Into the Sahara Desert…in the Summer?

You might be surprised to know just how many clients request a tour to the Sahara for the months of June, July, August and early September. If Morocco is on your program for a summer holiday you might not have thought it possible to visit the Sahara…

However, Marrakech temperatures alone can sometimes be comparable to those of Zagora, approaching the desert. If you are passing via Marrakech, in the summer, you aren’t daunted by the prospect of the heat, and therefore a visit to the Sahara Desert is feasible for most – it’s a question of managing the time you spend in the desert, how you spend it and, of course, avoiding the real hotspots (August, for instance).

Click on the images to enlarge

Naturally, the ultimate goal is to spend a night at a desert camp in the heart of the dunes. However, the journey south to reach the Sahara Desert is a wonderful adventure in its own right and it should be experienced to the full, and not rushed. It’s also an opportunity to escape to fresher daytime temperatures, in parts, leaving the heat of the cities well behind.

For that reason we take summer clients to the Sahara Desert, to the dunes of Erg Chigaga, via the most scenic & dramatic parts of the Great South of Morocco – Ait Ben Haddou, the route of a thousand kasbahs, the Dades Valley & Gorge, Jebel Sahro region and the Draa Valley. Take a look at our 4×4 pages for more photos besides these. We suggest a 5 day, 4 night itinerary, with only one night in the desert. We only recommend entering & exiting the desert by 4×4, certainly not via a trek.

If you have any concerns about travelling to Morocco during the hottest parts of the year please don’t hesitate to ask us for further information. We are based in Morocco full-time, Yahya hails from the Sahara and often on-tour, I’m mostly in Marrakech, so we are best placed to offer real-time advice.
Did you know that in fact the Atlas Mountains (including the Anti-Atlas range) buffer the North of Morocco from the Saharan region? As soon as you traverse the range you are already entering the pre-Sahara and the desert terrain becomes ever more apparent on reaching Ouarzazate, just 4 hours from Marrakech.

3 Comments

  • Natalie says:

    Hi! I’m coming to Morocco in august and want to do a Sahara tour. I hear it’s going to be hot but we really want to do it. We are from Australia so we are used to some hot conditons. Would it be advisable to hire a car and drive to erg chagaga privately as I know it’s a long drive from Marrakech and minivans would be uncomfortable. Do the tours still run at this time of year? Thanks in advance!

    • wildmorocco says:

      Hi Natalie,
      We only run our desert trips to Erg Chebbi dunes in summer. We close our camp at the Erg Chigaga now over summer. Temperatures will be around 45-50c daytime and the Erg Chigaga is 60km from the nearest village.
      Our example itinerary on the site ‘Oases & Kasbahs’ will take you via Erg Chebbi.
      Please email us for more details.
      Kind regards,
      Emily

  • Eunice says:

    Hello! I am thinking of travelling to Morocco (Marrakech) and to Sahara this August (looking at 5th Aug to 10th Aug) and wonder if it's recommended to go since I've read that it will be really hot in August. Thanks for your help! 

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