The Great Dunes

3 Days Camel Trek and Walk

Package Prices Start From:

€330 per person
(including 4×4 transport back to M’hamid)

The Experience

This 3 days desert trek is a straight-line route, bringing you to the longest sand dune field in Morocco, the Erg Chigaga great dunes, approx. 60km from your trek start point at Mhamid. You will therefore require 4×4 transport back out of the desert, with two onward journey options.

On reaching Erg Chigaga you can choose to camp wild a third night, at the foot of the great dunes (additional Eur €40 per person). Or, if short on time, travel back out of the desert to Mhamid on the third evening (the 2hrs journey by 4×4 to Mhamid will be made shortly after sunset, to allow you time to enjoy the day’s end from a vantage point on the dunes). If you camp at Erg Chigaga on the last night, you are able to take a vehicle transfer out of the desert next morning to Marrakech (or Ouarzazate), exiting the desert to the north-west at Foum Zguid and expecting to reach Marrakech late afternoon, or transfer back to Mhamid during the morning.

Your trekking route will take you via the regions marked Lotide and Bougarn on our Map. You will stay north of the Draa River course.

 

Travel to the Start Point, the Desert Frontier

The Route

The Itinerary

Day 1

Among the Tamarisk trees

Leave the village of M’hamid and trek west in the direction of the great dunes of Erg Chigaga, with the mountain ridge of the Jebel Bani far to your north but in sight for the entire trek. Cross dry river beds (e.g. Oued Naam), and walk through a variety of desert vegetation and scrub before the terrain opens out and becomes more stark. As the day’s trek draws to a close, expect to camp amidst gently rolling dunes and Tamarisk trees, which offer shelter.

Day 2

West of Bougarn

Progressing westwards, reach ever-more remote terrain, and larger sand dunes (e.g. Bougarn) surrounded by broad, dry earth plateaux and desert hamada (black stone). Scramble over the dunes and you’ll be able to see Erg Chigaga in the distance. Camp will be made west of Bougarn, in the seclusion of smaller dunes and shrubs.

Day 3

Erg Chigaga and 4×4 journey back to M’hamid

Leave the village of M’hamid and trek west in the direction of the great dunes of Erg Chigaga, with the mountain ridge of the Jebel Bani far to your north but in sight for the entire trek. Cross dry river beds (e.g. Oued Naam), and walk through a variety of desert vegetation and scrub before the terrain opens out and becomes more stark. As the day’s trek draws to a close, expect to camp amidst gently rolling dunes and Tamarisk trees, which offer shelter.

© Images courtesy of M. Nestor, M. Charytonowicz & Wild Morocco.

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.

Why trek the Sahara?

Get well off the beaten path and experience the raw beauty of the desert.

The Iriqui National Park is untouched. It is home to an array of flora & fauna, the scenery unparalleled. Be prepared to walk on average 5-6 hrs per day. Option to trek by camel. Bring a sense of adventure.

Food and drink

What to expect

Green tea, strong and sweet – don’t be afraid to ask without sugar
Coffee, strong – if you take it white, order a ‘nuss nuss’; black espresso or ‘allongé’
Tagine – slow-cooked casserole
Couscous – steamed semolina
Brochettes – kebab skewers
Harira – tomato-base soup with pulses / beans
Bread – served at all mealtimes
Crepes – breakfast / evening snack
*gluten-free and vegetarian catered for