How to Choose a Sahara Desert Tour in Morocco

Camping, Camels and Sand Dunes

Morocco is amazing no matter which way you slice it, even if you simply stick to amazing cities like Essaouria and Marrakech. But let’s be honest: The reason we all visit this country is for Morocco desert tours and camel treks, the awesomeness of medinas, souks and riads notwithstanding.

The good news is that in spite of the Sahara being so vast and amorphous, seeing the desert in Morocco is a surprisingly straightforward affair, with relatively few options—and, thus, relatively little room for error. Continue reading to learn more about Morocco desert tours from Marrakech, as well as what you can do after you finish yours.

Need help planning your trip to Morocco? Hire me as your Travel Coach!

The Geography of the Moroccan Sahara

Before we discuss options for your desert tour, I want to give you a geography lesson, at least as it relates to the trip you’re about to take. You see, although the “desert” technically begins just over the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech (about a half day’s drive), the “dune-y” portion of the Sahara (which, let’s face it, is really what you came to see) is much farther away. So while destinations like Ouarzazate are picturesque and charming, there’s a reason that for most Morocco desert tours Merzouga is where the fun really begins.

How Long Should You Sahara Tour Be?

Due to these geographical constraints, Morocco desert tours 3 days in length or shorter are really not practical. You need an entire day to get over the mountains and into the “desert”—you’ll probably sleep near the rocky Dades Gorge on night one. Then, another entire day to get to Merzouga, which is where you’ll begin your camel trek into the dunes. There, you’ll camp with Berber people on night two, before heading back to town early in the morning, then spending the entire day driving back to Marrakech.

If you only take a two-day desert tour, you simply won’t be able to see the Sahara, not really. On the other hand, if you can devote four days or more to your Morocco desert tour, you’ll get an even more profound impression of the mysterious, shifting sands.


Sahara Desert Tour Companies

Dozens (maybe hundreds) of companies offer Morocco Sahara desert camel trekking tours, but the good news is that there are basically two ways to choose them.

The first method is to search online. Whether you choose a highly-ranked company like Marrakech Desert Trips or scroll further through the search results to find newer or more obscure entries, your Morocco desert itinerary will be similar to the one I described above, and you should expect to pay about 90 euro per person for a shared tour. (Private desert tours obviously cost a lot more, although they also offer increased flexibility.)

Alternatively, you can speak to tour operators while exploring Marrakech, either by asking your hotel’s or riad‘s concierge for recommendations, or by engaging people on the streets who ask you about tours. This can, of course, be risky—that should go without saying. But it can also save you a lot of money if you’re a good haggler and who knows? You could just get really lucky.


Where to Go After Your Sahara Tour

Some travelers are tempted to book Morocco desert tours from Fes, but there are a couple of problems with this. First, while Fes is closer to the desert than Marrakech, options are fewer, which means prices are higher.

Second—and this is just my opinion—I think Fes and the journey there are more rewarding after the desert than before it. You can’t really appreciate the lushness of Morocco’s Central Valley, for example, until you’ve spent a few days in the desert. From Fes, continue on to Tangier, Rabat or the blue city of Chefchaouen. Or all three, but not in that order!

The Bottom Line

Sahara desert tours in Morocco are a dime a dozen, so understanding a few things before you start shopping around is key. First, familiarize yourself with the geography of Morocco, then realize what length of trip you’ll need to take. Once you do this you’ll put yourself in a much stronger position to choose, whether you book your tour online or haggle in person. Then, the only thing left to do will be to get on your camel and look out onto the sandy horizon!

Leave Your Daily Hell   Filed under: Morocco

About The Author

is the author of 876 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!


informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!


Get Email Updates

Like what you're reading? Sign up to receive my weekly email newsletter – it's like a trip around the world to end every week!

Upcoming Trips

  • Hokkaido, Japan July 12-July 17
  • Mongolia July 31-August 10
  • Switzerland August 24-30
  • Lithuania August 31-September 3
  • Latvia September 4-September 7
  • Estonia September 8-11
  • Taiwan October 10-17
  • Oman October 29-November 9
  • Kansai, Japan November 21-27

