A Guide for Visiting the Desert in Morocco

on July 05, 2020

Many visitors to Morocco aim to find a sense of "inner peace." Some try to find it in resorts, some in organized tours, some in places of worship, and then there are those who prefer a type of peace that can only be acquired far away from civilization. Those in the last category often fulfil their mission by visiting a desert in Morocco. Some come seeking Zen, others come for pure adventure, but one thing is universal: all come to explore an isolated part of the world that they have not yet seen before.

The desert body in Morocco formally called the Sahara Desert, stretches the southern Moroccan terrain, engulfing the land in a seemingly endless ocean of sand. Depending on your location and your willingness to travel for a long time in a car, bus or train, you can access the Sahara at different locations. Different locations may be renowned for specific key features, such as sand surfing, special terrain or other physical geographic highlights. However, no matter your location, desert visitors should follow some key advice.

The stereotypical image of the desert is one of a large stretch of hot sand. Interestingly enough, however, the desert has a strangely varied climate. Travellers should, therefore, go beyond preparing for the expected (which usually involves sunscreen and hats) and prepare for the unexpected. Unexpected gear should definitely include blankets for the cold evenings. Also, although we could never imagine creatures living and thriving in the desert, many species do make the desert their home. As such, be sure to have close-toed shoes to prevent dangerous bugs from biting you and always watch where you step. Beetles are usually innocuous, but taking a risk by getting close to one is not worth the rush.

Not only does the desert require you to pack unexpected gear, but it also requires you to think carefully about what to pack for a trip to Morocco. An example of this would be a digital camera. Blowing sand has a tendency to ruin camera lenses. As such, it is inadvisable to bring digital gear, unless, of course, you monitor it closely. The same rule applies to almost all electronic equipment and objects of value.

Lastly, be ready to meet diverse people on desert trips. This fact may be disconcerting for those wishing to go to the desert to "get away" from civilization. However, once in the desert, you'll meet locals as well as other adventurous tourists. Locals include tribal groups of desert populations such as the Tuaregs. The Tuaregs are nomadic people and are extremely hospitable. These tribes are often the ones leading groups of tourists throughout the Sahara. A trip with these adventurers would be incomplete without a classic camel ride and a musical celebration in the evening featuring a Hookah. These trips will usually combine groups of people from different cultures from all over the world. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet someone different from a foreign land in an even more foreign environment.

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