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The Sahara Desert Travel Guide

There’s something indescribably magical about the way the loose sand dances on top of Sahara dunes, the way a simple dung beetle can survive in what feels like some of the harshest environments on the planet, the way Moroccans observe ramadan with no food or water even in the Sahara and then the way they break bread at sunset, the way a kettle of mint tea opens up conversation at any time of day—this list could go on and on, I'm forcing myself to stop here.

This post will be relatively short because truthfully, I did little planning on the Sahara Deseret portion of my trip—I relied very heavily on this 5-day GAdventures tour (and am very glad I did). I can recommend them confidently, but I will say: regardless of the tour group you choose, you should do this part of your Morocco trip with a tour group. Navigating to the Sahara Desert alone is a lengthy and complicated process that's likely better with a group who knows exactly when and where to make the right stops. So this was my journey:

Ouarzazate—We started in Marrakech and went over the Atlas Mountains and straight to Ouarzazate, where we spent the night. We started early the next day with a tour of the famous Atlas Film Studios (think Gladiator, Mummy, Game of Thrones, etc.)—one of the largest film studios in the world. Then we were off to the desert—which yes, consisted of a two-hour hike to our first camp in the desert.

Erg Lihoudi Desert Camp—Probably one of my favorite parts of my Sahara experience was staying at this campsite and riding camels the very next morning (even though I was non-stop vomiting first thing all morning—that's how magical riding a camel was for me). This campsite was really more "glamping" than anything else—the tents were covered in beautiful carpets with a full-sized mattress on a bed frame inside (there was even a little lamp that hung from the ceiling in my tent) to give you a sense of the stark contrast in my "camping" experience I would have the very next night.

Camping in a sand dune—Not something I'd normally opt-in for, but if there's any place in the world I'd go camping "for real," it's probably the Sahara Desert. To fully paint the picture for you, I literally fell asleep in a sand dune looking up at a pitch black sky laced with stars and woke up to the sun peeking through nearby dunes. Be prepared—it may be scorching hot during the day in the desert but at night, it get very very cold.

Skoura—Our last overnight stop on the way back from the Saraha to Marrakech was Skoura. Naturally, we were greeted by hot Moroccan mint tea, but even more exciting was the little pottery towns we were surrounded by in the area. Our guide also allowed us to make a quick stop for argon oil too!

The headline of this post: Do the Sahara Desert with a tour company, and if you need a recommendation, GAdventures is a great place to start!

Need outfit recommendations or inspiration?

These cargo pants and sandals were my two favorite picks for this trip! Many people make the mistake for opting for sneakers or hiking boots in the desert, and you can do it, but in my opinion, a velcro sandal (or anything with straps that keeps it on your feet easy) is the best option because it allows the sand to flow through the shoe instead of against it—literally becoming on with the desert.

Want more help curating an outfit plan for your trip to the Sahara Desert? Learn more about how I can help here.

Have you been to the Sahara Desert? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Hi, I'm Anna!

Whether I'm flying confirmed or standby, I've always had this affinity (and knack) for packing in as much as possible in 24, 48 and 72-hour trips. And that's exactly what this blog is full of—quick trip travel guides!

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