Explore the Moroccan Sahara Desert on the back of a Mehari camel
From west to east, the Sahara stretches over 5,000 kilometers. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Egypt and Libya, it crosses ten countries! Thus, the great Sahara is the largest hot desert on our planet.
Even if life is rough there, several nomadic tribes depend on it. All of these peoples identify themselves with the term Sahrawis. Despite the minimal rainfall, this desert presents a specific ecosystem of arid zones. The density of flora and fauna is low but completely adapted.
So, to visit the Sahara Desert and discover spectacular landscapes, consider a hike in the Sahara Desert! The traditional form for exploring this exceptional environment is camel trekking.
The Mehari in a few words
A camel trek is a unique type of hike in the Sahara Desert. This practice has its origin in the center of the Sahara. The use of dromedaries in this region dates back to the beginning of the first millennium BC. This ancestral hike is done on top of Mehari camels, a saddle dromedary with a slender morphology.
Initially, the camel trek was a way for the Bedouins to move around the desert. Note that the camel ride is a trip made on a caravan model. Indeed, in this environment, nomadic peoples move mainly in groups. And in the desert, the dromedaries are highly valued allies of the Sahrawis. Indeed, these bumpy mammals are particularly resistant and enduring. There are also specialized markets for the sale of dromedaries. In Morocco, that of Guelmim is particularly known.
Participating in a camel ride is therefore an exciting adventure. The meharists cross the vast expanse of sand together. On the back of your Mehari dromedary, you will experience an exceptional, authentic and unforgettable adventure!
Our tips for a successful trek on the back of a Mehari
A hike on the back of Mehari to explore the Moroccan Sarah desert requires being physically fit.
Indeed, the camel trek takes place in an unusual environment. Significant heat, prolonged exposure to the sun and continuous physical exertion must be taken into account. In the weeks leading up to your hike in the Sahara Desert, pay close attention to your physical condition.
The best period
It is possible to explore the Sahara Desert throughout the year. However, the ideal period is between October and May.
For the more adventurous, know that in December and January the nights are particularly cold. During these two months the night temperatures are around 0 ° C. Also note that starting May, the days start to get really hot. For this, the organizers of your camel trek will plan a departure at dawn and breaks in the shade during hot hours.
Generally, the weather is sunny throughout the Sahara. However, the rains can be violent and the sandstorms can be surprising.
As you prepare your crew for your hike in the Sahara Desert, consider the temperature differences between day and night. Also provide a sleeping bag and suitable toiletries. Be careful not to overload yourself.
What to see and do on a hike in the Moroccan Sahara Desert?
M'Hamid el-Ghislane and its ergs
The great south of Morocco is one of the privileged areas for camel rides. Indeed, several camel treks are offered there.
To visit the Sahara Desert, you can discover the Draa Valley. In this region, the landscapes evolve gradually. The mountainous environment is first followed by pastures and then by dry dayas (rainwater bowls). Then appear small shrubs on the scattered dunes. Finally, without having seen it coming, the vastness of the Sahara presents itself to you.
The camel ride starts from the dunes of Kriaat Jmel and ends at M’Hamid el-Ghislane.
During this hike, you will cross several ergs, including ergs Bourguerme and Zehar. These are vast expanses of sand dunes shaped by the wind. Along your route you will also come across wadis (rivers) bordered by tamarisks, palm groves, and ancient forts.
Erg Chigaga Dunes
Erg Chigaga is one of the two largest Moroccan ergs. Going down south, the aridity becomes more and more felt. And over the days you will cross the dunes of Bouigaiwarne, Regabi and Bouguerne.
You will be transported by this golden landscape with poetic curves. Also, several wadis will punctuate your progress in the Sahara. And to end this hike in the desert, you will tackle Lake Irriki. The surroundings of this site are magnificent. Then, on the back of your Mehari you will cross the last silts and dunes.
Erg Chebbi Dunes
This camel ride begins south of Erfoud, near Merzouga. From this place, you will be close to the hamada of Guir. The hamada of Guir is a natural border which precedes the oases of the Saoura.
During this hike, you will cross the highest sand dunes in the country. They rise up to 170 meters. Throughout this magical experience you will come across basic but vital wells. Accompanied by qualified people, you will also cross natural obstacles.
After a desert plateau, you will start by crossing erg Moulay Amar. There, a magnificent view of the fossiliferous mountains will be offered to you. Then you will reach the huge erg Chebbi. This vast expanse has rocky parts and impressive dune cords. You will appreciate the fawn colors as far as the eye can see.
Visiting and exploring the Moroccan Sahara Desert is a magnificent and exotic adventure.