Erg Chebbi Desert Camp

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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Merzouga
April 23rd 2009
Published: May 11th 2009
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Some of us got up at 05:30AM to see sunrise over the dunes. It wasn’t terribly exciting because it was somewhat cloudy, but since I was up I figured that I would tackle a 140m high sand dune that didn’t look very far away. The entire trip took close to an hour but it was very rewarding to reach the top! Got back just in time for breakfast which consisted of dates, olives, flat bread, hard boiled eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice. Shortly after we headed out again to check out the desert irrigation system and a quick walk around town. There isn’t much in Merzouga as it’s basically a starting point for tourists to head out to the desert.

After lounging around and getting restless we finally got to ride camels into our desert camp in Erg Chebbi at around 16:00hr. Most of the camels looked docile and my camel was particularly tame. The entire trip one way was about 8km and took around 2 hours. Even with padding my butt was literally rubbing against the camel’s spine and it was uncomfortable to say the least. There was no stirrups like that on a horse to stand up to get a break. I was one with my camel all the way to the camp.

We arrived just before sunset and again a few of us decided to climb up the highest dune at 150m to see the sunset. We chose the steepest ridge and it was HARD - for sure the most exercise I did the entire trip. There was no sunset to see because it was cloudy but it sure felt good to be on top of the world - at least that was what it felt like.

Camp food was quite delicious with salad, Ratatouille and of course flat bread and oranges. I think we also had honeydew melon that night. It was still early after we finished supper but the sky was already lit up with countless stars. It was an incredible sight without any light pollution. Most of us chose to sleep outside under the stars in our sleeping bags. I dozed off to the sound of grunting camels and someone’s snoring.

Additional photos below
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dung beetle
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Photo 5

conquering dune #1
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Photo 11

giddy up!

tourist caravan

our nomad camp

top of highest sand dune (150m) in Erg Chebbi

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