Luxury Camping in the Sahara Desert ⋆ Who do I do
  • Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Luxury Camping in the Sahara Desert

Camping in the Sahara – Another one ticked off the bucket list!

Camping in the Sahara desert has always been something we’ve fancied doing and having booked a trip to Marrakech, to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, there was no better time to tick this off our list.  We had booked a three day trip from Marrakech to the Sahara desert and the second night included camping in the Erg Chebbi dunes.

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

The Sahara desert


Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Ian walking up the sand dune

Arriving at the Nomad Palace in Merzouga, we were advised to bring only a small rucksack with us for the night.  Luckily Ian and I only had small rucksacks with all our necessities for the 3 day trip and as we had left the rest at our riad.  If it had been left to me I could have quite easily brought the kitchen sink.  As we left the hotel we could see the camels lined up outside, with our Berber guides, to take us to the camp.  We had a complimentary upgrade to a luxury camp so were separated from our small group and joined another couple after about 15 minutes into our journey.

Camel Ride to Erg Chebbi dunes

From the camel line up, I was allocated the baby camel.  Now, there’s a technique to mounting the camel.  One thing to remember is … DON’T LEAN FORWARD.  The last thing you want is to slide off head first and face plant into the sand!  The easy bit is getting your leg over and getting onto the camel’s back.  I would recommend wearing trousers or leggings for the ride and flip flops.  Here’s the tricky part – when the camel starts to stand up, this is when you lean back and hold onto the bar in front of you to be more secure (a bit like how the cowboys ride a bucking bronco in the rodeos).  Once the camel has stood up, hey presto you’ve done it!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Which camels will we be riding

The camel ride to the camp was to take about an hour and a half.  So, off we went slowly.  Being on the baby camel, it seemed he wanted to wander off on his own little journey.  He wanted to go left, then right – thank god he was tethered to the camel in front.  The ride was slightly bumpy and trying to take a picture proved somewhat  difficult.  Half way through the camel ride, we stopped and dismounted off our camels to wait for the sunset.  Silly me had my trainers on and guess what happened.  Sand went into my trainers through my socks and I was left with my toes swimming in it.  So off they came leaving the softest sand running between my toes!  Big tip – wear flip flops! 

It was so surreal that we were camel riding on the sand dunes of the Sahara desert.  The bright orange sand dunes going on for miles and miles.  No doubt I could easily get lost out there.  So finally this was what I had been waiting for … the perfect picture of the sun setting behind the dunes.  Just our luck, there was so much cloud cover that evening the sunset was nowhere to be seen.  No worries, there’s always the sunrise picture to look forward to!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Lana walking off into the desert

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Our berber taking us to the camp


Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Waiting for the sunset

On our way to the camp, we passed other tour groups and noticed quite a few other camps dotted within the dunes.  At one point I heard a girl scream.  Her camel tether had broken off and she had fallen off the camel.  This made me hold onto the bar even tighter!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Our luxury camp

Finally, I could see our camp in the distance and we made it there safely without a hiccup.

Luxury camp in Erg Chebbi

As we arrived at the luxury camp, we were greeted by two Berbers, Hassan and Saeid with a tray of fresh mint tea in hand.  During our trip to Morocco, Ian and I had taken a great liking to Moroccan fresh mint tea.  We were led to a small comfortable seating area between the rows of tents to relax and were told that other people would be arriving soon.  Sipping on our tea, we could see that that camp was quite small and made up of 8 separate white tents, well spaced out from each other.  Ornate moroccan style lamps dimly lit the path which divided the tents on either side.  As we eagerly waited for our tent, there was a power cut!  The berbers started rushing around frantically trying to fix the electricity and finally … there was light!  Perfect timing as the other guests had just arrived.

Our tent was the one nearest to the seating area.  As we pushed open the door of the tent we were seriously amazed at how spacious, homely and furnished it was inside.  A large king size bed on one side of the room with a two seater sofa and table in the corner and the bathroom on the other side.  Fresh white towels were provided and placed on the bed.

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Inside our tent

The bathroom had a basic shower, a flushable toilet, a vanity unit with a sink, mirror, shaver point and hot running water too.  If you had forgotten your toiletries, soap was also provided.  This is truly posh camping!

