still possible to find nomads selling objects and handicrafts made with fossils of snails and shells.

How do you sleep in the Sahara desert?

The camping Xaluca Bivouacs is part of Xaluca Group, which also has an agency to do the main tours and accommodation in different destinations in the southern region of Morocco. They provide all the support during the trip, with transfer to the desert or following the itinerary you book. In addition to them, this experience is also offered by other accommodations in the village of Merzouga or camps in the Sahara itself. We list some of them:

Camping: Xaluca Bivouacs
Camping: Luxury Camp Berber Experience
Camping: Merzouga Activities Camp
Camping: Ali & Sara's Desert Palace
Camping: Auberge La Belle Etoile
Hotel: Kanz Eremal

Accommodation at Bivouacs Xaluca is in extremely equipped tents. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Bivouacs Xaluca Camp, in Merzouga. Photo: Bivouacs Xaluca

Erg Chebbi, a privileged part of the Sahara desert. Photo: Bivouacs Xaluca

Bivouacs Xaluca Camp provides overnight stays in the Sahara desert. Photo: Bivouacs Xaluca

Space accommodations at the Bivouacs Xaluca camp. Photo: Bivouacs Xaluca

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

» 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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