Erg Chigaga: Into The Wild Sahara

Erg Chigaga: Into The Wild Sahara

I was too ambitious with the day. With Lahsen, my friend and driver, I had hiked to the top of Mount Zagore and back down to Zagora. Afterward I fingered the deep green pottery of Tamegroute and lingered in the mudwalled ksar of Amezrou, breathing in history. It was no surprise it was a swift sunset, as it always seems to be in the Sahara. Quickly the dark folded around us as the 4×4 bounced over the rock strewn path. It was my fault we were trekking through the Sahara to our camp in the dark, headlights violently bouncing with the 4×4. Suddenly, Lahsen slammed the brakes and we skidded to a quick stop. A creature loped toward us. I thought it was a dromedary, common across this part of the Sahara. But I was wrong. The shadow of the creature gave way to two great horns gleaming in the headlights. (more…)

Day Trips from Ouarzazate, Morocco

camel tour sahara desertOuarzazate often considered the last big outpost before the Sahara Desert. Filmmakers and crews alike have flocked here in recent years to film blockbusters such as Game of Thrones, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Body of Lies, The Mummy, Babel, Spy Game and many other movies in and around this desert city. If visiting this locale is on your to-do list during any Morocco holidays you might plan, don’t confine yourself to the city alone. There are many day trips from Ouarzazate that are worth the time.

Merzouga

This city is located 50 kilometers from the Algerian border and about 300 kilometers from Ouarzazate. While this is a bit of a drive, this small city is located near the famous sand dunes of Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga. Erg Chebbi reaches 150 meters tall and spans 22 kilometers from north to south and 5-10 kilometers east to west. Many camel treks ranging from a few hours to several days depart from this city. If you’re interested in “seeing” the Sahara, but perhaps not for more than a few hours, visiting Merzouga is a great way to do so. (more…)

Morocco Attractions: From The Desert To The Coast

Even The Camel Thinks It's Fun

Even The Camel Thinks It’s Fun

When you hear about Morocco you probably hear about cities such as Casablanca, Fez, and Rabat; or, you’ve heard of camel treks in the sahara, trekking the High Atlas Mountains or even riding waves near Agadir or Essaouira. Such active-adventures available with Journey Beyond Travel are not solely limited to trekking, however. Read on to learn more this vibrant and verdant (and brown) country has to offer its guests. (more…)

Trekking Through Morocco’s Sahara Desert

Most people do not realize that the Sahara Desert is not just sand and rolling dunes.  Only about twenty-five percent of the Sahara, which is about the size of the United States, is sand. The rest of the Sahara is volcanic hills, gravel plains, rock formations, and some scraggly vegetation.  It is the home, surprisingly enough, of over 300 bird species and animals including mongooses, snakes, jackals, deer, hares, foxes, and baboons.  It is also wonderful to explore on camel and enjoy sleeping beneath the open sky.  (more…)

MHamid and Erg Chigaga

MHamid brings a quieter pace of life to Morocco. It is nestled in the Zagora region just past the Draa Valley and is one of the starting points of the famed Sahara desert. Although travel to this small town is an adventure in itself, many tourists still make the trip. This is due in large part to the picturesque views that are afforded by the Sahara desert and surrounding High Atlas Mountains ranges. Vibrant Marrakech is approximately seven to eight hours of travel time from this small secluded area. (more…)