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Marrakesh Desert Camel Treks in the Sahara

My husband and I and our 15 year old daughter will be in Marrakesh, Morocco for 3 nights, May 14- 17th and then I have May 17th to the 22nd open. We fly out of Marrakesh to Rome on the 22nd. On those 5 open days my daughter really wants to do a desert Camel Trek. How many days do you recommend. I would like to find luxury camping with really nice tents with the bathrooms in them. When we were in India, the tents had antiques and four poster beds. They were gorgeous. Does anyone have any advice or recommendations? Also is it safe for us out there now? Thank you for any advice.

Posted by
16878 posts

Desert residents are very dependent on tourist income and you will be warmly welcomed. I think that such a sparsely populated area would make a poor terrorist target. See also http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/morocco.html (and note that the contentious Western Sahara is a completely separate region, not near to your visit).

I hope that you have a current Morocco guidebook, such as Lonely Planet. I did my visit years back with a rental car and private guide, via Erfoud, Er Rissani, and Erg Chebbi, and stayed at a very simple place, so can't recommend a tour operator or hotel. The Draa valley to Zagoura and M'Hamid may be more of what you had in mind, and closer to Marrakesh. I did not enjoy riding a camel (too tall and I almost fell off when it knelt down), but if you already ride horses, motorbikes, or similarly adventurous modes of transport, then you may feel differently.

Posted by
29 posts

Sallam 'lekum ssfaucet,

Well done on choosing to come to Morocco with your husband and daughter, it will be a magical albeit brief foray into the mystique of North Africa, where Arabia meets Africa (with a little bit of the Mediterranean thrown in). Your question regarding security is obviously quite relevant with the recent tragedies in next-door Europe, and all that's certain is that Marrakech is as much, and as little, a target as any other major tourist destination in the region. There are many Moroccans who have heeded the call from IS/Syria and they are all 'welcomed' back by the government and briskly escorted to incarceration centers upon their arrival back in the country. Morocco is heavily 'watched' from within by both the authorities and the Moroccans themselves (a throw back from the somewhat less-freer reign of King Hassan II) and an incident like that in Brussels or Paris is unlikely...but not impossible.
For a journey over the Atlas mountains and into the Moroccan Sahara you have two 'deserts' to choose from, with the closer of the two (Erg Chigaga) perhaps the better for you to first investigate, as wisely suggested by Laura. It is also in the environs of Erg Chigaga that you will find the type of luxury-colonial desert camp of which you refer in India. There are a couple of similar camps in the other 'desert' of Erg Chebbi as well. May I just get on my soap box for a second and suggest that you enquire of each camp as to their method of water extraction and waste disposal...it is strongly rumored that the liquid waste is simply disposed of in the nearest dry riverbed. For expert and current advice, contact Felicity at Desert Majesty and feel free to mention my name.
Happy travels!
Darren Humphrys