Camel Trekking and an Overnight Stay in the Sahara Desert

Camels are the only way to travel…well, maybe not the only way, but they sure are fun to ride in the desert.

Our camels from our ride in the desert in MoroccoAfter a three and a half hour drive from Marrakesh over the beautiful Atlas mountains through the Tizi n’Tichka pass we arrived in the desert town of Quarzazate.

Rugs for sale along the road during our drive from Marrakech through the Atlas MountainsDriving through the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, MoroccoWe ate a beautifully simple lunch of roasted chicken with a side of lentils and Moroccan flat bread ($5 total for the two of us).

A Moroccan stop sign in the village we stopped to have lunch on our drive from Marrakech

After lunch we continued another three hours to the town of Zagora and arrived in the late afternoon.

Views along the drive through the Atlas Mountains in MoroccoAn Oasis we drove by during our drive through the Atlas Mountains in MoroccoA small village built into the mountains in MoroccoUs posing with a view of the oasis in the background on our way to the Atlas Mountains in MoroccoChildren kicked a soccer ball amongst themselves nearby as our guides (the nomadic men of the area) dressed in traditional garments, saddled the camels (actually dromedaries) and helped us onto them.

Meeting our camels before our camel trek in MoroccoUs before saddling up on the camels prior to our trek in MoroccoJamin up on his camel in Morocco

Our guides walked along side of our camel caravan as we were swayed this way and that by the animals’ unusual gate.

Our guide leading our camels during our trek in MoroccoJamin on his camel riding through the desert in MoroccoOur shadows grew long as the sun began to set behind the mountains before our hour long camel ride to the camp was over.

Marisa riding her camel at sunset in the Zagora desert in MoroccoThe small sand dunes of the Zagora desert in Morocco

When we arrived at the camp we were shown to our rooms for the night. Our rooms were cozy and brightly colored. The soft mattresses were laid on the floor and covered with warm blankets. Inside the tent there is electricity, no outlets, just a small light bright enough to illuminate the tent.

Our camp where we would spend the night in the middle of the Zagora desert in MoroccoOur cozy beds in our tents in the Zagora desert in MoroccoThe semi-permanent camp was made of a steel framework completely covered inside and out by persian style rugs and draperies.

Our fun camp in the Zagora desert during our camel trek in MoroccoLater in the evening we lounged on pillows and rugs and sipped hot tea while waiting for dinner.

Dinner is served: delicious tangine chicken and vegetables in Morocco

Dinner was served in an adjacent tent to our sleeping quarters.  Inside we were treated to delicious tanjine chicken with vegetables and flat bread–the meal was substantial and very hearty.

The desert camp as the sun sets in Morocco

After dinner the other guests, ourselves and the guides sat around a large fire outside of the campsite and they sang some more.

We were entertained by our guides’ playing instruments and singing.  The secluded location of the camp in the desert, far from light pollution allowed for a magnificent, cloudless starry night–complete with a bright Milky Way.

Singing songs and playing instruments around the campfire in the Zagora desert in MoroccoJamin snuck away from the glow of the fire to try some make-shift night sky photography, but my lack of a tripod made me regret my packing choices.

Our camels ready for the morning trek back to our car in MoroccoReady to get saddled back up on our camels in the Zagora desert, Morocco

Our comfortable night’s sleep was interrupted the next morning by grumpy camel snorts.  We got dressed, freshened up and threw our overnight bags back together as the guides saddled and prepared our seemingly grouchy transportation.

Sweet camel faces ready to their walk in MoroccoOur camels waiting to go on their morning trek in the desert in Morocco

Once we were on our way, our camel friends’ disposition seemed to have improved.

The camel looking happier this morning on his trek in MoroccoIt was an enjoyable ride back to where we began where we met our friendly driver, thanked (and tipped) our camel trek guides and drove back to Marrakesh.

More of the incredible scenery along the drive back from the Zagora desert to Marrakech, Morocco

Book your trip today by visiting Authentic Tours Marrakech. This trip is the  Marrakech to Zagora (2 days/1 night) Camel trek with an overnight in the Sahara Desert. Authentic Tours Marrakech provides pick-up and drop-off from your hotel or riad in Marrakech.

 

Make sure to bring some extra cash for the opportunity to shop at the souks in the local villages!

Shops that can be seen along the road from our drive to and from Marrakech to the Zagora deserthttp://www.authentic-tours-marrakech.com/marrakech-tours/2-days-marrakech-zagora-desert-tour.htmlhttp://www.authentic-tours-marrakech.com/marrakech-tours/2-days-marrakech-zagora-desert-tour.html

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