We quickly showered and freshened up before dinner – there was plenty of hot running water and we were told that there’d be enough till midnight and it would be switched back on again first thing in the morning.

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Inside the tent

Walking into the tent where dinner was served, we were the first to arrive.  There was a long table for the large group tour and smaller tables for couples on the other side of the tent.  Choices, choices where to sit.  I’m the worst to make a decision by the way.  Ian chose the table nearest the food!

To start we had a salad plate to share; a mix of cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn.

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Salad to start

Next up was a chicken tajine with fresh bread to soak up the sauce.  And to end the meal there was a plate of fresh fruit.  A large bottle of mineral water each was included with the meal.

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Chicken tajine

Once everyone had finished their meal, the guests gathered round the open fire outside to watch the live entertainment from the Berbers.  The beat of the drum and the singing from the Berbers  was great entertainment.  They even made a birthday cake for one of the guests and we all had a piece each – Yum!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Berbers dancing away


Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Our live entertainment for the evening

All of a sudden, I felt water drop onto my face.  I realised it had started to rain in the desert.  I heard that it only rained 10 days a year in the Sahara and who would have thought it would happen whilst we were there.  As we had a long day, we called it a night and headed back to our tent.

During the night, it was so windy and all I could hear was the wind beating down on the tent.  Seriously it felt like the tent was going to be blow away – but luckily it didn’t.

Sunset over the sand dunes

Ding ding! There goes my alarm and I leapt out of bed ready to watch the sunrise.  We climbed up the sand dune waiting for the sun to rise.  More and more guests wandered out of their tents for the chance to see it too.  We waited and waited, but no sunrise.  There were too many clouds again and it just wasn’t meant to be.  How disappointed were we …

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Tried to capture the sunrise but no luck

Finally we headed back to our tent to shower and pack our things for our journey back to Merzouga.  Breakfast was served at 8am in the tent with a wide selection of warm and cold dishes, which included, boiled eggs, pancakes, yogurt, bread and various jams and many sweet pastries.  What a breakfast feast!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Breakfast selection at the camp


Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Sweet pastries and jam

There was a choice for the return journey either by 4WD or the camel ride.  So 10 mins by 4WD or 20 mins by camel.  We opted for the camel ride back, by now we were pros at riding camels.  It seemed we were the only ones choosing this option as everyone else sped past in 4WD’s as we made our way along the dunes.

We enjoyed a relaxing camel trek back to the hotel to be met by our driver Aziz, who was patiently waiting for us.  All in all, it was a great experience with riding camels and staying overnight in the Sahara desert.  However just our luck we didn’t get to capture the sunset or sunrise pictures which we had hoped for.  Never mind, c’est la vie.  Maybe in the future we might book this trip again but to a different part.

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Camel ride back to the hotel

What to bring

Have you stayed overnight in the Sahara desert?  What did you think of the experience?

 

 

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Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!

Luxury camping in the Sahara Desert – WhodoIdo: Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is a must! Take a camel ride to the camp and watch the sunset along the way. Enjoy a tasty Moroccan meal and live entertainment from the Berbers. Don’t forget to wake up early and watch the sunrise over the sand dunes!
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30 Comments

  • Cecil 28/02/2018 (04:31)

    Now that looks like a dream vacation!

    • Lana
      Lana 28/02/2018 (09:51)

      Add this to your list, definitely worth it! 🙂

  • Kelly Edgar 19/02/2018 (15:50)

    This is amazing! What an incredible experience

    • Lana
      Lana 19/02/2018 (19:54)

      A very memorable experience to sleep under the stars in the Sahara desert 🙂

  • Marla Ward 22/01/2018 (13:44)

    This sounds like so much fun! What an interesting spin on camping.

    • Lana
      Lana 22/01/2018 (14:28)

      We loved the camel ride and staying one night in the Sahara desert was a fab experience!

  • Medha Verma 21/01/2018 (08:22)

    I live in the UAE so I am very used to seeing this landscape almost every day! We have quite a few luxury camps here in the middle of beautiful golden sand dunes and its a fantastic experience. So I can imagine you would’ve loved your experience too. The sunset over these dunes looks magical, doesn’t it?