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

camel trekking path May 22, 2015 at 9:23 am

Whether you are a traveler on an epic journey, looking for a short
getaway, or dreaming of a life changing adventure, our tours offerings
are designed to fulfill your unique personal travel dreams and make each
journey a memorable experience. With many years of experience, we can
show you all that Morocco has to offer! From the grand Sahara, mystical
Atlas Mountains, beautiful beaches and lakes, and desert oasis, our tour
packages are geared just for you. We offer multiple tour
packages that include both excursions and trekking/climbing trips to
the major popular trekking areas as well as to places off the beaten
path. We can also design individually specific tours for our clients. We
arrange all transportation and accommodation, so when you are here, you
can relax and enjoy your stay! About us Camel Trekking Path was founded
by Mohamed Ouchkih, a local Berber originally from Ait Ouffi,
Ouarzazete, Morocco and his fiancée Paxcely Marquez, a Returned Peace
Corps Volunteer (RPCV) from Cameroon. Mohamed has 10+ years of extensive
experience in organizing and leading tours and excursions throughout
Morocco. Thanks to his experience, Mohamed understands how to design the
perfect excursion for each of his clients. He speaks fluent Moroccan
Arabic, Tamazight, French, English, and Spanish. Paxcely and Mohamed met
almost ten years ago, and as a result, Paxcely has lived for a short
time and has traveled to Morocco every year since. She has traveled
extensively for years in Morocco and understands what tourists expect
from their Moroccan experience. She speaks fluent English, Spanish, and
French. So please feel free to contact us and we look forward to seeing
you soon! Bienvenue chez nous! “I am very proud of my culture and
traditions and enjoy sharing my passion for all that Morocco has to
offer.” – Mohamed Ouchikh
for more information :
felow us on facebook : Camel Trekking path
visit Our Website :
Call Us : +212611689486
Welcome to our bieautiful country

Camel Trips Morocco May 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Organization 4×4 Adventure Travel in Morocco

Camel Trips Morocco , agency
of tourism located in Merzouga in the South of Morocco, offers
different organised trips in mountain and in the desert.

For more information and enquiry, please contact us

Email: [email protected]


Robert Schrader May 28, 2015 at 8:35 am

I <3 camels

Sahara Tours Morocco June 2, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Sahara Tours Moroccois a tours company based in
Marrakech and managed by a team of professionals in tourism sector, we
organize trips and excursions in all destination of Morocco. Sahara Tours Morocco offers you transportation and trips around Morocco. That is to
say, enables you the opportunity to discover the magic of beautiful country.
The Atlas Mountains, Imperial cities, Kasbahs, The great Sahara desert and ancient
Sahara Tours Morocco offers guided tours and
drivers who are experienced, worldly-wise and they know a great deal about
their country, the sites, history, people, religion and culture. As well as,
they are sociable and modest. Sahara Tours Morocco will make sure that you will
have an adventure because we work hard with our clients and we enjoy working
with their dreams of visiting Morocco.
Contact Us – Sahara Tours Morocco

E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 00212 6 67 45 64 27

saissise June 6, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Traveling with Iddir is special because he and his team have a unique relationship with the desert; they know it and are passionate about it. If you want an insight into Berber and Moroccan culture they’re a good choice. Iddir also introduces you to real people (actually he knows people everywhere, and we were introduced to family and friends wherever we went), and he tells you about his own experiences growing up and the amazing changes he has seen.

We travelled in the rains of Nov/Dec 14 in the worst flooding in Morocco for 20 years. It meant that Iddir adapted the tour and drove many miles further than planned in order to make sure we had a good experience, including a starlit night in the desert. The rains eventually defeated us and we got stuck at Ourazazte where Iddir got us onto a flight back to Marrakesh, spending an extra day with us in order to get us safely on board. Iddir is unflappable and I was left with the feeling that if you were to call him up and say “Iddir, we’re on the south east corner of the moon” his response would be to say “I’ll have somebody with you in about 30 minutes”.

Iddir, someday we’ll be back to finish that last leg of the tour! I highly recommend

Ellen June 25, 2015 at 9:18 pm

This will be the first of two posts about our trip through Morocco to Erg Chebbi.

I’m not sure more than a few people have read this trip report, but I guess I need to remember that this forum isn’t as well-read as Europe which is what I’m used to. Morocco is off the beaten path for many which is a shame because its landscape is breathtaking, its people are genuinely welcoming, it’s affordable and even getting a glimpse into the culture as a tourist is fascinating.

Since we figured this would be our one and only trip to Morocco, we wanted to make sure we included a visit to the desert. It turned out to be the highlight of two weeks of highlights. Because our children had only 10 days, we had to limit our Sahara trip to three days/two nights. I found that most excursion companies don’t offer an itinerary that short because it involves too much driving. I did find Morocco Excursion,

They picked us up from our riad in Marakkech. There were six of us, seven including the driver, in a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Good thing we were family . The first day we crossed the Atlas Mountains and spent the night at a hotel in the Dades Gorges. I have a fear of driving over mountain passes, but surprisingly, this didn’t bother me. The scenery was breathtaking, climbing through lush greenery, finally reaching the top of the treeline, then descending again. We often remarked that it reminded us of the Rockies.

We stopped for lunch at Aït Benhaddou a kasbah and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We climbed to the top and were able to see miles into the countryside.

