Desert Explorer 3 Days
When to trek?
October through April
October still has rather warm day-time temperatures, very pleasant evenings. Night-time lows of around freezing in December / January. But winter light conditions are beautiful, due to the low winter sun. Possibility of a light rain shower in March. The desert is in bloom and camel calves are grazing. Early April sees the arrival of higher temperatures.
Who is it suitable for?
Anyone wishing to get well off the beaten path and to experience the raw beauty of the Sahara.
The Iriqui National Park is home to an array of flora & fauna and the scenery unparalleled. Be prepared to walk on average 5-6 hrs per day. Option to trek by camel. Simply bring a sense of adventure.
The Sahara (‘the Great Desert’ in Arabic) is the largest hot desert and third largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its combined surface area of 9,400,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi) – accounting for substrates such as the Libyan Desert and the Sudan region – is comparable to the respective land areas of China and the United States. Many of its sand dunes reach over 180 metres (590 ft) in height.
With just 3 days/ 2 nights available to trek in the Moroccan Sahara Desert, you will still be able to really get off the beaten path and wild camp in the region west of the village of M’hamid El Ghezlane. You can choose to trek by foot and/or camel-back each day. Trekking time will be around 5-6 hours each day, with a long break for lunch in the shade of broad Tamarisk trees. With a trek of 3 days/ 2 nights you can make a circular route out from the village of M’hamid El Ghezlane and loop back to finish there.
To reach your start point for the trek at M’hamid El Ghezlane, you can take a private vehicle transfer with us or the national bus service – from either Marrakech or Ouarzazate. From Marrakech, the vehicle transfer takes approx. 8.5 hours and the bus service takes approx. 10.5 hours. We can collect you early morning and drop you off at your guesthouse near the village of M’hamid in the late afternoon. Alternatively, the bus will get you to M’hamid at around 10pm, with an 11:30am scheduled departure from Marrakech. We assist with advance purchase of bus tickets.
On reaching M’hamid, you will spend the night at a family-run guest-house in the palm grove at Bounou – if you do take the bus, you will be met at the bus-stop and walk the short distance to the guest-house. The following morning, your desert guide and camel caravan will meet you at the guesthouse and you can start the trek from there. You will finish at the same guesthouse at the end of the trek, which will allow you 2 nights for wild camping. For the return to Marrakech, the national bus service departs at 6am, arriving around 3:30pm to Marrakech. Alternatively, we can arrange a private vehicle transfer with a later start time.
The trek includes:
- 2 nights family-run guesthouse accommodation in the palm grove at Bounou near M’hamid (with breakfasts and evening meals)
- 3 days guided trek with camels to transport equipment / food / water and option to ride by camel, desert guide and cook, all meals on trek, drinking water, camping equipment for 2 nights wild camping
Click on the images to enlarge / © Images courtesy of M. Charytonowicz & Wild Morocco
Leave Marrakech / Ouarzazate and travel to trek start point at M’hamid El Ghezlane, overnight at guesthouse.
Trekking and wild camping.
Trekking and wild camping.
Trekking and overnight stay at the same guesthouse.
Return travel to Marrakech / Ouarzazate