Sahara Desert tours by 4×4 – the authentic desert experience
Our Sahara Desert tours include the remote Erg Chigaga dunes in the Iriqui National Park. Given our connections to the desert region and our background (read more in the section About Us) we consider this to be the authentic Sahara desert experience. The Erg Chigaga dunes lie in the region west of the village of M’hamid El Ghezlane, within the Iriqui National Park.
The dunes of Erg Chigaga are the highlight (2 hours off-road journey from M’hamid village where the tarmac road ends) but the journey across the desert is a wonderful experience and will allow you to appreciate, arguably, some of the finest remote scenery in Morocco. Erg Chigaga dunes reach 300ft in height and span approx. 40km.
Visiting this region of the Sahara, you will complete a circuit across the desert, through the national park, as you will leave Erg Chigaga in the opposite direction, joining the road again at Foum Zguid after 3 hours off-road drive (around 90km), crossing the dried salt lake, Iriqui, and fossil beds. To reach the dunes of Erg Chebbi, next to Merzouga village, you don’t require any specialist driving or knowledge of the area, so many people can rent their own car and drive to Merzouga, then camel-trek a short way to the dunes from the village.
Highlights of the Desert
The terrain of the Sahara is shaped by wind (the wind can be fierce occasionally!), sometimes rain, and includes not only sand dunes, but also hamada, dry valleys & lakes and salt flats. You may also be surprised at seeing so much vegetation in the desert, including Tamarisk and Acacia trees and palms – April and October are green times of year here.
Once we come off-road our driving time each morning/afternoon will be no more than 2 hours at a time and we will be mostly following the rough outline of a piste for vehicles, necessary to respect the delicate environment around us and to make your ride as comfortable as possible. That’s not to say that we can expect to meet a lot of traffic in the desert! This is still wild territory and the driving thrilling – after all the former Paris-Dakar route passed close by.
However, we will likely stop to meet nomadic families that still live in the region and come across other evidence of human existence here; including the abandoned settlement and agricultural land of Erg Smar close to the Draa River bed (where once approx. 35 families lived), a nomads’ cemetery, nomads’ former souk, a marabout (shrine of a holy man), deep wells, and grazing land for animals still used today.
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that travelling into the desert is like crossing a frontier into another land. There’s a real sense of excitement as you see the first traces of sand covering the road in front of you, once you get closer to leaving the tarmac behind and to heading off-road along rough tracks & pistes towards the virtual unknown.
The journey south to the desert is a wonderful adventure in its own right as much as being in the heart of the dunes is. Some of our programs may entail up to 9 hours of driving in a day through spectacular scenery. Our routes cross the Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountain ranges via winding roads to dramatic passes, follow the Draa River valley and date palm oases, traverse barren hamada (stone plateaus) or follow corridors of rock walls.
You will be driving through some truly fascinating scenery, arguably the finest remote scenery in Morocco.
Consider flying to Zagora airport to start your private desert tour. Flights operated by Royal Air Maroc.
Desert Hike & Tour 7 Days
With this 7 days circular tour explore the Sahara Desert of Morocco both by foot and jeep. Cross the Atlas mountain range at its two most renowned high passes, each above 2000m, the Tichka and Test passes.
4×4 Tour with Berber Desert Camp 3 Days
The shortest way to comfortably reach the remote Sahara Desert. Expect one very long travel day.
4×4 Tour with Berber Desert Camp 4 Days
Spend one or two nights at camp, various options for overnight points en-route to / from the desert (according to time of year).
4×4 Tour with Berber Desert Camp 5 Days
A condensed version of our 7 days desert hike & tour, following the same circular route overall but with one night in the desert. Cross both the Tichka and Test mountain passes.
4×4 Tour with Deluxe Desert Camp 4 Days
Spend two nights in the desert to appreciate the camp’s location and attention to detail, and one night on the Draa Valley.
4×4 Tour with Deluxe Desert Camp 5 Days
Spend two nights in the desert and two nights en-route to / from the camp. The most relaxed way to cover the distance and enjoy the Sahara.
Get 10% Off Your First Trip
Don’t miss out on our limited-time promotion! Remember to mention the exclusive offer during your booking process.
Beautiful two week trip
“We had a wonderful time with Wild Morocco. We traveled with our 5 year old daughter who was treated like a princess everywhere we went. Salah, our guide, was kind and knowledgeable and truly made our trip. We spent two nights in the desert it was the absolute highlight of the trip. None of us eat meat, and we were treated to delicious vegetarian feasts everywhere we went. We had just the right amount of knowledgeable support and freedom to explore to make travel with a small child just right. Really wonderful“.