The Sahara desert is the world’s largest hot desert according to Wikipedia. It covers most of Northern Africa stretching from Egypt to Morroco and we paid a visit. The Sahara Desert is such a remote place that it seems unfathomable that anyone would want to be there.
“Isn’t it dangerous?” “Is there anything to do there?” were some of the questions we got asked. Before visiting we were not sure how to answer but as we discovered, the fantastic gold colored sand dunes of Erg Chebbi in Morroco turned out to be one of the most peaceful and awe-inspiringing places on earth.
It was a long journey to visit the dunes but it was one that we’ll never forget. We laid on the sand dunes, listened to the wind, watched a distant lightning storm, and stared at countless number of stars. It’s an experience we want to help you enjoy for yourself.
We hired the family owned Dunes Line tours from the Sahara Desert to take us there. We enjoyed their service and asked Said Ait El Caid from Dunes Line to help asnwer some of the most common Sahara travel questions.
Disclaimer: We did not receive any compensation, discounts, or benefits for highlighting Dunes Line, nor will we receive commissions for this post from Dunes Line tours. This is purely a post to help you get there as well.
OnTheGroundTravel: For people not familiar with Dunes Line, can you describe what you do?
Said: Dunes Line is a family-owned business. Our grandparents used to transport goods such as salt, dates, and barley along the trading route in Morocco. It was at a time when traveling by camels was the only way to get around. We love the desert, and today, our family created a touring company to show our guests the true desert as we know it. Many of our guests look for unique experiences such as living like a nomad in the Sahara Desert, or sleeping overnight in a traditional tent. With Dunes Line, our guests can also discover the vast sand dunes, lush valleys, green oases, and meet the Berber people who are known for their honesty and warm hospitality.
OnTheGroundTravel: Some people can only spend a short time in Morocco, what are the must-see sights in addition to a trip to the Sahara?
Said: The High Atlas region and its surrounding valleys, the old Kasbahs, and the traditional Berber villages are must-sees. We also recommend starting your trip to the Sahara from Marrakech, the closest city from all the sights mentioned above.
OnTheGroundTravel: There’s a lot of debate on travel forums about whether it’s better to see the Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga sand dunes. What’s your take on this?
Said: For a true desert experience, we deeply recommend the Erg Chebbi dunes in the Merzouga region. The dunes there are very spectacular, and are as high as 150m tall. In addition, it’s relatively easy to reach there.
OnTheGroundTravel: I got asked this question all the time…is it safe for women to travel alone in Morocco. Do they have to cover their hair?
Said: In Morocco, women traveling alone is generally safe, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Dress conservatively – cover your shoulders, stomach, knees and avoid fitted clothes
- No need to cover your head
- Avoid overdoing eye contact with unknown men. Rather than lowering your eyes, it maybe easier to wear sunglasses
OnTheGroundTravel: There are many adventurous souls out there who are used to traveling on their own. What are the benefits of hiring a driver or tour guide in Morocco?
Said: Morocco is a vast country, and hiring a driver can help reduce a lot of stress that may be associated with independent traveling, especially to the Sahara Desert. An experienced driver can act as your local expert and can take you off-the-beaten path to see some of the less touristy places that you can’t reach on your own.
OnTheGroundTravel: Any other tips for our readers who are interested in going to the Sahara?
Said: When you are in the desert, try to protect your camera from the sand as much as you can. It is generally safe to travel with expensive camera equipment in Marrakech, but it is not uncommon for tourists to bring along a camera bag where they can put their camera back when not using it to avoid attracting too much attention.
OnTheGroundTravel: Thank you Said for the information.
Are you planning a visit to the sand dunes in Morocco? Want to know what to pack for a desert tour to the Sahara? We compiled a Sahara Desert Packing List for you. Comment and let us know if you have any other questions.
Or… if you have been there already, we want to know how it went!
About Dunes Line: Dunes Line has been organizing tours across Morocco for a long time. Said and his family enjoys meeting people from all over the world, and showing them around Morocco. Dunes Line can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or +212-66723-8225 / +212-66198-8025. Spirit of the Desert welcomes you! Marhaba!
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