    • Lana
      Lana 21/01/2018 (12:35)

      It was a bit cloudy so couldn’t capture the perfect sunset and sunrise pictures. Hope to go back one day though 🙂

  • Shannon 20/01/2018 (19:22)

    Total bucket list item for sure. Wow what an experience! Dunes look beautiful and the food delicious!

    • Lana
      Lana 21/01/2018 (12:32)

      Great experience and definitely add to your bucket list! 🙂

  • Yvette Douglas 20/01/2018 (14:29)

    Love the photos! Posh camping in a desert…. one for the bucket list!

    • Lana
      Lana 20/01/2018 (14:51)

      You’ll love this. If you get the chance to visit Morocco again, then book a trip to the Sahara desert! 🙂

  • amit 20/01/2018 (12:42)

    So your trip was actually very similar to the one I did, I know we did it through the same company but mine was the budget version 😛 – However we started at the Nomad Palace too, the difference was your luxury camp – I think we passed it on the way to ours haha – Your bed’s where higher than ours but compared to other groups we met ours were quite luxurious (we got beds too but other group literally got flat mattresses. I laughed while you described getting on the camel, I don’t usually panic but from the horror stories I heard before hand I was a bit panicked but I have to say my camel ride was quite smooth, Roxy was good to me (I named my camel Roxy 😀 )

    • Lana
      Lana 20/01/2018 (13:22)

      At the start of the camel ride i was a bit wobbly – it’s the fear of falling off! I never named my camel but he was the baby of the group and kept wanting to wander off. 🙂

  • Catherine 20/01/2018 (04:20)

    I’ve heard of glamping but wasn’t aware of luxury camping in the Sahara. I did camp as a child but now appreciate amenities. Although, this seems like the right time to “rough it” ever so slightly – especially if it means a glimpse of that sunset!

    • Lana
      Lana 20/01/2018 (10:48)

      I think it’s the same ha ha! I remember camping as a kid and running back and forth to use the showers and toilets. The bathroom is in your tent and makes your stay more comfortable 😉

  • Katie 19/01/2018 (06:36)

    Looks great, it is my long-term dream to do something like that, but I have been quite worried about coming to Muslim countries lately, Morroco being one of them. The main reason was IS. But seems the situation is getting better and your post an be a great inspiration for me.

    • Lana
      Lana 19/01/2018 (13:42)

      Morocco is generally a safe country. It is a beautiful country to visit. Glad that this post has inspired you 🙂

  • Dorie 18/01/2018 (19:56)

    Oh this looks beautiful. Marrakesh is also on my list! And camping – wow.
    xoxo

    • Lana
      Lana 18/01/2018 (20:34)

      I’ve visited Marrakech twice now and absolutely love it – the souks, food, hammams and of course the adventure to the Sahara desert. Add it to your list 🙂

  • Noelle Lynne 17/01/2018 (18:43)

    Sounds epic! Would love to do this 😻

    • Lana
      Lana 17/01/2018 (18:45)

      Do it if you get the chance 🙂

  • Huub Decaster 17/01/2018 (16:35)

    This looks great. The food, the site, very comfy stay…I can imagine you had a wonderful stay.

    • Lana
      Lana 17/01/2018 (17:03)

      It was a great experience! Thanks for the kind comment 🙂

  • A speck in time 17/01/2018 (15:45)

    Love reading it, brought back so many fond memories of our Sahara trip. Beautiful photos. I long to go back for more.

    • Lana
      Lana 17/01/2018 (15:53)

      Thanks! The Sahara trip was so much fun. We might have to go back one day for the sunrise pics 🙂

  • Marilyn 17/01/2018 (00:46)

    This is so awesome! I added this to my bucket list just now because of your post. I’m so glad you guys had a great time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lana
      Lana 17/01/2018 (11:36)

      We had this on our bucket list and couldn’t wait to have it ticked off when we were in Marrakech. Thanks for your lovely comment! 🙂

  • Laura Brawn 16/01/2018 (19:55)

    I think even I can enjoy camping with those facilities!!! Love the pics of the dunes x

    • Lana
      Lana 16/01/2018 (21:24)

      I think you will too! Thanks for the comment 🙂

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