We stayed here the first night. It was a rustic, charming riad in the middle of the Dades Gorges. We had three choices of lodging that night and we chose this which was the medium option. Definitely rustic, but fine for a night. It was a narrow gorge and that night was particularly windy which lent an almost eerie quality to it. We were served a delicious dinner family style with the few other boarders.

Our driver that first day only spoke Arabic and Spanish. Most Moroccans speak French, then English after Arabic, but not this young man. Our son speaks Arabic, but the Moroccan dialect is very different from traditionally-taught Arabic, so as the only Spanish speaking member of the family, he served as our interpreter. Looking back, it made it all that more interesting and exotic!

The second day we left early after another delicious Moroccan breakfast. A new driver, Ibrahim, met us in a somewhat larger (thank heavens) SUV. Once over the mountains, the landscape was flatter and more desert-y with low scrub. We passed through countless villages and began to see even more traditional dress – lots more burqas. We were interested to see so many women on donkeys with baskets of greenery. Our best guess was that they would make mats of some sort with it.

We had lunch at a cafe in Erfoud, a busy city on the edge of the dunes. After lunch Ibrahim took us on an off-road excursion through the moonscape leading to the dunes. We started to see a mass or orange ahead of us which got bigger and bigger as we approached. That was our first glimpse of Erg Chebbi and it was a thrill.

In case only a few people are reading this report, I’m going to talk in more detail about the trip into the dunes in a separate trip report entitled Erg Chebbi as it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Here are a few pictures of those couple of days leading to Erg Chebbi.

Jack alian July 2, 2015 at 7:27 am

A picture from ourMorocco sahara desert tours

laura July 2, 2015 at 10:51 am

Hello :

“Great article and great blog! Let her take advantage of this space to present comments Marocco Escursioni.

team of tourism experts across Morocco. We plan dream trips in Morocco, passing through the wilderness, towns, mountains and oases of incredible beauty.

Our site is , and there can see more details and ideas.

If you’re thinking of Morocco Desert Tripd and Excursions , come try one of our 4×4 vehicles and know the most hidden secrets.


Robert Schrader July 10, 2015 at 7:44 am


visit erg chebbi desert July 15, 2015 at 11:48 pm

I’m Said i welcome to the beautiful moroccan land and quiet magic desert , we will be happy to share with you all great moments of your holidays in morocco,We are berber people born and raised in the desert with our family in southern Morocco, Our childhood was with nomadic life, traveling around the desert with the family, Every month we change the home to nother home looking for a green place for our animales as camels and goats ,Our experience started with guiding the guests from a several hotels in merzouga desert, We learned many langues as English, Spanish, French, Portugues , with the parents we learned our mother langues Berber and Arabic as my second language from the same religion of Islam ,Now after nine years of guiding the travelers from around the world in morocco,We started from few years ago to organize Camel trekking in erg chebbi desert for spent one night in desert by camels Trekking in merzouga desert,Yoga meditation with all necessary , Rent 4×4 to explore the area of merzouga , but we avoid the sand dunes to respect the value of the nature, to discover the environment and to teach you about our culture .

Lisa Washborn August 26, 2015 at 6:34 pm

We had chosen “Sahara Desert Crew” (http:// sahara-desert-crew. com) because good friends in US highly recommended Youssef and his company. And they were absolutely right!

Youssef Yaakoubi, the owner, responded very quickly and within one day he send us an exciting itinerary and a good price including one week of private guide and chauffeur and all necessary accommodation in the standard and variety we asked for.

We spend a week driving a bit more than 1.800 km, myself, my husband and our two sons at 14 and 20. From Agadir – Marrakech – Atlas Mountains – Quarzazate – Rissani – Desert dunes – Draa Valley – Taroudant – Agadir.

Youssef is a fantastic driver – I didn’t say “ouh” once – and he is also very easy to be around. He had a lot to tell and was able to give both the boys and us good stories and guidance.

The boys loved the times we drove off road, lunch at his mum, they loved the camel riding and camping in Berber tent. My husband and I also loved the variety of the riads and hotels chosen for us – especially the fantastic riad in the orange plantation where we had our last relaxing day 🙂
We appreciate that Youssef would share all his knowledge with us and we are very happy getting to know him. He is a very great and professional host.

We highly recommend them.

Robert Schrader August 31, 2015 at 7:11 am

So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

Hasmou October 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

We had the most fantastic time on our 7 day tour of Morocco including Morocco sahara desert tours and camel trek with Morocco Excursions Company Firstly dealing with Hassan to organise the itinerary for the tour was a breeze. He responses where always prompt and the information pack he sent was really helpful. And then meeting Hamid, who picked us up from the Airport. He was a delight and so friendly.

We started in Marrakech, for couple of days where we were on our own to explore the exciting and bustling medina. We then took off for the touring part, where we met our driver Said.
This is when the real experience of exploring Morocco began,
We had our itinerary set for the tour but Said gave us lots of options of places to visit along the way, some were optional and some he said was a must, and he wasn’t wrong. Said took us to his town, where we were lucky enough to have lunch with his family. He was so knowledgeable about every place we visited and so proud of his Berber heritage. We cannot speak highly enough of Said, he made our time in Morocco so much richer and we felt we got to see the heart of the country, we will never forget this holiday.
All the Riads we stayed in were of a very high standand and the breakfasts were so delicious. The Riad in Fes was definitely the highlight.
Our trip was amazing and we would recommend Morocco Excursions Company to everyone. And hopefully they are lucky enough to meet Said. We can’t wait to return and spend so much more time exploring this magical country! Thank you so much!

Piper Smith October 20, 2015 at 3:12 am

Yes, we had a great experience from the Sahara desert on our morocco trip. Three months ago a group of my friends was planning for a morocco trip in which we included the Sahara desert trip. Thanks to “Trekinmorocco” agency for giving our interesting guide who made our trip more memorable. We did so many fun as riding came , trekking on mountain etc.

Cami November 19, 2015 at 11:01 am

So I’ve contacted Hassan at Morocco Excursions Company and for a 4 day Marrakesh to Fez tour he has quoted me 350 Euros a person. We will be spending plenty of time in the Desert, but since this varies so much from your suggested price, should I be negotiating for a lower one? What price point should I be looking for?

Carlos gomez maria November 28, 2015 at 6:47 am

Great Desert Experience in Morocco

Amazing experience, our group got picked up from the bus station and we were taken to the hotel/camel area. We had a room and left our stuff there before heading out to the desert on camels. Said and his friends took us to different hut areas in the desert, it was amazing. Life changing experience to see the sunset and stars, ride camels, and spend about 24 hours in the desert.

Robert Schrader December 1, 2015 at 7:47 am

This piece was written four years ago—prices could’ve gone up. How many people are you going with? See if you can get a discount on account of that.

HASSAN December 8, 2015 at 1:42 am

We will be very happy to take you on a journey to Morocco to explore and see the extraordinary and wonderful landscapes of the big South, passing through the High Atlas Mountains, visiting nice kasbahs,, breathing the fresh air of nice valleys to sunny sand dunes of big desert. Our trips are tailored made and you travel with your own private Transport 4×4 wheel and driver who knows the area very well. You travel at your own pace, stopping as you wish to discover the sites along the route.

Please don’t hesitate to write me if you need some more information or

Help . I’m so pleased to answer you as soon as possible .

Again, you are welcome to Morocco,

Looking forward to hear from you soon. Kind regards.



Original Morocco Tours January 13, 2016 at 8:43 am

Original Morocco Tours took our group of four on a tour of the desert near Erg Chebbi Dunes before embarking on a camel ride and night in a desert luxury tent. Hamid from Original Morocco Tours is fabulous! He drove us to a Bedouin tent home and explained local customs in easily understandable English (He speaks Berber – his first language, Arabic, French, and Spanish as well). He took us to a mining operation, local market with fabulous spices (South is known for the more aromatic cumin and generally stronger spices) and Gnaoua musical performance. We also visited a local artist’s cooperative, fossil cutting and polishing operations, and took a 4-wheel drive only path to a beautiful lake. Hamid has worked with camels and knew the best place to send us for a camel trek. We could not have asked for a better guide- honest, kind, easy-going,flexible, experienced and very knowledgeable. He can arrange a tour anywhere in Morocco. We had a wonderful time-highly recommended!
Whatsapp: 00212 608-998442

Jennifer January 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Overnight Camel Trek with “Cameltrekking Excursions” is an experience you will never forget and one which we hope will bring something unique to your adventure,Our DESERT TOUR offer traditional music and drumming,excellent cuisine and sleeping in the desert beneath a stunning canopy of stars in our tradicional nomadic camp!

angel February 9, 2016 at 7:31 am

My friend and I did a 4 day, 3 night trip with Iddir from Marvelous Morocco in

October. We really enjoyed every moment. Iddir picked us up from our Riad in Marrakech and basically kept us entertained by sights and stories til he dropped us of in Fes 4 days later. We got some lovely photos, climbed some dunes, saw some kasbahs, met some camels, heard some bad jokes and lost a few card games along the way. it was a great experience and I would highly recommend Marvelous Morocco tours to people looking for a really authentic experience travelling around Morocco and some great memories (

marrakesh desert tours April 5, 2016 at 4:31 pm
marrakesh desert tours April 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm – Marrakech tours and things to do: Check out our website Marrakech tours.

Hammou Oubaha November 13, 2016 at 6:52 am

Very nice blog about thanks for sharing,

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: